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project of influence

awards winners 2017

Provincie Limburg: Limburg 1914-1918,
Small Stories From the Great War 
Presented by Sandro Claes & Dirk Bouve
Limburg, Belgium.

Second place by number of votes was the ASK Brooklyn Museum project by Brooklyn Museum from New York; and the third place by “The Switch: A Bill Stanley Story” by The Field Museum from Chicago.

the best in heritage:
Presented by Jasper Buikx
Amsterdam, The Netherlands  
The second place by number of votes was the Vukovar Municipal Museum from Croatia, and the third by the Den Gamle By from Aarhus, Denmark.
the best in heritage 2017

The 16th edition of the event took place in Dubrovnik 28-30 September and gathered a wide scope of heritage professionals - 139 coming from 32 countries and various geographical and working environments. The Best in Heritage conference selects its projects from the lists of laureates from the previous year, as they have been generated by the juries of some 50 awards schemes from all over the world. 

The Best in Heritage is a specific conference. It selects the best, awarded projects from the heritage sector in the preceding year and does so on the global level. It therefore offers unique panorama of quality achievements. Forty-two laureates awarded in 2016 were featured in a packed, three-day programme, representing almost all aspects of best and, indeed, awarded, practices. The presenters came from 32 countries. Since the beginning in 2002, the strategy was simple: same time, same place, one-track conference with an intimate atmosphere and imperceptible organization.
The audience is from all occupations within the broad public memory sector. The presentation of projects is followed by dynamic Q&A session. The interaction between the audience and presenters is much favoured both in formal and the social part of the conference. As participants come from all sides of the world and from different facets of heritage field, the occasion is perfect opportunity for cross-fertilization and inspiration, leading to advancement of the entire profession. 

To energize the conference, moderators and lat year's winners (acting as a jury), and the members of the audience, casted their votes to choose one project (in each of the two sessions) as the Project of Influence for the current year. The implied claim is that such projects have a potential to contribute decisively to change and advance professional practices by demonstrating its innovative and creative power of inspiration.  


In IMAGINES part of the programme dedicated to projects in multimedia and new technologies, the participants and the Jury have chosen the Provincie Limburg: Limburg 1914-1918, Small Stories From the Great War project, - presented by Sandro Claes & Dirk Bouve, Belgium. Second place by number of votes was the ASK Brooklyn Museum project by Brooklyn Museum from New York - Presented by Sara Devine; and the third place by “The Switch: A Bill Stanley Story”  by The Field Museum from Chicago - presented by Brad Dunn.

The core programme featured 28 projects out of which the title of Project of Influence 2017 went to Micropia from Amsterdam,  The Netherlands – presented by Jasper Buikx. The second place was taken by the Vukovar Municipal Museum from Croatia - presented by Ružica Marić, and the third by Den Gamle By from Denmark - presented by Thomas Bloch Ravn. 

Both awards are recognition of excellence and professionalism proposed by an ambitious international professional public. The 2 Projects of Influence award winners will be the part of our ongoing effort to present the relevance of their achievement and the contents of our conference. As we present “The Best in Heritage” biannually at “Exponatec” (Koelnmesse, Cologne) and at the Chinese Association's Museum Fair, our winners are invited to join by presenting their projects at a prestigious stand and the programme we arrange for the occasion. Altogether 4 winners from 2016 and 2017 will be featured at Exponatec, Cologne from 22-24 November 2017. More information here.

The presenters of the winners will also serve as the key-note speakers at the next conference edition. 



As the conference scheme develops, we have organized a body of experts from the conference (Advisory Board, moderators, former winners, representatives of partners, patrons, supporting organisations) to engage in a wrap-up session. Its task is to offer a statement on the trends and tendencies in the heritage sector as understood from this conference edition. The meeting was made possible by Museums and Galleries of Konavle, in the beautiful hinterland of Dubrovnik.


The conference was organized in partnership with Europa Nostra (with support by Creative Europe programme) and Endowment Fund of ICOM. The City of Dubrovnik reconfirmed its role as a perfect host, both due to the enchanting atmosphere of UNESCO world heritage site and the support of the City and of Dubrovnik Museums. The IMAGINES event was sponsored by Meyvaert Glass Engineering and the conference had further support from the Ministry of culture of Croatia, Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiques, Embassy of Australia in Croatia, Exponatec Cologne and Museums and Galleries of Konavle.
All the presented project receives a certificate of attendance that proclaims them “members of the Excellence Club”, indeed, the project of influence by the fact of being chosen into the selection shown in Dubrovnik. Their contribution is part of our conference publication, figures on the conference web site and is offered on our YouTube Channel. The conference in Dubrovnik is only the brief social version of the conference that is then circulated to our website visitors throughout the year in 1:1 scale, together with the archive of all presentations from the previous editions, - freely accessible.
Conservative profession may have doubts whether competition is legitimate in culture and heritage? Culture is about criteria, - about constant evaluation. But to elaborate criteria of quality we need insight, surveys and benchmarking opportunities. Indeed, award schemes help by elucidating the criteria for the changing world. By selecting their laureates, they are perfecting professional standards in servicing public needs. To make criteria do their work we need an increased professional and public visibility. 
Our world is increasingly one of numbers, quantities and frenzy of superficial change. Therefore, to counteract and correct this, the conference is after quality, excellence, inspiration and ideals of a perfect profession of public memory, with all its prestigious, important heritage occupations and increasingly accomplished civil society heritage activities.
Furthermore, though relatively small, this conference is quite unique in its global reach and in its ability to refer to the entire heritage sector. We bring in archives, libraries, virtual institutions, digitally born projects etc. We serve as unique platform for connecting official institutions, civil society and private activities & institutions, different temporary phenomena (pop-up institutions, campaigns, actions). This is why the most often used word by those who liked our Dubrovnik experience is “inspiration”.

Conference photo album is available at the official Flickr page.

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