General information about the Culturemondo network.


The idea behind the Culturemondo network came from a meeting in June 2004 at the Minerva International Digitisation Conference, in Dublin, where a number of individuals from cultural portals met for the first time.

The first Culturemondo meeting took place in Brighton, UK in December 2004 where an International Steering Committee was formed with representatives from (Canada), (Sweden), (Belgium), (previously 24 Hour Museum, UK), (Australia) and (France).

Other members have since joined and left the committee.

As a group of people all involved in cultural portal development, we wanted to create a place where we could meet other like-minded people, share ideas and help each other. Despite the fact our portals ranged in size, scope, services and management structure, our on-line spaces all had one thing in common - the drive to engage and excite people with the richness and diversity of culture and the ways that it shapes our lives.

Japan Roundtable 2005

The first Culturemondo Roundtable entitled "Cultural Portals: New Challenges and Good Practices." It was hosted by the Canada Pavilion at the World Expo 2005 in Japan.

Japan Roundtable participants 2005

The results of the first survey provided the point of departure for the discussions.

Targeted roundtables addressed four significant areas of concern: partnerships, governance, content management, and marketing and audience needs - topics that had been identified as key management issues currently being faced.

Eighteen cultural portals, from all regions of the world, along with UNESCO, participated in the Culturemondo Roundtable. They were diverse in nature, stage of development and scope and represented a mix of public, private, collaborative, national, regional and international cultural portals.

The two days of discussion and networking established the framework for a community of practice committed to shared knowledge, increased participation, distributed responsibility and international collaboration.

Croatia Roundtable 2006

The 2nd Culturemondo International Roundtable took place October 20-22, 2006Â in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Entitled Cultural portals: A new era of cooperation, it offered a unique opportunity for cultural portal experts from all continents to enhance their working practices, to recognize emerging trends and to exchange experience.

The objectives of this 2nd International Roundtable were to consider how as cultural portals we respond to our users’ and stakeholders’ needs, to explore new avenues of cooperation and information, and to share how we measure our success in achieving our respective goals.

The roundtable was informed by the 2006 Cultural Portal Survey which served to examine cultural portals and provide the Culturemondo network with a reinforced knowledge base with which to support the continued development and management of our national, regional and local initiatives.

Simultaneous translation was available for Day 1 and Day 2 in English, French, Spanish and Croatian.


A unique, applied and informal agenda

This two and half day roundtable focused on the following aspects of cultural portal management:

International Cooperation

What can international partnerships bring us? How can we identify new models of cooperation amongst ourselves as web professionals and also with our audiences? How can we usefully share information and best practices using concrete indicators, such as users metrics and financial sustainability, in measuring our contribution to cultural development and the promotion of cultural diversity?

Measures of success

How can we meet the challenge of developing a successful portal and online brand in a crowded, competitive and commercial marketplace shaped by dominant technology and players? Cultural portals, as new public spaces, are successful when they are an alternative to mainstream entertainment sites, responding to a more subtle set of audience needs. At the same time, we must operate as good businesses and demonstrate clear measures of success in order to justify the support of public investments.

Dubrovnik Rountable 2006

Web 2.0

The emerging generation of web technologies brings new opportunities for us as online publishers. Its democratic potential leads a social phenomenon in the approach to creating and publishing web content: open communication, decentralization of authority, and freedom to share, create and re-use on-line content. But how can this be balanced with our own editorial voices? What is the role of the institution if separated from its content? How do we safeguard authenticity? Also, new platforms allow us to deliver information to users as they are on the move. Are our cultural portals ready to meet the new challenges of accessibility and mobility?

Hosting in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is a city inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The richness of its culture and artistic happenings will provide an attractive cultural setting for the participants. Hosting the Roundtable in Croatia will also provide an opportunity to survey the trends in cultural portal development in South Eastern Europe and Croatia and to investigate in greater detail the regional situation.

Cuba Roundtable 2007

The Third Culturemondo Annual Roundtable co-hosted with Cubarte, took place on June 11-15, 2007 in Havana, Cuba.

Cuba Roundtable 2007 courtesy Ilya Eric Lee

Cultural portal experts joined Latin American and Caribbean colleagues to share best practices, consider how Cultural Information Systems (CIS) align with online interfaces, learn innovative uses for new technologies and focus on maximizing the use of web resources and Web 2.0 tools to create leading edge cultural portals.

This special regionally focused roundtable was held in conjunction with the 5th International Congress on Culture and Development: Defending Cultural Diversity. Culturemondo experts were featured on June 14th in the Congressional Plenary, Internet and Diversity, Reality or Myth? All Culturemondo members were able to attend the Culture and Development Conference events. To view the program for the Congress on Culture and Development please click here.

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International Steering Committee

The International Steering Committee coordinates the network and collaborates to plan all activities and define priorities for future action.

The group consists of:

  • Jane Finnis (Chair) - Culture24 (United Kingdom);
  • Vladimir Skok - (Canada);
  • Ana Duran - Culturenet Sweden (Sweden);
  • Seb Chan - Powerhouse Museum (Australia);
  • Alfonso Castellanos - e-cultura (Mexico);
  • Aleksandra Uzelac - Culturelink (Croatia);
  • Rafael de la Osa Díaz - Cubarte (Cuba);
  • Ilya Eric Lee- TELDAP / (Taiwan);
  • Katherine Watson - Lab For Culture (The Netherlands);
  • Frank Thinnes - (Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, France)

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The Culturemondo website is hosted at TELDAP in Taiwan and editorial responsibility is shared between Taiwan and the UK.

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