Recap of Workshop 3: Pitching ideas

Our third workshop, and the final one in this initial series, took place on 13 May. The format was a sort of ‘dragon’s den’ – network members were invited to pitch project ideas, and get feedback from our panel of fantastic colleagues: Rebecca Bailey (Historic Environment Scotland); Professor Sian Bayne (Director of Centre for Research in Digital Education, University of Edinburgh; Professor Chris Breward (Edinburgh College of Art) and Dr Emily Pringle (Head of Learning Practice and Research, Tate). Here they are, intently consulting their notes before the start of the panel discussion:

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Emily Pringle, Sian Bayne, Chris Breward and Rebecca Bailey preparing for their role as ‘dragons’ at the third workshop.

After the panel made introductions and outlined their digital cultural heritage backgrounds, a number of challenging questions were raised and debated, including:

  • What are the challenges for cultural organisations in terms of digital co-production?
  • What are some organisational priorities for developing digital strategies?
  • ‘Harnessing’ is a problematic term in relation to the digital – it suggests digital drives itself, moves forward and is there to be captured. How should we be thinking about these issues?
  • Institutional contexts of scale matter – how can larger and smaller organisations work together and learn from each other?
  • What does it mean for digital content to be ‘evergreen’ – are there tensions here between ‘relevance’ to a wide audience and the archival value of older content?

Next, we heard four ‘pitches’ for research or impact project ideas at a variety of stages:

  • Niki Vermeulen (Science, Technology and Innovation Studies) – Curious Edinburgh
  • Jen Ross (Digital Education) and Glyn Davis (Edinburgh College of Art) – Open futures for cultural heritage collections
  • Victoria Anker and James Loxley (Literatures, Languages and Cultures) – Interrupted Lives: Saving the Self in the British and Irish Civil Wars
  • Kirsty Lingstadt (Historic Environment Scotland, with Rebecca standing in for her, as she was unable to join us), Claire Sowton (Digital Education) and Chris Speed (Design Informatics) – what could Canmore do?

Last but not least, Anne Sofie Laegran, Knowledge Exchange Manager from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, talked to the group about developing partnerships and pathways to impact – with some extremely helpful ideas and suggestions for network members as we move forward.

We closed with a brief discussion about the future of the network… stay tuned for more on this!

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