Cultural heritage has been in recent years recognized as a great opportunity to learn about our own roots and for regional development of the areas outside major transport axes. Comm.On Heritage is our new Erasmus+ project, which will be exploring methods on bringing heritage closer to the local population and thus raising its value. Our first meeting with project partners took place at the end of January in Malta.
As we have often observed in Idrija, we're sometimes not aware of all opportunities available to improve the value of the cultural heritage. In the last year, a lot of effort was made to inscribe tangible and intangible cultural heritage on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We've realized enormous opportunities for our industry-orientated heritage, which we have not yet taken advantage of. So how do you create opportunities for new creative and business products and experiences in the field of tangible and intangible cultural heritage?
Creating a community leader to awake unpolished diamonds
We will address these challenges in Erasmus+ project Comm.On Heritage. Together with partners from Italy, Portugal, Greece and Malta we will explore the potentials of cultural heritage in remote and vulnerable areas outside main (tourist) roads. In other words, how to create new, creative opportunities in the places (like Idrija) where there is a lack of innovative solutions for so-called »unpolished diamonds« of the cultural heritage.
We are starting our project with a special guide for community leaders, who are able to awake local population, raise awareness of cultural heritage and recognize the business value in business ideas. The partners will share knowledge and experience which will bring new perspectives to our rich cultural heritage.
GeoTrail as gamification tool for vulnerable groups
Work on the project will be strongly linked to other activities of the Idrija 2020 Society and the ID20 Institute. As we want to recognize the business value of cultural heritage, Comm.On Heritage is an important part of our path towards implementation of HeritageLab and other projects in our portfolio.
Geocaching is an important and easy solution, how to improve the participation and engagement of the local people and develop sustainable and responsible tourism in the area. It’s also an opportunity to engage young people, who are losing interest in cultural heritage in an interactive and fast-changing world. We have rich experiences in geocaching activities, as more than 50 geocaches have been already placed by our organisation in Idrija and the surrounding area. The work has been done by our volunteers Rok Pirih and Urban Šlabnik.
The interesting thing about the project is that it will also include involvement of the vulnerable groups - GeoTrail paths, created in the frame of the project, will be primarily aimed at inclusion of groups with less opportunities for employment - especially with mental and psychiatric disabilities and migrants.
As we’ve already mentioned, attention will be paid to the business value of cultural heritage – we will organize a hackathon at the end of 2021 that will deliver new cultural heritage ideas and products, suitable for vulnerable groups. Within the strategic partnership with our partners, we will focus on engagement and participation of the local community in the project.