The Hague Hacks aims to connect the worlds of technology, justice and peace, whilst creating opportunities and building partnerships. By organizing trans-disciplinary collaborations and co-creations, we attempt to tackle humanitarian challenges from many sides, and formulate creative, well thought out and workable solutions. This conference is organized by The Hague Peace Projects www.thehaguepeace.org and the municipality of The Hague together with ImpactCity.
There is a strong relationship between technological development and the extent to which governments, elites and private parties are able to exercise power over their subordinates and opponents. Technology enables them to control, suppress or even destroy. The revelations of Edward Snowden have made the world aware of how much our own Western governments are out to control their own citizens. In The Netherlands, the Dutch Parliament also passed legislation that allows security services to use the most advanced technology to store, research and listen in to people’s private data and communications.
Many new technologies reduce freedoms and assist in an increase of power and influence among governments and some private companies. However history also shows that technology has the potential for strengthening societies and giving people access to personal development, information and (political, economic, sexual, etc.) freedoms. Just a few decades after the introduction of computers, the internet and mobile telephone, most of us cannot live without these technologies anymore. Though Facebook is often accused of secretly collecting and trading private data, it also forms a means of communication and social action that was previously unavailable. People can mobilize faster and disseminate information quicker than ever before. The same techniques that are designed for oppression can be empowering in the hands of people who want to gain their freedom, and as mobile telecom penetrates the farthest corners of the world, there are also new opportunities for anyone working in the field of peace and justice.
The conference takes place in The Hague, which is a central hub for both peace and technology organisations, and an ideal environment to stimulate innovation for better products and solutions. The Hague Hacks will facilitate a healthy, flourishing ecosystem to impact startups and organisations from multiple backgrounds, and encourage creative and innovative solutions in an entrepreneurial atmosphere.