Emergent behaviour—system behaviour not determined by the behaviours of system components when considered in isolation—is commonplace in multi-agent systems, particularly when agents adapt to environmental change. This article considers the manner in which Formal Methods may be used to authenticate the trustworthiness of such systems. Techniques are considered for capturing emergent behaviour in the system specification and then the incremental refinement method is applied to justify design decisions embodied in an implementation. To demonstrate the approach, one and two-dimensional cellular automata are studied. In particular an incremental refinement of the ‘glider’ in Conway’s Game of Life is given from its specification.