ENCATC Congress 2024

Culture that matters: Interdisciplinary Approaches for Sustainable Futures 18-20 September 2024, Lecce, Italy

Shaping the Future of Culture Governance, Sustainability, & Decolonisation

The 2024 ENCATC Congress aims to foster and promote an interdisciplinary mindset to address the challenges faced by the culture and creative sectors in a holistic way. Ensuring the sustainability of the sector demands proactive preparation and the right tools to navigate the diverse future scenarios that lie ahead. In this dynamic context, adjustments are required in education, management and policy.

Shaping the Future will be the place where ENCATC members will share their valuable expertise in the format of Members Talks. This session aims to empower participants by providing the trends, insights and tools needed to drive innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity in the cultural and creative sectors. Educators, researchers, policymakers, practitioners, artists, and students can expect clear pathways to inform their work and practices, enabling them to adapt accordingly. 

Discover the programme

By exploring interconnected themes, including innovative and emerging cultural heritage skills, cultural governance, sustainable tourism, and curriculum decolonisation, this session will offer a comprehensive approach to addressing the sector's evolving needs.

Members Talk 1 | Future scenarios for heritage: skills and curricula for professional development

In the framework of the CHARTER project, funded by Erasmus+, this session will explore the future of cultural heritage education and training, showcasing innovative and emerging training paths to ensure a sustainable and forward-thinking approach to cultural heritage. The session will introduce specific curricula designed to address current and future gaps in the cultural heritage sector, addressing digitalisation, sustainability, illicit trafficking, built heritage, crafts, among other fields. The work to be presented provides a flexible framework to adapt curricula and training programmes at local, regional, and national level; and guidance to educators, researchers, policymakers, heritage professionals, and students to navigate future challenges. By focusing on these innovative educational strategies, the session aims to equip the sector with the skills and tools needed to preserve and enhance cultural heritage for generations to come.

Members Talk 2 | Cultural Governance: Current and Future European Perspectives

Cultural governance is currently regarded as a transversal element of public policy in Europe. This members’ talk brings together academics and policy practitioners to provide new insights into the field, exploring its contemporary dynamics, themes, dilemmas and challenges. The speakers will reflect on the breadth and boundaries of cultural governance in a European perspective, the role of international institutions, such as UNESCO and the EU, and the frameworks and dilemmas of cultural governance as a dedicated practice.

The session is inspired by the publication of the ENCATC / Routledge Volume "Cultural Governance - Current and Future European Perspectives", that reflects on the dynamics and dilemmas of cultural governance through the contributions of 13 leading academics in the field, touching on the dynamics of culture, governance, sustainability, digitisation, human rights, ecology and globalisation.

Members Talk 3 | RICS N° 1: Cultural actors for sustainable change in tourism

Cultural tourism has proved to be a significant source of economic development for cultural destinations, but it has also emerged as a potentially controversial and unsustainable phenomenon. Over the last decades, we have witnessed both overtourism and growing tourism pressure in some cities and regions, significantly hindering the quality of life for locals, diminishing the tourism experience, and putting cultural heritage at risk. Simultaneously, other areas with promising attractiveness potential have seen insufficient development of tourism flows. The need for more sustainable tourism development models for cultural destinations is clear. Such models should conceive tourism as a means to increase the quality of life and generate economic opportunities by involving communities and stakeholders in cities and regions. This talk aims to gather international academics, researchers, and professionals to discuss and analyze the potential role of cultural actors in transitioning towards more sustainable models of cultural development. 

The discussion will start from the ongoing debate on cultural ecosystems as a key to reinterpreting territories and their dynamics in a moment of change, and will emphasize the critical need for a sustainable economy transition, which requires a conscious transformation of economic behaviors at both offer and demand levels towards creating shared value. It will explore the issues and challenges faced by organizations in the cultural and creative sectors as they embrace such a transition. Furthermore, the role of culture and creative individuals as agents of change in innovation processes, where identity diversity and sustainability values are intrinsically embedded, will be highlighted. The Talk will spotlight the importance of inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches to research and education in achieving sustainable tourism development. It will provide an in-depth analysis of how culture can promote a balance between quality of life, the protection and promotion of values, and sustainable tourism development. Cultural actors will be examined as leaders of this change, driving culture-led innovation for tourism in cities and regions.

Members Talk 4 | RICS N°2: Decolonising the cultural policy and management curriculum

Although the issue of decolonisation of knowledge has entered the agenda of cultural policies and arts management, it is still important to make visible the contexts that require a transformation in the academic environment. This would allow professional practices to be more tempered with the reality of our countries and not with the imposition of Western forms of work, with great influence from Anglo-American practices. 

This Members Talk aims to discuss relevant aspects of the decolonisation of curriculums, will present cases and experiences of speakers in multiple regions of the world and will present some approaches that are being implemented to advance this agenda. It will advance the agenda of decolonisation of the cultural policies and arts management curriculum through the discussion of cases and experiences that can serve as a basis for curricular review in these disciplines. Participants will be able to take study experiences from international contexts that can broaden the focus of training programs, something important in the context of greater geographic diversity in academic programmes.