Evaluation Report

Conference venues:  Stundars Open-Air Museum was chosen as the conference venue, due to it's location close to the city of Vaasa, with good connections to air port and train station. Stundars museum has itself quite good facilities for a conference, not to forget a good kitchen staff. Solf village could also offer a small hotel, Solf Gästgivargård that could host a majority of the guests. The Finland-Swedish Federation for Local Heritage was already invited to the city of Kokkola, which turned out to be a successful choice: a small-scale city with walking distances.  We were all satisfied with the food, but check the menu in advance to avoid serving for example fish to many times... Inform the people with diets that they should ask for food prepared specially for them.The guests were accommodated at Solf Gästgivargård (25 € /night) and at Hostel Kenraali in Vaasa (25/48 € night) and at Sokos Hotel Kaarle in Kokkola (36 € night). 

Organization A local committee has consisted of Eva-Marie Backnäs Kronoby hembygdsförening, Victoria Nylund, Stundars r.f., Lilian Pettersson-Smeds, Österbottniska fornforskningssällskapet and Gunilla Sand, Stundars r.f. The committee has also invited other people to help and assist in various functions. It was essential to have good connections with the Bridging Ages board, this worked out very well since Gunilla Sand was a board member 2007-2008. The president Ebbe Westergren did also very much assist in the conference planning. The team at Stundars (Gunilla Sand and Victoria Nylund) was responsible for day 1-3 at the conference (9-11.9.2009). Stundars also managed all the registrations and was in contact with all the presenters. Stundars was in charge of the finances for the conference. Eva-Marie Backnäs from Kronoby hembygdsförening was in charge of the day 4-5 (12-13.9.2009) in the city of Kokkola and surroundings. Eva-Marie was also the local coordinator for the Finland-Swedish Federation for Local Heritage.  Lilian Pettersson-Smeds from Österbottniska fornforskningssällskapet arranged the archeological project with school children in Malax 9.9.2009. Headmaster Thomas Nordström and teachers and students from Christian Folk High School arranged the time travel 9.9.2009.  The local committee or part of it had about 16 various meetings and a lot of mails and phone calls were made during the planning process.

The total budget was ca 20.200 €. The participants fee covered ca 40% and grants and fundings amounted to ca 60% of the budget. The Conferenece was sponsored by Svenska kulturfonden, Svensk-Österbottniska Samfundet, KulturÖsterbotten, Fria Kristliga Folkhögskolan and Korsholms kommun. We made an enormous amount of lists! One list for every day with the participants names and what they were going to attend that day (program, bus, lunch...) It was really necessary! We also made lists for the payment, what everyone should pay and who was going to pay it for them... This made the registration easy. Participants In total 67 participants from seven (7) countries took part in the conference. The participants came from South Africa, USA, Turkey, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Finland. The participants represented both new-comers and also more experienced members of the BA-family.

Newsletter 2 /2009 published in April, included a registration form. The deadline for registration was set to June 30th and later prolonged to July 6th, but we kept on receiving registrations until the very week before the conference started. This was the case only for Finns, people who have to order flight tickets etc, usually know in advance about their coming.  Unfortunately this time, on-line registration wasn't possible, though it would have been necessary. The best thing would be to get on-line registration via BA´s webpage. We noticed during the process how important it is ask people to properly fill in the forms. Don't accept registration through phone calls, e-mails etc since it will cause you a lot more work. On a national level we are a bit disappointed since not many newcomers showed up. Probably since the information flood is so overwhelming, we didn't reach a new audience. The conference fee (200 €) was not yet decided in Newsletter 1/2009 - which caused a lot of questions. Even though the fee was quite high it still mainly covered the food expenses. Other costs were covered through grants.

Marketing First and formal invitation to the conference was made in October at Worcester, South Africa (BA conference 2008). Autumn newsletter 2008 included short information. The whole programme was published in Newsletter 1/2009 (March) and a reminder in Newsletter 2/20009 (April). Locally a lot of e-mails were sent through e-mailing lists and other contacts (museums, school headmasters & teachers, cultural organizations, etc). Articles in newspapers and magazines were written. We also arranged a couple of events and specially invited media in order to spread the information. Programme A call for papers was announced in February and we received six (6) abstracts within the deadline in April 2009. Finally eight (8) presenters were accepted. Call for papers speakers did not pay the conference fee but did pay the accommodation. Everyone paid their own travels.

Key note speakers - This was mainly a common decision between the board and the local committee. We also invited some key note speakers that were not able to come to our conference (Birgitta Gustafsson and Sanna Asikainen). Keynote speakers did not pay the conference fee nor the accommodation. The programme in general was quite fixed during early winter 2009, but was at the same time loose and we had to adjust the programme until the very week before the conference. Even though this was a long conference we knew it would be tough to fit everything in: good seminars, time for discussions and reflections, time travels, excursions, shopping, leisure etc . But our main goal was to offer as much substance as possible!

Wednesday 9.9.2009 Good idea to have one additional day before the real conference started, especially since many people had come a long way. It gave us all a soft start. Malax: hands on-archeological project with school children including 5 participants and organizers. Stormy weather!! Useful program (= archeological activities) that could be more used in a BA conference - to read and investigate the landscape is an important part of preparation for a Time travel. Time travel with FKF where 17 participants and organizers took part. Stormy weather!! Quite remarkable that a high school in Vaasa have Time travels in their curriculum! Informal gathering in the evening on Spices restaurant in Vaasa (on own expenses). Ca 35 persons took part. 

Thursday 10.9.2009 Business meeting. Many participants thought that Business meeting is only for the Board! Why not put the Opening of the Conference first, and after that have a Business meeting - then it becomes a natural part of the conference. Every organization should be given the opportunity to present themselves (max 2-3 minutes). Guided tour at Stundars - we really should have had guides to give a brief information about Stundars. Interesting to meet handicrafts people... Opening of the conference - we are pleased with the program. Good music contribution by students from FKF music class. Speeches held by sponsors and the president of Stundars.

Presentations on Thursday: Ebbe Westergren, Jon Hunner, John Parkington, Ari Sundberg Dinner - Table seating during the dinner was a good idea, especially the first evening. Good food! Dinner speech by mayor Rurik Ahlberg, visit by "president" Tarja Halonen (Kaja Grannas + Susanne Lagus), folk music by Karl-Erik Berg. "Allsång" led by Annina Ylikoski. 

Friday 11.9.2009 Presentations: Tom Gullberg, Thomas Nordström, Annina Ylikoski, Tizzie Mangiagalli, Agrita Ozola, Leen Joesoo, Liisa Kärkkäinen, Tore Jungerstam, Nina Clark & Marilyn Smith, Ebru & Salih Iltenmis. It's a good idea to have parallell presentations, since it gives the participants the opportunity to choose themselves. Also ideal when there are several presenters. Trip to Kvarken Archipelago and Kalles Inn- we are very pleased that we could offer sauna for our participants. Buffet Dinner. Music by Nicolina Koskinen & Robban Granholm. Poi show by Sandra Holmkvist. Maybe the return was a bit too late. Surprisingly - very few of the participants had realized that we had to leave the next morning for Kokkola. 

Saturday 12.9.2009 Short visit at Oravais and Furirsbostället - gave a good background to the time travel later the same day. Lunch at Strandcamping - along the scenic route "7 broars". Time travel in the city of Kokkola - to 12.9.1809 and the preparation of the wedding for Anders Roos junior. The time travel was arranged together with the Finland-Swedish Federation for Local Heritage! It worked out well, though it was a risky project with 150 participants with different language abilities and different experiences of previous time travels. The compact area at Museikvarteret created a very intensive atmosphere. Coffee and paper flowers were of course the most popular activities. The dance was a good close-up of the time travel. But was the fighting really necessary? Dinner - Together with the Finland-Swedish Federation for Local Heritage. People were maybe too tired this evening to really have energy to communicate with new people - and of course the language again was an obstacle. Food came quite late... Oa Lönnbäck was a good and fluent stand-up comedian in Swedish and English. 

Sunday 13.9.2009 Guided tour in Neristan Sunday morning. Visit to Tolvmansgården where Museum club members (10 girls aged 10-12) showed their skills. Lovely lunch in Hopsala byagård - elk meat soup and kalvdans. In the afternoon time to return back to airport in Vaasa.  

General comments People attending the conference have different backgrounds and ambitions: newcomers, those who have made some time travels and are comfortable with the method and those who want to expand the concept of historical environment education. Many participants were lacking the analytical, theoretical perspective. Some participants would have liked more hands-on instructions and actually more time travels. What are ultimate goal for our conferences? Is it to get together with other people interested in time travels or is it to develop new methods for the HEE. Why not use and analyze more the other seven steps? Or what about the weaknesses of the time travel methods... Also most of us missed time for discussions in small groups and spare-time! Remember to book photographers, arrange with gifts for speakers, someone who take notes and evaluation form! Be prepared for surprises! Participants need help with phone calls, access to internet and computers! Also be aware that flights for arrival and departure can be delayed. We also spent a lot of time driving to and from air port and train station - due to the location of Conference (Stundars museum). Important to have technical equipment + somebody who is in charge of it (loudspeaker, laptops, power points etc). Finally! It was a lot of fun! We learnt a lot during this conference, met a lot o lovely people - and enjoyed every minute of it!   

Evaluation forms, 20 answers - 24.9.2009 

1. Why did you attend this conference? wanted to: know more about TT method / to share experiences with colleagues from other countries / learn about the organizing of the conference / get new useful ideas and spread own / be inspired and get up to date / to spend time in Swedish Finland / learn about alternative and new and developing ideas about history education

2. On a scale of 1-5 please evaluate the following parts: a) conference presentations 4,05 p b) Archeological Project at Malax 4,66 p c) Time travel with FKF 4,50 p d) Business meeting 4,00 p e) Tour of Kvarken Archipelago 4,69 p f) Time travel in Kokkola 4,41 p g) Coffee breaks, lunches and dinners 4,94 p

3. Which presentations did you find the most useful? Numbers indicate the amount of answers! Almost all the presentations seemed to have been useful for the participants. all presentations were interesting / Interesting that one can do TT:s to a recent past and about difficult things / group reflections / conclusions on Friday / information about BA / to hear about other countries TT:s and methods / presentations without political additions and enriched with videos and photos from local cultural milieu

4. Which presentations did you find the least useful?To many participants out of the theme, not useful to hear presentations like "we had a lot of joy" Some presentations where a bit out of focus, the speakers should consider the interests of the listeners. Missed a more theoretical approach and a more reflective discussion. Maybe some were too long emotional memories...

5. What suggestions do you have for the next BA conference? The answers here are both suggestions for the next conference, but can also be seen as an evaluation of the conference in Finland:  About the Historical Environment education: more evaluation of TT and critical thinking a final definition of Time travel method The weaknesses of TT method, how to avoid them About the conference programme: more spare time include more workshops/working groups on relevant themes. This helps people to get to know each other and gives the possibility for everybody to participate. Also very valuable to share experience with others. more time for discussion, 6 persons!! Especially matching "experienced" BA folks with new attendees (a great deal of this kind of planning and networking did end up taking place, just more informally) the late nights and early mornings were a bit hard but I would not like to change anything of the program the TT should be in the beginning of the conference to get common experiences the TT in Kokkola should have been better planned for those who did not attend the BA conference include children in the TT (Kokkola...) too few theoretical presentations the organizers (Stundars) should have a presentation About the presentations interesting with videos and pictures. Could we make films during the year and show on the next conference? difficult to listen to presentations that were only read.

Suggestion: encourage participants to do power points with pictures and a minimum of words to aid people for whom English is not their first language. About the Bridging Ages more museum people from all over the world sustainable projects for TT Tips for the next conferencetake example of the Ostrobothnian team! [have] few, but good presentations a bit more analytic idétorg där deltagarna kunde presentera sin verksamhet move business meeting to the end of the conference when everyone have new ideas? workshops on how to do practical things during the TT more actual TT:s, even in smaller scale. For example a simple guided tour, using TT methods Additional comments:the music program was very good the organizational aspects of the conference were perfect the time we were able to spend with our colleagues from all over the world was so welcome revitalizing and energizing