Social-Heritage Innovation Ecosystems. Definition and Case Studies

Palabras clave: Activism, Self-management, Bertsozale Elkartea, Centro Social Rey Heredia, Communities, Ecosystems, Governance, Social Innovation, Citizen participation, Patrimoni PEU-UJI, Heritagization, Cultural Heritage


In recent decades there has been a lot of talk about social innovation, an emerging concept that in a short time has made its way onto the agendas of public administrations and different social agents, although in the field of cultural heritage it has not been sufficiently discussed and analyzed. This article presents a proposal to contextualize, problematize and think about how social innovation and cultural heritage are linked through the analysis of three case studies. Using quantitative-qualitative methods of observation, we analyze the strategies and actions that different collectives and communities have implemented around certain heritage elements or vectors and which have served to meet their social needs. The implications of these processes at the political and academic sphere are also discussed. These self-organized communities have been able to create various devices or interfaces that we call “ecosystems”, in which citizens play a central role alongside other social and institutional actors in the activation, custody, defense or management of some kind of cultural asset. From this perspective, we re-situate these types of actions, which we could call “alterheritage,” bringing them to the center of academic discussion from the outskirts of the usual framework of reflection Authorized Heritage Discourse. It shows their full potential as processes with an important accumulated know-how of great scientific, social and political interest, capable of connecting some collective cultural goods with the great challenges of our present and contributing to the construction of more democratic, plural, fair and sustainable communities. These are open and transferable social innovations, from which other organizations, communities (both public and universities), can learn and reflect on cultural and heritage practices.

Biografía del autor/a

Jesús Fernández Fernández, Universidad de Oviedo
Arqueólogo, doctor en Historia (Universidad de Oviedo) y autor de diferentes publicaciones científicas relacionadas con la arqueología de los paisajes culturales, el estudio de las sociedades medievales, el patrimonio cultural y los ecomuseos. Actualmente es investigador Ramón y Cajal en la Universidad de Oviedo e investigador honorífico asociado en la University College de Londres, instituciones desde las que coordina distintos equipos y proyectos de investigación. Desde 2012 es promotor y director de La Ponte-Ecomuséu (Asturias, España).


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