Navigation Menu+

Learning on Intangible Cultural Heritage

Posted on Sep 23, 2018 by in Special Issue - ICH & HE |

By Cristina Ortega, PhD
Director of 3Walks and scientific coordinator of the UNESCO-ENCATC project “Learning on intangible heritage: building teachers’ capacity for a sustainable future”

Learning on Intangible Cultural Heritage


With a new vision of cultural heritage gaining prominence, UNESCO encourages integration of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in training programmes for future decision-makers and professionals in related fields, such as heritage studies, cultural management or sustainable development. However, despite international recognition of ICH and its critical importance for sustainable development, the theme has been largely neglected in relevant studies in almost all the word regions. In this context, the UNESCO-ENCATC project “Learning on intangible heritage: building teachers’ capacity for a sustainable future” aimed to revisit the training programmes of universities, as well as to strengthen their capacity building in ICH and, by doing that, help UNESCO raise awareness about the 2003 Convention and its purpose. This project was implemented by ENCATC under UNESCO’s Participation Programme 2016-2017 and in partnership with 3Walks-Cultural Research, Training and Knowledge and Social Transfer. Dr. Cristina Ortega, director of 3Walks and an ENCATC member, was in charge of the scientific coordination of this project.

This special issue of the /encatcSCHOLAR is part of the legacy of this research project. The results of the mapping of higher education programmes teaching ICH – carried out in the framework of that project – are presented in the form of a piece in the newly created “Research” section. The section “Network” is also inaugurated in this special issue, with a contribution by Frederic Vacheron, Director of Villa Ocampo UNESCO Observatory, who explains the process of creation and characteristics of the Latin America and the Caribbean Academic Cooperation Network on ICH (ReCA PCI LAC). In the “Case Analysis” section, Ilaria Guglielmetti and Agostina Lavagnino, from the School of Design of the Polytechnic University of Milan (whose programme was identified in the mapping) and the Etnographical and Social History Archive of Lombardy Region, respectively, share with us their experience in developing their “Intangible Search Inventory”. Finally, a piece on the round table organized in the framework of the UNESCO-ENCATC project is included in the “Proceedings” section.

We hope this issue contributes to the discussion on ICH and, in particular, on the need to integrate it in higher education curricula.

Enjoy the reading and feel free to share!

Cristina Ortega


Dr. Cristina Ortega is the Editor-in-Chief of the /encatcSCHOLAR, the ENCATC Journal on Cultural Management and Policy and of the  ENCATC Book Series. As Editor-in-Chief, Cristina is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the three publications and she ensure that deadlines and scientific requirement are met. Cristina is Spanish and she is Director of 3Walks, Cultural research, training and knowledge transference, that runs the general strategy of World Leisure, a non-governmental organization with consultative status of United Nations, since she was appointed Chief Academic and Operating Officer in January 2016. Doctor in Leisure and Human Development, with a Master degree in Leisure Management, specialized in Cultural Management, she graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy from the University of Deusto and completed her studies in London, Middlesex and at Westminster University. She has done several research stages at the University of Fordham (New York, EEUU) and Cambride (UK). She is the author of a book of reference on Cultural Observatories, Ortega, C. (2010) Observatorios Culturales. Creación de Mapas de Infraestructuras y Eventos (Barcelona: Ariel). She is also Member of the Basque Council of Culture of the Basque Government. Her area of specialization is leisure, cultural policies, leisure, wellbeing and human development.