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Social Contract Archaeology: a business case for the future18th Annual Meeting of the EAA       Helsinki – Finland
Social Contract Archaeology•   Crisis and Opportunity•   Solution – Crowdfunding/Crowdsourcing•   What is DigVentures and ...
Crisis• The ‘Northants Effect’ looms large on the horizon, with an  unofficial 11% cut in frontline local authority archae...
Opportunity• Membership of the National Trust, English Heritage, and the  Council for British Archaeology is growing  (Tho...
What is Crowdfunding?• Over 450 Crowdfunding Platforms  •   Equity Based Crowdfunding  •   Lending-based Crowdfunding  •  ...
What is Crowdsourcing?“Crowdsourcing is a when a company takesa job that was once performed by employeesand outsource it i...
DigVentures•DigVentures Ltd is committed to providing  seed capital and building audiences for  archaeology projects world...
Flag Fen Lives• Worked with English Heritage to  develop a MoRPHE compliant  project design for archaeological  evaluation...
Flag Fen Lives•Flag Fen is internationally acknowledged as one of the mostimportant Bronze Age sites in the world. The arc...
Flag Fen Lives – Project Aims• The overarching aim of the project is to contribute to the future  management and presentat...
Building our Venturer community•Aspiration: a research excavation on aninternationally important site•Engagement: Promoted...
The Spectrum of Engagement
Broadcast interviews•   BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Fri 13 Aug     –    Francis Pryor, Brendon Wilkins (DV) 4.5mins•   BB...
Print/web coverage•   BBC News website feature (Science & Envt)•   Evening Telegraph ‘The Guide’ (cover)•   The Moment Mag...
Amplified viaSocial media
One-Click EngagementSource: Kezia Evans, UCL. MA in Public Archaeology, thesis in process.
The Spectrum of Engagement
On-site VisitorsResulted in a 24% increase on Flag Fen visitors numbers
On-site Visitors             Where did visitors come from?In addition to two from Netherlands, 1 France, 2 South Africa, 4...
New Audience Reach •   12% of visitors completed survey
On-site Visitor EngagementThe breadth of engagement for on-site visitors
Venturer Engagement                              The depth of engagement: what did you learn?Source: Kezia Evans, UCL. MA ...
Venturer Geographic Reach (UK)
Digital Venturer Geographic Reach
Fit for Purpose: Value-led Archaeology• Total Economic Value: defined as a  combination of use value (public participation...
Value-led Archaeology
Current Procurement  Models
Triple Bottom Line
Social Contract ArchaeologyA value-led archaeology situated within theemerging trend for social commerce, enteringinto a s...
Social Contract Archaeology: a business case for the future
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Social Contract Archaeology: a business case for the future

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In July 2012, DigVentures pioneered an entirely new procurement model for archaeology, hosting Europe’s first crowdfunded and crowdsourced excavation at the internationally significant Bronze Age site at Flag Fen (www.digventures.com). Crowdfunding has been most successful in creative industries such as film, music and drama, where supporters can launch projects such as films, records, exhibitions and runway shows through buying perks and rewards (such as invitations to premieres, performances, or limited edition artwork) with creative and social entrepreneurs retaining commercial and artistic ownership of their project. Ideas that may not fit the pattern required by conventional financiers therefore achieve traction in the marketplace, supported by what has been called the ‘wisdom of crowds.’ This new approach to funding (using social networks in the context of e-commerce transactions) was combined with crowdsourcing, inviting the public to join the excavation team – either via a robust digital platform from the comfort of their armchairs (in real time), or with their sleeves rolled up on the site itself. The DigVentures approach can best be described as ‘Social Contract Archaeology’ – a value-led archaeology situated within the emerging trend for social commerce, entering into a social contract with as wide a constituency of funders and stakeholders as possible. Assessing the success of this new business model in terms of audience reach and engagement, this paper will present key metrics for breadth, depth and diversity of on and off-line participation, evaluating our contribution to the public good.

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Social Contract Archaeology: a business case for the future

  1. 1. Social Contract Archaeology: a business case for the future18th Annual Meeting of the EAA Helsinki – Finland
  2. 2. Social Contract Archaeology• Crisis and Opportunity• Solution – Crowdfunding/Crowdsourcing• What is DigVentures and Flag Fen Lives• Spectrum of Engagement• Does it work?• Value-led Archaeology• Connected, Adaptive and Intelligent: A business case for the future
  3. 3. Crisis• The ‘Northants Effect’ looms large on the horizon, with an unofficial 11% cut in frontline local authority archaeology posts creating ‘black holes’ in service provision.• Withdrawal of grant-in-aid for the Council for British Archaeology and English Heritage may yet see those organisations change beyond recognition.• The tripling of university fees for entry-level archaeology qualifications, for which there is a substantially decreasing market.
  4. 4. Opportunity• Membership of the National Trust, English Heritage, and the Council for British Archaeology is growing (Thomas 2010)• The CM&S Select committee identified that heritage tourism contributes £20.6 billion to the UK economy (HLF 2010)• ‘...in some cases it may be possible to subsidise the public good attributes of a site through exploiting certain of its other more marketable assets.’ (Garrod and Willis 2002)
  5. 5. What is Crowdfunding?• Over 450 Crowdfunding Platforms • Equity Based Crowdfunding • Lending-based Crowdfunding • Reward-based Crowdfunding • Donation-based Crowdfunding
  6. 6. What is Crowdsourcing?“Crowdsourcing is a when a company takesa job that was once performed by employeesand outsource it in the form of an open callto a large undefined group of peoplegenerally using the internet.” Jeff Howe, May 2006
  7. 7. DigVentures•DigVentures Ltd is committed to providing seed capital and building audiences for archaeology projects worldwide•Our response to deepening economic issues and thedownward funding spiral of archaeology within theuniversity context is to do things differently: sourcingprivate money to create cost-neutral public researcharchaeology•We believe current community archaeology andengagement models do not provide a sustainable solution,and devalue archaeological expertise
  8. 8. Flag Fen Lives• Worked with English Heritage to develop a MoRPHE compliant project design for archaeological evaluation• We launched our campaign on 29th February 2012, raising over £27k for the dig in 90 days• Flag Fen Lives now stands as Europe’s first-ever crowdfunded and crowdsourced archaeological excavation
  9. 9. Flag Fen Lives•Flag Fen is internationally acknowledged as one of the mostimportant Bronze Age sites in the world. The archaeology is injeopardy due to extensive drainage and development of thesurrounding area•The visitor attraction is failing: visitor numbers at the Flag FenArchaeology Park have sharply decreased since the end of liveexcavation in the early 2000s from a peak of over 20,000 tounder 14,000 in 2008
  10. 10. Flag Fen Lives – Project Aims• The overarching aim of the project is to contribute to the future management and presentation of the Flag Fen Scheduled Ancient Monument, ensuring that appropriate management information is available to decision makers and that this is communicated as effectively as possible to the community. (English Heritage SHAPE sub-programme number 11111.130)• The Flag Fen Lives project had a three-fold mission: • satisfy the archaeological imperative, • provide field skills training, • And reinvigorate the visitor experience
  11. 11. Building our Venturer community•Aspiration: a research excavation on aninternationally important site•Engagement: Promoted the idea of ‘team’: ‘Wewill be building a community with archaeology atits heart: our funding ‘Venturers’ will be a part ofthe project from start to finish’•Value: Offering value for money was a keyaspect to our success, and an area that otherheritage-based crowdfunding projects have failedto capture• Reach: Creating a robust online platformenabling us to offer exclusive daily content and aforum
  12. 12. The Spectrum of Engagement
  13. 13. Broadcast interviews• BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Fri 13 Aug – Francis Pryor, Brendon Wilkins (DV) 4.5mins• BBC Radio Cambs – Paul Stainton Show, Mon 30 July – DV team (Lisa, Brendon, Raksha) promoting FFL and talks• Peterborough Community Radio, Mon 30 July – Interview with Sarah S• BBC Radio Cambs – Jane Smith (cross-county), Sat 28 July – General + focus on Summer School• BBC News - Look East, Thurs 26 July• ITV News - About Anglia, Tuesday 24 July• BBC Radio Cambs – Paul Stainton x 4 (see below) 1. Fri 20 July: Interview with Francis Pryor 2. Fri 13 July: Interview with Sarah S and Lisa (DV) 3. Wed 16 May: Interview with Raksha Dave (DV) 4. Tue 24 April: Interview with Sarah S and Lisa (DV)
  14. 14. Print/web coverage• BBC News website feature (Science & Envt)• Evening Telegraph ‘The Guide’ (cover)• The Moment Magazine (feature and podcast)• 4 x ET news articles (web)• ET feature (web)
  15. 15. Amplified viaSocial media
  16. 16. One-Click EngagementSource: Kezia Evans, UCL. MA in Public Archaeology, thesis in process.
  17. 17. The Spectrum of Engagement
  18. 18. On-site VisitorsResulted in a 24% increase on Flag Fen visitors numbers
  19. 19. On-site Visitors Where did visitors come from?In addition to two from Netherlands, 1 France, 2 South Africa, 4 USA
  20. 20. New Audience Reach • 12% of visitors completed survey
  21. 21. On-site Visitor EngagementThe breadth of engagement for on-site visitors
  22. 22. Venturer Engagement The depth of engagement: what did you learn?Source: Kezia Evans, UCL. MA in Public Archaeology, thesis in process.
  23. 23. Venturer Geographic Reach (UK)
  24. 24. Digital Venturer Geographic Reach
  25. 25. Fit for Purpose: Value-led Archaeology• Total Economic Value: defined as a combination of use value (public participation through outreach, open days and non- specialist publication); option value (conservation, consolidation and preservation of archaeology in situ for use by future generations); and existence value (published and accessible results and finds for use by researchers).
  26. 26. Value-led Archaeology
  27. 27. Current Procurement Models
  28. 28. Triple Bottom Line
  29. 29. Social Contract ArchaeologyA value-led archaeology situated within theemerging trend for social commerce, enteringinto a social contract with an unlimitedconstituency of funders and stakeholders.

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