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International Seminar on Culture and the Millennium Development Goals

The Ibero-American Laboratory for Research and Innovation in Culture and Development (L+iD) ―established in 2009 within the framework of an Interuniversity and Scientific Cooperation Program of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), along with the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policies and the Cooperation of the University of Girona (UdG) in Spain and the Hub of Development and Culture of the Institute of Development Studies of the Technological University of Bolívar (UTB) in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia― suggested the need for developing a seminar to focus deeply on the contributions of culture to achieving the MDGs, in response to its objectives of contributing to the great development strategies in the cultural field: the International Seminar on Culture and the Millennium Development Goals –a field of research and action which brought together a significant group of experts to participate in a Seminar specialized in reflecting upon the actual situation in the relationship between cultural potential and the achievement of the MDGs, as well as future options for strengthening them.  It took place on November 4-5, 2010 in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) and witnessed the participation of experts in public policies, project directors, researchers, cultural agents, specialists from national cooperation agencies and multilateral organizations, cultural managers, teachers, representatives of cultural areas and people in charge of policies and programs for the achievement of the MDGs, experts coming from the public, private and third sectors. Moreover, it witnessed the participation of registered people focusing on the subject. In total, more than 100 people took part in the activity in person and a great part of the public followed the activity on-line via direct transmission offered by the portal of Development and Culture Network ( Some most highlighted elements in the debates were the need for the reinforcement of reflection upon communication channels between culture and development and upon the impacts of culture on development and vice versa. A reinforcement that would allow for the creation of a conceptual framework that connects practice to the intersections between development and culture for decision making as well as a stronger influence in the field of public policies, which not only implies an intellectual and political position of culture, but also means reaching spaces of dialogue at local, regional, national and global scales. On the other hand, it served as an alert regarding the importance of recognizing an element that supports internationalism so much as the cultural one, with a strong potential for the expansion of the capacities of the actors, enclosing a great need for context incorporation in its connection with the MDGs, avoiding vertical actions and strengthening a better articulation of the local aspects. In addition, emphasis was placed on the urgency of making a bigger effort in methodological terms so that the actions and the measurement of the impacts of culture on development is more efficient, which requires indicators that can measure the cultural system in a collective or individual manner.  In accordance with these elements as well as others, the experts provided proposals that achieved consensus throughout the conference. The final results of all the collected material are being processed so that they can be commonly applied and disseminated.

This activity included the active participation and representation of a large group of Ibero-American countries, such as Argentine, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, the United States, Honduras, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay. It was likewise promoted by multilateral reference organizations for Ibero-American areas, such as the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation through the Training Center of AECID in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI) and the Carolina Foundation through the Center for Latin American Studies and International Cooperation (CeALCI). It also witnessed the participation of representatives of culture and development organizations and institutions, such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the United Nations through UNDP, UNESCO and the Ministries of Culture of Colombia, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. The representation and participation of a significant number of Ibero-American Universities (in addition to the promoter ones), such as the National University of Cordoba, the Catholic University of Cordoba, Argentine, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar de Ecuador, the CLAEH University Institute in Uruguay, Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana and the National Autonomous University of Mexico as well as the Universities of Rosario and Cartagena, Nacional Abierta y a Distancia, Jorge Tadeo Lozano and the University Institute of Fine Arts and Sciences of Bolivar in Colombia, also joined this large group. The activity was disseminated through many portals related to the subject matter of the Seminar. The complete activity development was coordinated by the Directors of the Laboratory for Research and Innovation in Culture and Development, Alberto Abello Vives from the Technological University of Bolivar, Colombia and Alfons Martinell Sempere from the University of Girona.

Attached file: Report on the Seminar Cartagena 2010


International Seminar Museums and Education

On September 23-25, 2010, the International Seminar on Museums and Education took place in the facilities of the Caribbean Cultural Park —in the Museum of the Caribbean in the city of Barranquilla (Colombia).

The Seminar was organized by the Zenú Gold Museum of Banco de la República (Cartagena Branch), Museum of the Caribbean and the Ibero-American Laboratory for Research and Innovation in Culture and Development.

The general objective was to facilitate spaces of discussion and reflection regarding the subject matter of museums as places of informal education.

Attached file: Report on the Seminar on Museums and Education

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