3.4 Core Values and Behaviour

Generally applicable guidance

Core Human Values and Behavioural Essentials

We believe

  • Acting on the following core values and behavioural essentials provides the highest impact when problems are complex
  • These values and behavioural essentials need to be part of our permanent consciousness and care

Core Human Values


The health of the planet, societies, systems, organizations, and people

Includes biodiversity


Includes climate and peace

Basic needs: water, air, shelter, food, energy1

Includes being in balance with nature such that nature continues to provide the water, air, food, shelter, and energy all living beings need.


Includes truth-seeking 

Freedom: In harmony 

Everyone should be able to live freely. However, the freedom of one person ends where the freedom, health, and safety of another person begins.

1) Based on “Sustainocracy: The new democracy.” Jean-Paul Close.  https://sustainocracy.blog/what-is-sustainocracy/

Behavioural Essentials

In support of core values and to (re)build trust

Be authentic

Be yourself


  • Exploring multiple perspectives
  • Constructive criticism
  • Responding to new insights and changing situations

Respect each other  

Listen to each other

  • Do I fully understand what the other person means?
  • What can I do with what I have heard?
  • People have the feeling they are being listened to

Fairness, togetherness, equal access to opportunities

Act with adaptive integrity

Today, environments can change quicker than promises can be delivered. People recognize intuitively when a promise conflicts with lessons learned and laws of nature or makes no sense anymore. A new integrity is needed.

We give our word (a promise, commitment, etc.) when we have sufficient confidence that we can keep our word.4 As soon as we know that we cannot keep our word, we inform all parties counting on us and clean up any mess that we caused in their lives.2

People, objects, and systems are in or out of integrity.3

Take ownership

Ownership: Personal responsibility and accountability

Co-creation: Representatives of all groups involved or affected work together to solve a tough problem on equal terms 

2) Integrity: Without it Nothing Works. Jensen, Michael C. Harvard Business School. Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus. April 6, 2014. https://ssrn.com/abstract=1511274.

3) Seminar. Jensen, Michael C. Erasmus University, Rotterdam. 2011. 

4) To meet an executability need: Adjusted by E. Oetringer