Kick-off of the Hackathon for Good by Jan van Zanen, 25 November 2022


Dear All,

Participants at this edition five of the Hackathon for Good,


Welcome everyone taking part in this, hybrid tech event for Good – here and elsewhere in the world. For more than a century The Hague has been known as the international city of peace and justice and now, increasingly, security too. An identity firmly anchored in the many international institutes, organisations and companies based in the city. An identity that we, the city council, feel closely connected with.

Through our commitment to innovation in international law and the dissemination of justice, we aim to enhance that connection. One of the ways we do that is through our focus on the Sustainable Development Goals. Examples of which include making the law accessible to all, disseminating knowledge, distributing wealth and combatting climate change.

In all of these areas digital innovation and artificial intelligence have a special role to play. Digitalisation of the law improves transparency and service delivery, data techniques can be used to prevent disasters and support food security. But there are also downsides to all of this. Such as vulnerability, privacy and civil rights issues, as well as algorithms that have debasing effects.

The Hague has an extensive ecosystem of companies and organisations developing and facilitating technological innovation. Supported by a knowledge infrastructure which also needs that technology. This Hackathon for Good brings all of that together.

The Hague Tech and World Startup have together handled the organisation of this event, involving all The Hague partners. These include: Yes! Delft with its AI business programme, the Humanity Hub with its for Good Community, the idealistic companies of Impact City and The Hague Security Delta for physical and digital security. Participants will be addressing questions put forward by government bodies, NGOs and the institutions working in the areas of peace and justice.

The software programmers at this event will be looking at real questions. The aim is to arrive at practical solutions or in any event, to make a start. Naturally, this event also provides a great opportunity to meet one another in person or digitally. To exchange knowledge and ideas. To be inspired to find ways of applying digital technologies that will make the world just that little bit more just.

I think it’s now time to start the countdown to kick-off this Hackathon weekend.