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Thursday, March 31 • 14:20 - 14:45
S25-07 Democratising the digital: Sustaining community─sourcing platforms for heritage management and conservation by co-creation

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Democratising the Digital: Sustaining Community-Sourcing Platforms for Heritage Management and Conservation by Co-Creation

Leif Harald Fredheim

While the rise of interactive digital networks and technology has challenged established societal and intellectual authorities, digital heritage often exacerbates perceptions of expertise and entrenched flows of information. This paper will explore one way in which the democratising potential of the digital can be used to empower communities without neutralising professional expertise. 
As heritage conservators and managers increasingly recognise the role of non-expert contributions to informed decision-making processes, the development of tools for generating and processing consultation data digitally is the logical next step. This paper reflects on lessons learned from developing a web-application for community-sourcing heritage interpretations at the Middle Temple and the ongoing process of co-creating a similar platform with, and for, community archaeological groups affiliated with the Council for British Archaeology (CBA). A common feature of the two platforms is the integration of ‘expert’ and ‘non-expert’ interpretations of heritage and the attribution of expert interpretations to identifiable individuals rather than anonymous and omniscient third parties. 
The development of a community-sourcing platform for the CBA is part of a project investigating the sustainability of community-led approaches to archaeological stewardship, in response to recent cuts to public spending in the UK. Co-creating the platform with potential user-communities is intended to ensure that the platform satisfies user-needs, not merely the needs of professionals and academics, and can be sustained by user-communities. Participation will be facilitated through training events and concerted efforts to raise levels of digital literacy in participating communities.

Thursday March 31, 2016 14:20 - 14:45 CEST
Domus Media, Auditorium 13