Leadership in the Center for Human Emergence Netherlands

A recording of a short interview with Jasper Rienstra, the CHE’s Organisational Learning Officer, about how Peter sees his own leadership in the CHE. It came before a leadership scan feedback session. (Note that an understanding of the Spiral Dynamics colour codes is needed to understand much of this conversation.)

Download here.

SDi EuroConfab 2008

Hi there – in case you haven’t heard, the annual gathering in Europe of practitioners of Spiral Dynamics Integral is happening at the end of this month. We would love to have as many people as possible from around the world. See below for info and come to the Netherlands, where shift happens!

EuroConFab 2008 Newsflash 01

From Friday afternoon October 31th until Sunday morning November 2nd the Center for Human Emergence (CHE) organizes the third international conference on: The practice of Spiral Dynamics Integral

You can register for the EuroConFab 2008 on-line. The registration form can be found on: www.spiraldynamicsintegral.nl

EuroConFab 2008 – the basics

The purpose is to create an internationally shared field of best practices of emergence and evolutionary change.

We start on Friday October 31st at 12.30hrs. The closure of the program is on Sunday November 2nd after lunch around 14.00hrs.

Early Bird price, book before 30 September: 395 Euro (19%VAT not included), after this date: 495 Euro (19%VAT not included). This includes conference fee, meals and accommodation (in single rooms) at conference centre Zonheuvel, in Doorn: www.hotelzonheuvel.eu .

A preview of some sessions

Every newsflash we will give you a preview of some sessions. This time more information on the contributions of Don Beck and Kees Hogendijk, and the latest affirmations for sessions we received.

Dr Don Beck on Large Scale Psychology

Dr. Don Beck will focus on a new branch of psychology that he as co-created called “Large-Scale Psychology.” It will describe the change and transformational processes in cities, cultures, movements, states, and entire nations/countries. Not only will it reflect an understanding of Spiral Dynamics, but will also introduce the Assimilation-Contrast Effect from the theory building by Muzafer Sherif around the theme of Social Judgment. He will identify the Conditions for Large Scale change and how it is now possible to craft, through the principles and processes of Natural Design, the multiple goals of a sustainable society, one that has developed the skills of resilience, and is aware of the many aspects of emergence at the DNA core of decision-making and competency layers within leadership. Case studies will include, the United States, the Netherlands, Palestine-Israel, South Africa, and now Mexico. See how theory and practice can inform each other as we develop greater complexity to deal with our problems and challenges of existence.

Kees Hoogendijk on Energy

Kees is an entrepreneur (with a background in Chemical Engineering), who went on a search (in the year 2000) for the essence of energy: energy in people, energy in organisations, energy in societies, energy as a source for peace and energy as a sustainable source for local (distributed) electricity production. A source of energy for everyone and owned by everyone. A source of energy which transcends the notion of scarcity and creates the integral experience of abundance and peace from within. This passionate journey lead him to the deep knowledge of many ancient cultures. His sources of inspiration were those who had made this journey before and published about it: Newton, Tesla, Buckminster Fuller, Schwaller de Lubicz, Steiner, Bailey, Blavatski, Teilhard de Chardin, Walter Russel, the great quantum physicists and some important alchemists. Kees reports about the challenge to translate universal ancient principles into practical solutions. This lead to a wealth of insights and experiences, some simple energy principles and practical lessons of what works and what doesn’t on the path to manifesting new energy technologies. When energy is shared freely, a truly important condition is fulfilled to make a contribution to a better world with unlimited opportunities for every human being. When there is energy, there is water, food, health and the opportunity to experience personal growth.

Peter Merry on the Hague Center for Global Governance, Innovation and Emergence, and the latest that is emerging on the world stage.

Latest confirmations for sessions:

Bjarni Snæbjörn Jónsson from Iceland will present the results of the second society values scan in Iceland.

Christopher Cooke wil not only share his experiences with SDi in Healthcare projects, he also shares the next developments in PeopleSCAN. Great!

Jeroen Maes will share his experience with one of the first cases of implementing holacracy in Europe.

And more to come …

Call for contributions

This is a conference for practitioners by practitioners. So we invite you to put forward your experiences, quests and questions and exchange, share and co-create them with the other participants. If you wish to share your daily practice during a session, we invite you to send us a short description of your subject as soon as possible and no later than October 10th. You can do that by sending an e-mail to euroconfab@humanemergence.nl.


We notice an increasing number questions that people ask us. We try to answer every question with care. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Q: Do I have to be SDI 1 certified to attend?
A: No, that is not necessary. We do use Spiral Dynamics Integral as a language during the conference and require that you understand this. So if you have not followed a course in this material we ask you to attend the introduction workshop prior to the conference. Friday morning, 9 to 13:00 at the Zonheuvel, cost 75 euro.

Q: I can only be at a part of the conference, is it still possible to attend?
A: The basic idea of the conference is that it it’s a two days event. The evenings are part of the program and contribute to building an international community of best practitioners. But yes, it is possible to attend a part of the program. However you will miss some very interesting best practices.

Q: I have the possibilty to stay overnight at home or somewhere else. Do I have to stay overnight in Huize Bergen?
A: No, you don’t have to stay overnight in Huize Bergen. However it is included with the participation fee.

Q: What is the business model of financial objective behind the euroconfab?
A: We try to keep the costs to a minimum, don’t work with a profit objective and can barely give discounts. If you would like, we will send you our budget. Let us know on: euroconfab@humanemergence.nl.

Q: Talking about the participation fee, is it possible to get a discount when I don’t stay overnight or attend only one day?
A: People can come for one day but we decided not to offer discounts for this. We see the EuroConfab as a group process and want to encourage everyone to join the whole of it. We want to become a community for two days. We do not want to encourage people to do (get or give ) their thing, be a presenter/consumer of a specific part and then leave. We would love the dynamic of a conference for the people by the people, so there is an interchange. Also: as it is an international conference, most people will join the lot.

Q: Can I get a discount when I participate as facilitator of a session?
A: No, we work with the principle that we all have to contribute equally, also in financial aspect. Even the organizing committee of the conference doesn’t get a discount on their participation fee.

Q: What is the difference with “Klaar Om Te Wenden”?
A: The ConFab is a community of practice. There will be more interaction, we work with smaller groups and there will be more in depth conversations about practices, experiences and questions

Q: I am not able to participate in this EuroConFab, what now?
A: This is the third EuroConFab (and we are a bit proud of that). We are full of confidence that this has proven to be an event that is returning each year. Stay informed through http://www.humanemergence.org

See you on October 31st!

Kindest regards from the EuroConFab-team 2008:

Auke van Nimwegen, Midas Buddemeijer, Jasper Rienstra en Anne-Marie Voorhoeve

The Hague Center for Global Governance, Innovation and Emergence

Just a note to say that the Center for Human Emergence Netherlands has submitted a proposal to the Dutch government to host the Hague Center for Global Governance, Innovation and Emergence. There was a funding opportunity which made us focus an intention that had been around for a while. This is going to happen, whether this particular funding comes through or not. Great partners have emerged, and conversations show that the time is right. A go-to place that initiates, supports and promotes an integral approach to global problem solving. You can download the proposal and accompanying documents, including letters of support from here. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what this Center could do.

Center for Human Emergence NL – Landing

We’ve been through an intense few weeks! Following on from the “releasing our claims” session and energetic dissolution of the Board mentioned in the last blog, we spent two days with Brian and Tom on holacracy, and an afternoon with Terry Patten from the Integral Institute.

One of the key things we learned from Holacracy was to look really clearly at what is actually there at the moment in terms of organisation – what is the organisation actually counting on people to do (accountabilities) – and to organise around that, rather than around the grand visions that we have of what we would like to be doing… That has provided great clarity and simplicity as we move into creating supportive organisational structure and processes that enable what is, whilst holding space for current tensions to manifest next steps.

There was a similar theme in our work with Terry, which was facing up to what is really present for people – surfacing the current tensions – “face everything, avoid nothing”, as one of Andrew Cohen’s tenet’s goes. It’s amazing how much we don’t say to each other, even though we consider ourselves to be “brothers/sisters-in-arms” on this evolutionary edge. Naming the judgements and tensions we are carrying releases huge energy to actually do the things that need to be done – engaging the issues that have been unspoken. It felt like a collective landing in the messiness of our relative reality – re-entering the marketplace as friends.

It feels to me as if dissolving the formal roles in the organisation has also helped people to be more themselves and get clearer on what their actual work is. And the funny thing is, the work that people are feeling called to still happens – without any formal structure! And that is what we are looking for – how can we create a minimal structure that simply aligns and supports the work that people are naturally being called to – whilst at the same time consciously identifying work that the organisation needs that currently isn’t being done – and finding the people that best fit that work.

It feels as if things are naturally falling into place, the dust of letting go attachments and fears is settling, and an eerie kind of calm is forming – fragile, delicate and real. As we enter the darkest period of the year, our roots are dropping deep, and we gather ourselves for the return of the light. The Spiral spins, the cycles turn and all is very well.

Leadership as the System – CHE NL Next Steps

When wondering whether to write this, I doubted because of the lack of clarity I had about exactly what I was going to write – but then remembered that that is the beauty of blogging – I can just tell the story and see how it unfolds…

If you have been following this story, you may remember an earlier blog in which I described a previous important step that we made in the Center for Human Emergence Netherlands and the decision-making around that. One of the key elements of that early phase was my decision to essentially gather around me the people who I most trusted, and with whom I felt vertical and horizontal solidarity – i.e. resonance at the level of consciousness and with appropriate skills. There was no formal structure or process around this – it was essentially a Purple system of leadership (colour code references to Spiral Dynamics Integral).

It has worked for a while, holding the centre and going deep into what it is we really want to be creating and what kind of organisational form could best support that. As a Purple system, it has by definition been pretty inward-focused, with justified complaints from outside the inner circle of a lack of transparency and little idea of what we were actually up to. In hindsight it would have been possible to hold that space and to have continued informing others of the process we were in, but somehow that energy does not support it. Anyway, we kept our focus and intention clear, through periods of insight and enthusiasm as well as phases of confusion and self-doubt.

In the last 6 months, we have been increasingly focused on how to put in place the kind of structure that would serve an integral evolutionary perspective  – to walk our talk as an organisation. Spiral’s Natural Design templates, Dee Hock’s Chaordic flow, and the Holacracy concepts have all played an important role.

In the last few weeks we have had the feeling that we were very close to manifesting it, but that it just wasn’t quite there yet. In that time it dawned on me that we were missing an important piece of the puzzle. Our focus had primarily been on the structural perspective (Wilber’s LR quadrant) and we had not been giving much attention to the LL Collective Field quadrant. This is where the link to Purple comes in. I realised that if we were going to move beyond where we were now, then we were going to have to release the energy of our Purple field. Structurally what we are trying to do is put in place a healthy Blue system (designed from Second Tier) that will lift the organisation beyond a co-dependancy upon me as its founder, into a space where it has clear structures and processes, so that anyone looking at our governance from outside would be able to see clearly how we are organised and why certain people are in certain positions. At the moment it is just because I have asked them to be there, and we need to move beyond that. To do this required a serious energetic intervention.

What I realised was that the only way to do this was for me as the Purple founder (“tribal chief”) to step in to make that happen. I decided that we needed to actually dissolve ourselves as a Board before we would really be able to let go of the past to let come the future. If we did that, the only function that would be left would be mine, as the “lead-link” from CHE Global, and that for this transition period I would have to hold the leadership on my own to enable the next phase to emerge. So we would create an energetic vacuum into which the future would be sucked, rather than trying to create it from the old structure and culture. Scharmer’s Theory U backs this up.

I got a reinforcement of this position during our recent retreat, when the core group (Board and others) were skilfully guided through a process of becoming conscious of any claims we had on the CHE as a system, i.e. what are we demanding that the CHE system gives us before we can be a whole person (e.g. a place to be recognised and loved, a place to be heard etc) – and then letting go of those claims. As we went round the circle and people stood up to release their claims, I became aware of a huge energy flowing through me, and realised that as the founder, people’s claims on the system were also energetically claims on me.

So during our Board meeting last Friday, I decide to take things into my hands again, pull the energy of the organisation to me once more, and see if I could facilitate a letting go. A core element in what helps a group to let go is that they feel they have been honoured for the work they have done in the past period – after all, we are only where we are now thanks to the path that has been walked. So in the days before I contacted the next circle of people around the Board and I asked them to send me a testimony/appreciation of the work that this group had done. Beautiful things arrived in my mail box, including poetry, and as I pulled them together the evening before our meeting I had a strong sense that we were on the right path.

During the meeting, after we had checked in and dealt with practical stuff, I explained what I felt I needed to do, and why I felt I needed to step into a different leadership role for the moment and hold the space as the founder. I had no idea how people were going to respond, and it was a great relief to hear the group’s appreciation of this step and indeed the relief that they felt at me taking that leadership position. We were well placed for release. Next I handed out the testimonies I had received from others and we read them in silence. You could feel the field deepen and expand. I then invited us all to go into a round of appreciation of our time and work together over the last period, which proved to be very powerful, for me as much as for anyone else.

As I sensed into that question (“what do I appreciate about this group?”) I could feel the emotions surging up, and what powered its way through was a deep sense of gratitude that a group of people would have the faith in me and the vision I held to step into a journey which had no clear destination. I can offer no result – only a clear commitment and intention – and yet these crazy crew were ready to devote their time and energy to manifesting whatever it was we had to do together. These Dutch have explorer genes in them  – their ancestors got into flimsy boats to cross the oceans without knowing what they would find – and bless them for that.

Once the circle was finished, one of our company who is particularly sensitive to the collective energy field said she could see that it had shifted – our letting go had happened. I don’t really know what the implications of this are going to be, it just feels like the space we have created is what we need to hold if we are really going to allow the next phase to emerge. We are working with Brian Robertson from Holacracy this coming week, and I have a sense that the last pieces might just fall into place.

We will see, and I will keep you posted!

Collective Alignment

This is how we are currently aligning ourselves as the Center for Human Emergence (Netherlands). This concept and the organisation form is designed to be scale-free.

Core Purpose

To become a catalyser and crystalliser of action for the planetary transformation into integral evolutionary consciousness

Core Principles

  • We practice full presence and radical authenticity
  • We open our hearts to the voice of the whole
  • We pay attention to the evolutionary impulse as it arises as us
  • We move ourselves as that impulse with swiftness, precision and love

Vision and Mission

External Vision (An inspirational statement that describes the contribution we want to make to the world)

A catalyser and crystalliser of action for the planetary transformation into integral evolutionary consciousness

Internal Vision (A statement that describes organizational fulfillment)

To serve Spirit as its unfolding

Internal Mission ( a. What is our core business? b. What do we need to grow and develop as an organization?)

To support rapid self-organisation as the evolutionary impulse, by developing our compassion, insight and skillful means

External Mission (An inspirational statement that describes the service we provide to our clients, a statement that will inspire our customers)

To rapidly co-emerge vital and resilient individuals, organisations and cultures fit for present and emerging realities