The Hague & Partners hosted a HagueTalks event at the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin last week. The event, which was supported by The Hague Business Agency and The Hague Convention Bureau, was attended by around 50 participants from the global meetings and events industry, NGOs, public and private sector.
HagueTalks is a meeting place for creative minds and game-changers in the field of peace and justice. It provides a breeding place for new ideas and perspectives on important and current issues. It is a forum for discussion and hopes to be a starting point for action. The involvement of individuals from many different fields provides a variety of angles and helps to spark innovative thinking.
The question up for discussion was: “How can our global footprints benefit the world?”
As the Netherlands is among the leaders in climate change initiatives and The Hague recently scored an ‘A’ grade for its climate policies and ambition to become climate neutral, this proved to be an optimal topic for the discussion.
The moderator was Jeannette Gusko, a campaign manager, activist and writer with more than 15 years of experience in politics, digital transformation and business strategy. Guests in attendance included leaders from the social enterprise startup space, women’s rights and refugee NGOs, editors of specialist publications and conference organisers.
The four speakers were:
- Jeanne de Kroon – founder of Zazi Vintage Fashion. Works with the United Nations Ethical Fashion Initiative in Afghanistan and independent NGOs worldwide to try and connect consumers to craftmanship and co-creation.
- Farah Obaidullah – founder of NGO Women4Oceans. Long-time advocate for healthy oceans. Spent the past 15 years working around the world to address the most pressing issues facing the oceans.
- Bonnie Chiu – social entrepreneur, impact investment consultant, and founder of NGO Lensational. Equips marginalised women with photography training and other digital skills.
- Jan Stassen – cultural translator and co-founder of the Museum of Values, which holds immersive exhibitions on a plethora of subjects such as respect, freedom, and friendship.
The reaction of the audience was unanimously enthusiastic:
Kerstin Wünsch, founder of the She Means Business Conference and editor in chief of dfv Mediengruppe, said: “I feel very inspired. I feel very grateful for this great initiative because I am the founder of a conference called She Means Business, which is about diversity, gender equality and female empowerment. I listened to Bonnie and Farah and their fight for the rights of women, and this was empowering for me to talk to these women and join forces. Thank you very much for this opportunity.”
Tarek Alsaleh, the founder of FrontlineAid and Capoeira4Refugees, commented: “I really enjoyed it. I love HagueTalks because it has a really cozy atmosphere. It is made with love and you can really see that. Also, the speakers you select, as the audience you can connect really well, you can ask questions, you can hang out and speak with them afterwards.”
Bas Schot, head of The Hague Convention Bureau, concluded by adding: “It is fair to say that the event was a great success and we’re already considering options for next year’s HagueTalks in Berlin.”