'A balance of power is in fact a kind of managed anarchy. But it is a system in which anarchy invariably overcomes the management in the end'. (Reinhold Niebuhr).

World, the whole of human civilization anywhere on earth, in philosophy the whole of the physical universe or an ontological world, in theology world refers to the material or the profane sphere. It comes from weorold (Old English), a compound of wer "man" and eld "age" ( "Age of Man'), mundus (latin) means "clean, elegant", cosmos (Greek) "orderly arrangement", a notion of creation as an act of establishing order out of chaos. Although globalisation gives the world a good shaking with large consequences, Europe wants her achievements, values and identity to stay preserved while for the progress she works also on enlargement, employment, growth, trade, social and human rights. 'Globaliserung ist von immenser Bedeutung. Menschen kommen mehr und mehr zusammen und es bekommt ein Platz in das Gehirn von Menschen' (H.G. Pöttering 16-04-08). Globalization may described as:
integration into the world economy' and increased interdependence 'through' trade, investment, finance, regional integration, technology and demographic factors' (Richardson),
growing integration of economies and societies around the world as a result of flows of goods and services, capital, people and ideas' (Dollar), external opening and an increasing role of markets internally' (Robinson),
process in which "trade grows more rapidly than production' (Storper),
closer integration of the countries and peoples of the world which had been brought about by the enourmous reduction of costs of transportation and communication, and the breaking down of the artificial barrieres to the flows of goods, services, capital, knowledge and (to a lesser extent) of people across borders' (Stiglitz),
reorganization of production into global production systems, notably global value chains and export processing zones' (Carr & Che),
gradual of integration of economies and societies driven by new technologies driven by new technologies, new economic relationships and the national and international policies of a wide range of actors, including governments, international organisations, business, labour and civil society' (Gunter & van der Hoeven).

To believe in the dignity of every individual, to believe we can bridge our differences,
and choose cooperation over conflict — that is not weakness, that is strength.
It is a practical necessity in
this interconnected world."

(President Barack Obama)


the ethics of comity | DASHBOARD | Global transformations and Governance Challenges | A moral crisis is sweeping the world:Addressing it as a priority conditions our future | strengthening global governance | What Will Rule the World? | What Will Save the World? | World101 | Global issues | WORLD FORESIGHT FORUM | Worldcoin


Global Matrix:
A framework for
researching the
future of global governance
Global justice and security, 17 June 2015 China India
earth at night

Report global trends 2025
(US government, 2008)

Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative Afghanistan
Project Syndicate
I.R. of Iran
Centre for Research on Globalisation

Rethinking Global

(Stimson Center)

Reuters focus 360

Towards a more effective, networked,
and inclusive multilateral system

Russian Federation

The EU’s Strategic Partnership with Africa
United Nations
how to change the world
(Nexus Institute)

Dani Rodrik,
the globalisation paradox

North Africa and the Middle East (MeNA) A new report from Ernst & Young on globalisation, company performance, momentum shifts Europe
European Institute for
Asian Studies
The Grand

(key quotes by
Zbigniew Brezinski †)


Recent global developments have created new challenges for our societies. Think for example of the need for coordinated international approaches to tackle pandemics, global warming and migration. Or of the importance of benefiting from new technologies while also tackling their potential negative effects.

'Global Transformations and Governance Challenges' explores how we can address such global transformations in democratic, effective, fair, peaceful and sustainable ways. (@GtgcLeiden)

In June 2022, GTGC hold a conference on these pressing social issues of our time: Major developments worldwide are creating new challenges for society. Addressing complex questions requires innovative, multidisciplinary approaches and an open conversation between various stakeholders. For example, the pandemic has hit us hard, for example, and we are already feeling the effects of global warming.

GTGC 2023 the conference 'Changing the world (a little bit)' was organised to debate the future of multilateralism, international sanctions, multi-level governance of climate, and local movements for global change

In 2024 the theme of the conference was titled 'EMERGING TRENDS IN GLOBAL GOVERNANCE'. This conference explored how major world-scale changes (of ecology, economy, geopolitics, migration, pandemics, technology, etc.) are - and could be better - governed. View the conference programme.

“The more chaos, the better” says transition expert Prof.Dr.Ir. Jan Rotmans, Erasmus University: The world is always changing. But now it seems to be going a lot faster. We are currently dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and a climate crisis. We have challenges when it comes to energy, water, agriculture, housing and nature.

Chaos is part of transition. There will be a maximum amount of pressure on the current system. That’s how you change. The greater the chaos, the closer we get to the core of a transition

Transitions Performance Index (TPI)

European Commission


A moral crisis is sweeping the world: Addressing it as a priority conditions our future.
Recent news broadcasts have once again exposed the widespread tolerance of society and of its leaders to unacceptable and inexcusable behavior, under the pretext of avoiding consequences deemed even more damaging. At the heart of such reasoning lies nuclear blackmail as well as a relativism based on dubious and out-of-context historical comparisons.
Under these conditions, it is illusory to think that specific rational solutions can be found to the current multiple challenges - geopolitical, economic, social, financial, energetic, sanitary, environmental, etc. – whose causes and consequences are interrelated and inextricably intertwined. As an example, the postures adopted by President Macron in China (who claims to embody the "stabilizing force" of the European Union in a re-ordering of global governance), appear unrealistic, grandiloquent and often irritating to his partners, even if these  proposals meet aspirations that some will consider legitimate. Their weaknesses lie not in their objectives but in the French President's claim to represent - without a mandate - his 27 partners on subjects, notably those of national and/or European sovereignty, on which no prior consensus exists.
In the challenge launched by "autocratic" China and its "totalitarian" Russian vassal to the "democratic" United States and its allies, each third country will have to choose its side. More recently, under the cover of the health crisis (vaccines), of exacerbated geopolitical tensions (sanctions) or of oriented environmental policies (IRA), etc., protectionism is rearing its ugly head and is making surreptitiously its grand return to the heart of international relations. The lessons of the past, such as comparisons with a similar environment which contributed to the aggravation of the 1930's crisis leading to the Second World War, are fast being forgotten.
 The gradual extension of the free trade regime, which presided over globalization, has nevertheless served the planet well since the end of the 1950s, even if spreading inequalities: it has, in fact, allowed the (poorly distributed) feeding of a population that has doubled in size, while allowing hundreds of millions of human beings to escape poverty.
The "millennium goals" set at the end of the last century held out the possibility of a world where prosperity and peace were supposed to become widely shared common goods; this trend has been brutally reversed since Covid. The utopias that followed the collapse of the USSR ("the end of history") have encouraged unlimited consumption and squandering of the impalpable "peace dividend" by the rich, while ignoring the fragility of political, social and economic equilibria; it leaves the appetites of the disenfranchised - or of those who consider themselves such – to be stirred up and exploited by power-hungry populist movements.

This has led to the widespread illusion that autocracies are fighting the historical injustice perpetrated by the erstwhile colonizing west; they appear to enjoy a "majority" support among the world's population. This perception applies, however, far more correctly to the many authoritarian leaning governments (including to, some labeled "democratic") than to the people they rule. Indeed, it is the Authorities in place, many of which have no democratic legitimacy, that are corrupt or operate often mafia-like schemes that fuel all forms of illicit trade (including sanctions evasion), and whose lavish profits contribute nothing to the well-being of their citizens.

This reality must supersede the conventional narrative that blames a bygone Western colonialism for the chronic underdevelopment of the Third World and that obscures exactions at least as pernicious, if not worse, perpetrated by those who set themselves up as the new "protectors. If the indispensable re-ordering of planetary governance is to lead to a more acceptable allocation of resources, it can only be inspired by a reformed Western model, based on its democratic values and on the resources it is capable of generating.
In a deeply interconnected, structurally interdependent and fundamentally unequal world, the difficulty of agreeing on an acceptable planetary governance is monumental. It can only be conceived and carried through by (hard-to-identify) visionaries in an environment similar to that which inspired the Fathers of Europe after World War II.

Their success was largely due to the shared painful experience of a conflict in which the sum of the casualties, destruction and suffering created the appropriate context to impose the primacy of the general interest over particular national appetites and egoisms; thus began a period of prosperity and peace that had never been equaled previously on the European continent.
It would, however, be naive to imagine that leaders, especially dictators and autocrats, would voluntarily subscribe to a project whose apparent utopia would deprive them of their powers. Such an upheaval can only be conceived after the outbreak of a planetary crisis. It is precisely the risks of such a crisis that are currently piling up, whether they result from natural causes (climatic, pandemics ....), human decisions (war, financial, real estate, energy crises, inflation, social movements ....) or a combination of the two (global warming, shortages ....).

It is difficult to predict which event will trigger the looming crisis; it is inevitable, however, that it will spread through a domino effect, leading to the loss of control of events and an apocalyptic collapse.

The European Union, if it survives after such a shock, is well placed to initiate the Herculean task of reconstruction. It necessitates, however, as a precondition to complete its own integration in key areas before proposing a wider extension of its governance to the international community.

This is what President Macron calls "European sovereignty", which will only come into being if essential functions, including, by definition, all sovereign powers, are entrusted to the European level; devolution of subsidiary powers should bring the intermediate levels of power closer to the citizens.  
By developing this utopia, we can imagine moving towards a tri-polar world where, in addition to the United States and China, the third leg would be represented by a European Union from the Atlantic to the Urals: it should incorporate a reformed Russia whose Asian hinterland would remain associated, to ensure its development.

This extended Europe would enjoy a high degree of autarky that would allow it to fully exercise its stabilizing role on the international scene hailed by President Macron. It would bring its full weight to bear on a world governance where conflicts would be resolved by an accepted and recognized authority, in accordance with the (disappointed) ambitions of the UN. In developing such a project, the diversity of cultures, beliefs and traditions must be allowed to be expressed as well as respected.

These differences must, however, be part of a hierarchy of norms that are accepted by all. For this reason, no agreement is possible today, as long as the confrontation between those who oppose the primacy of force to that of the law, subsists. Already in ancient times, the Prophet Ezekiel (Chapter 4, 2-4) imposed duties rather than rights on leaders:
2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel! Prophesy to the shepherds and say to them, "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Were not the shepherds to feed the flock?
3 You have eaten the fat, you have clothed yourselves with the wool, you have killed the fat, you have not fed the sheep.

4 You did not strengthen the weak, heal the sick, bind up the wounded; you did not bring back the erring, seek the lost, but ruled them with violence and harshness.
In the interest of humanity, will we be able to overcome the major "moral crisis" that is creeping and spreading into our daily lives?  As a first step, in order to limit the inevitable "boomerang" effect caused by our excesses, we must urgently oppose, with unwavering determination, the unacceptable exactions that we witness every day, and be prepared to accept the risks that opposing them entails.
Brussels, April 16, 2023
Paul N. Goldschmidt



Strengthening Global Governance
Addressing global governance deficits with
innovative solutions
In the face of growing mass violence in fragile states, the threat of runway climate change, and fears of devastating cross-border economic shocks and cyber-attacks, the world needs a new kind of leadership, combined with new tools, networks, and institutions. Beginning with Albright-Gambari Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance (2014-2015) and follow-on Just Security 2020 Program (2016-2020), the Stimson Center has worked to strengthen and innovate global governance, to ensure that neither justice nor security imperatives are neglected by critical international policy debates. Building on this foundation and as a contribution to the new Global Governance Innovation Network, the Stimson Center will continue to conduct pioneering research and present practical proposals for strengthening global governance to better respond to 21st century threats, challenges and opportunities.
Preparing for New Global Governance and a Pact for the Future: The Road to the 2024 Summit of the Future
Within the program Global Governance, Justice & Security'', a panel discussion was organized in November 2022 by Leiden University College and STIMSON to reflect on how to take it forward into the new age of competitive geopolitics.
The Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) unites people active in the work and study of the UN, in order to better understand and address the most pressing global issues of our time.


What Will Rule the World?  

The Ring: it is a symbol of limitless power and riches, corrupting the mighty and keeping the masses in servitude. In Der Ring des Nibelungen – Wagner’s four-part opera masterpiece – this old, corrupt world goes up in flames to make way for a new world of brotherhood, beauty and love. But what will guide us when the old gods, values and traditions have been destroyed? What will a new world order look like? Can we ever free ourselves from the insatiable thirst for power and wealth, or is it an inescapable part of human nature? How do we fight old demons like xenophobia, antisemitism and fascism? How do we avoid ending up in a society where profit and efficiency are all that matters, a machine civilization where humans are powerless and redundant? And finally, what role can art and love play in addressing these problems?

international representatives of the worlds of power and the arts – connoisseurs and devotees of Wagner’s work – offered their critical view of the world of today and their vision for the world of tomorrow.



What Will Save the World?  
What Will Save the World?

"The news from around the world is far from positive: authoritarian regimes are on the rise, the political systems in the EU and US are fractured and ineffective, and millions of people are forced to flee from war, violence and poverty.
The state of the world is precarious; yet there are also optimists who believe in the saving power of science, technology or international law and institutions, who argue that the world is really headed in the right direction and that pessimists are misguided or short-sighted.

On Saturday 12 November 2016, the NEXUS Instituteiinvited an international cast of activists, scientists, writers and philosophers who discussed the deeper questions behind the current political, ecological and social crises.

What is the defect in our civilization? Is material progress enough, or should progress have a moral or social basis? Is technology a blessing or a curse? And what will save the world – politics, art, science, or faith?"

The era of globalization has led to conflicts that counteracts benefits. Positions should reconsidered. According to the Russian opposition politician and former chess champion Garry Kasparov, Western leaders are blinded by economic growth, whereby values of liberal democracy are lost sight of.
Kasparov at the NEXUS Institute: "I was shocked by the reaction of people who were surprised by the instability in the Middle East following the Arab Spring. This is the direct result of dictatorship."
'Timeless values in a shifting world'
To stay well-informed on developments, consult the big picture on world news Council on Foreign Relations, 'The New New World Order' by Daniel W. Drezner(March/April 2007) and Battle for Global Values by Tony Blair (January/February 2007), while "The 'Second World': Empires and influence in the new global order" from Parag Khanna explains how the hegemony position of America make place for a kind of geopolitical marketplace, in which the US, China and the EU compete with each other about influence in the world. (Multi-) diplomacy will become of solid importance and 3 styles are to be recognized: coalition style, consensus style and consultancy style.
Global issues  
Global issues simmer as prospects brighten. Last year’s sense of panic has gone and the mood has lifted but there is still much for Davos delegates to chew over. In the years before the financial crisis, boundless optimism was the default setting for Davos man. The World Economic Forum was a celebration of globalisation and its possibilities. But the financial crisis put a stop to all that. The last four Davos forums have been gloomy affairs, dominated by a sense that global capitalism is in crisis. Delegates worried about everything – the euro, the banks, inequality, unempIoyment. It is possible, however, that – this year – the sense of crisis will lift. The fear that the euro could crash and burn within weeks – which was voiced openly at last year’s forum – has dissipated, and with it so has the biggest threat hovering over the world economy. There will still be earnest, even urgent, calls for reform in Europe. But the panic has gone.

Due to address world governance issues at the systemic level, CEPS and six other renowned think tanks drafted a systematic and structured inter-disciplinary (matrix) framework' GLOBAL MATRIX, A CONCEPTUAL AND ORGANISATIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR RESEARCHING THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE'.
Global Matrix advances and proposes to address world governance issues at the systemic level. The overarching question is whether the emerging multi-polar constellation is likely to prove stable and cooperative, or to reveal an inherent instability. The originality of the project is its structured inter-disciplinary (matrix) framework for examining the key dimensions to world politics.

Age Bakker 01-06-2011 searching position in a new world economy
Ben Bot 7-09-2009: Reform of international organisations with eye for perspectives of other powers
It is therefore also a research agenda for examining the stance of major world actors on the key policy dimensions to world politics (political ideologies, economics, migration, climate change, security and world view); drawing out evidence of cross-cutting linkages (between sectors and among major actors); and evaluating the evolution and adequacy of existing multilateral institutions in relation to the emerging multi-polarity, and formulating recommendations.


World Foresight Forum 2011, video impression
World Foresight Forum, closing session
City The Hague in the Netherlands launched 13-15 April 2011 an international event on a secure and sustainable world for future generations: the 'WORLD FORESIGHT FORUM'. The purpose of WFF is to develop future roadmaps which respond to global challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity, demographic shifts and the breakdown of the global financial system which may effect our prosperity and safety. The Forum acted as a foremost organization to build and energize leading global communities, creating a movement which bravely looks at the future, providing assessment, leadership and solutions for the biggest challenges of the new era. The Forum also acted as the creative force that provides an innovative roadmap shaping solutions for tomorrow’s future and reconsider and redefine the security of our homelands, not in its usual narrow sense, but aligned with the fast changing context of today and tomorrow.

The changes that are happening around us right now are part of several fundamental paradigm shifts that are unique in the history of humanity.  A successful transition to a sustainable and prosperous future can only occur if we embrace a new approach. Leaders from the worlds of business, government, science and the military, that have so far not engaged one another, need to meet, discuss, and make common cause.

At the new biennial international event, the seemingly unrelated dots scattered across multiple sectors that define the world we live in, were connected. World leaders from many disciplines and backgrounds came together at the WFF to think freely, speak clearly and act decisively in order to cope with the grand strategic challenges facing our world, such as the resource scarcity, financial crisis and global powershifts. The World Foresight Forum was organized round six themes, seeking to describe the principal dimensions of human existence: ecology & sustainability; population and demographics; science & technology; economy, geopolitics & security'; and society & culture.