6th December 2023
Lisbon: Iscte


The actions of cultural organisations generate social impacts that can respond to needs, transform and benefit society. Social impacts broaden cultural participation, promote civic connections, strengthen knowledge, reinforce links with the education system and contribute to change. However, there is still insufficient (internal and external) evaluation of social impact in the management systems of cultural organisations, which lack tools to support the design of medium and long-term strategies based on data and indicators.
On 6 December 2023, the international conference Social Impact: People at the Heart of Cultural Organisations will be held at Iscte’s Grand Auditorium in Lisbon.
The conference is organised by the National Plan for the Arts and the Portuguese Observatory for Cultural Activities (CIES-Iscte), in partnership with the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage, ICOM Portugal, the Museum of Lisbon, the Directorate-General for School Establishments and the A23 School Association Training Centre.


The conference aims to present and critically discuss the Commitment to the Social Impact of Cultural Organisations (CISOC), a public policy measure in the Strategic Plan of the National Plan for the Arts. It is a new tool to support the planning and self-evaluation of cultural organisations that helps to identify their needs and potential, as well as to analyse and monitor the results achieved.

This is a moment to publicly share the principles, concepts, themes and methodologies on which the CISOC is structured, and the options taken, in confrontation with ideas and practices in the field of the social impacts of culture, in order to find joint paths for their implementation.
The conference has a hybrid format, face-to-face and digital with remote transmission.
The conference language is Portuguese, with two presentations in English and one in Spanish.
Its main target audiences are policymakers; managers and staff in the cultural sector, heritage and arts institutions, namely museums, monuments, libraries, archives, theatres, art centres and cultural centres; researchers; members of third sector organisations; teachers and students.
Participation is free.