ERASMUS+ CLICHE or else ‘Capitalizing on Local Intangible Cultural Heritage around Europe’ is the name of an Erasmus+ project that unites 7 European schools and other stakeholders from 6 countries and around Europe. For three years (2018 – 2021) the schools will work together capitalizing on their local intangible cultural heritage (ICH) for a positive sustainable development of our regions. 

A well-known fact is that globalization has an impact for every EU citizen with implications at an economic, social and individual level. Cultural activities maintain, strengthen and support regional and local interests against globalizing effects and radiate, besides continuity and stability, a kind of genuine local spirit and general sense of security. Through our project, we want to make students and the wider community aware of what they can be proud of emphasizing. 

As a first step, students will research and inventory their local ICH and safeguard it in a wiki inventory. This will provide a multilingual platform through which schools and the wider communities can highlight their local ICH, ranging from individual local phenomena to large-scale national elements and learn about the ICH of other communities or countries. Being confronted with other cultures and mindsets and understanding the difference between ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’ will help students and communities to make the raison d’être of their own cultural heritage visible. 

As education has an important role in safeguarding the ICH, transferring it to the next generations, we will also

i. prepare blended educational packages around the topic ‘Education for Sustainable Development’ that integrate ICH into the teaching of different subjects and extra-curricular activities using an interdisciplinary approach,

ii. organise fairs and talks with ICH experts to draw the attention of the whole school and the wider community, raise involvement and encourage conservation ethic, taking into account the ICH of immigrant students and communities.

But we will not stop there. By creating a vision and a mission statement concerning the safeguarding of ICH and after making a SWOT analysis considering our strengths and weaknesses, we intent to valorize this immaterial capital. Students using their talents creatively and mimicking the real world will think about state-of-the-art ideas, namely startups, apps or virtual enterprises to capitalize on the exploitation of their ICH. Associated partners in each country will help schools in this effort.

Schools will try to communicate the intangible unique selling points (USPs) of their region through transmedia storytelling. They will create digital stories, questionnaires, QR codes, hashtags, video games, web comics, etc., thus, becoming curators of an online gallery and ambassadors of their local ICH. They will disseminate their work in social media or display it in paper or online portfolios. 

We will also create a unique cultural route. Focusing on themes of their local ICH, students from partner schools will develop a cultural route that connects their 6 cities/countries starting from Cyprus in the south and ending in Estonia in the north, in order to celebrate their common European identity and promote sustainable cultural development.

A multiplier event will be organized by the coordinator of the programme. Greek and international students, in the role of diplomats, will present the results of their research and innovative tools for safeguarding and using ICH sustainably. Tradition bearers and practitioners, producers and entrepreneurs (SMEs), Local/Regional Authorities and people from the wider community will have the chance to participate too. We.