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  • Conference preparations (Weekly blog, 13 January 2019)

    Posted on January 13, 2019
    A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General

    Conference year

    Well, welcome to 2019!  I can’t quite believe that it’s another Conference year.  We moved the International Conference of National Trusts to March (to be off-season but reasonable weather).  Which therefore means it’s only 18 months since the last Conference, rather than the usual two years.  It’s come around quickly!

    I have been working a lot on Conference planning this week with lots of calls and discussions about content.  We are pulling together the workshop tracks: 5 streams with four workshops in each.  The streams follow the sub-themes of the Conference: Open House (built heritage); Open Spaces (natural heritage); Open to All (diversity); then Open for Business (running a National Trust) and Opening Minds (education and outreach).  We have allocated a member of the Board to each track.  Their job is to manage the sessions, co-ordinate the speakers, etc, etc.  No small endeavour! But we have great people on it and I have enjoyed talking to them about each track.

    I’m also really looking forward to seeing all our INTO friends again so soon!

    INTO Conference delegates in Indonesia

    Underneath the Arches …

    I had a really interesting discussion with Tim Whalen, Director of the Getty Conservation Institute and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Trust for Historic Preservation this week.  We are hoping his team will come to the Bermuda Conference to present Arches. Developed by the GCI and the World Monuments Fund, this is an open source platform for heritage inventories.  Many INTO member organisations are responsible for heritage inventories but not all their data is safe and future-proof.  Arches could be a good solution.  There are other organisations that might use Arches to engage communities in identifying special places, using the new app.   And lastly when a hurricane hits, how does everyone know where the important heritage is?  I’m really very excited about how INTO members will use Arches in the future.

    Film show

    I’ve also been developing the brief for a short film to show on the opening day. Something that shows the diversity of the global heritage movement and the challenges we face.  That makes us all feel proud to belong to the INTO family and underlines our shared values.  It’s an interesting process and not something I’ve done a huge amount of before so learning as I go.  Watch this space!


    Aside from the Conference, I have been finalising the first report for our Innocastle Project.  Jacqui inputted all the expenses before Christmas which the auditor then needed to approve. We met her this week to go through the supporting paperwork and it’s all looking pretty good.  I wrote a summary of our work on the project this semester.   This will then be incorporated with the other partners’ in the first progress report.

    Marghiloman Manor in Hagiesti

    In February, we all travel to Brussels for the next management meeting.   Subsequently the partners will all come to the UK in May to be hosted by us in Wales.   It should be an interesting study visit for everyone and I hope to be able to invite a number of INTO members along too.  So much for all of us to learn from one another.

    Thanks for reading!

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