Understanding Each Other’s Heritage (2012)

Understanding Each Other’s Heritage – Challenges for Heritage Communication in a Globalized World (2012)

The International Association of World Heritage Professionals e.V. (IAWHP e.V.) organized a WHS Alumni Symposium and Workshop on “Understanding Each Other’s Heritage –Challenges for Heritage Communication in a Globalized World” to be held in BTU Cottbus from 19th-21th July 2012. This WHS Alumni Conference is the second of a series of events and activities being planned by IAWHP e.V. since its official recognition as a non-profit organisation by German Law in 2010. Moreover, the conference was organised in the context in the context of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 1972 World Heritage Convention.

The event was organized with the support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in cooperation with the Chair of Applied Media Studies at BTU Cottbus and Interpret Europe – The European Association for Heritage Interpretation.


Despite the acknowledged importance of interpretation in communicating and therefore also in conserving heritage and in fostering intercultural dialogue, physical conservation concerns often dominate, to the detriment of communication and interpretation for local stakeholders and tourists.

For this reason, the Cottbus Symposium and Workshop, in the context of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, aims
•    to explore opportunities, methods and strategies to increase intercultural dialogue through interpretation
•    to offer practically-oriented workshops to encourage development of opportunities and implementation of best-practice methods and strategies in heritage interpretation.

The three sessions developed for the Symposium and Workshop cover a wide spectrum of heritage interpretation and communication issues: from public relations, advertising and marketing to accessibility and representation, and to the implementation and use of new technologies.