Cultural heritage is important for both society and economy. It contributes to forming
an individual and collective identity, supports improving social and territorial cohesion, is of great economic importance for the tourism industry, and has potential for defining new types of artistic careers. This importance for society and economydemands a better protection, promotion and use of the European cultural heritage. Europe’s cultural heritage is a fragile resource and exposed to many threats such as climate change and pollution, but also to increasing urbanization and negligence. At the same time, the way of thinking about cultural
heritage is evolving and the way cultural heritage is developed, appropriated, enriched, promoted and transmitted is also changing. As an example, sources of cultural heritage are increasingly preserved and transmitted digitally and online, offering new ways of sharing, analyzing and presenting cultural heritage. Another development is the increase in digital-born heritage, which includes artistic and cultural forms of expression that are only created
digitally (e.g. e-culture). In addition, the general public is becoming a more prominent stakeholder in presenting and sharing cultural heritage collections.
Despite these dynamics in cultural heritage, thinking about the future of cultural heritage is not wide-spread. Maybe it is because of the contradiction between the retrospective nature of cultural heritage and the prospective nature of foresight and future studies. Nevertheless, future perspectives on relevant trends and drivers of change that may impact upon cultural heritage in Europe in the coming decades can support strategic thinking in cultural heritage
management including preservation, promotion and use of cultural heritage sources.
The European Foresight Platform organized a workshop to contribute to applying a future perspective on cultural heritage. In this workshop trends and drivers of change that may impact upon cultural heritage have been identified, using the STEEP structure (Society, Technology, Economy, Ecology and Policy). In addition, the type of impact these trends and drivers may have on the development, managemen, preservation, promotion, use, and funding of cultural heritage have been discussed. Moreover, the discussion has focused on the challenges, needs, options and questions for research following from these impacts. The outcomes of this workshop will be offered to stakeholders dealing with cultural heritage, including European and national policy makers, programming initiatives, agencies, institutes and research councils as inspiration to their strategic research agendas.
Documents and presentations:
Presentation by Domenico Rossetti, DG RTD.
Presentation by Dirk van Delft, Museum Boerhaave.
Presentation by Riel Miller, UNESCO Foresight Unit.