Fostering heritage communities

Web conference.
8-11 May 2020

The IE conference ‘Fostering heritage communities’ was due to take place in Haapsalu, Estonia when it became clear that this would not be possible. Like us, many other heritage and interpretation organisations find their annual conferences are at stake. However, we thought it is time to develop and to share ideas and see, how we can turn an annual conference into an online event. We felt the need to overcome the consequences of social distancing but also to enable our almost 60 speakers, presenters and workshop leaders from all over Europe and beyond, whose proposals have been selected, to share their experiences and ideas.

We‘ve decided, therefore, that our conference should take place as an online event. The dates remained the same: 8-11 May 2020.

Heritage communities are a cornerstone of the Council of Europe’s Faro Convention. But how do heritage sites actually become meaningful for everyone? What triggers volunteer engagement and what boosts someone’s sense of fulfilment?

People are better connected to heritage when they are actively involved as co-creators of interpretation. This includes lively debate and sometimes dealing with controversial opinions as to why that heritage is meaningful. Consultation broadens consideration about different narratives which, in turn, helps establish practices that accommodate the values people attach to heritage.

From 8-11 May 2020 a packed programme of more than 90 inspiring speeches, workshops, presentations and special features took place, to explore how interpretation can bring heritage communities to life. 162 attendees from 37 countries joined.


"Alone, we can do so little;
together, we can do so much."

Helen Keller