I arrived in London in mid-April 1990, a time of astonishing change in the world. Just a few months earlier, the Berlin Wall had abruptly crumbled. The Soviet Union had also collapsed, and with it, the assumptions and framework of international affairs since the Second World War. It was a time of great excitement and anticipation, and I felt certain it was right for me to be in this place at this particular time.

I had undergone an intensive screening process over the four months following my initial contact with Renata Karlin, making several trips to London and the Hague where I had met with many of the senior officers in the Royal Dutch Shell Group. During this process, I spent a significant amount of time with the planning ...

Get Synchronicity, 2nd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.