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Celebrating success and making connections

Lisa Westcott Wilkins MA FRSA FSA, Co-founder and Managing Director of DigVentures - a Europa Nostra Award Winner in 2021 - writes about her experience.

Our experience of Europa Nostra as an organisation, as well as the Awards, has been overwhelmingly positive, both in terms of what being selected as a Laureate has done for us as an organisation, as well as attending the ceremony and conference in Venice.

When the pandemic hit, we all really struggled - and then something magical happened. To have it recognised on a European level for its innovation, which is at the heart of what we do, is so important. It was really meaningful to us – when you’re a small organisation, it often feels impossible to find avenues to share your work, and our project proposes a model that we feel could help so many organisations in the post-pandemic culture sector.

Europa Nostra has given us a really open channel to share our expertise and learning. The award put us in touch with a community of peers which we’ve really struggled to reach before. Meeting some of the other winners, for the first time we felt like we were talking to people who spoke the same language as us in terms of working with cultural heritage. It’s opened avenues. It’s just awesome.

We are inspired to continue to try to bring our work to the attention of people outside of the UK. Europe is more open-minded about the value of culture than the UK, which is at war with itself over culture. Everything we see coming out of Europe is saying ‘more culture’, culture is what’s going to bring us back from the edge. We want more of that. That’s the conversation we want to be in.

Find out more about DigVenture's award winning Archaeology at Home project.

About DigVentures

DigVentures is a platform that enables civic participation in archaeology and heritage projects. Since launching in 2012, DV has pioneered the use of crowdfunding, digital methods and social impact evaluation to increase access and opportunities for real people to purposefully participate in real research.

About Lisa - @LisaWWilkins

As co-founder and Managing Director, Lisa has found the perfect place to combine archaeology with over twenty years of professional experience in communications, finance and journalism, including several years as Editor of Current Archaeology magazine. With a Master’s degree in Archaeology from UCL and a prestigious Clore Fellowship under her belt, she now focuses her energy wrangling field archaeologists and harnessing brilliant digital and creative innovations for DV. She is an international speaker on digital outreach and crowdfunding for the creative and cultural sectors and leads on the consultancy aspect of DV’s work.

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