Money and Power

We should talk about the elephant in the room

In the cultural heritage sector we tend to ignore the elephant in the room. In a networked digital world where information is controlled more and more by private companies and – in the end – everything comes down to money and power, it is high time to pay attention to the role the cultural heritage sector plays in this power play.

We should ask ourselves: what power do we own (content, beauty, proof, supporters, etc.), what are we worth (how do we really value our digital collections, can you even assess that value?) and how do we stand our ground?

And at the same time: how, and in what way, can we escape from this fait accomplit, this tiresome fact of life? Because as the cultural heritage sector we can show another side than money and power alone. We mention sharing, beauty, idealism, trust,  hope, belief and love (and we may even blush). Or to put it in a more professional tone of voice: we should invest in a strong digital public domain, sharing our digital assets as much as possible and in this way let our immaterial values flourish.

Want to know more about the choices we made for this theme? Read Money, power and an elephant, an interview with Marco de Niet (Director at DEN).

Keywords: positioning, public space, public domain, power struggle, idealism, blushing

This translates itself into the  four subthemes and conference tracks of DISH 2015.

Track 1: Lose your modesty!

We have something really valuable to offer to society! It’s high time for an immodest, daring presentation of our digital wares
Read more!


Track 2: Stand up for yourself!

We´ve got to lobby, lobby and lobby! Where every serious industry or action group lobbies like crazy, the heritage sector seems to struggle to raise its voice, not only in its own interest, but that of the whole information society.
Read more!

Track 3: Lose control, gain influence!

We really should be less restrictive about the use and re-use of our collections. It becomes more and more clear that digital assets have to swarm about to really bear fruit.
Read more!

Track 4: Power to the people!

Our (digital) collections do not belong to us. In the end they belong to those who pay, visit and use our collections.
Read more!