The Hague Summit for
Accountability & Internet Democracy:
Shaping an Internet of Values



The first The Hague Summit for Accountability & Internet Democracy
May 31st 2018


Technology changes the world at a fast pace. On August 6th 1991 the internet became publicly available through the World Wide Web. A new technology which would fundamentally change the world as we then knew it. Today we see over 3.8 billion users or just over 50% of the world’s population; a number which is growing every day.

Societies and individuals can benefit in all manner of ways through access to knowledge, people and organizations on a local and global level. More than that, digital has become a must-have, for people, society and the economy. Indeed, digital technology fosters innovation. Online platforms, e commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, data analytics, robotics and the internet of things (IoT) are further expediting this process by hyper-connecting individuals, organizations, communities, societies and data, with tens of billions of objects and entities.

Unfortunately, the Internet is not immune to evil. Breaches of norms and values are also occurring in the online and cyber worlds, ranging from fraud, identity theft, bullying and other forms of personal harassment or exploitation through to malign social engineering, phishing and hacking attacks which can threaten key networks and even entire nations. Fairness, transparency and accountability dictate that any victim, – whether individual, organization, society, nation or even democracy itself – which suffers from these issues should be able to address those responsible and to secure meaningful, effective redress. However, we are in a position today, in this Digital Age, where ongoing technological developments have outstripped our policy-making capacity, standards-setting and legal frameworks.

Against this background, the Summit organizers are inviting leading players in the global multi-stakeholder community to participate in the first The Hague Summit for Accountability & Internet Democracy. The Summit will be held in the historic Peace Palace, a venue which symbolizes the international city of peace and justice. The Hague offers an ideal and unique global forum for ongoing dialogue among participants in the digital environment: victims, society, industry, academia, lawyers and policy-makers. The Summit will be focused on safeguarding the role of the internet as a tool of personal and social engagement. We are targeting concrete steps to increase access to knowledge, transparency, global common understanding, evidence-based trust and accountability, and thus to promote maximum sustainable net benefit for people and societies worldwide.

The Summit will be a day and a half conference. The speakers will represent a global multi-stakeholder community from national and local governments, international policy makers and institutes, NGOs, the ICT industry and platforms, as well as other relevant organizations. Delegates will attend based on an invitation-only policy. We are expecting about 250 delegates, whose conclusions and recommendations can contribute to shaping global thinking and policy about accountability and democracy on the Internet. It is our intention that The Hague Summit for Accountability & Internet Democracy should become an annual event, encouraging the cross-sectoral, cross cultural dialogue which is indispensable for the shaping of a truly ethical, inclusive and empowering global Internet.

Photo's, video's & presentations

The Hague Summit Recap



There are numerous ongoing discussions on the rapid evolution of information technology around the globe and its impact on individuals, organizations and society as a whole. These discussions range from the global international level of the United Nations to collaboration among cities which often first experience innovations and their impacts. And when these impacts include negative consequences and victims, the question of accountability arises.

The Summit organizers do not own the discussion on accountability, but recognize a need for global multi-stakeholder exchanges on complex questions like Internet accountability and who is accountable? Furthermore, we realize that the answers to these same questions may differ per stakeholder. The Summit aims to provide a platform to bring the widest range of these discussions and perspectives together.

The framework for the discussions will be Internet Universality, which identifies four normative principles agreed upon by UNESCO Member States. These are the principles of a Human Rights-based, Open, Accessible Internet governed by Multi-stakeholder participation, summarized in the acronym R.O.A.M. A broader aim is to support the achievement of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and particularly Goal 16 to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”



The Summit on May 31st had the following agenda:

The Summit opened with a number of keynote presentations introducing the need for this global discussion:

    • Welcome to the Netherlands and opening by Mrs Kajsa Ollogren, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.
    • Welcome to The Hague by Mrs Pauline Krikke, Mayor of the City of The Hague.
    • Mr Houlin Zhao, Secretary General ITU
    • Dr. Moez Chakchouk, Assistant Director-General, Communication and Information Sector UNESCO
    • Mr. Boris Koprivnikar, Deputy Prime Minister Slovenia, Member broadband Commission
    • Video message by the ‘father of the internet’ Mr Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist, Google

Following was a roundtable discussion which went into the The State of Play: Accountability and Internet Democracy. The roundtable panelists represented the key global stakeholder communities like legal, technology, media, civil society and government.  Each was asked to share their views from their own perspective on topics like e.g. the right to be forgotten, fake news, defamation, dark patterns, internet echo chambers and cyber bullying.

The afternoon saw two panel discussions.

In the first panel, renowned global experts and academics presented their perspective on where information technology is moving toward. So, this panel went into Building an Internet of Values: The Role of Accountability and Internet Democracy. Topics included Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, the role of algorithms and Robotics.

In the second panel, renowned global experts and academics discussed the Policy Challenges and Implications for an Accountable and Democratic Internet. Topics included how to develop international governance, how can policy- and legal development keep up technology development and potential tools to ensure Accountability in the future.

The Summit workshop on June 1st had the following agenda:

The outcome of the discussions on day 1 will be used as input for a morning workshop where all participants can shall their feedback in a first consultation of the concept document: “The Hague Global Principles for Accountability in the Digital Age”.

The Hague Principles will be shaped to provide a discussion framework for the protection of personal and societal integrity on the global internet, in particular by developing accountability principles, best practices and instruments for society and relevant public and private stakeholders. The workshop will also explore the possible instruments which can be developed. These principles can be used as a framework for future reference for discussions, research and tool development.

A Third panel discussion explored the role the media can play in Accountability in the Digital Age.

World Cafe

At the end of the round table and panel sessions we planned a ‘World Café’ . The World Café methodology is a simple, effective, and flexible format for hosting large group dialogue and to allow as much delegates to contribute to the discussion.


The Summit offered unique networking opportunities. The organization aimed to support networking facilitator service, to assist delegates in setting up networking meetings and booking meeting rooms.

The Summit strived to be a paperless meeting and will rely on web transmission of documents.


Participation of the Summit is based on an ‘invitation-only’ policy. Organizations wishing to participate may be invited upon request via Registrations will be considered by the organizers but it should be noted that the number of places is limited.

Please note that delegates shall cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. There is no summit fee. Practical information on accommodation, including logistical details, will be sent via email upon registration. Delegates are responsible themselves for any visa requirements.

As the organization needs to verify all delegates, ‘walk-in’ attendance on the day of the Summit will not be possible.



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The Hague International City of Peace and Justice

The Hague is the international city of peace and justice. Here, every day, tens of thousands of people jointly pursue a more peaceful, just and secure world. They work in around 200 organizations, hundreds of companies and various knowledge centers. And also in the Peace Palace, the symbol of international justice for more than 100 years. The Hague is the place where conflicts are prevented and peacefully solved. It is, furthermore, the host city for international conferences and a meeting place for dialogue and debate. For everyone; both now and in the future.

More info

Peace Palace

The construction of the Peace Palace was made possible by sponsor Andrew Carnegie. On August 28th 1913 the key of the Peace Palace was presented. It is the home of the ‘Permanent Court of Arbitration’ and the ‘International Court of Justice’. Please refer to the links to find out more about its rich history.


Summit Information


Peace Palace
Carnegieplein 2
2517 KJ The Hague
T +31 70 302 42 42


Please bring your booking confirmation and valid identity document to the event. Please be sure to arrive at the venue by 7.30-8 am as all attendees must be registered and through security (including bag checks) by 8:30 am. Please ensure you allow sufficient time in your journey to allow for this


Information about special deals for the summit delegate will be sent via email.


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• Drive to The Hague following the A12 highway:
• At the end of the A12, turn left at the traffic lights onto ‘Zuid Hollandlaan’;
• Turn right at the next traffic lights onto ‘Koningskade’;
• Turn left on the third junction onto ‘Laan Copes van Cattenburgh’;
• Turn left after the police station onto ‘Burgemeester van Karnebeeklaan’;
• The Peace Palace is located at the end of this road.

  • Bus
    • Line 24 (to ‘Kijkduin’) from the bus platform above the station (direct service, all day long)
    • Get off at stop ‘Vredespaleis’

  • Tram
    • Line 1, direction Scheveningen Noorderstrand (direct service, all day long).
    • Get off at stop Vredespaleis


The Hague Conference for Accountability in the Digital Age 2019+

Following the 2018 Summit, the I4ADA aims to organize the second ‘The Hague Summit for Accountability in the Digital Age – The Internet of Values’ in Q4 of 2019. This Summit is expected to start as a two day event open to all interested parties and individuals. Both speaker and attendees will represent the international multi stakeholder community. Interested to become a partner? Please contact us at:

Interested to become a partner for the next summit?

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