PETITION FOR THE STORYTELLING PROGRAMME
REGARDING EU POLICY FOR THE SUPPORT OF CULTURAL HERITAGE PROMOTION AND INFORMAL EDUCATION IN EUROPE
We, representatives of the European Museum & Cultural Heritage Community, initiate with this petition our request to launch a new EU funding Programme for the preservation, study and promotion of European cultural heritage through the storytelling market development.
Mobile technologies have changed the world, and the museum community has also been affected. The European authorities and other funding bodies have been supporting the efforts of museums to develop their own apps through technology-oriented EU programs but, in most cases, these apps failed to survive beyond the end of the 2-3 year funding period, as any technology requires substantial efforts to support it.
In addition, we see that sponsors are losing trust in museums as a concept in general. In fact, open platforms, like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter reveal the huge power of crowdsourcing, with millions of man-hours invested in articles, video and posts on this type of media.
We believe that open and free platforms are not only a threat, but also an opportunity for museums regarding their mission to educate. What we want is to stop spending millions on developing standalone apps and invest these funds in the storytelling content for platforms! These storytelling platforms and apps will be delivered by businesses that have already developed them during the same decade. Several are currently available: GuideID, GuidiGo, VoiceMap, izi.TRAVEL, etc., and some of them are free to use. They allow museums to concentrate their efforts on the most important aspect – the stories. They also support the powerful slogan for all of us to leverage on:
“Our storytelling content should outlive any technology!”
The future has arrived. These platforms are ready. With this petition, we suggest that the EU authorities should change the policy and start to invest in the storytelling content, which lasts for decades and outlives any technologies. We need high quality storytelling content for museums, archaeological sites, botanical gardens, old battlefields, cities, and roads, and then travellers around Europe will be able to use any app of their choice – TomTom, TripAdvisor, Google Maps – to get free access to these stories.
The global volume of content is one of the key issues. To become a universal tool, that is accepted and broadly used worldwide (and thus commercially successful, like Google or TripAdvisor), databases must contain hundreds of thousands of stories, focused on various categories of customer, including seniors, children, adolescents, various interest groups, etc. It will also boost new and easy access to informal education, and this is natural, as Europe holds a great deal of the cultural heritage of the world. At the same time, we see that storytelling fundraising projects are already being launched in the USA (MuseWeb being a perfect example), with the aim to leverage on the European storytelling platforms.
Therefore, we invite you to support the European storytelling funding initiative with your signature. We estimate the proper volume of a needed Programme for at least €250M to develop European heritage stories for the 500M travellers who visit Europe every year. We are ready to establish a Public Committee to help the European authorities and funding institutions to elaborate further the proper policy in the field and build up a powerful Storytelling European Program. The content – being developed in major languages – will help these travellers to understand European culture, its origins and values, and will have a major input into building world peace via building understanding in the minds of travellers.
With this petition, we would also like to support the vision of the EU Horizon 2020 project regarding more accessible and open data: “The European Commission’s vision is that information already paid for by the public purse should not be paid for again each time it is accessed or used, and that it should benefit European companies and citizens to the full.”
Your signature will be stored electronically and you will receive an email notification once it has been processed. The next step is to form a committee that will define the program. Finally, once the program has been accepted, you will be invited to apply for grants for your storytelling projects.
If you have any questions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information please visit http://eurostory.org/