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Governance Resilience: an Interview with Ari Volanakis, PhD researcher

In the first instalment of the Historic Environment Forum’s Sector Resilience Interviews series focussed on the theme of Governance, we hear from Ari Volanakis, PhD researcher.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your role.

I am Ari Volanakis, PhD researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Heritage at UCL, and an experienced cultural heritage management professional.  The Institute for Sustainable heritage delivers ‘…sustainable solutions to real-world cultural heritage problems through ground-breaking, cross-disciplinary research and innovative teaching for future heritage leaders’ https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/heritage/.

I have worked as Operations manager for the National Trust, as Heritage Area Manager for Lincolnshire County Council, Heritage Development manager at Rutland County Council, project manager for Heritage Fund funded projects and provided consultancy for the ‘concerned about closure’ Museums Development programme. I have been a volunteer, trustee, and have previous commercial management experience. My work is driven by my passion and experience, combining a heritage heart and a business brain.

My doctoral research develops a knowledge management design for the cultural heritage sector https://www.avculturalheritage.org/. Perhaps you have experienced the difficulties of finding the most relevant and up-to-date information when you must perform a cultural heritage operation such as reviewing your policies or governance documents, setting up digital ticketing or 3d virtual reality tours, applying for grants or managing a project, evaluating economic impact, developing self-generating income streams, plan people’s professional development, updating quinquennial reports or the collections’ online system? How stressful has it been, how long have you wasted looking?

It seems the problem now is an information overload, especially when the operational needs, visitor expectations, working patterns, financing, historic and wider environment, and technology all change at such a rapid rate. One cannot know which knowledge resource is more recent or valid. The problem becomes more difficult as cultural heritage organisations need knowledge to deliver double the operations compared to commercial businesses: to grow organisational sustainability as a business, and to provide a participatory curating service. Cultural heritage organisations are professionally curating (creating, collecting, storing, conserving, and communicating) not only heritage assets and cultural values, but also knowledge about cultural heritage. Paradoxically though, whilst cultural heritage organisations curate knowledge for the public, thousands of them do not have the organisational knowledge they require to manage their rapidly changeable and demanding operations.

And the problem does not apply to one type of organisation only; a whole range of organisations face similar difficulties, shown in the image below:

16 common operations categories (rectangles in the image below) are observed across the full spectrum of the above cultural heritage organisations. These are placed within the four common objectives (in the circles) as found in cultural heritage governance documents and annual reports.

(To read a summary description for each operation follow  the link within https://www.avculturalheritage.org/useful-information)

This framework provides a starting point to study what knowledge is present for each of the 16 operations, how it is created or sourced, and whether it is up-to-date. And, what is provided by sector support organisations, what isn’t, how it is accessed, and whether it is used and beneficial.

The pilot study finds only 3% of present and updated knowledge across the 16 operations in cultural heritage organisations. This mere 3% however is associated with a 10.2% higher performance across the four objectives. If we could find a design to grow that 3% of knowledge in cultural heritage organisations, to say 30%, or 60%, the improvement in performance would be extraordinary. And the reduction of stress and wasted time would also be significant.

Such a design requires understanding of the complicated nature of cultural heritage work by staff and volunteers. It also requires trust across teams, organisations, and the sector. Knowledge exists in often overly elaborate or boring manuals in printed and digital formats (explicit knowledge), and within people with extensive experience (tacit knowledge). Using Nonaka’s knowledge model and Cooperrider’s Appreciative theory, the design aims to bring together explicit and tacit knowledge and to appreciate what we do well; to make recorded knowledge present and accessible so we can learn and grow, and we then enrich the recorded knowledge with our experience in a continuous cycle so we can grow more. This is after all what cultural heritage is all about.

We might also find synergy opportunities, for example libraries might have documentation management processes that theatres do not have, but theatres might have more developed ticketing systems. And both can be beneficial to museums, which can share conservation and interpretation knowledge, for example. The result would be a more efficacious, less expensive, and less stressful way to improve performance across the sector. Furthermore, recorded knowledge is ineffective without networking, communication, and mentoring.

The research objective therefore is to develop an organisational knowledge design for cultural heritage; a synergic design (curating organisations and sector support working together) and methodical application (across the sector’s common operations) of manuals, toolkits, and associated software, that empower individuals and teams, and improve organisational performance (delivery of cultural, social, economic, and environmental objectives).

 

What can you tell us about your work in relation to Governance? What does this work aim to achieve?

Governance in this research sits within the Economic Development objective and particularly within the Organisational Health operational drum in the previous image, being consistent with the Arts Council’s accreditation scheme. It also sits within the Staff and Volunteer development operational drum, recognising the  need to appreciate, look after, support and develop the people who represent our organisations. The Historic Environment Forum’s  Resilience plan on Governance aims to support business plans and governance models ‘through greater sharing of experience and best practice’ (p7) (I also use the alternative term for best practice of ‘successfully demonstrated’ practice (O’Dell, Grayson and Essaides, 1998, p. 13)). Sharing tacit knowledge (experience) and explicit knowledge (recorded best practice) are core outputs of the knowledge management design being developed by this research. The proposed design will enable easier creation, sourcing, sharing, and updating of recorded knowledge across the sector, and works towards building trust, networking, and open sharing culture in a more unified cultural heritage sector. In the recently published paper on the long-term impact of COVID-19 on heritage, I highlight ‘the significance of the sector coming together during the pandemic to share knowledge and provide support through its networks….also…how important it is for such unity not to be lost but to be harnessed to support ongoing organisational sustainability and better preparedness for future crises’ (https://www.mdpi.com/2571-9408/7/6/152, pp. 3240-1).

What contribution will this make towards resilience in the heritage sector?

The Historic Environment Forum’s Resilience plan defines resilience through four characteristics: (1) having the right knowledge and expertise, (2) being appreciated and appropriately-resourced, (3) actively serving the community, and (4) being well-connected and collaborative. The first characteristic is perfectly matched with my research content of having accessible and up-to-date knowledge to deliver our operations. For the second characteristic, the organisational knowledge across the Promotion and Stakeholders operational drums enables being appreciated through marketing and networking. The third characteristic of actively serving the community is supported by all four objectives of my design, involving cultural and social participation operations, economic development, and environmental preservation. The final characteristic of being connected and collaborative is supported by a number of the social operational drums (community, supporters, stakeholders), and from the Organisational Health drum and its Governance aspects. Furthermore, the entire design is underpinned by building trust, and benefiting from collaborative curation (creating, collecting, storing, conserving, and communicating) of organisational knowledge within our sites and across our organisations.

What does success look like for your work?

The research data will be analysed during winter 2024-2025 and the proposed design will be published during 2025. Discussions with leading heritage organisations will be taking place to enable piloting and fully launching the design to benefit small and large organisations within the cultural heritage sector.

How can sector colleagues get involved or find out more?

You can take part in the research by completing the online questionnaire by 26th July 2024, on https://www.avculturalheritage.org/complete-the-questionnaire. It takes about 15 minutes, and your contribution will inform the beneficial design.

After 26th July, you can still get in contact directly and share views, on ucbqnav@ucl.ac.uk or arivolanakis.heritage@gmail.com.

Overall, what do you think is most crucial for ensuring a resilient heritage sector?

The knowledge design in my research supports the resilience plan, and particularly in relation to ‘better preparedness for future crises’ as mentioned in a previous question. But within the same sentence I also discuss ongoing organisational sustainability. Resilience is essential for riding the waves, and from that initial firm point we can aim for longer term organisational sustainability (see https://www.avculturalheritage.org/useful-information for a definition). Having a live knowledge bank, associated networking and knowledge management design will enable the sector to not only be reactive to crises, but also to plan proactively, wisely. The first big step of having resilience fuelled by a sector-wide knowledge design will lead to the ability to proactively manage change and be organisationally sustainable for the long term.

This Sector Resilience interview was shared by Ari as part of our Heritage Sector Resilience Plan activities.

If you’d like to contribute an interview as part of the series, follow the link below to find out more:

Sector Resilience Interviews – Historic Environment Forum

Retirement of CIfA’s Peter Hinton

Image shows Peter Hinton in relaxed pose

Following a remarkable career of leadership in England’s historic environment sector, Peter Hinton – former CEO of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists – has retired.

The Historic Environment Forum (HEF) Chair, Dr Adrian Olivier, paid tribute:

“Pete Hinton has been a valued, steadfast, and very active supporter of HEF since its inception.

His always wise counsel – informed by a deep experience and knowledge of the sector – has made a major contribution to the thinking of HEF and to its work over the years. In particular I have especially appreciated Pete’s effortless ability to apply his wide perspective to challenging current assumptions – but always in the friendliest, most supportive, and completely positive way.

Pete’s retirement leaves a large and empty space at the HEF table that will be difficult to fill – but I am confident that – in one way or another – he will continue to be active in the heritage milieu, so that we will all continue to benefit from his accumulated experience and wisdom.”

We extend our thanks to Pete for his invaluable support over the years and wish him all the very best for his retirement.

Diversity & Inclusion Resilience: an Interview with Jo Kirton at the Council for British Archaeology (CBA)

In the latest instalment of the Historic Environment Forum’s Sector Resilience Interviews series focussed on the theme of Diversity and Inclusion, we hear from Jo Kirton at the Council for British Archaeology (CBA).
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your organisation’s role in the sector.

My name is Jo Kirton and I am currently the Delivery and Engagement Manager at the Council for British Archaeology (CBA). As part of this role I lead on all our Youth Engagement activity, typically covering anyone aged 25 and under. I am also a member of the CBA’s Executive Team. I have a background in community archaeology and academia.

The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) is an educational charity working throughout the UK to help people, of all backgrounds, experience and participate in archaeology. We aim to champion archaeology in all its forms, bringing together community groups, commercial units, academics, and heritage organisations to create and share opportunities to discover, take part and be inspired by archaeology.

Our core work is focused on five key areas of activity which support our membership, deliver our events and projects, underpin our statutory role as a National Amenity Society, support our publications, and deliver our youth engagement programmes.

What can you tell us about your organisation’s work in relation to Diversity and Inclusion? What does this work aim to achieve?

The CBA’s ‘Vision’ is to enable anyone to have the skills and opportunity to tell the stories of the people and places that connect us to our world, that help us understand it and to make it a better, more inclusive place.

Our Mission is to inspire people to explore places and engage with their environment through archaeology, we will help them make new connections with each other and the places in which they live, work, learn and grow. We will also help people explore and create heritage that matters to them, championing fresh perspectives in how we recognize and value things and places, everywhere. Finally, we aim to grow the public value of archaeology by connecting commercial, academic, and community groups to demonstrate the social impact of archaeology.

The CBA strongly believe that wider participation is essential to archaeology and it underpins our core values and approach to our work.

Anyone should be able to participate in archaeological activities and archaeology should be open to everyone. Yet, as an organisation, we recognise that we still have work to do to better understand many of the issues facing individuals participating in archaeology and to create changes that ensure archaeology is accessible to everyone. To this end, we have identified three key issues that we believe are crucial to ensuring that archaeology is a fair and open discipline and that we will therefore seek to address in our future work. These are the issues of othering, legacy, and representation.

One of the ways in which we are tackling the issue of participation is through our Youth Engagement programmes. The Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) has been the CBA’s flagship youth engagement programme for over forty years. The continued development and support of the network to provide opportunities for young people across the UK and to mitigate barriers to participation is at the heart of our work. However, over the past 4.5 years the CBA has embarked upon the development of its 16+ offer. We are keen to embed young people’s insights into our organisation and outreach projects, our goal is to remove barriers to young people’s participation and facilitate a youth-led approach through our Youth Advisory Board.

The board consists of 12 people, aged 18-25, representing young people from different backgrounds across the UK. Our Young Advisors are passionate about making a change in society, eager to upskill, and use their voice to make a difference at the CBA, in the archaeology and heritage sector, and beyond. As an organisation, there is so much we can learn from young people, and equally, we want to support their own personal development too. We have also established a Young Associate Network (ages 16-25) with a growing membership of 70+ and we are in process of developing a YAC Young Leaders Pathway aimed at 15-17 year-olds. All our project work is developed to mitigate barriers to participation and facilitate sustained and meaningful engagement with our members.

What contribution will this make towards resilience in the heritage sector?

The development of a pathway where young people, from all walks of life, can engage with archaeology and the wider historic environment from 8-25 has been a long-held ambition of the CBA, particularly after the cancellation of the Archaeology GCSE and A-Level.

We know through our impact evaluation of the YAC and the establishment of our YAC Alumni group (conservative estimates indicate that there are c. 30,000 YAC alumni in the UK), that engaging young people early in life by providing interesting, fun and accessible opportunities creates life-long advocates for the historic environment, some of which will seek a career in the sector. In our latest impact study, 70% of our members (aged 12-16), were considering a career in archaeology or a related field. Others will support membership organisations (like the CBA, through membership, volunteering and other means), who work to care for the historic environment and strive to utilise it to support individuals and groups to enjoy it in a way that is relevant and meaningful to them. Providing opportunities at 16+, where few exist and even fewer are supported financially, is even more critical to creating greater equity and ensuring that the sector is both relevant and youth-proofed.

Including young people’s voices within organisations, particularly where those young people are involved in governance, co-create/co-produce projects and strategies, where they develop and deliver projects for their peers, and where they are consulted and their contributions acted on, also makes those organisations more relevant to young people and the communities they come from, and this is key to ensuring the sector is both resilient and sustainable.

We recently collaborated with Youth Voice specialists, Participation People, to explore the benefits of youth voice and governance for organisations and the young people participating. This is what they found:

Key organisational benefits identified by the Youth Advisory Board:

Infographic with youth participation at centre and branches as follows: more accurate outcomes sustainability and growth increased network and contacts greater appeal to young people funding opportunities retention: young people feel valued

Key benefits to young people identified by the Youth Advisory Board:

Infographic is jigsaw made up of the following words: developing social skills, growth in confidence, trying new things, seeing outputs of projects in real life, making friends, FUN, network building, gaining new interests, support peers, feeling included. learning a new culture, career development

As an umbrella organisation, the CBA also has a wider network of stakeholders, from grassroots organisations through to commercial units. We have already begun to disseminate the learning from our 16+ youth engagement programmes to our wider network and intend to develop this further through our NHLF funded ‘Reconnecting Archaeology’ project, which will see us developing best practice models and ways of disseminating this to our network and exploring how we reach a wider, more representative, audience. In turn, we hope to support grassroots organisations to become more resilient by attracting a younger, more diverse audience and who themselves feel welcomed and heard, and see the relevance of archaeology to them and their communities.

What does success look like for your work?

Success for our youth engagement programmes can be measured in several ways. For example, the YAC Impact Study, which has funding for at least the next three years, has demonstrated the success of the model in terms of our members (and volunteers) enjoyment, wellbeing, career aspirations and more. Our demographic data demonstrates that the YAC appeals to young people and adults who are neurodiverse and increasingly to people from ethnically diverse backgrounds. Success for us would be to see this trend continue and to see this represented within the work force.

Success for us would mean the inclusion of more young people in decision making spaces within different organisations and groups, where their experience is valued and their ideas acted upon. We would like to see more paid placements and internships or where their time is remunerated and not taken for granted. At the CBA we are at the start of this journey and we hope others will join us or support us by sharing their own learning. Our 16+ offer has been and will be evaluated over the next three years thanks to funding from Historic England and it will also be evaluated and shaped by the young people who choose to work with us.

Success for us is also ensuring that our young people feel supported, welcomed and heard. That they have the opportunity to grow and develop new skills, and that they have fun doing it!

How can sector colleagues get involved or find out more?

There are over 75 YAC clubs across the UK. Young people can become members from the age of eight. We are also always looking to launch new branches and recruit volunteers. You can find out more here: https://www.yac-uk.org/

If you are aged 16-25, please consider joining our Young Associate Network, where we share news and opportunities on a monthly basis: https://form.jotform.com/231792316143352. You can also find our more about our Youth Advisory Board here: https://www.archaeologyuk.org/youth-engagement/youth-governance.html

In the next 12 months we will be launching our Young Leaders Pathway for ages 15-17, so if you’re interested in getting involved do keep an eye out on the YAC website.

If you would like to support the work of the CBA please consider:

Overall, what do you think is most crucial for ensuring a resilient heritage sector?

I think the most crucial area we can all work on is creating ways of engaging with people that feel relevant and important to them. To do this we need to listen first. The sooner we start listening to people (i.e. young people!) the more likely they are to form a lifelong interest in our sector that will shape it for the better.

This Sector Resilience interview was shared by Jo as part of our Heritage Sector Resilience Plan activities.

If you’d like to contribute an interview as part of the series, follow the link below to find out more:

Sector Resilience Interviews – Historic Environment Forum

Diversity & Inclusion Resilience: an Interview with Sarah Pearce at Heritage Trust Network

In the latest instalment of the Historic Environment Forum’s Sector Resilience Interviews series focussed on the theme of Diversity and Inclusion, we hear about the “Make Your Mark” campaign from Sarah Pearce, Campaign Partner and Chair of Membership & Promotions Action Group at Heritage Trust Network.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your organisation’s role in the sector.

Make Your Mark is a campaign that aims to increase the number and diversity of heritage volunteers. It is the Scottish heritage sector’s response to the continuing realities of societal inequities and the need to increase community engagement with heritage, volunteering being a main tool for this. 

The Make Your Mark campaign is supported by a partnership between national stakeholders in the heritage and voluntary sectors in Scotland.  It was created by the Our Place in Time Volunteering Group and continues under the new strategy for Scotland’s historic environment – Our Past, Our Future.  As a group we took the decision to deliver a tangible project instead of writing a strategy within a strategy. 

The campaign is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with financial and in-kind support from campaign partners.

What can you tell us about your organisation’s work in relation to Diversity and Inclusion? What does this work aim to achieve?

The campaign has two target audiences, volunteers and volunteer organisers. Our aim is to support more people to volunteer in the heritage sector – connecting potential volunteers with opportunities, and to support volunteer organisers to remove barriers and create an inclusive volunteering environment.

Our work to date has included the creation of digital resources, a map of expert inclusion organisations/contacts and blogs shared publicly via the MYM website. This is boosted by regular digital and in-person events, where case studies of inclusive volunteering practises are shared from across the UK. A Team Kinetic portal is key to the campaign, as it is an online platform where heritage groups can promote their volunteer opportunities to new people who they aren’t already connected with. In 2023 the Scottish Government funded the creation of an Inclusive Volunteering Toolkit, which has been published digitally and printed, it is now being brought to life by workshops across Scotland.

What contribution will this make towards resilience in the heritage sector?

The campaign is connecting new people with a vast range of built, natural and cultural heritage projects and organisations across Scotland. This allows the organisations to benefit from a wider variety of perspectives and contributions than previously experienced. It encourages them to highlight previously untold stories and histories at their sites. It allows them to grow their volunteer base at a time when volunteering is declining.

The partnership that is driving forward the campaign is also boosting resilience in the heritage sector, as it is bringing together many partners who have not worked together before – particularly through the combination of the different types of heritage e.g. The RSPB and The Society of Antiquaries.

What does success look like for your work?

Success includes: the number of potential volunteers registered on our portal, the number of opportunities on the portal, the number of people at our online events, the number of people at physical outreach events, engagement with our social channels and website views.

Through the funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund we are now paying for the time and expertise of four inclusion partners, including: Glasgow Disability Alliance, Jambo! Radio, Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre and the Scottish Refugee Council. We consider it a success to be able to work with these partners, value and incorporate their expertise.

A group of people sit at a white, round table, with bright blue booklets in front of them
Inclusive Volunteering Toolkit workshop session (c) Make Your Mark

How can sector colleagues get involved or find out more?

Anyone can access our free digital resources via our website www.makeyourmark.scot, including the new Inclusive Volunteering Toolkit for volunteer organisers. You can also sign up for our newsletter whether you’re involved with heritage or not, and no matter where you are located, to benefit from the latest news and events.

Organisations based in Scotland, who work with any heritage-related project can sign up to the campaign, agree to the manifesto (noting your commitment to become more inclusive in your volunteering practises) and advertise opportunities on the portal. You can then also access certain member-only events.

Overall, what do you think is most crucial for ensuring a resilient heritage sector?

Communication, partnerships and ongoing learning.

This Sector Resilience interview was shared by Sarah as part of our Heritage Sector Resilience Plan activities.

If you’d like to contribute an interview as part of the series, follow the link below to find out more:

Sector Resilience Interviews – Historic Environment Forum

Diversity & Inclusion Resilience: an Interview with Pen Foreman at Historic England

In the latest instalment of the Historic Environment Forum’s Sector Resilience Interviews series focussed on the theme of Diversity and Inclusion, we speak to Pen Foreman, Senior Inclusive Heritage Advisor at Historic England.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your organisation’s role in the sector.

I’m one of Historic England’s Senior Inclusive Heritage Advisors, working as part of the Inclusive Heritage Team. My role is a blend of project managing sector-wide programmes designed to gather data and set strategy on improving access and inclusion to heritage, and connecting with people across the sector to share and imbed inclusive practice. At the moment the main project I am working on is a heritage sector workforce diversity survey, to gain a baseline insight into current demographics across the sector, and signpost where actions are needed. I am also a PAO (project assurance officer) for several of our Everyday Heritage projects, helping to monitor and guide their progress.

My background is in archaeology and teaching, and over the last few years I have focused on projects that heavily involve community-led projects and improving access to heritage, including roles at the Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust and the British Museum. I’ve balanced this with volunteering in various roles including CIfA (Chartered Institute for Archaeologists) to advance EDI in archaeology; I now sit as Chair of the Board as well as being Board Champion on EDI. I have the privilege of being in a position to champion and platform voices that aren’t currently being heard.

What can you tell us about your organisation’s work in relation to Diversity and Inclusion? What does this work aim to achieve?

Historic England has IDE (inclusion, diversity, and equality) embedded at every level of the organisation, thanks to it being fundamental to our work as part of our Corporate Plan, and driven by core priorities of the Heritage Sector Resilience Plan. Across the organisation we have commitments to both internal and external-facing work that has IDE as a core remit, all the way from improving our own recruitment practices and Board procedures, to delivering projects that develop heritage career opportunities, build sector-leading advice on inclusive governance and spotlight diverse stories through grants such as Everyday Heritage.

Historic England has the ambition to work to ensure that “Everyone can connect with, enjoy and benefit from the historic environment” – and work happens across all of our teams towards this.

What contribution will this make towards resilience in the heritage sector?

We know that to be resilient, we need to maintain relevance and value to people – not just to one audience, but to many. We need future archaeologists, archivists, planning experts, policy writers, and communications leaders – but we also need audiences, visitors, researchers, enthusiasts, and fans of heritage. By working on making heritage more inclusive, more accessible, and more representative, we ensure that that reach of potential stall, volunteers, and visitors is as wide as possible.

We also know that a diversity of voice makes for stronger leadership and strategy. Projects and programming informed by a multiplicity of voices takes into account lived experiences, backgrounds, and identities that can significantly impact how people experience and engage with heritage. Working with as many different perspectives as possible helps us to develop truly inclusive work, that can avoid pitfalls of inaccessibility, exclusion, and exclusivity. It also makes the sector more able to handle change – with diverse voices, we can better understanding the potential impact of change, and have a better pool of knowledge and experience to work on developing solutions.

What does success look like for your work?

To us, success is measured in several ways. We are currently doing a lot of research and benchmarking – into the diversity of the sector workforce, into what governance currently looks like, about volunteering in the sector – with other projects looking at things on a more granular level in the pipeline. We’ll use these benchmarks to look at how our interventions and outputs affect change over time. We also gather data through our grants such as Everyday Heritage – on what types of heritage are being represented, who is applying for grants who has never accessed one before, and what types of audience or participants people are working with. It builds us a picture of who is represented, and who isn’t yet.

That is just the quantitative though – we are also embedding ourselves across the sector to gain more insights into the qualitative, too. The Inclusive Heritage Team are spread geographically across England, and are working to build a strong network of heritage organisations that we can regularly keep in touch with, hear progress or challenges, and work with to share good practice and tackle challenges together. We have also embedded a lot of consultation with individuals and communities into our work, to hear personal experiences and to gather case studies to enrich our understanding. From this we’re learning the qualitative picture of what is needed, and how our work is having an impact.

Pen Foreman on collective work, collaboration and resilience
Inclusion only works where there is buy-in across organisations and across the sector, genuinely embedded in workplace cultures and across all levels. Sharing learning, sharing challenges, and sharing resources is essential to building this shared culture of inclusion.
Pen Foreman, Senior Inclusive Heritage Advisor at Historic England
#HeritageResiliencePlan

How can sector colleagues get involved or find out more?

You can visit out Inclusion Advice Hub to see the resources we have already put up, keep visiting regularly as we are constantly adding new content, with the next big batch of uploads coming in July.

The Inclusive Heritage Team are always happy to field questions, have conversations, be invited to meetings, or advise on specific issues – please feel free to email us at Inclusion.Team@historicengland.org.uk

We have the very important first run of our Heritage Sector Workforce Diversity Survey live now – it is running until the end of June 2024 and we need as many responses as possible to form a solid dataset. You can find the survey here: https://forms.office.com/e/3FPzdZuipW

Guidance for individuals completing the form can be found here: https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/training-skills/heritageskills-cpd/inclusion/workforce-diversity-survey-guide/

Guidance for organisations on how to share and talk about the survey can be found here: https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/training-skills/heritageskills-cpd/inclusion/workforce-diversity-survey-value/

Overall, what do you think is most crucial for ensuring a resilient heritage sector?

For me, resilience lies in collective work and collaboration. Inclusion only works where there is buy-in across organisations and across the sector, genuinely embedded in workplace cultures and across all levels. Sharing learning, sharing challenges, and sharing resources is essential to building this shared culture of inclusion. The heritage sector is very diverse in terms of job roles, workplaces, specialisms – so we can naturally silo ourselves. We need to start breaking down this separation and working together on work of all scales to build a resilient whole.

This Sector Resilience interview was shared by Pen as part of our Heritage Sector Resilience Plan activities.

If you’d like to contribute an interview as part of the series, follow the link below to find out more:

Sector Resilience Interviews – Historic Environment Forum

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