Emerging Ideas in the Field of Cultural Heritage

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Mar 14, 2019
by Oscar Tollast
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Emerging Ideas in the Field of Cultural Heritage

Practitioners from the cultural heritage sector and representatives of cultural ministries and heritage associations among those to convene for latest Salzburg Global program Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

Creative thinkers and ground-breaking practitioners from around the world will convene at Schloss Leopoldskron on Sunday for the start of a brand new program.

What Future for Cultural Heritage? Perceptions, Problematics, and Potential is the latest program in Salzburg Global’s Culture, Arts and Society multi-year series.

The five-day program, which begins on Saturday, March 16, will see participants reflect on and critique current approaches to cultural heritage and explore new frontiers in heritage innovation and collaboration.

More than 45 participants working in 30 countries will take part in a highly interactive program featuring presentations, curated conversations, knowledge exchange, and practical group work.

The program will be structured along a continuum of inquiry: perceptions of the past, problematics of the present, and potential for the future.

The program’s co-chairs are George Abungu, CEO of Okello Abungu Heritage Consultants, and Vishakha Desai, senior advisor for global affairs to the president of Columbia University.

Critical questions for participants include:

  • In societies striving to be inclusive and equitable, how can we move toward more expansive approaches to and notions of cultural heritage?
  • What practical approaches and innovations are already being taken to counter threats to cultural heritage? What obstacles are preventing success and how can collaboration be expanded to overcome these challenges and connect new generations to their cultural heritage?
  • How could the cultural heritage sector better communicate with other sectors for mutual benefit, especially in the fields of education, urban development, and tourism?
  • What innovative strategies can connect more people from all walks of life, especially new urban generations, to cultural heritage?
  • What potential does digitization have for making cultural heritage come alive in ground-breaking new ways?
  • How can advocacy work around heritage be improved? What do these developments imply for the education and training of the next generation of cultural heritage professionals?

By the end of the program, organizers hope participants will be able to develop strategies for raising greater awareness of the role of cultural heritage and share learning from the program through dynamic reporting.

Participants will also be asked to consider jointly drafting a Salzburg Statement on the problematics and potential of cultural heritage in the 21st Century, building and expanding on the 2009 Salzburg Declaration on the Conservation and Preservation of Cultural Heritage.

Susanna Seidl-Fox, program director at Salzburg Global Seminar for culture and the arts, said, “Against the complex backdrop of today’s volatile and rapidly changing world, it is a critical moment to ask what cultural heritage means in the 21st century: why is heritage important to preserve? Whose heritage are we preserving? How do we as societies connect our pasts, presents, and our futures in meaningful ways to foster identity, confidence, and cohesion in our diverse cultures and civilizations?  By bringing together this diverse group of cultural heritage experts from around the globe, we hope to catalyze a new cultural heritage conversation around perceptions of the past, problematics of the present, and the potential for the future.”


What Future for Cultural Heritage? Perceptions, Problematics, and Potential is the latest program in Salzburg Global’s Culture, Arts and Society series. The program is being held in partnership with the Edward T. Cone Foundation and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research. For more information on the program, please click here.