For all its activities the Earth System Governance Project relies on a large dynamic network that reflects the interdisciplinary, international, and multi-scale challenge of developing integrated systems of governance to ensure the sustainable development of the coupled socio-ecological system that the Earth has become. The Earth System Governance Network has different categories of affiliation:

Steering Group - In 2009-2013, the Earth System Governance Project has operated under the direction of a Scientific Steering Committee that was appointed by the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP). In this period, the Project has evolved into a broader research alliance that builds on an international network of research centreslead faculty, and research fellows. Since the termination of the IHDP in 2014, the activities of the Earth System Governance research alliance are supported by an international steering group of representatives of the main Earth System Governance Research Centres and the global group of lead faculty and research fellows. A close affiliation with the successor to the IHDP – the Future Earth global research platform – is currently being negotiated. 

Lead Faculty - The Earth System Governance Lead Faculty is a small group of scientists of highest international reputation who take (shared) responsibility for the development of research on particular analytical problems, crosscutting themes or flagship activities. Members are invited by the Scientific Steering Committee taking into account academic criteria while striving for a geographical, disciplinary, and gender balance.

Senior Research Fellows - Senior Research Fellows are senior scientists and faculty members who seek to link their own research projects with the broader themes and questions of earth system governance.

Research Fellows - Research Fellows are early to mid-level career scientists who seek to link their own research projects with the broader themes and questions of earth system governance.

Through a bottom-up, dynamic, and active network, senior research fellows and research fellows collaborate on research, debate ideas and disseminate information on relevant events and opportunities in the field.