Global environmental change is one of the great challenges humankind is facing today. Humans now influence almost all biological and physical systems of the planet. Scientists today see mounting evidence that the entire earth system now operates well outside the normal state exhibited over the past 500,000 years, and that human activity is generating change that extends well be­yond natural vari­ability – in some cases, alarmingly so – and at rates that continue to accelerate. The perennial question from a social science per­spective is how to organize the co-evolu­tion of socie­ties and their sur­rounding envi­ronment in the new planetary epoch of the Anthropocene. In other words, how to develop effective and equitable governance solutions for today’s global environmental emergencies.