European Heritage Masterclass “Climate Heritage Digital Advocacy” designed by, with and for young people

On 24 September, Europa Nostra, in cooperation with Climate Heritage Network (Youth Forum), The Future is Heritage and the European Students’ Association for Cultural Heritage – ESACH, organised the European Heritage Masterclass “Climate Heritage Digital Advocacy”. Over 60 young heritage professionals, students and enthusiasts from Europe and beyond got to learn how to make the most out of digital tools in order to advocate for their causes, especially when it comes to topics revolving around climate change.

European Heritage Masterclass “Climate Heritage Digital Advocacy”

The event took place in the frame of the European Cultural Heritage Summit and The Future is Heritage Summit 2022 in Prague, and was a contribution to the European Year of Youth 2022. It was made possible thanks to the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union through Europa Nostra’s Network project European Cultural Heritage Agora “Empowering Europe’s Civil Society Movement for Heritage”.

The masterclass aimed at contributing to the capacity building of young professionals through skills development and practical training in climate heritage digital advocacy, introducing educational tools for communication planning and developing compelling storytelling for climate heritage action. It also sought to provide a platform for exchange and networking among young heritage professionals and climate action advocates.

The masterclass featured an opening address by Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, who praised the young generation’s energy and commitment to mobilise for “climate action, peace and the shared values of Europe and humanity.”

European Heritage Masterclass “Climate Heritage Digital Advocacy”

The masterclass was facilitated by Hana Morel, ICSM CHC Scientific Coordinator (ICOMOS, UNESCO, IPCC), and Pravali Vangeti, Steering Committee Member of the Climate Heritage Network and co-convenor of the CHN Youth Forum, who have shared their practical tips and their vision, and Riley Marshall, ESACH Talks! Coordinator, who presented the backstory and learnings from the consultation “Youth for the future of cultural heritage in Europe” and highlighted it as a practical example of advocacy work.

The masterclass’ participants could find out how they can turn their energy and commitment into concrete actions and successfully advocate for their causes. Pravali Vangeti started by highlighting the need for a change in paradigm. “We need to change the narrative: from climate change threatening cultural heritage to cultural heritage being a solution!”, she stated.

European Heritage Masterclass “Climate Heritage Digital Advocacy”

Hana Morel emphasised the differences in attitudes, values and actions that people can have regarding climate change. She stressed the need to work on bridging the existing gaps while acknowledging the ways in which cultural heritage can be a powerful tool for tackling these issues.

Riley Marshall presented the “Youth for the Future of Cultural Heritage in Europe” consultation, which spanned throughout 2022 and aimed at empowering and raising the voice of Europe’s young generation. Riley highlighted the consultation as a form of evidence-based advocacy and stressed the need for communicating the findings in an efficient manner to the relevant stakeholders, “in a way that raises awareness and inspires action to be taken”. The consultation was held by Europa Nostra, the European Students’ Association for Cultural Heritage (ESACH), the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), the European Heritage Tribune (EHT), The Future is Heritage, Europeana Initiative Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, ICOMOS and the European Heritage Volunteers.

European Heritage Masterclass “Climate Heritage Digital Advocacy”

Following the introductory part of the masterclass, the facilitators focused on communication planning and the strategic steps of establishing the types of communication, the communication models and the communication channels required to transmit a message in the most efficient way possible. Establishing clear communication objectives, determining the target audience, developing primary and secondary messages as well as the guidelines for audiovisual media were tackled through concrete case-based examples.

The masterclass concluded with an energising exchange of ideas among the facilitators and the participants, on topics such as how to find a balance between passionately advocating for various causes and the other aspects in one’s life or how to keep the hope going strong despite the negative news around. Once the exchange came to a close, participants were given a practical assignment of developing the messages they would spread throughout the European Cultural Heritage Summit and The Future is Heritage Summit

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