In January two workshops were held in Vasa in Finland and two at the High Coast in Sweden. The title of the workshops was "Which places are important for the World Heritage?"
In order to make it easy for participate for as many as possible at the workshops in January they were at two occasions (afternoon and evening) at each location. It then became four workshops in total in January - two in Vasa and two at the High Coast.
We invited more or less the same actors to these workshops as we had done to the ones in October, which was entrepreneurs, associations, teachers and other active persons. At the workshops in January there were 32 participants in Vasa and 39 at the visitor center naturum Höga kusten at the High Coast.
At these workshops the focus was on specific places in the World Heritage and how they could be highlighted. The discussion was about how the World Heritage in the best way would be presented at the different visitor places in order to reach all the identified visitor groups. In the invitation it said that we at the workshops asked for help to answer the following questions:
- How should the World Heritage be presented at the different visitor places so that one could reach all the visitor groups?
- Which places are most important to make accessible?
- How do we reach the families? The adventurous? The ones interested in culture?
- Which are the most important visitor places in the World Heritage?
- Is the whole World Heritage represented with all different traces from the ice age, the land uplift and the sea?
- And where do we talk about the idea behind World Heritages and the family with over 1000 World Heritages?
As with the previous workshops CNV stood for the main content while the County Administrative Board of Västernorrland and Metsähallitus invited and arranged with the practical details.
Each workshop took three hours. We started off with an update of how the work with the project and the heritage interpretation plan had continued since the workshops in October. Then a suggestion for sub themes for the World Heritage was presented and the participants would in groups discuss them. And then we everybody together at the workshop discussed the sub themes. At the workshops in Vasa we then held and exercise where the participants both would discuss how they saw that they could work in the World Heritage with heritage interpretation without being onsite and both got to discuss about hiking trails in the Kvarken Archipelago. At the workshops at the High Coast we instead held an exercise were the participants both got to discuss limitations for different places at the High Coast, i e concerning wear, and both discuss suggestions on dividing areas based on what kind of activity the visitor does at a visit.
We ended every workshop with a group discussion on which heritage interpretation would fit best at some chosen places for chosen visitor groups and to communicate one or two chosen sub themes. The also got to discuss who should produce the heritage interpretation and who should cooperate around those places.
The evaluations from the participants showed that:
- especially good with the workshops they though was: the amount of group work, the discussions, good presentations, good and effective layout and good facilitation of the workshops with enough flexibility as well as it led to good networking.
- less good with the workshops was that it was too high tempo and some had wanted longer workshops. Some thought we used too difficult concepts at the presentations and in the exercises.
- all participants seemed to think that they themselves and their opinions could enough space at the workshop they went to.
- the four workshops all together got a grade at 4,2 out of maximum 5 for the overall impression.
We that worked with the workshops thought afterwards that:
- we should feel pleased since we had ambitious plans for the workshops.
- it came rewarding comments on the sub themes and several ideas on heritage interpretation.
- maybe we should a put a roof on the number of participants at one of the workshops, since it was felt stressed and there were many participants.
- some of the workshops we experienced as more structured that others.