Within the framework of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage, in cooperation with NEMO - Network of European Museum Organisations and the Association of Slovene Museums, organised the digital conference “Museums and Social Responsibility – Participation, Networking and Partnerships” on 23 and 24 March 2021. The Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO) participated on the panel “Social Impact of Museum Action: New approaches and new metrics” on behalf of the H2020 project SoPHIA - Social Platform for Holistic Impact Heritage Assessment, on which IRMO is a partner. IRMO team -Aleksandra Uzelac, Sanja Tišma and Sunčana Franić - prepared the presentation entitled “Measuring the social impact of cultural heritage interventions: towards the holistic impact assessment model”.
As reflecting on the social responsibility of museums is in line with the priorities of Culture in the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in particular within the framework of a Resilient, Social and Global Europe seeking to contribute to the development of more cohesive and supportive societies, the conference aimed to address key issues posed to museums from a social perspective and point out possible clues for the future in the areas of culture, art, society, education, economy and territory. The main objectives of the conference were: to raise awareness of the importance of the social responsibility of museums; to promote approaches focused on the participation and mobilisation of citizens; to highlight the contributions of museums to social transformation and networking; to contribute to the debate on diversified methodologies for assessing the social impact of museums. The focus on these aspects served as a basis for discussing what social responsibility means for museums in today’s challenging world, through the exploration of strategies to promote participation, networking and partnerships, as well as innovative methodologies for assessing the social impact of museums.
The conference took place online, through presentations, debates, interviews, round tables and posters dedicated to the following topics: Museums and social responsibility in post pandemic times; Participatory approaches; Collaborative networking and partnerships; Local and global territories; Cultural democracy; Social impact assessment.