Young heritage students and professionals contribute to the New European Bauhaus at the 2021 ESACH Madrid Meeting

Europa Nostra took part in the 2021 ESACH Madrid Meeting ‘Our Common Past, Our Future’ from 7-9 June. The aim of the meeting was to open a space for the exchange of knowledge and ideas about European heritage, its sustainable management and our commitment to the future of Europe. In this frame, Europa Nostra was invited to hold two events surrounding the topic of the New European Bauhaus (NEB) initiative developed by the European Commission, of which Europa Nostra is an official partner. Presented in a hybrid format, the event was attended by young professionals and cultural heritage figures from across Europe, including MEP Marcos Ros Sempere, founder of the European Parliament’s New European Bauhaus Friendship Group, who attended the meeting in-person.

The 2021 ESACH Madrid Meeting was hosted and organised by ESACH Madrid (MA Cultural Heritage in the 21st Century: Management and Research) in collaboration with Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and the Technical University of Madrid (UPM), with support from the UPM “Programa I+D”, as well as ICOMOS Spain, Hispania Nostra and Europa Nostra.

The three-day meeting began with opening and institutional remarks by the event organisers and partners. Europa Nostra was represented by its Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic and its European Projects Officer Manon Richard, who both congratulated the organisers for holding such a wonderful event as well as ESACH for their ongoing cooperation in empowering the youth of Europe. Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic was pleased to see the partnership between Europa Nostra and ESACH flourishing through the creation of digital bridges, illustrating heritage as part of our common past and part of our common future.

As one of the first 13 official partners of the New European Bauhaus initiative, Europa Nostra is committed to provide concrete input for the co-design phase of this initiative, especially taking into account young perspectives from throughout Europe and beyond and collecting their input, to build back better.

The first session, ‘Cultural Heritage and the New European Bauhaus: Mobilising Youth and Hearing their Voices’ was a panel discussion during which young professionals shared their organisations’ and their personal visions on the role of youth for the NEB initiative. The session was moderated by European Heritage Youth Ambassador (EHYA) Hana Kohout. In their introductory remarks to the session, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic and MEP Marcos Ros Sempere, Founder of the European Parliament’s New European Bauhaus Friendship Group, encouraged and inspired the panelists and young people attending the meeting to ensure that the NEB movement, which adds a much-needed cultural dimension to the European Green Deal, reflects the voices of all citizens.

Young people across Europe have a special duty and responsibility to guarantee that the future is beautiful, sustainable and inclusive,” stated the Secretary General of Europa Nostra.

It is essential to ensure the bottom-up and participatory character of the New European Bauhaus,” emphasised MEP Marcos Ros Sempere.

Joining the panel discussion were young representatives from cultural heritage organisations from across Europe. Héctor Manuel Aliaga de Miguel, a European Heritage Youth Ambassador and member of Europa Nostra’s NEB Taskforce, encouraged young people to ensure their voices are heard and utilise the skills they have to contribute to the future of their cities, neighbourhoods, societies, environments and cultural heritage.

Pravali Vangeti, World Heritage Education Programme Coordinator at UNESCO, noted how the Young Heritage Professionals Forum and associated activities of the World Heritage Centre seamlessly tie in with the ideals of the New European Bauhaus.

Ilaria Rosetti from the ICOMOS Emerging Professionals SDGs Working Group spoke about her work and the programme as a means to raise awareness across sectors and provide guidance for heritage practitioners in an inclusive and sustainable manner.

Jasna Popovic, Programmes Officer of European Projects at Hispania Nostra, questioned the ways in which society can be recreated and why it is necessary to press the ‘reset’ button in order to create more resilient spaces for the future.

Finally, Georgia Evans, Community and Partner Engagement Officer at Europeana, noted the role of the organisation in empowering the cultural heritage sector in its digital transformation and the way in which this perfectly aligns with the NEB and its need to bridge the worlds of art and technology.

The second day of the meeting was marked by an event created and run by our European Heritage Youth Ambassadors (EHYA), entitled ‘Cultural Heritage and the New European Bauhaus: Perspectives from the European Heritage Youth Ambassadors’. The EHYA presented concrete examples from throughout Europe and beyond, under the themes of the NEB Ideals: Beautiful, Sustainable, Together. Examples under each ideal took attendees from the host country of , in order to look for solutions in our diversity, which illustrated how and why cultural heritage is integral to the New European Bauhaus. During the session, the EYHA engaged with the audience by asking them what a beautiful, sustainable and inclusive society meant to them, resulting in a variety of visual word clouds, which acted as the basis of the discussions of the interactive workshop that followed. There, participants were invited to share their own examples of best practices with the results evident in the graphic below.


Europa Nostra is grateful to ESACH Madrid, the organisers and partners for this exceptional three-day meeting in which students and young professionals were given a platform to discuss and make their voices and perspectives heard for initiatives of vital importance for the future of Europe, such as the New European Bauhaus. In this frame, Europa Nostra committed to consolidate the outcomes of the rich discussions and publish them on the online platforms of both the New European Bauhaus and the Conference on the Future of Europe. Europa Nostra and the European Heritage Youth Ambassadors look forward to future collaborations with ESACH Madrid and all those involved with the Meeting, along with the opportunity of taking part in the 2022 ESACH Meeting.

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