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What is clear to the Secretariat, however, is that they will remain to be defined as a
project, and not become an institutionalised entity. Despite the drawbacks associated
with being defined as project:
first, with regards to employment: KulturNet employees work on a contractual basis
for a limited period of time,
secondly, the intensity of work: to cite Pia Vigh:"one tends to give a 110% in a
project, and when the project stops you give 110% to the next project, yet you
never going into a kind of operational phase",
and finally, the limited opportunity for any long term planning. However, the last
point must not necessarily be a draw, at least not in the area of IT:"In the area of
IT, three years is a very, very long time. It would be next to impossible to plan for
longer than two to three years. For this reason, I think it would be very dangerous
to make an initiative like KulturNet Denmark permanent."
Being defined as project, on the other hand, will enable the organisation to keep the kind
of flexibility necessary to quickly repond to the fast changing IT-environment.
The "wish list" for the future of KulturNet Denmarkis simple. On the one hand, to have
the sort of staff and funding available that be in the position to take some risks, to be
innovative and at the leading edge, without the constant pressure that each project needs to
be successful.
KulturNet as part of Nokia
And on the other side, as KulturNet Denmark is not just a cultural initiative, but at the
same time and to a very great extent, also an IT initiative, the inspiration for future
development should also come from outside the cultural sector.Therefore, Pia Vigh suggests
placing an organisation like KulturNet Denmark not within a major cultural institution but
instead, within the telecommunication or IT-environment. As such, KulturNet Denmark
would be able to benefit from the inspiration that can be found within such fast changing
sectors."We get all our ideas, inspiration and content in exchange with cultural institutions.
However, we have no contact with the IT sector, and I think that the fact that we are an IT
project should be taken literally.We need someone to be innovative when it comes to
technology to teach us what technology can do, also in order to let the content manage the
technology, and not the other way around, and to also improve our IT skills."
Placing KulturNet Denmark within, for example, Nokia could be a challenge for both
sides:"This would be a challenge not only to KulturNet Denmark, but also a challenge to
us as Secretariat, the way we work, the way we get our ideas, the way we are motivated, and
perhaps, it could also be a challenge to Nokia."
To Pia Vigh, this is the basic requirement for true innovation also in the cultural heritage sector.
Lessons learned
A cultural heritage initiative like KulturNet Denmark needs to have a clear vision, yet
should also have room to grow and to adapt to future developments.This vision needs to be
broken down into definite strategic goals against which initiated programmes and project
are assessed and evaluated.
In addition, if national governments decide to carry out a similar project with a top-
down approach, the benefits need to be clearly visible to give cultural heritage institution an
incentive to participate.
VI NATIONAL POLICIES & INITIATIVES