First CHARTER in REGIONS workshop in Bilbao

First CHARTER in REGIONS workshop in Bilbao

From 18 to 19 October, the CHARTER Alliance consortium met in person for the first time for the CHARTER in REGIONS workshop in Bilbao, Spain. The event was organised by the University of the Basque Country, the Basque Government and ERRIN (European Regions Research and Innovation Network). The two days of work created a rich open dialogue between the CHARTER Alliance and Basque stakeholders that resulted in a focused ecosystem analysis of the region.
The main objective of the first CHARTER in REGIONS workshop was to reflect on the state-of-play of the cultural heritage occupational profiles defined, recognised and regulated by the Basque region and its education and training system.
For this purpose, a group of 45 Basque stakeholders related to cultural heritage participated in the workshop to share their insights, experiences and needs. The group included policy officers, managers, curators, conservator-restorers, architects, craftsmen, professors, researchers, etc.

Bilbao and cultural heritage

Arts, culture and heritage are three fundamental pillars of the urban, social and economic regeneration of Bilbao as well as closely linked to the idiosyncrasies of the city and its residents.

Bilbao is a catalyst for a wide range of cultural expressions: museums, libraries, opera, rock festivals, theatre, literature, etc. Organisations in both the public and private sectors make sure to  contribute to the city’s high cultural demand.

The city is proud of its heritage and strives for its preservation as well as ensuring its access to the public. Bilbao is now an international benchmark city for conservation and promotion of heritage sites, ranging from early history (Old Town), through classical architecture (Ensanche district) to its most recent attractions like the Guggenheim Museum or the Abandoibarra waterfront promenade.

Creation and dissemination of arts, culture and heritage are focal points of the city, fostering new projects which combine and integrate classical, traditional and modern artistic expressions.



FIRST DAY of the CHARTER in REGIONS workshop

The first day of the workshop focused on the Basque cultural heritage ecosystem and its already existing mismatches and gaps.

To open the workshop, Adoni Iturbe Amorebieta (Basque Government’s Deputy Minister of Culture) and María Juncal Gutiérrez Mangado (Vice-rectorate of the Basque, Culture and Internationalisation, UPV/EHU) gave speeches to welcome CHARTER members and Basque stakeholders.

An introduction to the Basque legal framework to protect heritage was made by Mikel Carrillo de la Peña and an overview to the Basque heritage landscape and its challenges was presented by Mikel Aizpuru (Cultural Heritage Directory, Basque Government).

Later, two large groups were created to discuss the state-of-play of CH occupational profiles and CH education and training. When this first approach was completed, the parallel sessions focused on mismatches and gaps between the educational and training offers and the needs of the labour market.

The aim of this last section was to learn about the professional profiles and skills currently  necessary for a properly functioning cultural heritage ecosystem. In addition, considering the need for a legal recognition of professional profiles in the CH field, to  identify future profiles and their training.




The second day aimed to test two methodological pillars of CHARTER: the cultural heritage ecosystem model and future scenarios.

The day started with the presentation of CHARTER’s model by Elis Marçal, President of E.C.C.O. The presentation allowed participants to understand the logics, process and rationale by which Working Package 2 built its first model approach to the CH sector. After this, three different groups mixing CHARTER members and Basque stakeholders  got to reflect on their own representation in the model and if it was able to properly describe the CH ecosystem.

Once the feedback was presented by the groups’ moderators, the final session presented the opportunity to use all the inputs, thoughts and reflections of the workshop to consider future

scenarios for the CH sector. Challenges such as climate change, digital shift and demographical changes, among many others, were brought up for discussion in the plenary. These factors need to be properly addressed and contemplated in the future cultural heritage skills strategy that CHARTER will deliver.



The first regional workshop in Bilbao has been a success: the CHARTER Alliance was able to gather valuable feedback to be analysed and integrated into the project’s work. The exchange and discussion among participants fostered the collaborative approach to knowledge production that CHARTER seeks in order to accomplish its goals.
CHARTER Alliance

Share on