Tag Archives: workshop

“Importance of digital tools for heritage documentation and management” by Dr. Cornelis Stal

On Friday the 19th of July 2019, Athens was shocked by an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 on Richter’s scale. Fortunately, this did not result in mortal injuries, but several buildings were severely damaged. Among others, the northern wall of the UNESCO world heritage site of the Daphni suffered a lot from this event. A good month earlier, HERITΛGE has organized a specialist course on the 3D documentation of cultural heritage. Coincidently, the same monastery has been selected as a case study for the participants to learn about the use of photogrammetry and laser scanning for the virtual reconstruction of site. After the earthquake, the resulting data are directly sent to the responsible authorities, allowing them to incorporate the models in the reconstruction and restoration activities.

This example clearly illustrates the importance of up-to-date and easily accessible data for heritage management. Endangered heritage can suffer from many events, like earthquakes in our example, but also flooding, forest fires, plunder, etc. Also, on a long term, heritage is heavily affected by lack of tools, financial means or improper use of the relics. In all cases, the features of the heritage asset can be permanently destroyed and with it its high cultural value and the collective memory that it represents. 3D data allows managers to get a better understanding of their heritage and gives conservators and architects an indispensable source for their reconstruction work.

All the more reason that HERITΛGE puts a strong focus on these topics by organizing specialist courses and summer schools, dealing with various aspects of spatial data acquisition and data management. These programs are not limited to the production of highly accurate 3D models, but a strong emphasizes is also put on the publication of data in terms of individual deliverables (point clouds, orthophotos, digital elevation models, textured 3D models, …). Furthermore, the impact of these deliverables is optimized by implementing open-source and online platforms for the visualization and analysis. Easy accessibility of virtual reconstructions of sites, presented on interactive and online platforms, increases the public awareness of the importance of cultural heritage and improves communication between all stakeholders. Geographic information systems and web mapping are also having an increasing importance in this domain.

At HERITΛGE, we want to empower heritage managers, architects, archaeologists, and all other stakeholders involved in the conservation of cultural heritage with the required tools for the digital documentation and reconstruction of their heritage. Participants learn to work with a wide range of these tools in hand-on training sessions, allowing them to implement various techniques directly on site during the course, but also in their own professional projects.

Dr. Cornelis Stal

Manager of H-digital, The Heritage Management Organization digitization program.

Convenor of the annual ‘Digital Tools for Heritage Management’ executive workshop by The Heritage Management Organization.

Lecturer/Researcher, Ghent University College – HOGENT, Belgium

HMO Communications workshop for Heritage Managers

You have organised the best exhibition of the year, or set up a ground-breaking educational program. You have worked hard with curators, conservators, educators, everything is ready to rock, but now you wonder… how can I bring people in? How can I reach my audience, and what should I be telling them? Informing and engaging the public is a crucial process for the success and sustainability of heritage institutions. However, heritage-related university programs do not usually include any training in Communications, and heritage managers who cannot afford to recur to external experts might find themselves in serious troubles when it comes to communicate and promote what they are doing.

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Some HERMA students participating in the workshop

This is why last April HMO organised the first Workshop in Communication Strategy for a group of 15 students from the joint MA in Heritage Management of the University of Kent and Athens University Business School. The workshop took place in Elefsina, a few meters away from the archaeological site of ancient Eleusis. The course instructor, Derwin Johnson, has a 20-year experience as a journalist for CNN and ABC, and is a professional media consultant and trainer.

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Workshop instructor Derwin Johnson

The aim of the workshop was to give heritage managers the basic tools to communicate the identity, activities and events of their cultural organisation effectively in order to engage the right audience with the right messages.
Participants learnt how to produce a communication strategy, starting with identifying the appropriate audiences through a “conversation map”, where you can visualise all the groups interested in your message and select the most convenient for you. Once they knew who they were talking to, the students could then draft their key messages, the core ideas that they needed to express, and then learnt how to tweak those messages depending on the different media they wanted to use: more informal and experience-focussed for a blog, more simple and informative for a press release, more condensed and witty for social media. They had the chance to experiment with a wide variety of styles, always keeping an eye on the core message and reminding the importance of consistency.

Students brainstorming

A considerable amount of time was dedicated to interview simulations, where the students had to talk about their organisation in front of a camera and answer questions from Derwin playing the role of a journalist. They learnt how to catch attention and stay focussed on their messages, but also how to improvise in case of unexpected remarks.
The most successful feature of the course was that applied work immediately followed the theoretical lectures. Participants could put into practice what they just learned by working in groups under the supervision of the instructor, and receiving immediate feedback and further advice. A good example for that is the press conference simulation that took place on the last course day: each team had to present in a structured manner their piece of news to a (fake) audience of journalists ready to leave if they were bored or ask tricky and uncomfortable questions. It was a matter of coordination and team work, and students learnt the importance of being inspirational and audience-oriented when communicating their mission and messages.

Philanthropy, love of man – the HMO Fundraising workshop

Philanthropy is a word that dates back to the ancient Greeks and there is no better place to learn the true meaning and actions of the word than in Greece itself. The three-day workshop provided by the University of Kent’s Philanthropic centre took place last February in Elefsina, just a few kilometres from Athens. It was lead by Dr Triona Fitton, Dr Eddy Hogg and Dr John McLoughlin of the University of Kent, experts in the field of social policy, social research and sociology.
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Philanthropy is part of the third sector, with more importance in some places than others. However, giving needs to be recognised as more than parting ways with money, but as a large system that encompasses and embraces all of humankind. A sector that brings people together, whether that be through volunteering, giving or asking. The fundraising workshop explained how this could be possible.
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We learnt what we mean when we say philanthropy, why people and companies give, the core elements of fundraising, the different types of fundraisers and fundraising, and above all, how to make “the ask” and how to approach potential givers.
However, not all the workshop was lecture-based. We did post-it exercises on whether we personally give and why, and we participated in the debate of why heritage is a priority for fundraisers. On the last day of the workshop we were split into teams and were to pitch our own ways to fundraise for the HMO (the Heritage Management Organization) summer school programmes in Greece. All of which were great ideas and given the right amount of time can be implemented correctly.
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Participation in this workshop did not go without merit. At the very end we were examined through the Institute of Fundraising online exam… and we all passed!
The workshop explained why fundraising is a well worth while thing to pursue, especially in the heritage sector, when heritage relies on the ‘love of man’ to be sustained. After three days of hard work and learning, the workshop had trained and gained 22 members of the Institute of Fundraising, all raring and ready to help many worthy causes.
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Elizabeth Elizabeth Kearsey – BA in Classical Civilisation (University of Nottingham) now a student of the MA in Heritage Management. Lifetime student (so far). I am new to the work field of heritage, having previously worked with people with learning disabilities.