To achieve such a sustainability transition will not be easy, especially because it requires greatly enhanced capacities for global coordination. Such coordination will require strengthening existing institutions or developing new ones, or both. Most debates about these issues simply take it for granted that suitable institutions for global governance – be it the UN, the IMF, the WTO or institutions yet to be formed - should be built around nation states, i.e. territorial structures. This global system science workshop addresses the question whether the building blocks provided by nations are sufficient to develop the global coordination required for a sustainability transition.