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GTGC conference on the pressing social issues of our time

Major developments worldwide are creating new challenges for society. The pandemic has hit us hard, for example, and we are already feeling the effects of global warming. How can society and politics deal with the urgent problems of our time? That is the theme of the Global Transformations and Governance Challenges (GTGC) conference in The Hague.

The GTGC programme at Leiden University stimulates research and discussion in various fields relating to major global changes. It explores how we can address such global transformations in democratic, effective, fair, peaceful and sustainable ways. To focus on all these topics, GTGC is holding its first international conference in The Hague from 8 to 10 June 2022.

Wide range of topics

The GTGC conference will be in English and will have a broad programme of round table discussions and sessions with researchers. It will cover numerous topics, such as funding climate change programmes, regulating algorithms in a global digital society and grassroots solidarity during the global covid pandemic.

Government response to pandemic could have been better

Assistant Professor in Global Transformations and Governance Challenges and co-organiser Valentina Carraro explains why the conference is so important.

‘This is our first conference, so we are all very excited,’ she says. ‘We were going to hold the conference sooner, but it was postponed because of covid. That in itself is a good example of the relevance of the GTGC conference. We showcase scholars who are doing research on the cutting edge of global transformation and government policies. The government response to the covid pandemic could have been better, for example. How can we tackle these kinds of challenges in the future? How do we find better solutions in creative, fair and democratic ways?'

The three-day event will include various round table discussions, thematic sessions with academics and receptions will be held. The first day ends in The Hague’s city hall, with the opening of an exhibition about food waste – and the stories of researchers and students who are trying to tackle this problem. There will also be a book launch with relevant books recently published by Leiden researchers. ‘They will give a short presentation about their work,’ says Carraro. ‘Then there is a chance for members of the audience to walk around, look at the books and ask the researchers questions.’

Twentieth anniversary of the International Criminal Court

The programme will open with a special round table discussion, including a speech by Piotr Hofmanski, President of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Carraro is visibly proud: ‘On 1 July 2022, the ICC will celebrate its 20th anniversary,’ she says. For two decades the Court has pursued individuals for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and aggression. ‘The session offers a moment to reflect on this project. What is the balance sheet of achievements and limitations? And how do Hofmanski and the panellists look at the main challenges for the future? Definitely one of the events I’m most excited about. I will be looking forward to being part of the audience.’

The discussion will touch on various themes: from ICC transparency to tackling the climate crisis. The three other round table discussions will be ‘Bending the Curve: Addressing Governance Challenges for Reversing Biodiversity Loss’, ‘Global The Hague and Leiden’ and ‘Can the Global Internet Survive a Fragmenting World?’

For academics and students from a range of faculties

The conference will showcase the research of academics from Leiden, the Netherlands and abroad who are working on thematically relevant projects. How we can govern major global transformations in a sustainable and democratic way? As these challenges are so broad in terms of themes, the round table discussions and presentations will focus on smaller topics. There will be plenty of time for discussion or audience questions. Everyone is welcome!

Register here for the GTGC conference in The Hague, on 8-10 June. The panel discussions will be streamed live on the same website.

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