The Earth System Governance Scientific Planning Committee held a workshop at the ISA Annual Convention 2008, San Francisco, United States of America. This workshop brought together scholars from a diversity of disciplines and geographic areas to develop a research agenda on ´earth system governance´ and to work on the Earth System Governance Science Plan. Participants in the workshop were members of the Scientific Planning Committee of the Earth System Governance initiative, and interested participants of the ISA Annual Convention 2008.