Pieter Vermaas visits fPET with 3TU.Ethics Travel subsidy

The 3TU.Ethics Centre provides is members with the opportunity to apply for travel subsidies in order to attend relevant academic events. Dr. Pieter Vermaas (TUD) used this subsidy to attend the forum on Philosophy, Engineering and Technology.

The fPET (forum on Philosophy, Engineering and Technology) is becoming a stable event at which engineers and philosophers interested in the interaction between the fields meet every two years. This year the event took place in Nürnberg, Germany.
Pieter enriched the event with a presentation about the benchmarking of design methods and tools, to improve claims about what design can do.

More information about the fPET.

Robotics workshop in Paris

On Friday Oct 30, Aimee van Wynsberghe, Filippo Santoni De Sio, and Maartje de Graaf (from our Robotics Task Force) organized a 3TU sponsored workshop entitled “Bridging the gap between HRI and robot ethics research” in conjunction with the International Conference on Social Robotics in Paris, France. The format of the workshop was to bring together a panel of leading robot ethics scholars with robotics researchers struggling with ethical issues in their own work. The event was quite successful in encouraging meaningful and collaborative thinking between the disciplines. The organizers are currently pursuing to compile and edit a special issue based on selected workshop contributions. For more info on the workshop click here.

For pictures of workshop click these two links: Pic 1 & Pic 2

Symposium: ethics & how to involve the public in long-term radioactive waste management

The Netherlands faces a challenge: a permanent solution for the disposal of radioactive waste has to be found. Even though the national government has time, it should take action right now. During this symposium, a fruitful discussion arose among a variety of stakeholders and interested people, about the ethics and challenges of involving the general public in decision-making about long-term radioactive waste management.

Decision-making about long-term radioactive waste management is characterized by technical uncertainties, a very long time horizon, ideas of the public, political preferences, international influences and ethical concerns. What are the ethical issues of long-term radioactive waste management and what is the role of the public in the associated decision-making process? Both the Rathenau Instituut and the TU Delft recently published about this topic and jointly organized a symposium that took place on Wednesday October 28 at the Koninklijke Schouwburg in The Hague.


Photo by Rathenau Instituut








Kick-off of the symposium

Melanie Peters, director of the Rathenau Instituut, kicked off the day by welcoming the variety of people attending the symposium. Her message was clear: we need to have a dialogue about long-term radioactive waste management in order to form a complete picture of the issue, which in turn should form the foundation of future policy. Following Melanie Peters, every EU member state is obliged to formulate a national program for the long-term radioactive waste management For the Netherlands, the Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ANVS coordinates this national programme). Marco Brugmans, director of the ANVS, emphasized that the Netherlands has the time (approximately 100 years) to prepare the route to disposal because at the moment, it has a unique and safe central storage. This also means that the ANVS has the opportunity to do it carefully. To do so, the ANVS will set up an advisory group consisting of all stakeholders to do so. The outcome of the symposium will provide an important starting point for this advisory group a unique opportunity to exchange ideas with regard to long-term radioactive waste management.

The remainder of the day was divided in two parts: the first part of the day was about public participation and the associated Rathenau Instituut publication ‘Enabling Participation’ and the second part of the day was about the ethics of nuclear energy, inspired by two publications of the TU Delft, the book ‘The Ethics of Nuclear Energy. Risk, Justice and Democracy in the post-Fukushima Era’ and the volume ‘The socio-technical challenges of Nuclear Energy Production and Nuclear Waste Management‘ of the Journal of Risk Research.

Rathenau Instituut: public participation


Since public participation is part of the national program the Dutch government is in need of insights on how to involve the public in the debate: at what stage should public participation come in and in which form? The Rathenau Instituut, commissioned by the ANVS, looked into this complex question by organizing focus groups, in-depth interviews and a literature study. Annick de Vries, project leader, explained that trust and willingness are key to the success of a participatory approach. The findings of their report show that both trust in the central government and collective willingness to participate are currently limited; therefore steps must be taken to ensure those conditions. The general public should also not be the only party to participate: the government, stakeholders and the scientific community are also important to consider. The participation itself should be organized by using issue-based participation clusters (this concept is based the idea that the degree of participation, the method of participation and associated participants of decision-making about an issue of radioactive waste management may differ).


Time for a discussion!


For a panel discussion Ansi Gerhardsson (Swedish Radiation Safety Authority), Matthew Cotton (University of Sheffield), Anne Bergmans (University of Antwerp) and Arnoud van Waes (Rathenau Instituut) were invited. They were all assigned a statement about public participation and radioactive waste management. Anne Bergmans was asked if she thought it is effective to jointly design a process of public participation, in order to get shared acceptance. She wondered: acceptance of what exactly? It is not a matter of acceptance, but it is rather about ownership of the problem. Another question was if the existing ministries and authorities are e right ones in organize to organize public participation. According to Ansi Gerhardson we are all actors with different roles, we need to define those roles and not limit ourselves to one body. Matthew Cotton argued that the discussion about (public participation on) radioactive waste management is separate from the decision about the future of nuclear energy. We can talk about toxic waste without talking about nuclear energy but we cannot talk about nuclear energy without discussing toxic waste as well. Finally, Arnoud van Waes concurred with the statement that we have enough time ahead of us for the planning, but he emphasized the urgency of starting the preparations right now. We have to reflect upon the agenda and start learning from how other countries deal with for example the site selection. These statements of course provoked a more interactive form so they were evaluated in Open Space group discussions.


Photo by Rathenau Instituut








TU Delft: The ethics of nuclear energy


According to Behnam Taebi (TU Delft), who kicked-off the second part of the day, public participation to increase acceptance is necessary but not enough. We are now looking into multinational solutions for radioactive waste management. Those advocating multinational solutions argue that they should be accepted by the local community. Social acceptance is necessary but not sufficient when proposing multinational repositories. They need to be ethically acceptable. These and many other ethical aspects associated with nuclear energy production and radioactive waste management are at the heart of  two recent publications of TU Delft, namely an edited book on ‘The Ethics of Nuclear Energy’ (Cambridge University Press) and a special issue of Journal of Risk Research on ‘The socio-technical Challenges of Nuclear Energy Production and Nuclear Waste Management’. Involving the public is also about building sustainable relations with future communities according to Anne Bergmans. Any decision on long-term management – including decision not to act – has implications for communities where waste is currently being produced, treated, and (temporarily) stored. It is about the ownership of the problem. Ibo van de Poel proposed another understanding geological disposal, we should treat nuclear energy production and radioactive waste management as a social experiment, an idea that was contested by Charles McCombie (Executive Director of Arius Association) during the discussion. In debating the moral acceptability of nuclear energy technologies and radioactive waste management, we should take into account their uncertain and partly experimental nature. Finally, Sabine Roeser introduced the notion of emotions in risk communication. Emotional responses in decision making about nuclear waste disposal are not signs of irrationality, rather, they can point to important ethical considerations that should be taken seriously.

Facing the future: nuclear waste is here to stay!


Nuclear energy seems to be expanding, so is the radioactive waste problem. In dealing with radioactive waste management we might have the time, but we should also start taking action right now. Ansi Gerhardsson, head of section of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, also stressed the importance not to delay the decision-making process about radioactive waste, in order to foster societal acceptance for the decisions to be taken.

All the related questions such as the moral acceptability and public participation, but also practical matters such as site selection are rather complex issues. In this symposium we had a fruitful discussion with people from different backgrounds and from different countries. Hans Codée (former Covra director) appreciated the fact that the symposium was not only about technocratic opinions, but also about influences from the social sciences. He hopes this approach will be exemplary for authorities and ministries.

Melanie Peters concluded the day with “radioactive waste is here to stay, so will the discussion about it” and her hope that the ANVS will take up the challenges that were discussed during the day.

With more questions about the ethics of nuclear energy, do not hesitate to contact the TU Delft. With more questions about involving the public in radioactive waste management, do not hesitate to contact the Rathenau Instituut.

Photo by Rathenau Instituut

Photo by Rathenau Instituut








Visiting scholar: Gemma Galdon Clavell from Eticas Research and Consulting

In the beginning of October Gemma Galdon Clavell visited the 3TU.Centre for ethics and Technology. Gemma is the co-founder of Eticas, a consultancy company that takes on a combined legal, social and ethical perspective on pressing issues in technology. In her own words: she is in the business of “privacy by disaster”. In an interview I asked her about her work, her projects and impression of the Netherlands.

Who is Gemma Galdon Clavell?

Dr. Gemma Galdon Clavell is a policy analyst working on surveillance, social, legal and ethical impacts of technology, smart cities, privacy, security policy, resilience and policing. She is a founding partner at Eticas Research & Consulting and a researcher at the Universitat de Barcelona’s Sociology Department. She completed her PhD on surveillance, security and urban policy at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where she also received an MSc in Policy Management, and was later appointed Director of the Security Policy Programme at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). She is a member of the international advisory board of Privacy International and a regular analyst on TV, radio and print media. Her recent academic publications tackle issues related to the proliferation of surveillance in urban settings, urban security policy and community safety, security and mega events, the relationship between privacy and technology and smart cities.

Can you tell us about your consultancy company?

Eticas is a consultancy company based in Barcelona with a focus on the social, legal and ethical impact of data intensive technologies. I started this company with some of my  fellow researchers and PhD’s: we attempted to reproduce what our ideal department would be, but in a private setting – which gives us considerably more flexibility and ownership over what they do. Our main goal as a company is to improve how we understand and research the relationship between technology and society. Eticas works with large companies but also with governments and public departments that want to buy or implement technology and want to develop policy in a responsible way.

Over time, I expect that people will get more and more critical of technologies. Hence the need for a societal assessment will be even greater. As long as we keep learning about technology on the basis of its failure, of rights being infringed upon, values being eroded, people will become more worried. Big companies have had a great ten years where people were not very aware of such issues –  but society is slowly learning that technology can be great, but that it not always is. It therefore also makes sense from a business perspective: companies are realizing that they need to pay attention to social, legal and ethical issues to maintain a good image. A product will not sell or companies will have a reputation crisis when these issues are ignored. It is not only about doing the right thing, but also about being wise.

Can you tell us about some concrete projects you worked on?

Two prestigious projects I particularly enjoyed working on are the technological investments in border-crossing and technology in education. In the project on technological investments in border-crossing, Eticas researched automated border crossing and its effect on fundamental human rights. In our  assessment we looked at how technological process can impact the migration process. This varies from the moment asylum or visa is requested at an embassy and finger prints have to be provided by  migrants the moment they get off the plane, or the biometric information one has to divulge when at times crossing a land border. What do these technological mediations mean for the people that are in the middle of it? How can the process be designed in a way that respects the rights and values of migrants?

A second, also highly prestigious, project that meant a lot to me concerned the research of technology in education. Here, what concerns me is the constant monitoring and surveillance of the learning process of minors through educational technology. It is highly disturbing that the children can have their Iris monitored while learning so that teachers or parents will know when they are actually in front of the screen or when they go to the toilet. The devices have the capability to track everything kids do in their private rooms and this could affect their sense of autonomy, privacy, andindependence – and their relationship with technology itself.

Let’s move to ethics more broadly. What challenges are you facing in the field of consultancy?

It is difficult to determine where the boundaries are. Some technologies can be improved but some cannot and therefore you sometimes you have to say no – and saying no is hard. There could be a future with pirate ethicists where people say yes to everything and turn Eticas’ work into a checkbox exercise. As a consultant working in this field you have to be brave enough to give up on big projects and money.

Do you have tips for being an ethics consultant?

If you want to apply already existing frameworks to technologies you have to be brave. Academics are often not very prepared to be brave, sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and launch a hypothesis and stick to it. Sometimes it’s wrong, sometimes it’s right, but you need that confidence in your own work and your own vision.

In closing, how did you experience your stay in the Netherlands?

I am really glad I came. I am very much impressed with the Centre you are running. Sometimes, in my own work, I feel isolated. Eticas’ approach and outlook are rarely shared with other people – it is hard to find someone to have a conversation with that doesn’t need to start at zero. So, during my days at your Centre, I had conversations where I learned from them – instead of just having conversations where I merely presented what I am doing myself. The highlights were talking to people working in EU projects that centered on ethics, meeting people who work on ethical assessment in disciplines I would personally not have considered, like robotics – and seeing how there are new possibilities for collaboration between robotics and data intensive technologies. I find it fantastic that your Centre pays so much attention to such ethical and social questions. I expect the future will look a lot like what you are doing already.

Public lecture ‘Technologies of Choice? ICTs, Development & the Capabilities Approach’

19.30pm, TU Delft, Faculty of Technology, Policy & Management (building 31), Jaffalaan 5

In her forthcoming book “Technologies of Choice? ICTs, Development and the Capabilities Approach” Dorothea Kleine (ICT4D Centre, Royal Holloway, University of London) argues that ICT policies should be measured against a people-centered understanding of development that has individual and collective choice at its heart. She bases this view on her field work in Chile and on the ‘capabilities approach’ (an influential general perspective on the means and ends of development). Her lecture on the topic will be followed by some comments from three panelist, after which the floor will then be open for questions from and discussion with the audience.

Defense dissertation on the capability approach, technology & design

On Tuesday January 15th, 3 pm, Ilse Oosterlaken will publicly defend her doctoral dissertation Taking a Capability Approach to Technology & Its Design – A Philosophical Exploration. The ceremonial defense, to a committee of 8 professors, will be preceded by the traditional ‘lay talk’ (in Dutch) starting at 2.30pm. Location: Aula TU Delft.

If you are interested in this dissertation/defense, you may also be interested in this event: public lecture ‘Technologies of Choice – ICTs, Development and the Capabilities Approach’, evening of Wednesday January 16th.

Download invitation

Committee members

In addition to TU Delft’s Rector Magnificus and Ilse’s TU Delft supervisors Jeroen van den Hoven and Sabine Roeser, the committee will exist of:

From the back cover of the dissertation

What people are realistically able to do and be in their lives, their capabilities, are of central moral importance according to the capability approach (CA) of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. Examples are the capabilities to be healthy or to be part of a community. The CA has become an influential normative framework for reflecting on justice, equality, well-being and development. In the past decades it has been successfully applied to areas such as education and health care. Only quite recently have scholars started to use the CA to reflect on technology, for example on the contribution of ICT to development in the South (ICT4D). Much of this work is empirical. This dissertation contributes to the theoretical foundations for future empirical and ethical work by providing a philosophical exploration of how the CA can be brought to bear on technology. It discusses the applicability and added value of the CA for the design of technical artifacts (‘capability sensitive design’), for the evaluation of technological development projects, and for the assessment of technology from the perspective of the good life.

One main question addressed in this dissertation is which technology theories and design approaches could fruitfully supplement the CA, in order to ‘operationalize’ it in this new area. For this purpose participatory design, value sensitive design, the use plan account of technical artifacts, inclusive/universal design, actor-network theory, appropriate technology, pluralist theories of technology and the system/network view of technology are discussed. Another guiding question is what the exact nature is of (a) human capabilities as discussed in the CA, and (b) technology in the sense of technical artifacts, and how we can then conceptualize the relation between them. It is argued that we need to regularly move back and forth between ‘zooming in’ and ‘zooming out’. The former allows us to see the details of design of technical artifacts, the latter how exactly technical artifacts are embedded in broader socio-technical networks. Both, it is claimed, are crucial for the expansion of human capabilities.

HDCA conference 2011

Main conference: September 6-8th, 2011
Amartya Sen lecture: evening of September 5th, 2011

The Hague, international city of of peace and justice,
is proud to host the 2011 conference of the
organized by the
in collaboration with the:
Winner of the Kuklys Prize for the best conference paper of a graduate student:
Nicolai Suppa with his paper ‘Does Capability Deprivation Hurt?’

Slideshow of all photos taken at 2011 HDCA conference: here.

3.5 days, 7 pre-conf. events, 422 abstracts submitted, 230 presentations, 375 registered participants
Diverse & international audience at HDCA2011. From >40 countries & very different disciplines
New for the HDCA: poster presentations.
A great success according to the presenters!
As always: it’s presentations & people that make the conference. A lot of interaction, perspiration & inspiration at HDCA2011!

Are you a regular Twitter user? Share your thoughts on the 2011 HDCA conference and pre-conference events using the hash tag #HDCA2011. Using this tag in your tweets will allow people to track any conversation about the conference and these tweets will also be displayed here at the conference website. You can also follow the conference organisation on Twitter @hdca2011.

Theme of the 2011 HDCA conference will be ‘Innovation, Development & Human Capabilities’
Bringing about human development for all is a challenge. It is not sufficient to investigate how human capabilities are expanded or diminished by our current policies, institutional arrangements, incentive structures, social practices, infrastructures and technologies. Grounded in our understanding of these realities, we also need to be creative and innovative in order to bring about change. The 2011 conference theme Innovation, Development and Human Capabilities is an invitation to discuss and reflect on this. Whether it concerns social or technological innovation, grassroots innovation or innovation policy: to make innovation truly work for human development, input from different angles is needed. We thus expect speakers and papers from a wide variety of disciplines. While innovation is the thematic focus of the 2011 HDCA conference, we naturally also welcome papers on other aspects of human development and the capability approach.


Call for papers
The call for papers can be downloaded here.

Submissions can be entered at www.conftool.net/hdca_conference_2011.
If you have questions, please contact us at {encode=”hdca@ethicsandtechnology.eu” title=”hdca@ethicsandtechnology.eu”}.

Important deadlines

  • Submission of proposals: March 15th 2011
  • Announcement of acceptance/rejection: May 15th 2011
  • Registration with early�bird-fee: July 22nd 2011
  • Full contributions for conference CD: Aug. 7th 2011 (instructions here)
  • Registration with latecomer-fee: August 15th 2011

Opportunity to publish your paper
We encourage papers presented at the conference to be submitted for publication in the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities. This HDCA-owned journal is a peer reviewed multi-disciplinary journal for people-centered development. See http://www.hd-ca.org (‘About Us’ section) for more information on the journal and on how to submit your paper.


  • Plenary panel session by UNDP – Tuesday Sept. 6th, opening
    “Human Development Report 2011: Sustainability & Equity”
    * Jeni Klugman, HDR Office
    * others to be announced
  • Prof. Martha Nussbaum – Tuesday Sept. 6th, afternoon
    “Women and the Internet: Objectification and Human Capabilities”
    Martha C. Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. She is one of the past presidents of the HDCA and, together with Amartya Sen, the founder of the capability approach. She is the author of many books, including Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach (2011) and Frontiers of Justice – Disability, Nationality, Species Membership (2006)(both Harvard University Press).
    Commentator: Ineke Buskens, leader of the GRACE network on gender research in Africa into ICTs for empowerment
  • Prof. Melissa Leach – Wednesday Sept. 7th, morning
    “Innovation, Sustainability, Development: Manifestos and Movements”
    Melissa Leach is director of the STEPS centre (University of Sussex), which brings together development studies with science and technology studies. In June 2010 the STEPS centre launched “Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto“, after an extensive international consultation process. Some of the ideas behind the New Manifesto can also be found in her 2006 pamphlet with STEPS co-director Ian Scoones: “The Slow Race – Making Technology Work for the Poor“.
    Commentator: Prof. Luc Soete, Director of UNU-MERIT (the United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Center on Innovation and Technology)
  • Speaker closing lecture t.b.a.Thursday Sept. 8th, afternoon

See also the Amartya Sen Lecture and the Haq Memorial Lecture.


Evening of Monday, September 5th, 2011
Coffee + tea from 19.00 onwards, start lecture 19.45

At the 2011 conference of the HDCA, the 1st Annual Amartya Sen Lecture will be held. Supported by the UNDP Human Development Report Office, this new lecture series celebrates Amartya Sen‘s important contributions to the fields of human development and capability. It will focus on themes from Sen�s wide ranging contributions to these areas, ranging from his work on capability and freedom to his related works in areas such as democracy, development, gender, liberty, welfare, poverty, famines and social choice.

The 2011 Amartya Sen Lecture will be held by Prof. Tony Atkinson.
Title: “Public Economics after The Idea of Justice

Prof. Atkinson is currently professor of economics at the University of Oxford. During his career he has made many contributions in the areas of economics of income distribution, microeconomics, public economics, and poverty and security. There is an inequality measure named after him: the Atkinson index.

We are pleased and honored to announce that Prof. Amartya Sen himself will attend the lecture and comment on it.

Preceding the Sen lecture: HDCA president’s remarks by Kaushik Basu

Reception after the lecture
After the lecture, the HDCA conference participants are cordially invited for a reception to celebrate the start of the conference.

Afternoon of Wednesday September 7th 2011

The biennial Mahbub-ul-Haq Memorial Lecture is given by a leading academic or practitioner who has made important contributions to the field of Human Development, broadly understood. The lecture commemorates the contribution of Mahbub-ul-Haq to this field.

The 2011 Haq Memorial Lecture will be given by Prof. Thomas Pogge.
Title: “The Health Impact Fund as a Justice-enhancing Institutional Innovation”

Prof. Pogge is the Director of the Global Justice Program and Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University. Amongst others he is the author of Politics as Usual: What Lies behind the Pro-Poor Rhetoric (Cambridge: Polity Press 2010) and World Poverty and Human Rights: Cosmopolitan Responsibilities and Reforms (Cambridge: Polity Press 2008; second, expanded edition).

Commentator: Prof. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Professor of International Affairs at the New School.

Download 2011 HDCA conference program
(including all abstracts for each session)

Planning of the HDCA thematic group meetings

A number of related events will take place before HDCA conference. Participants of the HDCA conference may be interested in registering for one of those events as well. These are:

  • Summer school on Capability and Multidimensional Poverty
    Wed. Aug. 24th – Sat. Sept. 3rd. Location: Delft University of Technology.
    Organized by OPHI (Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative). You can find detailed info here. The application deadline has already passed.
  • Seminar “The Offensive Internet – Speech, Privacy and Reputation”
    Sat. Sept. 3, afternoon. Location: Delft
    Seminar with Martha Nussbaum on her new edited volume The Offensive Internet – Speech, Privacy and Reputation (co-editor: Saul Levmore). Organized by Jeroen van den Hoven and {encode=”J.F.C.Timmermans@tudelft.nl” title=”Job Timmermans”}, TU Delft. For more information, click here.
  • HDCA pre-conference public lecture by Martha Nussbaum
    Mon. Sept. 5th, 10.30 – 12.00. Location: ISS, Kortenaerkade 12, The Hague
    Martha Nussbaum will speak about her new book “Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach“. Organized by {encode=”l.h.siruno@tudelft.nl” title=”Lalaine Siruno”}, 3TU.Ethics / TU Delft, in collaboration with the ISS. For photos and audio recordings of this lecture, please see here.
  • UNDP consultation meeting on next Human Development Report
    Mon. Sept. 5th, 5-7pm. Location: THIGJ
    This meeting is on invitation only.
  • Expert Workshop on ICT4Development (ICT4D) & the CA
    Mon. Sept. 5th, 3-5 pm. Location: IICD.
    For more information, see here.
  • Workshop Teaching Human Development
    Mon. Sept. 5th, 9 am – 5 pm. Location: Delft University of Technology
    This is an event for those engaged in teaching, organized by Severine Deneulin. The event is now fully subscribed.
  • Workshop Human Rights & Human Dev.m.: Foundations & Issues
    Mon. Sept. 5th, 9 am – 4 pm. Location: THIGJ
    Organized by the HDCA human rights thematic group, in order to celebrate 25 years of the Declaration on the Right to Development. For more information, please click here.

Sen lecture and pre-conference events
The conference registration process will include registration for the Amartya Sen lecture. For other pre-conference events both conference participants and non-conference participants are required to register separately. Please see the activity in question for further instructions.

Conference fee
Due to the current euro-dollar exchange rate, this year’s conference is unfortunately relatively expensive for participants from the USA. The ‘early bird’ conference fee – in dollars, as the HDCA office in Boston is taking care of the registration process – has been set at

  • 428 dollar for senior scholars from the North
  • 200 dollar for PhD / master students and scholars from the South

European participants should note that, for example, a fee of 428 dollar would come down to only 300 euro with the exchange rate on April 7th 2011.

Please note: the ‘early bird’ fee applies only until July 22nd 2011. After July 22nd, the fee will be 500 respectively 270 dollar. Registration will close on August 15th.

Included in the fee:
The fee will include a conference package, 3 lunches and 7 coffee/tea breaks and a reception after the Amartya Sen lecture. It also includes a one-year membership of the HDCA, which in turn includes -amongst others- subscription to the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities for a year.

We have acquired some funding for scholarships to enable authors of accepted contributions from developing countries to attend. The contact person from the local organization committee concerning scholarships is {encode=”l.h.siruno@tudelft.nl” title=”Lalaine Siruno”}. She will contact the people who are eligible for a scholarship as soon as possible, please have some patience.

For the location of the pre-conference events, see the information on the event in question.

Location of Amartya Sen lecture (evening Sept. 5th 2011):

De Nieuwe Kerk
Spui 175

How to get there: The walking distance to the Nieuwe Kerk from The Hague Central Station is approximately 10 minutes.

Location of the main conference (Sept. 6-8th 2011):

Bel Air Hotel Den Haag
Johan de Wittlaan 30
E: {encode=”info@belairhotel.nl” title=”info@belairhotel.nl”}
T: +31(0)70-3525354

How to get there: tram 17 from The Hague Central Train Sation in the direction of “Statenkwartier” (stop: “Gemeentemuseum / Museon”).

Map with location of events and hotels in The Hague
Green pins: event location. Red pins: conference hotel. Yellow placemarks: print shops. Purple areas: many restaurants.

View Locations for HDCA conference 2011 in a larger map

For a downloadable city map (PDF, 4.7 MB) offering an overview of the city including a street finder, listings of main attractions, embassies and much more: click here.

Reduced rate &a rooms in option for participants
Please see our conference map for more information on the location of these conference hotels and on how to travel between the hotel and the conference venue.

BelAir hotel (= the conference venue) – download the reservation form (130 rooms in option) and mail this to the hotel, or mention “TU Delft” or “HDCA conferenc” when making your reservation by phone.

  • Standard single room: �125/night, including breakfast
  • Standard double room: �137/night, including breakfast

Best Western Hotel Petit (walking distance / tram 17) – Contact the hotel by {encode=”petit@bestwestern.nl” title=”e-mail”} and mention “TU Delft conference” as the reason for your visit.

  • 1-person room: �120/night, incl. breakfast + free Wifi (10 rooms in option)
  • 2-person room: �135/night, incl. breakfast + free Wifi (5 rooms in option)
  • 3-person room: �160/night, including breakfast + free Wifi
  • 4-person room: �185/night, including breakfast + free Wifi

Delta Hotel (tram 17) – Contact the hotel by {encode=”dhdh@xs4all.nl” title=”e-mail”} and refer to the HDCA / TU Delft Conference

  • 1-person: �77/night, excl. breakfast a �7,50 p.p. (6 rooms in option)
  • 2-person: �85/night, excl. breakfast a �7,50 p.p. (4 rooms in option)
  • 3-person: �130/night, excl. breakfast a �7,50 p.p. (2 rooms in option)

Hampshire Hotel (tram 17) – Contact the hotel by {encode=”info@hampshire-denhaag.nl” title=”e-mail”} and mention “TU Delft conference” as the reason for your visit.

  • Single room � 90/night, incl. breakfast & wifi ( 5 rooms in option)
  • Double/twin � 105/night, incl. breakfast & wifi (10 rooms in option)

Hotel Sebel (tram 17) – Contact the hotel by {encode=”info@hotelsebel.nl” title=”e-mail”} and refer to the HDCA / TU Delft Conference.

  • 1-person room: � 80/night, including breakfast
  • 2-person room: � 100/night, including breakfast

Other hotels

The following hotels are not offering a reduced rate at conference participants or keeping rooms in option for them. If you would like to stay at one of these hotels, please contact the hotel in question through their usual reservation procedures.


A-Z Practicalities
A document with practical information about banking, public transport, etc. in The Netherlands / The Hague can be found here.

Public transport
You can reach many destinations within The Hague easily by tram. See here for details on routes and timetables. An OV-chipcard is needed to travel by bus or tram. A brochure with more information can be downloaded here. The OV-chipcard can also be used for traveling by train, although the Dutch Railways at this moment still also sells separate (paper) train tickets. You are strongly recommended to use public transport between Schiphol Airport and The Hague, as taxis are very expensive in The Netherlands.



Organization committee
The local organization committee consists of the following people from Delft University of Technology / 3TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology:

  • Ilse Oosterlaken, main conference manager
  • {encode=”l.h.siruno@tudelft.nl” title=”Lalaine Siruno”}, pre-conference events, scholarships, visa applications & Kuklys Prize
  • {encode=”H.C.Filiz-Piekhaar@tudelft.nl” title=”Henneke Filiz-Piekhaar”}, conference secretariat

Conference chairs
This HDCA conference is organized by staff of TU Delft / 3TU.Ethics. However, anticipating on recent plans of TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam (together with Leiden University) to collaborate more in the future, two people will act as co-chair of the conference:

As Ingrid Robeyns is an HDCA Fellow and widely acknowledged scholar in the area of the capability approach, it is a great pleasure for TU Delft / 3TU.Ethics to be able to collaborate with her on this HDCA conference.




Partners are organizations that act as a co-organizer for some part of the conference.

Main partner:
The Hague Institute for Global Justice
Other partners:
Institute for Social Studies


Sponsoring may be either financial or in kind, e.g. by providing some resource at no cost to conference participants.


Delft University of Technology
Municipality of The Hague


The World Bank / Latin America & Caribbean


imageCAPPE –
Centre for
Philosophy &
Public Ethics
Cornell University
Taylor & Francis


imageISVW – Internationale
School voor

1st Annual Amartya Sen Lecture: “Economics after The Idea of Justice”

The Hague, The Netherlands

Evening of September 5th, 2011
An initiative of the


organized by the


in collaboration with the:


“The capability approach provides the intellectual foundation for human development. This ap- proach considers human well-being, partcipation & freedom to be central economic and social objectives.”

– Amartya Sen, founding president of the HDCA


Annual Amartya Sen Lecture Series

Supported by the UNDP Human Development Report Office, the annual Amartya Sen Lecture Series celebrates prof. Amartya Sen‘s important contributions to the fields of human development and capability. It will focus on themes from Sen’s wide ranging contributions to these areas, ranging from his work on capability and freedom to his related works in areas such as democracy, development, gender, liberty, welfare, poverty, famines and social choice.

The first lecture in this new series will be held preceding the HDCA conference in The Hague, The Netherlands on the evening of September 5th, 2011.

Sponsor of the
lecture series:


2011 speaker: Tony Atkinson

The 2011 Amartya Sen Lecture will be held by Prof. Tony Atkinson. Atkinson is currently professor of economics at the University of Oxford. During his career he has made many contributions in the areas of economics of income distribution, microeconomics, public economics, and poverty and security. There is an inequality measure named after him: the Atkinson index.

Title of the lecture:

“Public Economics after The Idea of Justice


“Economics is undergoing re-appraisal and we need to re-consider what we teach. In this lecture, I examine how public economics should be re-shaped in the light of The Idea of Justice and Professor Sen’s writing over seven decades.”

With a comment from Amartya Sen himself!

We are pleased and honored to announce that Prof. Amartya Sen himself will attend the lecture and comment on it.

Preliminary program

19.00-19.30 Coffee and tea
19.45-20.00 Welcome and opening by
* Kaushik Basu (President HDCA)
* Khalik Malid (Head HDR Office, UNDP)
20.00-20.45 Lecture prof. Atkinson
20.45-21.00 Comment by prof. Sen
21.00-21.30 Questions and discussion

Reception after the lecture

After the lecture (21.30 – 22.30) there will be a reception for invited guests only.

Photo / video / slides

A photo impression of the lecture:


The lecture has been filmed. You can see a summary of the event here:

Full footage of the lecture can be found on the 3TU-Ethics channel on youtube:

Hand-out of slides used by Tony Atkinson


De Nieuwe Kerk

Spui 175



How to get there: The walking distance to the Nieuwe Kerk from The Hague Central Station is approximately 10 minutes.

Location Sen Lecture:



About the HDCA

The annual Amartya Sen Lecture Series is an initiative of the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA). Launched in September 2004, the Human Development and Capability Association promotes research from many disciplines on key problems including poverty, justice, well-being, and economics. Kaushik Basu (Cornell University) is the current president of the HDCA. Amartya Sen was the Founding President of HDCA 2004 – 2006; Martha Nussbaum was President of HDCA 2006 – 2008.

HDCA conference

The 1st Amartya Sen lecture precedes the annual conference of the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA), which will be held in The Hague from September 6-8th. For more information on the conference, see the conference website.