3 / How to capture the impact of your institution’s work

Workshop leaders
Harry Verwayen, Deputy Director, Europeana
Merete Sanderhoff, Senior Advisor, Statens Museum for Kunst

If you want tools to measure how far and wide and deep your work in digital cultural heritage reaches, this is the workshop for you!

Why do we need to capture impact?

The digitisation of cultural heritage collections has been going on for several decades now, promising unprecedented potential for the GLAM sector to fulfil its public mission of opening up knowledge and culture to the participation and enjoyment of all citizens. Open culture has been claimed to increase our sense of collective identity, fuel new creative entrepreneurship and play a crucial role in the education of our children. Over the years we have seen inspiring examples of this. Think Rijksstudio. Think SMK Mix it up. Think Europeana 1914-1918. Think Retronaut.

The big question is: Can the GLAM sector demonstrate that it is consistently achieving this ambition? Can we design for impact rather than experiment and hope for the best? Can we become more systematic in our approach, so that we can iterate faster and develop better services? Can we provide real evidence that we are reaching our objectives that goes beyond the anecdotal and the circumstantial?

This is not an hypothetical issue. Increasingly, our sector is under pressure: politicians and funders are demanding numbers to show that the tax or private money spent on culture have tangible impact: How have people’s opportunities to learn, create and contribute to their culture and society improved after we started providing access to digitised collections? Is it worth continued investment? Legitimate questions that we should not fear asking ourselves.This approach doesn’t come to us naturally. We need to train ourselves to think differently, borrow voraciously from other sectors and develop a methodology of our own that we can use in planning, assessing and narrating our impact.

What can you expect of the workshop?

In this workshop, you will get acquainted with a brand new toolset developed by Europeana in partnership with GLAM institutions, specifically to design and capture impact of digital projects. Harry and Merete have both been hands-on involved in creating and testing the toolset, and will guide you in applying it to projects in your own institution. The goal of the workshop is to enable you to demonstrate the return on investment of your digital work to important stakeholders like funders, politicians, and your users.

Learn more