European Commission, Creative Europe Programme
A new capacity building program for cultural heritage professionals
Although cultural heritage represents a crucial economic and social resource for many European countries, most cultural institutions do not have teams with entrepreneurial and audience development skills to fully exploit its potential.
The goal of AHEAD is to strengthen the heritage sector to make it more capable of creating opportunities for social, cultural and economic growth by innovating cultural participation practices.
The vision that inspires the project is that of a community of operators and professionals equipped with mindsets and tools based on human centered design and motivated to manage and enhance heritage starting from people.
Born from the research and practices shared with the project ADESTE+, AHEAD develops a new innovation model tailored to the cultural heritage sub-sector, to respond to its specific needs and challenges, involving the participation of artists, creatives, organizations and businesses of the social and productive sector.
Parallel to the development of the capacity building program, AHEAD opens with a networking and exchange phase to activate individuals and institutions linked to heritage and interested in experimenting with design thinking.
After having defined methodologies and training contents, the experimentation phase involves the teams of 3 archaeological institutions in Italy, Spain and Greece. In its final phase, AHEAD uses the results of the experimentation to finalize and scale the capacity building model, launching it among the wider group of professionals and entities that progressively join the project.
1) a capacity building program to improve the entrepreneurial and professional development of heritage professionals by strengthening skills in audience development, marketing and promotion, business modeling;
2) a new model of audience participatory development, experimented with organizations from three European countries: Spain, Italy and Greece;
3) an impact and innovation strategy to improve the AHEAD model and accelerate its adoption in cultural institutions that need to overcome systemic barriers in management and participation, at European and international level.