Strategy 2015-2020 transcript - Europeana Network AGM - Harry Verwayen - 2 December 2013

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Strategy 2020 transcript - Europeana Network AGM - Harry Verwayen - 2 December 2013

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Strategy 2015-2020 transcript - Europeana Network AGM - Harry Verwayen - 2 December 2013

  1. 1. Europeana draft strategy 2015-2020 Presentation given by Harry Verwayen, Europeana Business Director, at the Europeana Network Annual General Meeting on 2 December 2013, in Rotterdam. Be bold – be inspired. Those final words give me a really strong message – we’re in the business of making bold moves, helping to cause big changes. Europeana is a catalyst for those changes and for making those dreams real. And that makes me really proud to work here. Why did we collect our culture in our museums, audiovisual collections, libraries and archives? Because we believe that the knowledge and ideas expressed there constitute key values of our civilisation. You will find these ideas expressed in long, complicated documents such as the Lisbon Treaty, where it is stated that ‘the Union shall respect its cultural and linguistic diversity and shall ensure that Europe’s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced.’ But what treaties like this don’t highlight is how important we believe it is to give people access to that culture. But it is exactly this transmission of that creativity from one generation to the next that encourages people to rethink those ideas and re-use them to shape their future. That makes you the transmitters of the DNA of Europe’s culture. It’s a vital role. And now that computing is everywhere, in every pocket, on every desk, in every home, we – and all our children – have almost unlimited opportunities for access to the wonders that we spend our professional lives caring for. Network Over the past five years, this Network has come together to fulfill a dream that has a long history. We had an ambition to combine all the different aspects of our cultural heritage for the greater good. Our Network is now 800 strong – there are over 200 of you here today, and you must all take credit for what’s been achieved in that time. Content Diversity As we celebrated our fifth birthday last week, we made available our 30 millionth object, two years ahead of the schedule we had set ourselves. Those 30 million metadata records come from every Member State in the EU and beyond. They cover 36 European languages. This is an incredible testimonial of ‘Unity in Diversity’. Europeana Data Model (EDM) The great value of the Network is not only that every country is represented, it’s also that it welcomes every type of cultural heritage institution - museums, archives, galleries, audio-visual centres and libraries. Through Europeana, we are able to combine all aspects of the heritage of Europe because together we have developed an enabling rich metadata standard– the Europeana Data Model. This gives the world the machine-readable descriptive basis for interoperability, and prepares us for the web of the future, the semantic web of linked open data. CC0 Making all that descriptive data as openly accessible as possible was the next great achievement of this Network. Moving to the CC0 Public Domain Dedication meant that the vast dataset of European cultural heritage, the building bocks of the
  2. 2. European imagination, became freely available for thinkers to interrogate as part of the semantic web, to make new connections and to weave 2,000 years of ideas into new structures of understanding. This is a massive contribution to learning. Similarly, CC0 also enables our data to be used in new applications, and to be mashed-up with other data in new web services, delivering content to people in innovative ways, allowing people to interact with the culture that shaped them in their own ways, in their own space and time. 1914-1918 But we have also been able to touch lives in very real and tangible ways. This new engagement is nowhere better exemplified than in Europeana 1914-1918. We borrowed an idea from Oxford University and with their help we have rolled it out across Europe. In 12 countries so far we’ve run family history roadshows - days where we digitise family stories and precious documents that have been handed down the generations. We have collected the stories of 10,000 lives, often documented by their own hands through unpublished diaries, drawings, photographs and objects. 1914-1918 has touched the popular imagination, validating every family’s own stories as part of the wider historical narrative. It gets amazing media coverage everywhere, and has grown in scale. In France last month there were 102 roadshows held over a two week period across the whole of the country. This is a brilliant example of how together we can work up a good idea until it becomes great. Leadership This Network has been courageous enough to take bold steps towards a new future. This has been recognised across Europe and beyond. We are now working closely with the Korean Copyright Agency and the Digital Public Library of America, who share our focus on open interoperability, including our data model and our API. It’s reflected too in the Memorandum of Understanding on open data that we signed with the BBC in London last week, alongside our colleagues from the Open Data Institute, the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation, supporting free and open internet technologies. #AllezCulture Over the past five years, this Network has turned into a movement leading the way for free and open culture. The momentum has been very visible in the way you’ve all mobilised around the #AllezCulture campaign. Thanks to your energy, and the work of the European Commission, Europeana, which started as a small project in 2008 with five people and a couple of laptops, will be funded from 2015 on as a Digital Service Infrastructure under the Connecting Europe Facility framework. This is a significant step. It shows that a real shift in thinking has begun: that the digital infrastructure is considered on the same level as the transport network, and that digital culture is starting to be understood as an important factor in underpinning our ambitions for a European ‘knowledge society’. A recent Mckinsey report has shown, again, that this knowledge society is not just the blue sky thinking of idealists and activists, but that there are real and tangible benefits to society and economy if we make access to data more open and ‘liquid’.
  3. 3. But we need to keep this in mind as well: the trust in the ability of this Network to contribute to these ideals also comes with great expectations and responsibility. We must be confident that we can put in place the operational realities of a digital infrastructure, with strong and measurable impacts: how many stories have we been able to weave into the web of our European identity? But also, how many young cultural entrepreneurs have we enabled to build new businesses based on open data? Have we been able to develop value-added services that are considered so useful that organisations are prepared to pay for them? Because indeed, Europeana will need to develop alternative funding streams as well. This is certainly not an easy task. Over the past six months, we have invested a lot of time and energy in consulting you to develop our strategic vision for the period 2015-2020. We’ve run six workshops that a couple of hundred Network members have taken part in, and run several studies to investigate the societal and economic impact of our work in various sectors, from education to tourism and the creative industries. We know that the value is there. And we have been reminded that we are in a very good position to unlock that value, if we keep on building on our strengths, as we have already outlined. But it also highlighted that we have some serious challenges to overcome! Expectations: Europeana has been set up to be home for many. Amongst our stakeholders we can count policy-makers from different ends of the political spectrum, cultural institutions as well as publishers with different mandates to fulfill, and individuals with a wide interest in culture as well as entrepreneurs. This is a good thing. In this environment, we can build bridges that are essential if we are to be successful in the future. But this has also led to a lack of clarity about the position of Europeana, about fragmentation of our efforts and about general leaks in energy. To be successful in the future we will need to make some hard choices that will not please everyone. Data quality: We also recognise there are serious challenges around data quality. Technology still moves at an unbelievable speed and we need to up our game considerably in order to meet the needs of users and creative industries. Our current offering does not meet the specs of the latest generation iPads and other mobile technologies. Environmental: There are other threats in our environment that are even harder to overcome. Many of us know the difficulties of keeping up with technology, of staying relevant in a fast-changing environment while juggling declining budgets at a time when investments are what is needed. And at the practical level, even when we have the funding, digitising our collections and making them usable by our citizens is compromised by an intellectual property regime that has not adjusted to the digital age yet. We all share the dream that being able to do so fosters understanding, and inspires and empowers people. Because as Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” We need to stay true to that vision, to our
  4. 4. commitment to give everyone access to Europe’s imagination and the wisdom of the ages. Agenda 2020 Values First and foremost, we need to deeply understand that Europeana is a network based on values. These are best captured in these three underpinning principles: • Mutuality – we are a community, based on the principles of achieving mutual benefit, acting in good faith and presuming it on behalf of others. • Access – we aim to provide a set of high-quality re-usable content, tools and services to enable creativity and innovation. It’s about making our digital objects as widely available as possible, with licences that give people the opportunity to do new things with them. • Attribution – we are committed to the principle of respecting rights through acknowledgement and attribution. This makes us different from Google. This makes us different from Wikipedia. But we welcome anyone who is willing to work with us on the basis of these three values. During the consultation we have established that our ability to be successful in the future, to create real, tangible value for our partners, depends largely on how successful we will be in reaching the following 5 objectives: 1. Shift from Portal to Platform: “Portals are for visiting, platforms are for building on”1. That means less focus on inviting individuals to explore their heritage in a predefined way on the europeana.eu portal, and much more on developing communities who re-use the data, content, knowledge and technology that Europeana and its partners make available for them. This shift is essential to enable a future that will be read-write, where you will be able to take, and give back, to your community. Practically, this means that we will create service infrastructures such as Europeana Labs, where developers and creatives will find at least screen resolution content, technology and documentation that they can use to build new services on. It means we will work with strong, like-minded partners such as Wikimedia to make all content that is specifically licensed for re-use available on the platforms that bring the highest visibility and user interaction. We will also ensure that you will be able to track and understand the impact of that engagement in your own statistics so that you are not left in the dark. And it means that we will develop open source products, such as channels, for partners who want to reach deep into specific interest groups, like fashionistas and foodies. 1 See the excellent article on the subject by Tim Sherrat: http://www.nla.gov.au/our-publications/staff-papers/from-portal-toplatform
  5. 5. Will the good old portal still exist? Yes, but not as our primary interface to our audiences. We will still need it as a showcase that can be used as a search interface, but there will be an evolution, a shift of resources, so that development, maintenance and marketing of the search portal will take no more than 20% of our efforts, while 80% will be spent on developing the platform and instruments of re-use such as APIs and Linked Open Data that can radically extend our audiences: with this shift, we aim to truly reach the people who can reach the people 2. Does that mean that Europeana does not want to be engaged directly with end-users anymore? Certainly not! In all honesty, we just like these projects too much ;-). We will therefore continue to work on big, pan-European engagement projects such as 1914-1918, 1989 and Food & Drink. But we will be very selective, and use these themes as demonstrators for improvements of the core of our operations. As a platform we will therefore reposition the brand of Europeana from a destination site to a facilitator for the cultural and creative industries – as a digital service infrastructure, in fact, with scalable mechanisms and a high degree of automation of processes. Think ‘powered by Europeana’. 2. Improve Data Quality Changing the way we distribute our heritage is of course directly related to the quality of the material that we make available for distribution. While we will continue to collect all the material that partners make available, the Europeana Foundation will focus strongly on the quality of that data. This means all data in Europeana should have relevant descriptions, previews of reasonable sizes, accurate geolocation data, clear rights statements (preferably to allow re-use) and persistent direct links to the objects. Europeana is not about storing content, and even less about preservation. But we must become the best place to find direct access to trusted sources. We will work more intensively with providers of high quality data and encourage others to do the same. 3. Support the Public Domain: “What is in the Public Domain should stay in the Public Domain.” We will continue to work with our contributing partners and other stakeholders to ensure that all digitised Public Domain material is freely available for re-use without any restrictions. In order to achieve this goal, the principles established by the Europeana Public Domain Charter and the New Renaissance report should be applied to all publicly funded digitisation projects in Europe. 4. Increase the amount of re-usable content: “Open unless policies”. Europeana will work with contributing partners on increasing the amount of material that is made available for re-use. We will work with these partners on promoting ‘open unless’ policies in the cultural heritage sector that ensure that digital content that is not subject to third party rights is made available under conditions that allow re-use. We will also work with distributing partners on making sure these conditions are not violated. We want to be a voice for the interests of publicly accessible libraries, museums and archives and their users and make sure they are properly represented on the European level during the upcoming copyright framework review. Our goal here is to keep the idea of shaping copyright agenda for the public good at the top of the policy agenda. This should allow provisions for non-commercial use, for example in education, and easier cross-border access. 2 Nick Poole, CEO Collections Trust
  6. 6. 5. Improve discoverability: “ensure that you can discover my culture in your language”. We know that we won’t solve the problems of seamless multilingual access on our own. What we must strive for is that solutions are found which are sufficiently open source to serve civic society in the long run. We must not look just for short-term solutions. Again, this must be about the Europeana Network acting in concert to make sure that this perspective is widely understood in the public debate. Value for Partners We believe that this is an ambitious but realistic agenda, firmly vested in the values and ambitions of the Europeana Network. If we are able to open access to this large body of content, ensuring mutual benefits and respecting rights and attributions, then we will truly demonstrate that we can add value for our partners. We see great examples of this agenda in the making already. This month for example, several edit-a-thons are being organised by Europeana Fashion, which will undoubtedly yield some great results. Early next year we will be launching the GLAM-wiki toolset, which will enable institutions to batch upload and track content on Wikimedia. We will be running several pilots with Google and by the end of January will launch a new version of the Europeana Open Culture app. Plenty of stuff to be excited about! So be bold- be inspired! Thank you. 1. How do we establish desired impact? 2. What do we need to reach out to creative industries and develop new income streams? 3. How do we facilitate reciprocal value creation through Cloud? 4. How do we make this Network 2020-proof?
  7. 7. 5. Improve discoverability: “ensure that you can discover my culture in your language”. We know that we won’t solve the problems of seamless multilingual access on our own. What we must strive for is that solutions are found which are sufficiently open source to serve civic society in the long run. We must not look just for short-term solutions. Again, this must be about the Europeana Network acting in concert to make sure that this perspective is widely understood in the public debate. Value for Partners We believe that this is an ambitious but realistic agenda, firmly vested in the values and ambitions of the Europeana Network. If we are able to open access to this large body of content, ensuring mutual benefits and respecting rights and attributions, then we will truly demonstrate that we can add value for our partners. We see great examples of this agenda in the making already. This month for example, several edit-a-thons are being organised by Europeana Fashion, which will undoubtedly yield some great results. Early next year we will be launching the GLAM-wiki toolset, which will enable institutions to batch upload and track content on Wikimedia. We will be running several pilots with Google and by the end of January will launch a new version of the Europeana Open Culture app. Plenty of stuff to be excited about! So be bold- be inspired! Thank you. 1. How do we establish desired impact? 2. What do we need to reach out to creative industries and develop new income streams? 3. How do we facilitate reciprocal value creation through Cloud? 4. How do we make this Network 2020-proof?

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