Sixth International Training Course in Östersund - How to best work between politics, research and practice

The Nordic Centre of Heritage Learning & Creativity (NCK) works between politics, research and practice with the focus on learning through heritage experiences. Today, NCK works with different projects and activities and is well-known for its expertise in the Nordic and Baltic countries. On 28 April 2016 NEMO members from across Europe had the opportunity to learn from NCK's practice and experience during NEMO's sixth training course.

The day kicked off at 9 am with a coffee reception and registration. NCK took the floor at 9:15 with a short introduction to the organisation and the members of staff.

The introduction included the participants themselves as it was the first time everybody met each other. It was important for NCK to learn more about the participant's backgrounds and motivations for attending the course so as to tailor the workshop scheduled to take place after lunch to their needs. During
this introduction, the participants expressed their desire to see Jamtli, the regional Open Air museum, which is located next to NCK's office. For this reason, the lunch break was extended by half an hour.

NCK's managing director and director of Jamtli, Henrik Zipsane, took a trip down NCK’s memory lane. Henrik shared his memories about how he and his wife came up with NCK and how NCK was established as a project and then, transformed into a company. Henrik talked about the importance of networking and collaborations and the ways in which NCK works in between practice, research and politics. Participants posed numerous questions, asking for advice or discussing their own challenges at their institutions openly with the rest.

The next session unfolded around NCK’s insights after being active for more than ten years in the field of cultural heritage. Tips regarding how to turn great ideas into great collaborations and projects were shared with the participants. Following the stages leading from idea creation to idea implementation, NCK wanted to share practical examples of how it is possible, or sometimes impossible, to turn an idea into practice. Numerous examples were introduced to the participants in an attempt to describe both the depth and the variety of NCK’s areas of expertise.

"We want to be good at everything – but want to be the BEST at one specific museum task”. This sentence of Henrik Zipsane first pops into mind, when I think of my stay in Östersund. Is this maybe the key to best work between politics, research & practice – having a clear idea of “who you are” and “what you want”?" - from a participant

Lunch was served at Restaurant Hov, followed by a short visit to the museum and the museum shop.
During the last two hours, participants were introduced to the Generic Learning Outcomes model (GLOs), a tool, or language for museums, libraries and archives to demonstrate the outcomes and impact of users' learning experiences. In pairs, the participants reflected on numerous questions regarding the mission of museums, and the dimensions of the museum visits and experiences. During the collaborative activity, with participants exchanging opinions, ideas while justifying and reflecting upon these, time flew by.

In conclusion, participants and facilitators felt that there is a need to have this course running on two working days instead, giving all parties involved more time to connect with each other and reflect upon the issues discussed.

"We are grateful that NCK hosted a course in collaboration with NEMO and we met all six participants and heard about their work and concerns when it comes to culture. We look forward to future collaborations with them, embarking on new adventures and learning experiences through culture."
Dimitra Christidou, Researcher and Project manager

This report was prepared by Dimitra Christidou, researcher and project manager

NEMO would like to thank NCK for hosting the sixth Training Course on 28 April 2016 in Östersund, Sweden.