DEN-CuPID is all about methodologies: we are not re-inventing the wheel in the field of Cultural Management. We are just thinking of new ways to make the so far acquired (and tested) knowledge adaptable to those who don’t necessarily have the required expertise, yet they are asked to plan and implement cultural projects: municipal employees, members of cultural associations, owners/managers of historic buildings, directors of small, non-state control museums or archives… On a second level, we also target all those who are considered as “stakeholders” (in the academic sense) of cultural heritage management: local agents, shop and hotel owners, entrepreneurs, civil society organizations, education authorities, state authorities.
At the end of the project we will be happy if we have: a) created links between Cultural Management theory and the practical, day-to-day aspect of Management that our target groups usually deal with; b) established a Digital Network where people and organizations from our target groups can find partners for projects, answers to their questions as well as best practices to follow in the implementation of their own projects; c) trained a number of people from our target groups through workshops/ case studies and mentored them through the process of planning their own successful cultural management project; d) established an e-learning programme through the project platform, in order to facilitate more and more people all over Europe to profit from the knowledge produced throughout the project duration.
Four different methodologies transcend the activities of the project:
I. Research Methodology
II. Educational Methodology
III. Case studies’ methodology
IV. E-training platform and training manual methodology
1. The research will start with an extensive enquiry for similar research projects in EU countries (the ones at least that use some of the basic EU languages). The reason is to define the state-of-the-art of integrated Cultural Management and the levels and targets of training in the field.
2. The second step is the formation of a questionnaire which will be addressed (through Survey Monkey) to relevant stakeholders (organizations, municipalities, individual collectors etc). The questionnaire will help us better define the needs of our target groups as well as the points on which we should emphasize during the training. The questionnaire will be dispatched to a broad spectrum of recipients and supported by follow-up emails and calls until we receive a satisfactory number of responses [maximum time for the entire process: 2 months]. The University of Patras will be responsible for the design and handling of the questionnaires as well as for extracting the final outcome and conclusions. The results will be explained and presented in a short report with clear guidelines as to how to structure the educational material and what to emphasize upon during the case studies.
3. The dispatch of the questionnaire will also serve as a first step for the expression of interest of potential participants in the training (both the presential case-studies and the e-learning course). Through a specific call which will follow the answers to the questionnaire prospect trainees will be asked to send a brief outline of an idea on a Cultural Management project (preferably not fictitious, but one that they really want to implement). Based on he answers, two or four respective groups of trainees will be formed, which will be distributed to the four workshops (Spain, Greece, Italy and Bulgaria) in relevance to the affinity of the proposed projects to the workshop themes (namely Monument management, Cultural project/event, Storytelling and enhancement of cultural areas and Enhancement of historic towns/centers).
II. Educational methodology
The educational material, structured as manual(s), will cover the following units:
1. Basic precepts of Cultural and Heritage Management: Based on international bibliography, the basic precepts, philosophy and aims of Cultural and Heritage management will be presented in a short and simplified manner. This manual (or part of the manual) will include: a) the basic precepts of cultural heritage management;
b) the basic legal documents and acts resulting in the protection and enhancement of cultural heritage (national and international) [including introduction of the main organizations and authorities worldwide, such as the UNESCO, working on these issues];
c) basic precepts of cultural property rights’ protection (copyrights etc) [introducing the national and international authorities such as the World Intellectual Property Organization dealing with these issues]
d) methods of evaluating the state/condition/needs of monuments, sites and assets of cultural importance which need restoration, change of use and valorisation. The educational material will include specific lists that will be used by trainees and kept as further reference.
e) Swot/pestel analysis and other methods of building a management and business plan.
f) The role of the managing authorities and the role of stakeholders. Creating sense of ownership.
g) Drawing up the basic lines of cultural policies for regions and points of interest (including intangible cultural heritage). Trying to find a balance between maintenance of values and financial viability and sustainability.
h) Designing and implementing cultural activities related to heritage assets. Establishing quality, achieving and maintaining social consensus, mobilizing volunteers, creating a sense of ownership.
i) Cultural routes: joining forces, maintaining authenticity
j) Enhancing and advertising cultural heritage assets. The connection to tourism. The role of the internet, social media and modern technologies. Branding of areas, products, events.
k) Funding cultural and heritage management projects. From crowdfunding to EU-funded programmes. Writing proposals and addressing sponsors and donors.
l) Local, national and international networking: seeking the right partners, making the project move forward.
III. Case Studies’ methodology
1. Defining the content of the case studies’ workshops in collaboration with the relevant partners.
2. Drawing up a basic bibliography and webliography (form a separate folder, ask for permits if necessary)
3. Finalization of the selection process for the prospect trainees. [it has been suggested that we should let trainees know the four major topics/ the four different case studies in order to choose the ones that interest them and also to form their own project proposals accordingly; also we have to decide whether there will be two groups of trainees which will each follow a set of workshops (i.e. Greece and Italy or Spain and Bulgaria), which will give them the time and chance to present their own work during the second workshop or whether each workshop will be followed by a separate group of trainees. In the second case, the trainees will have to be encouraged to present the progress of their project and to receive mentoring through the digital network, i.e. through a specific space in the platform/internet site.]
4. Methodology of the drills that the trainees will have to implement.
5. Methodology of the virtual training. [it has been suggested that we will try to achieve virtual mobility, by inviting organizations, such as EGTC Amphictyony or Futuro Digitale or UBBSLA to follow the case studies’ seminars also through a teleconference system, in order to give more trainees the chance to profit from the project]
IV. E-training platform and training manual methodology
1. Designing the e-platform functions, in order to create a modular content, which the participants/ trainees of the distant learning system will be able to use also as separate units.
2. Designing the degree of interactivity of the platform (videos, quizzes, interactive exercises etc).
3. Evaluating the performance of trainees and issuing certificates.
Throughout the implementation of the project we have to bear in mind that we build a Digital Educational Network and therefore we offer mentoring and support to people and organizations. Furthermore it would be good to try and get endorsement for the project from as many authorities and organizations as possible and that we should aim at establishing a focus group which, through a separate funding tool, would be able to continue meeting and producing intellectual outputs even after the end of the projects’ duration.