GTGC conference on pressing social issues of our time

Major developments worldwide create 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 (better) 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 Global Transformations and Governance Challenges (GTGC) programme at Leiden University stimulates research and discussion on various intersections of 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 research matters, Global Transformations and Governance Challenges (GTGC) is organising its first international conference in The Hague from 8-10 June 2022.

Programme covers a diversity of topics

The GTGC conference is held in English and includes a broad, substantive programme of round table discussions and sessions with scholars. Numerous topics are covered, 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 talks about the importance of the conference.

‘This is our first conference, so we are all very excited,’ Carraro explains. ‘We were planning to organise this conference earlier, but it was postponed because of covid. That’s a good example of the relevance of the GTGC conference in itself. We showcase scholars who are doing research on the cutting edge of global transformation and government policies. The way our political leaders responded to the covid pandemic, for example, could have been better coordinated. How can we better address these kinds of challenges in the future? How do we find better solutions in creative, fair and democratic ways?’

During the three days of the event, several 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 scientists. ‘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 scholars questions.’

Twentieth anniversary of the International Criminal Court

The programme opens with a special round table discussion, including a speech by Piotr Hofmanski, President of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Co-organiser Carraro is visibly proud of this fact. ‘On 1 July 2022, the ICC will celebrate its twentieth 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 transparency from the ICC to playing a role in tackling the climate crisis. The three other roundtable discussions at the GTGC conference are ‘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 Leiden, national and international researchers working on thematically relevant projects. How we can govern major global transformations (fairly, sustainably, democratically)? Because these challenges are so broad in terms of themes, the roundtable discussions and presentations zoom in on smaller topics. There is always room for discussion or questions from the audience. 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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