First Announcement


The role of cultural heritage in socio-economic development and preservation of democratic values

Organised by University of Rijeka

In partnership with: 

Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia and the European Commission as part of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Date and Venue: March 11-13, 2020, Opatija (venue TBC)

Keynote lecturers

Étienne Balibar, Professor Emeritus of moral and political philosophy at Université de Paris X – Nanterre and Professor Emeritus of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine; Anniversary Chair Professor at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University and a Visiting Professor at the Department of French and Romance Philology at Columbia University

Danica Kragić Jansfelt, Professor at the School of Computer Science and Communication at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH. She received MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Rijeka, Croatia in 1995 and PhD in Computer Science from KTH in 2001. She has been a visiting researcher at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University and INRIA Rennes. She is the Director of the Centre for Autonomous Systems. Danica received the 2007 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Academic Career Award. She is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and Young Academy of Sweden.

Rem Koolhaas (TBC)

The working language of the conference is English.

Official Conference website:

Conference Rationale and Background

The main objective of the international conference is to inaugurate a profound debate among relevant stakeholders on the impact of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) and, more specifically, cultural heritage, on socio-economic development and preservation of democratic values. Through appropriate discursive forms, it will reflect and debate upon the future of Research and Innovation (R&I) in SSH in relation to global and local communities, especially relating to the interaction of culture, open science, creative industries and disruptive technologies, as well as the implications of these on sustainability, future jobs and democratic values.

The conference will bring together experts from all around Europe, from the academia and non-governmental sector, foundations and other stakeholders relevant forfuture R&I in SSH, policy makers, local authorities, as well as partakers and contributors to Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture program. The aim is to present research results and develop substantial discussions on the topics of Cultural Heritage and the future of research and development in SSH in a rapidly changing world characterised by digitization, mobility, brain circulation, inequalities and technological advancement, and their repercussions on the socio-economic context and the democratic values.

The conference will tackle the role of higher education (universities) as a space for sustenance of civic responsibility, teaching of ethical behaviour and dialogue with the wider community based on mutual trust, transparency of actions and an open mind-set responsive to democratic values.

The conference will support and promote the thorough development of Open Science in European research area. The Conference is based on five pillars as thematic foci of the Call for Papers.

We invite papers which address one of the three thematic SSH pillars or one of the two additional horizontal comprehensive pillars that reflect the SSH policies and cooperation with governments, the civil society and business.

Pillar 1

Societal response to disruptive technologies: cultural and ethical challenges of artificial intelligence, smart and digital transformations, sustainability issues, societal inclusiveness related to disruptive technologies

In addressing Pillar 1, we invite papers focused on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • digital transformation in the study of cultural heritage: challenges and opportunities for a more connected Europe;
  • digitization of cultural heritage – new methodologies, models and training in facilitating access to cultural heritage;
  • ethical, political, and economic benefits and challenges of artificial intelligence;
  • the problem of inequality and imbalances regarding research and usage of new technologies in cultural heritage research and promotion;
  • cultural heritage and creative industries;
  • novel and engaging participatory approaches to sustainability – fostering the place of heritage in sustainable development;
  • new technologies and their effects on longevity, ageing societies, labour market, collaborative economy and new lifestyles.
Pillar 2

Industrial heritage from the perspective of industrial revolution 4.0: future jobs for innovative social ecosystem and innovative creative industries

In addressing Pillar 2, we invite papers focused on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • smart cities as a model of social development;
  • new technologies and (old) poverty – the varieties of future jobs and the phenomena of precarious work;
  • industrial heritage as an intangible economic resource in promoting local/national development;
  • cultural and industrial heritage in stimulating sustainable tourism;
  • quality of working and living conditions from the perspective of industrial revolution 4.0;
  • social innovation in form of urban reinventions and new roles of cities in the international political and economic landscapes;
  • the role of new European universities in innovative social ecosystems – relevance of higher education for future jobs and the needs of society.
Pillar 3

Cultural heritage and democratic values: cultural diversities as the main platform for sustainable development.

In addressing Pillar 3, we invite papers focused on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • heritage and cultural diversity – problems of identities in creating cultural policies;
  • the complexities of the relationship between Europeanness and diversity;
  • challenges of difficult, controversial or dissonant heritage;
  • relations between local and national level regarding social development, social cohesion, inclusiveness and participation;
  • breaking the dualisms of tangible-intangible, rural-urban, culture-nature;
  • dynamic creation of parallel, communicating spaces of culture, research and education;
  • the role of cultural production and art in confronting the growing inequality and exclusion in the globalized world;
  • multi- and pluri-lingual identities and the ethic of translation in Europe;
  • minority languages as part of the European cultural heritage and identity.
Pillar 4

Policy: Enlightenment now– the role of SSH in social transformation and social cohesion: European university networks and alliances and the cooperation with local/regional/national/international governments and civil society

In addressing Pillars 4, we invite papers focused on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • the role of cultural heritage in the European education systems;
  • the role of research institutions in creating policies related to the preservation of cultural and industrial heritage;
  • European cultural heritage networks and sectors – strategies, methodologies, use of standards and quality control in conservation, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage;
  • enhancing security and quality measures in protection of cultural heritage;
  • non-autochthons heritages: minority enlightenment(s) and regional cosmopolitanism(s) as the prospect for a non-state-bound protection of rights;
  • sustainability on the periphery – urgent matter of (different) education – relocating the discourse from natural sciences to SSH;
  • archaeological cultural heritage in the context of local communities within the European society;
  • the role of museums and heritage sites as places of constructing and reconstructing memory;
  • heritage of conflicts and prospects for peace.
Pillar 5

Cooperation: Autonomy and financing – the role of SSH in the development of new institutions: from helix concepts, R&I and the new strategic partnerships.

In addressing Pillars 5, we invite papers focused on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • diverse forms of university-community partnerships and engagement;
  • challenges, institutional models and good practices of open science and open innovation;
  • institutional, political, social and economic development of knowledge-based learning societies;
  • strategic recommendations for a transformative and mission-oriented research and innovation in the EU, with identified goals: smart innovation-led growth, inclusion, and sustainability;
  • intersectional and interdisciplinary nature of cultural heritage research.

Furthermore, in addressing Pillars 4 and 5, we invite papers focused on (but not limited to) the following questions:

  • How to improve the framework conditions for international cooperation in research and innovation?
  • How to improve the knowledge alliances and partnerships between business and higher education?
  • How to improve research as co-creation between the researcher and the community?
  • How university rankings and the number of doctoral students can improve the innovation capabilities?
  • How to develop the policy of retaining and attracting international talents?
  • Is there room for improving the state-aid framework for R&I?
  • How to increase the financing of R&I activities from private sources?
  • Is there a need to engage the Structural funds devoted to research and innovation?
  • How to successfully promote the design and creative industries?

For the poster and video presentations, in relation also to the above themes, we especially invite presenters for the following sections:

  • digitization of cultural heritage – case studies;
  • industrial heritage interpretation and valorisation;
  • urbanising industrial areas;
  • cultural heritage and tourism.

The best three posters and videos will be honoured with a recognition award at the end of the conference.

We encourage submissions by diverse stakeholders relevant for the future of SSH:

  • researchers from the field of SSH;
  • science policy-makers;
  • research associations and networks;
  • NGOs and civil society representatives;
  • representatives from business and non-academic institutions;
  • foundations and cultural institutions, institutes and organisations.

Video presentations are intended for multimedia presentations that focus on some problems or examples of conservation, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage. We look for videos not older than 5 years that are informative, educative, research based, inspirational and challenging. Interactive digital presentations (e.g. 3D reconstructions and virtual tours) are especially welcome. The content of a video should be in the maximum of three-minute timeframe. At the beginning of each video the name(s) of the author(s), the title of the presentations and the country of origin should be clearly stated. Acceptable video formats are: mp4, webM, ogv.

Key dates:

01 September 2019: Opening of web interface for presentations’ upload.

15 October 2019: Submission deadline

30 November 2019: Selection deadline, confirmations of participants and invitation of full papers

01 February 2020: Submission of full papers

*All the abstracts accepted for presentation for the conference will be published in the conference proceedings that will be made available also in open access on the conference website.