The mission of HeriQ is to shape a more sustainable future by empowering people to do two things: to relate to their natural and cultural heritage, and to achieve a sense of belonging in a changing world. Therefore, we train interpretive agents to build up strong regional networks and interpretive guides to share their local legacy with visitors. This will benefit our communities and encourage people to appreciate and to preserve our common European heritage.
In 1992, the United Nations met in Rio in the face of two crucial threats: while a substantial part of humanity was suffering from poverty, the natural resources for human life were in danger of being lost. Working on ways to meet these life-threatening challenges, the world community came up with one term to guide all of our nations during the 21st century: the word sustainability.
An essential cornerstone to transform our societies in this direction is education and learning. UNESCO was entrusted with the task of developing a common vision how learning for sustainability could be put in place and to achieve these aims, it defined some guiding principles. Embracing them were two maxims: “respect, value and preserve the achievements of the past” and “appreciate the wonders and the peoples of the Earth”.
Heritage interpretation can give vitality to these guiding principles. Together with our colleagues all over Europe, we are thinking about ways of turning our rich history and our many stunning natural and cultural sites into sources of inspiration. We instantly believe that a deep relationship with our natural and cultural legacy, and a profound appreciation of this heritage, do play a vital role in shaping a sustainable future.
We are aware that some regions within Europe are exposed to serious economic depression. One key objective of HeriQ is to advance the idea that interpretive change agents can inspire and empower people and communities to cooperate and to share their heritage with visitors from abroad. HeriQ plays an important part in raising the self-esteem, the participation, and the prosperity of people everywhere but especially in regions which face economic and social challenges.