About this Charter
This Digital Culture Charter is for all cultural organisations in the UK using, or planning to use, digital content, services, experiences, data, systems or technologies as part of their work.
The Charter is designed so organisations’ leaders – directors, trustees or senior managers – can make and communicate a commitment to approaching digital activities in ways that are led by core values, centred on people’s needs and responsive to change.
The Digital Culture Charter
As a cultural organisation, wherever digital content, services and experiences, data, systems or technologies are part of our work, we will:
- Be purposeful so we better serve our mission
Ensure our activities align with and promote our mission and values. Be ambitious and aim to continually improve.
- Be inclusive so we widen participation
Make sure what we do is welcoming and accessible for our intended users, whether audiences, visitors, participants, staff, volunteers or other communities. This includes considering those who are less digitally confident, may have limited access to technology, different language requirements, disabilities, other protected characteristics or have different cultural or socio-economic backgrounds. Where appropriate, provide non-digital alternatives or additional support to access digital content, experiences or services.
- Be ethical so we protect everyone’s interests
In addition to our legal obligations, be ethical and transparent in how we work. This includes how we gather, interpret, use and safeguard data about people or organisations and how we use might use technology in ways that support environmental sustainability.
- Understand people so we can better meet their needs
Place audiences, visitors, participants, staff, volunteers, or other groups at the heart of our research, planning and activity. Ask them or use other available evidence to understand their needs and to plan how we best meet those needs and reduce any barriers to engagement. Where appropriate, co-create and test new approaches with them, invite feedback and continue to adapt, based on what we learn.
- Collaborate and communicate so we widen our reach and impact
Find appropriate tools and communication channels to share information, have conversations, respond to feedback, be creative, collaborative and work more effectively with others. This might be within our organisation or externally. Where appropriate, take opportunities to form new partnerships and to openly share insights, best practice, data, code and technology.
- Grow skills and confidence so we empower people
Enable people in our organisation and beyond - whether trustees, directors, managers, staff, volunteers or other communities - to gain appropriate digital skills and the confidence and opportunities to apply and share them. Support both technical and ‘soft’ skills, such as leadership, persuasion or dealing with change. Realise that skills must evolve as technology, culture and the world around us change. Recognise that skills can grow by experimenting and sharing with our peers and audiences, as well as from formal training.
Be responsive to our context
Focus so we are effective
Be clear about why we are using technology, data or digital content. Set objectives that support our organisation’s strategy. Agree ways of measuring and sharing our success and any lessons learned. Think about whether using technology less - or not at all - might be the best approach. Be realistic about what we can achieve with the resources we have. Consider doing fewer things and doing them better.
- Adapt and evolve so we are resilient
Be flexible in our planning. Observe and, where appropriate, adapt to evolving technology, the way people use it and other changes in the world. Where possible, use technology in ways that minimise environmental impact. Respond promptly to developments in laws, regulations, standards and best practice. Take opportunities to be creative, to experiment and to innovate. Consider what might go wrong, so we can manage risks. But also give ourselves space to fail and to learn from what did not work as well as from what did. Share and build on these lessons, to improve both our own approach and that of the wider cultural sector.