Protocoll 07.04.99 Rabenstein
1. Definition

The European Cultural Backbone (ECB) is a coalition of mediacultural institutions and individuals working together to creatively use and developparticipatory media for social change.

2. Objectives

The ECB aims to:
- achieve an improved technical infrastructure for media culture and extend access to bandwidth
- develop new tools for creative expression and widen access to them
- enhance participatory and inclusive forms of social interaction
- stimulate critical public debate about the social and cultural effects of technological development
- mediate between various social actors, including businesses, governments, educational, and cultural sectors. The partners in the ECB constitute a body of knowledge and expertise which can provide an invaluable information point for policy makers.
- facilitate emerging multidisciplinary projects, acting as an incubator by effective, pragmatic networking. The ECB will act as a brokerage structure for mutual support and collaboration, drawing together complementary initiatives.
- strengthen the local and regional networks of its members in greater Europe, connecting them to wider international communities and initiatives
- act on the Amsterdam Agenda and Linz document on Networking Centres of Innovation.


3. Strategies

The ECB will achieve its goals through collaborative activity in the following areas:
Exchange of Know-how and Research share knowledge, experience and skills in business strategies, fund-raising, project management, technology, legal issues etc. thematically focussed working groups and meetings on issues relating to media-cultural practices collaborative research projects

Campaigning campaign and raise public awareness engage in dialogue with cultural and media policy makers on local, national and international levels promote best practice in media culture by creating networks for joint dissemination

Development develop tools for collaboration develop online environments for information exchange, communication and digital decision making enable collaborations on projects between members of the ECB and others

4. Participation in the ECB

Involvement in the ECB is by active participation in its projects and working groups. It is a network based on mutual trust, commitment to collaboration, and generosity.

In its first year (1999), participation takes two forms:

1. A steering group of 16 institutions and individuals is responsible for agreeing programme priorities, developing the future collaborative structures of the ECB, researching and attracting funds for running the ECB, and campaigning for its objectives.

2. Partners of the ECB actively participate in one or more of the ECB working groups. In the first year, there will be four working groups:

- Infrastructure: campaigning for access to high bandwidth networks for media cultural centres.
- Resource exchange: developing strategies for co-operation in providing residencies for artists and researchers, training, and access to tools for development, production and presentation.
- Policy: research and intervention in national and international policy making processes relevant to media culture.
- Online information exchange: development of tools and content for research and communication.

People and institutions who want to participate in one of these working groups should contact the respective coordinators through Public Netbase Vienna.

5. Steering Group

The Steering Group consists of the people and instituions present at the ECB launch meeting in Vienna on 4 - 7 March 1999.