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More details: the GTGC Conference 2022

How can we deal with today’s global challenges in sustainable, peaceful, fair, democratic, and effective ways? How can global events such as geopolitical shifts, ecological changes, technological innovations, and pandemics be better governed? Addressing these complex questions requires innovative, multidisciplinary approaches and an open conversation between various stakeholders. To promote such conversations, the Global Transformations and Governance Challenges (GTGC) program at Leiden University organized its first international conference on 8-10 June 2022 at Campus The Hague.

The conference brought together academics and practitioners who are passionate about solving complex global challenges from a multitude of disciplinary and professional perspectives. The event comprised four high-level policy roundtables, ten academic panels, an exhibition and reception at The Hague City Hall, and a book launch reception. The conference attracted 185 onsite attendees and further online participants.

The exhibition, called “Food Waste Transformers”, presented the work of a research project supported by a GTGC seed grant. The installation showed how discarded food in Leiden and The Hague is transformed into edible food for local communities. Visitors could view the exhibition, listen to audio stories, and taste a sample of the transformed food: namely, delicious beers made from the 800.000 loaves of bread that are otherwise thrown away in the Netherlands every day.

The 'Bakfiets', one of the exhibition objects

During the four policy roundtables, twenty world leading experts provided key insights on the work of the International Criminal Court, the global connections of the City of The Hague, strategies to reverse biodiversity loss, and governing the global internet in a fragmented world. Speakers heralded from academia, civil society, intergovernmental organizations, local and national government, museums, and the private sector. They joined the conference from all corners of the world: Argentina, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, and the USA.

Janet Anderson speaking during the roundtable on The International Criminal Court at Twenty

Thirty-seven papers, presented in ten academic panel sessions, generated intense discussions on issues as wide-ranging as climate change, digitalization, migration, inequalities, and conflict – to name a few. These topics were explored from a variety of disciplinary angles, including anthropology, economics, environmental science, history, law, philosophy, politics, science and technology studies, and sociology. The scholarly engagement was wide, with colleagues joining the panels not only from six faculties of Leiden University, but also other Dutch universities as well as universities in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Norway, and the UK.

A panel session on "Global Governance in Practice" by researchers from The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS) and Erasmus University Rotterdam

Not only papers, but also books addressing complex global governance challenges were showcased. During a book launch reception, Leiden University scholars presented seven newly published manuscripts with major international presses and had the chance to informally engage with the audience.

Gisela Hirschmann and Santino Regilme presenting their work during the book launch

The conference also included outreach to the city of The Hague. The Deputy Mayor, Saskia Bruines, gave a word of welcome at the opening reception. The Director of the International Bureau spoke in the roundtable ‘Global Den Haag’, which also included speakers from the Hague Humanity Hub and the Museon-Omniversum. Another roundtable addressed the Hague-based International Criminal Court, including talks by the President of the Appeals Division, Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, and former ICC Deputy Prosecutor James Stewart.

Word of welcome from Erwin Muller, Dean of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs

The GTGC programme is delighted with the wide engagement and attention that the conference has attracted. We warmly thank all speakers, presenters, chairs, moderators, GTGC steering group, administrative staff, and audiences for their contributions!

Would you like to see the full conference programme? Have a look here.

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