DEADLINE: 29 JANUARY 2021 – 11:59 PM CET

Have you been inspired to submit a Letter of Intention for our Global Competition? Join us as we look for communities across the globe to propose ways in which we can use technology to monitor World Heritage Sites and propose ways to interpret and present the history of a site to tell multiple narratives. Let us know if you’d like to participate in the discussion and be part of the change. We will support you along the journey as we head into January 2021.

– Submission form below –

The digital revolution is changing the ways in which people know, understand, use, and visit heritage sites. How is the World Heritage Convention addressing this historical transformation? How can collective knowledge and big data become tools for heritage conservation and foster its integration into comprehensive planning systems? How can IT support transparency in, and access to, decision-making and management processes of the Convention? How can digital technologies, including social media, promote heritage education, awareness and support to the cultural and creative industries? 

To answer these questions, we are launching a global competition to highlight transformational uses of technology that increase community engagement in the monitoring, interpretation, and presentation of World Heritage Sites. 

This competition is designed to celebrate innovative approaches to fostering engagement in heritage sites through the use of Information Technologies, with a special focus on projects that are grounded in the needs and vision of local communities caring for sites. 

We invite you to be a part of this extraordinary competition by connecting with your community members and partner organizations to envision a new way forward for the monitoring and interpretation of a World Heritage property, one that leverages technology to more effectively manage the site, present a more inclusive history of the site, and spark new understandings of the stories it shares. We also invite innovative uses of technology already in place at sites of memory/heritage that can be models for replication at World Heritage Sites.

Who? Competition entries should be developed and submitted by an interdisciplinary team that can include community members, site custodians, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and industry partners. Each team developing an entry should be composed of a team leader, a site custodian and multiple community partners.

What? entries should address a specific World Heritage property and describe how technology can be used in innovative ways to meet the goal of deepening community engagement in the monitoring, interpretation, and presentation of the site. 

After identifying a concept to propose through inclusive community consultations, the team should develop a summary, no more than 2500 characters, of the proposed approach that describes how citizens will actively contribute to the monitoring, interpretation and presentation of the property through Information Technologies. The summary should be uploaded into the letter of intention submission form below or at the following link:

Evaluation: All proposed concepts will be evaluated by 9 April 2021 by a diverse team of experts in heritage, information technologies, and civic engagement. The evaluation rubric can be found on the last page of the in the full call text.

Mentoring: Based on evaluations of the Letters of Intention, a select group of finalists will be invited to move into the second round of the competition on 6 February 2021. They will receive holistic support by a diverse group of mentors to further develop their proposed concept. 

Winners: On 10 April 2021, winners will be announced. Furthermore, the World Heritage Forum @50 will be organized in 2022 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. The Forum will be an opportunity for exchange among the stakeholders of the Convention and civil society. The meeting will be attended by hundreds of people involved in World Heritage from around the world. The winning projects will be featured at our exhibition booth during the event; the number of winners has yet to be determined. 

When? We are no longer accepting Letters of Intention. Tune in to our #MovingForward webinar on February 6 for the announcement of the shortlisted proposals.

Download a PDF of the full call text here.