Change Now Conference 2023: BarefootLaw Showcases Innovative Legal Solutions for Access to Justice as part of The Hague’s Delegation

The City of The Hague sent a delegation to the Change Now conference in Paris, including The Hague Humanity Hub, BarefootLaw, Space4Good and several other social businesses and organisations. The Hague Humanity Hub’s Director, Jill Wilkinson, said: “The Change Now conference was an inspiring experience, which combined the latest ideas and technology with realism around the challenges faced by the world, for example around climate.”

BarefootLaw, who are members of The Hague Humanity Hub, put together the following article about their experience at the Conference, written by Robert Okello and Joel Rubangapewany:

ChangeNow, one of the world’s largest gatherings for positive change, recently hosted its highly anticipated 2023 edition, bringing together individuals, organizations, and companies dedicated to making a difference in the world. Among the inspiring exhibitors was BarefootLaw, a pioneer legal innovation organization revolutionizing access to justice in Africa. This article takes you through BarefootLaw’s transformative exhibitor experience, the opportunities and how the event draws more inspiration towards our work on facilitating peace and justice.

Setting the stage

ChangeNow 2023 has established itself as a premier platform for showcasing innovative solutions to global challenges. Held annually in Paris, France, the event attracts thousands of change-makers, innovators, and organizations from diverse sectors. The 2023 edition featured a vibrant exhibition space where impactful organizations showcased their work, sparking collaborations and inspiring new initiatives. Among the exhibitors, BarefootLaw representing The City of The Hague, stood out for the unique approach to legal empowerment and access to justice across Africa

BarefootLaw, a pioneering legal innovation initiative founded in 2012, has been instrumental in transforming access to justice in Africa. By harnessing technology and innovation, BarefootLaw provides free legal information and assistance to vulnerable communities, addressing the justice gap that often hinders individuals from exercising their rights. With a team of passionate lawyers and legal experts, BarefootLaw offers services through various channels, including online platforms, social media and traditional justice mechanisms to empower communities to resolve their justice needs.

As an exhibitor, BarefootLaw showcased its innovative legal solutions to a diverse audience comprising activists, investors, policymakers, and fellow change-makers. The organization’s booth attracted significant attention due to its unique blend of legal expertise, technology, and community-driven initiatives. Visitors were able to interact with BarefootLaw’s team and witness firsthand how the digital approaches and traditional justice resolution mechanisms empower communities with legal information and support. Within the course of the 3 days conference, over 300 people visited the booth. Some key notable guests included The Mayoral delegates led by The Deputy Mayor of City of The Hague Saskia Bruines, The co-founder of ChangeNow Kevin Tayebaly and many others.

Throughout the event, beyond the exhibition activities, BarefootLaw participated in the inclusion panel session moderated by Elizabeth Corse of The Impact Hustlers. Represented by The Europe Lead Robert Okello, he shared the journey of BarefootLaw in using digital technology to facilitate access to Justice. Robert emphasized the need for the justice system to take advantage of the current technological tools to make the institution of justice easily accessible and courts processes move faster to deliver quick and timely justice outcomes.  They were also represented by Rhoda Namboze ,The Director of Development who pitched BarefootLaw solutions a group of funders and impact investors how its timely and more important to support the scaling of these digital solutions across Africa where access to justice is limited. 

Overall, ChangeNow 2023 proved to be a catalyst for collaborations and inspiring partnerships for BarefootLaw. The organization seized the opportunity to network with like-minded organizations and potential funders who share the vision to make justice accessible around the world.  By showcasing innovative approaches, such as The BarefootLaw box and  the success stories, BarefootLaw was able to attract the attention of influential stakeholders, including NGOs, philanthropists, and corporate entities interested in collaboration and supporting their work.

Moreover, the event provided BarefootLaw with valuable exposure to international audiences, enabling us to expand our network beyond Africa and The Hague borders. This exposure not only enhances our reputation but also strengthens the ability to scale our impact and replicate successful models in other countries facing similar justice challenges.

Inspiring Change and Shaping the Future.

ChangeNow 2023 was not only a platform for showcasing BarefootLaw’s work but also an opportunity to inspire change in the legal sector. By presenting the innovative legal strategies, BarefootLaw demonstrated the potential of adopting to digital technology in the justice sector and community digital engagement using the “Law box” can be a powerful approach to address systemic barriers in access to justice, especially for communities in poorly unconnected regions.  

The BarefootLaw’s exhibitor experience at ChangeNow 2023 was a resounding success, setting stage on a global platform to showcase our transformative work in legal empowerment. By combining technology, legal expertise and community digital engagement, BarefootLaw continues to redefine access to Justice in Africa and beyond.

Our presence at ChangeNow 2023 facilitated meaningful collaborations, inspiring partnerships and opened doors to new opportunities that will shape our work onwards. As we move forward, we are even more energize, bolder in the words of Santiago Lefebvre, to face the challenge ahead of us to tackle global inequality and access to justice issues. We are even more inspired to drive positive change, to reshape the legal landscape and work innovatively to empower more individuals and communities to realize their rights and inspirations.

We intend to use this exhibitor experience to encouraged other organizations and individuals to explore innovative approaches for promoting legal empowerment and finding suitable solutions for communities facing access to justice challenges. Thanks to the Hague Humanity hub, The impact city and The City of The Hague for making this happen