Notes From the Field: The Hague Center for Global Governance, Innovation and Emergence Getting our Act Together

Peter Merry


Peter MerryFor a number of years, Dr Don Beck has been coming to the Netherlands, and every time he has said that the Hague will host the next generation of the United Nations. I guess I had heard him say it so many times, that when the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs put out a call for funding proposals in May this year, I just assumed that is what it was for.

So we crystallised a funding proposal in a couple of weeks, including an amazing group of committed partners (see below). Once we had completed it, we realised that the process of focus and attention itself had actually called the Hague Center into life, regardless of whether we got the funding or not (see what happened at the end of the article!).

Below is a description of the organisational concept so far, based on Chaordic Design principles. At the end, is an update. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like to connect.


Human civilisation is currently facing large-scale, complex and rapidly evolving challenges, the like of which we have not seen before. Our current methods for problem-solving are proving inadequate. What is urgently needed at this time is multiple, intense and interconnected experimentation in breakthrough technology implementation and cultural alignment to discover new ways that might see us into the next era.


To align, activate and support meshworks of stakeholders needed to design, implement and learn from solutions to the different and interconnected challenges humanity faces

  • Create the conditions for quantum innovation and breakthrough, in technology and collaboration
  • Support the ongoing organisation of prototypes
  • Enable learning across innovation areas to accelerate breakthrough
  • Publicise outcomes and encourage a mindset of possibility


  • Integral approach: identifying, integrating, aligning and mobilising all available resources
  • Honouring source: ensuring that the path of innovation from inventor to implementer is clear and aligned
  • Open system: to aid and assist other efforts, to work for a greater goal
  • Leverage and re-usability: no re-invention of the wheel but use of existing expertise, efforts and initiatives
  • Transcendent role: enabling and empowering of all of the elements that can contribute to a positive outcome
  • Local fit: ensuring that solutions are aligned with local conditions and that capacity is supported locally for long-term resilience


The Center will offer:

  • Integral analysis of challenges and solutions, including leadership, collaboration and technology elements
  • Meshworking processes for aligning necessary stakeholders with each other and with new technology solutions
  • Enabling, supporting and promoting prototypes
  • An integral virtual collaboration, performance- and knowledge-management system that supports a multi-stakeholder approach, and non-linear, emergent innovation
  • A Vital Signs Monitor for monitoring life conditions and cultural dynamics, mapping events and enabling focused intervention


Click here to download Letters of Support

  • ♣ Center for Human Emergence, Netherlands – initiator of the Hague Center, and leading in Meshworks technology.
  • ♣ Independent nodes of the Center for Human Emergence global network in the Middle East , Mexico , Brazil, USA and Germany.
  • ♣ M.CAM – provides Global Technology Assessments, enables the Global Innovation Commons
  • ♣ Gaiasoft – provides virtual performance, knowledge and collaboration platforms
  • ♣ Arlington Institute – provides technology for systemic mapping and surprise anticipation
  • ♣ HolacracyOne – provides advice on the holacractic organisational practice
  • ♣ Boer en Croon – provide advice on corporate finance and management
  • ♣ Endemol – provides a partnership in multi-channel media communication for the Millennium Development Goals
  • ♣ PrivaServe Foundation – partner in improving the independence and self-reliance of local rural communities in Zambia
  • ♣ LinkNet Zambia – cooperative organization providing for cost based building, operations and maintenance of tailored communications infrastructure and services for special interest groups in rural areas.
  • ♣ Elemental Africa – provides expertise and experience in the application of ecologically sustainable technologies in Africa (based in South Africa)
  • ♣ Young Women’s Leadership Institute – nurtures young women’s leadership and open spaces for women’s engagement in policy processes ( ( Kenya)
  • ♣ CHE Kenya i.o – facilitating emergence in Kenya through MeshWorking, dialogues, capacity building
  • ♣ MeshWork Millenium Development Goal (MDG) 5 – A collaboration consisting of 20 partners who joined forces in order to make a real contribution to the reduction of the maternal mortality ratio (Millenium Development Goal 5).
  • ♣ NatuurCollege, Lippe-Biesterfeld Foundation – NatuurCollege aims to contribute to the improvement of the relationship between humankind and nature
  • ♣ Energy4Life – global leader in the field of sourcing, co-developing and validating new distributed energy technologies, know-how and insights to manifest integral solutions for climate change and the global energy, water and food shortages
  • ♣ The Hunger Project – a global, strategic organization committed to the sustainable ending of world hunger
  • ♣ Hague International City and the Hague-based institutions: including Institute Clingendael and the Hague-based institutions related to the Carnegie Foundation.

On October 1st we received news of our funding application. This is the letter that I wrote to the partners:

Today, October 1st, we received the news from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs that our request for funding had been turned down. And yet today I feel that the Hague Center for Global Governance, Innovation and Emergence has really been born.

When I heard the news, I became aware of my energy actually settling down as if something was crystallising and taking form. I noticed my mind playing with a few concepts around validation and self-worth, however they soon dropped away in the face of this powerful realisation that the Hague Center actually already exists. We have already started with our work, and a network of incredible people such as you is out there ready to collaborate. What a wealth of resources! As we learn to let go of much of our financial wealth on the planet, we re-discover the deeper meaning of wealth. The richest part of our application I believe to be the package of Letters of Support that we received from you and others. And there will be a role for money when the need is really there.

I found myself asking the question: “What are we already doing that is actually related to the Hague Center?” and noticed that the energy of connecting to that was a far more powerful energy than the energy I had around “How are we actually going to manifest all the things we put in the proposal, keep strictly to the budgets we estimated, all for 2009 and 2010, even though we have no idea if that will really be the need then?”. What the proposal writing process has really done is to call the Hague Center concept into being, and I am very grateful to the Dutch Government for putting it out there at just the right time.

I want to share with you some of the activities that are already happening and/or crystallising, to give you a sense of what is unfolding and how you might feel called to connect and collaborate:

  • the MeshWork for Mothercare project around MDG5, see, the first real full-scale pilot of the meshworking approach to a major global issue.
  • the rural development project in Macha, Zambia, with the ambition (and recent funding approval) to upscale this to other rural locations in Zambia.
  • the publication, together with partner M.CAM, of a report identifying which alternative energy technologies already exist and are being held back by energy corporations, to help shift the debate beyond fossil fuel or nuclear for the transition.
  • the development of a global multi-player internet-based game that reflects the state of the world right now, including exterior (socio-economic-eco) and interior (value systems, change dynamnics, cultural identities), that will generate a vital signs monitor for the planet.
  • the application of the Gaiasoft performance, knowledge and collaboration platforms to support research, integral classification and dissemination of best integral practices in effectively engaging global challenges.
  • a lecture series to engage the existing global institutions in the Hague in a new perspective (if you are coming to the Netherlands, please let me know and we can potentially arrange for you to deliver one of these).

As I walked back to Amsterdam Central Station following our monthly Engage! retreat today, there was a huge, bright rainbow over the station. I walked straight into it. All is very well.

Looking forward to manifesting our enormous collaboration potential. Thank you for being there.

class=”accredit”>With love, Peter

I received a great number of powerful emails in reply. As I pondered the responses that were coming in, I realised what a gift this moment had been. It seems like this letter has created more belief in the Hague Center than 1.7 million euros could ever have done.

Peter Merry
The Hague Center for Global Governance, Innovation and Emergence

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