Jaime's rant April: Stakeholders...

The Statue of Liberty NYC
SFO, eight thirty am. Heading back home after two weeks in the USA. The excuse for this trip, the meeting of the SAA; a business gathering over four thousand archaeologists. 
This has been a very interesting anthropological experience. Segregation, gentrification, exclusion and a bit of heritage, just a bit. In the way I could see, far away, a World Heritage Site; the Statue of Liberty. I saw it from Battery Park because the price and the large queue made me wonder how valuable was my little time in the great apple.
What are the values of the Statue? While I was deciding if queuing or not, I had the opportunity to talk with a couple of Spaniards and another one of Dutch, both in their wedding trip. When asking why were they visiting the Statue, both answered the same: it is one of the things you must visit when you come to NYC. Curiously, unlike in other sites, the shield of Unesco-WH was not visible, even in the National Parks Service web. My hosts in Brooklyn didn't know it was a WHS, even what was a WHS.
With a direct revenue of sixty million dollars per year just in tickets, besides the economic impact in the city, it might be one of the main heritage assets of the city, even the NPS.
Who are the stakeholders in the management? Institutions and corporations. Would anything change if citizens decided how to intervene? It would depend, but not necessarily for good.
Sometimes we have very clear principles about management and perceptions that lead us to utopian where engaging different (social) stakeholders would make things better. However it is a very complex scenario where different factors apply. Anyway, experiences can help us design positive management strategies to accommodate society in the decision making process... but we need a sensitive and educated society in order to align both our goals and interests with theirs. Do we have it?


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