The two-day Expert Roundtable brought together academic and civil society experts from Asia and Europe to openly discuss the multi-faceted aspects of cultural heritage and the various challenges experienced. The main objective of the discussion was to recommend concrete, contextualised strategies towards development and social empowerment through cultural heritage, and present these recommendations at the 4th ASEM Culture MInisters’ Meeting. In addition, results of the discussion would assist the International Institute for Asian Studies (based in Amsterdam and Leiden, the Netherlands) in identifying potential research and policy-relevant topics.
Key recommendations that emerged from the Roundtable included the need to recognise, explore, and support the potential and actual contributions of cultural practitioners, micro-entrepreneurs, and activists in cultural transmission and change. Participants of the roundtable also stressed the need for platforms and networks for the interaction of different social actors as equals in the representation, transmission, governance, and sharing of heritage.
Finally, participants highlighted the importance of heritage in education, and pointed to the need for critical perspectives on heritage at all levels (local, regional, national and transnational), including the notion of a “shared heritage” between Asia and Europe.