United People: designing a new model of global governance

A.G.L. Romme, C. Ansell, J. Buck, Y. Choi, R. van der Eyden, V. Figueroa Huencho, E. John, T. Kunkler, J. Mair, A. Meijer, R. Meyer, K. Stephenson, L. Välikangas, N. Whitestone, C. Yu

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Human-driven changes on this planet have been giving rise to global warming, social instability, civil wars, and acts of terrorism. The existing system of global governance is not equipped to effectively address these enormous challenges. It is slow where one must move quickly, favors bureaucracy and politics over authentic deliberations and effective interventions, and caters to power-brokers and mega-corporations. The world therefore needs a model of global governance that serves to make and implement collectively binding decisions that acknowledge the interests of all those affected, including future generations. This governance model must coordinate the work of great (e.g. national) powers, and at the same time enable billions of people to bring their intelligence and creativity to bear on these challenges. In many ways, the quest for a new system of global governance is a grand societal challenge in itself. In this paper, we draw on idealized design to develop an ideal model of global governance and explore the collective search and experimentation efforts it implies. This so-called United People (UP) model involves a circular hierarchy in which power and communication flow in ways that help the global community to effectively address transnational challenges and problems. It involves several, relatively small, governance bodies—rather than a large parliamentary assembly that tends to cripple responsive decision-making. The UP model also serves to effectively uncover and address power abuse, simplify the financial household of global governance, and support systemic forms of collaboration with NGOs and other organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-170
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Asian Scientific Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2018


  • United Nations
  • global governance
  • public governance
  • idealized design
  • Ideation
  • NGOs
  • Supranational governance
  • global poverty
  • international relations
  • security council


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