Slovenian Association

ID20 Institute

Preserving and promoting the local cultural heritage of Idrija.

Who are we?

The ID20 Institute for Heritage Innovations [ID20] is a non-government and non-profit organisation with a regional, outward-looking base in Western Slovenia. ID20 uses innovative approaches that bring elements of (social) entrepreneurship, marketing, and architecture into the field of cultural heritage. The ID20 Institute was formed in 2019 as a subsidiary of the Idrija 2020 Association, which was established in 2012 by a group of young enthusiasts and entrepreneurs.


Based in Idrija, home to the world’s second-largest former mercury mine and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ID20’s mission is to develop and safeguard Europe’s cultural heritage particularly that in the rural and peripheral areas.


ID20 was established with a vision to transform heritage from a thing of the past to a matter of the future. ID20 follows and builds on the successful work of the members of the Idrija 2020 association who are also founders of the ID20 Institute, with the goal to develop the skills and competencies of its members and the wider community to combat the development challenges ahead.


ID20 Institute focuses on a modern and holistic approach to the development of cultural heritage which includes modern methods that combine: 1) Community building 2) Social innovation 3) Entrepreneurial approach 4) Transnational cooperation and focus on the European approach to the cultural heritage 5) Involvement and skills development of the young people, especially in entrepreneurship and cultural heritage 6) Inclusion of the vulnerable groups as a focus of sustainable and smart tourism development.


ID20 staff bring specialist knowledge, experience, and skills in coordinating, designing, and implementing strategic development projects at local, regional, and national levels. The team of ID20 Institute is nationally recognised for its interdisciplinary approach to engaging youth and heritage promotors (in tourism, cultural and creative industries …). So far, team members have implemented more than 20 successful projects, many of them award-winning.

ID20’s team won the European Heritage Days Stories 2019 award for HeritageHack, a hackathon-based competition, that connects youth and heritage institutions and strengthens ties within the creative and cultural industries. In order to tackle the outmigration of youth from small and semi-peripheral towns, they developed the HeritageLab, whose goal is to use and apply concepts of innovation to the institutionalized heritage sector, creating new businesses and services in these regions. The program received the European Social Innovation Competition prize in 2018.  ID20 also participated in international programmes involving youth and volunteer work in the renovation of historic miners’ houses, being recognised by Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps as the best project in the field of youth participation 2020-2022.