In October we first held a workshop in Vasa in Finland and then one at the High Coast in Sweden. The title for the workshops was "Workshop in heritage interpretation".
We tried to invite many different actors within the World Heritage to the workshops in October: entrepreneurs, associations, teachers and other active persons. They were invited so that they could assist the process of producing the heritage interpretation plan in two steps, by first taking part in the workshop in October and then joining a workshop in January. In October there was one workshop in Vasa and a couple of days later there was held a similar workshop at High Coast.
At these workshops we worked together with the actors around the main message of the World Heritage, which is its theme. We discussed with the actors:
- how the theme should be formulated so that it could be useful for them
- how one should communicate the theme in the best way
- how the activities of the participants would feel joy and usefulness in using the message of the World Heritage.
At the workshops the Swedish Centre for Nature Interpretation (CNV) stood for the main content while the County Administrative Board of Västernorrland and Metsähallitus invited and worked with the practical details. The workshop in Vasa was held from 2 to 8 pm and the one at High Coast was held from 9 am to 3:30 pm. We offered and fika. The arrangement for the two workshops was the same.
We started off with a presentation of the participants and the project. There were 22 participants at the workshop in Vasa and 26 persons have signed up for the workshop at the High Coast. We from CNV then briefly presented our impressions from the World Heritage and explained the concepts of heritage interpretation. After that the proposed theme was presented and group discussions were held on how the theme could work for the actors, relate to their activities and how they could contribute to the communication of the theme.
After a food break results were presented from the visitor surveys. Participants then talked in groups about the result from the visitor surveys corresponded with the picture they already had of the visitors as well as how one could group the visitors, what they are interested in and if one would like to see additional groups of visitors in the area. We ended the workshop with an exercise where the participants in groups, with the help of maps, should point out places that are important to highlight within the theme and how they could be developed with the theme. For each place they should write the values of the place and which target groups that are interested in it.
The evaluations that the participants filled in at the end of the workshops showed that:
- what the participants appreciated the most was: inspiring information about the project, discussions, networking, good mood, effective arrangement
- what was experienced as less good at the workshops was that there were few entrepreneurs, was too little time for discussions and that the workshops could have been held a at better time of the day.
- the average grade for the workshops was 4 out of maximum 5.
We who worked with the workshops were overall pleased with them but say potential to improve the arrangements for the workshops in January. For example we noticed that the composition of the participants was different between the workshops. The workshops offered good input to the work with the heritage interpretation plan.
In the newsletter of the Lystra project from December 2018 at page two it was mentioned the workshops in October and the theme that the project decided upon after the workshops: The World Heritage High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago is the best place in world to experience and understand the land uplift after the last ice age.