ERIH ANNUAL CONFERENCES

The ERIH Conference has been held annually since 2005 at different industrial heritage locations across Europe. The conferences each deal with a current topic of industrial heritage tourism. They are also a platform for people from different European countries and regions to exchange experience and expertise and to get to know each other. Speakers and participants include experts from industrial heritage sites and organisations, museums, tourism institutions, heritage conservation authorities, development agencies, academia and induviduals interested in the theme.


SAVE THE DATE:

19th ERIH annual conference: 18 - 20 October 2023 in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain


 

REVIEW: 18TH ERIH CONFERENCE 2022 IN ESCH-SUR-ALZETTE (L) AND ONLINE

INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE IN MIDST OF THE NEXT INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION - NEW CHALLENGES IN STORYTELLING 
Cultural heritage is not just about preserving our past – it is about shaping our future

19 - 21 October 2022
in Esch-sur-Alzette (L) and Online


The first steps are done: Industrial heritage owes its existence to the structural changes in industry in the last third of the 20th century. Abandoned factories were transformed into venues of culture, preserving the memory of the lives and achievements of engineers and entrepreneurs as well as, and especially, of the workers. These sites convey the legacy of industrial heritage that - despite its many crises - enabled large parts of Europe to experience an era of mass prosperity.

Today, industrial societies are facing another transformation that calls its very foundations into question. “Protecting, linking and promoting Europe's industrial heritage in a changing world” is the title for our new Creative Europe programme 2022-24. This "changing world" is the generic term for challenges and new developments such as climate change, digitalisation, pandemic, gender equality, inclusion and new values - the world is in a state of transformation and this naturally also has an impact on industrial heritage.

This transformation can be considered as the next “Industrial Revolution”. With climate crisis, it has become obvious that the way we produce and use things has to change fundamentally. This transformation is not only aiming at a new industry. It changes the way we look back at the industrial age. Especially younger people value it much more critically, not only in terms of its ecological consequences, but also of the intertwining of the industrial age with colonialism.

Without an understanding of this history and legacies of industrial heritage, the upcoming transformation of industrial society won’t be successful. But when the smoking chimney of the steam engine becomes a portent of the climate crisis and the miner in the coal mine is no longer a working hero but also a symbol of a "fossil" patriarchy, the image of industrial heritage is questioned, as well as the way we communicate with the public.

These are important, justified insights. They force us to play a more active role in this transformation, to rethink our own operations and make them more sustainable. And in order to reach people, we have to tell our stories differently. We need to address also critical issues inextricably linked to industry. This requires new ways of storytelling at the venues of European industrial heritage.
 


17TH CONFERENCE 2021 GHENT (B)

RESILIENCE
How industrial heritage sites accepted the pandemic challenge and survived the crisis


16TH CONFERENCE 2020 OBERHAUSEN (D)

KEEPING THE WHEELS TURNING
Succession Planning for Industrial Heritage


15TH CONFERENCE 2019 BERLIN (D)

INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE TOURISM - IT'S ALL IN THE MIX
Successful industrial heritage marketing through combination with wider tourism offers


14TH CONFERENCE 2018 BOLOGNA (I)

MIND THE GAP
The challenges for promoting industrial heritage in the 2020s