Establishing world governance that is not only responsible, plural and united but also legitimate and efficient could be seen, in the early 21st century, as utopian, an impossible objective. Nevertheless, world governance is essential and, regardless of the difficulties that citizens face and will continue to face, we must persevere in our efforts to put forward ideas, proposals and actions that will contribute to a form of world governance that is capable of meeting existing challenges.
Citizens are well aware that tensions, conflicts and wars persist, that national, regional and world institutions are powerless, and that the role of these institutions is reduced to avoiding irreparable deterioration of living conditions and prospects for survival for the world’s populations. We cannot expect deep or short-term changes to the United Nations’ political system or in the policies of multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, WTO or IMF. These institutions are too blocked by their structures and inherited thought processes to envisage evolutions likely to challenge their existence.
At the same time, transformation of the structures and role of nations, at the national and continental levels, is a slow process and numerous obstacles must be overcome. Meanwhile, associations operating in the civil society will continue to meet regularly at the various levels but, without viable propositions, they will not be able to transcend their status as protest movements lacking real influence on the institutional transformations that must be made in order to reconstruct world governance.
We cannot sit back and expect States, especially the most powerful ones, international institutions or think tanks established by multinational corporations to take the initiative for making changes alone. It is up to civil society, in all its diversity, to mobilize the innovative dynamics that it can generate.
From this situation, a new opportunity can emerge: the development and publication in many languages and many countries of a collection of Proposal Papers. These booklets will bring together, for each aspect of world governance, the most pertinent suggestions for introducing the necessary ruptures and mutations that must take place before a new, fairer and more sustainable form of world governance can be established.
Combining reflection and action, these proposals should serve as a catalyst for collective debate at the international level and as a tool for promoting and reinforcing actions initiated by groups and individuals striving for the introduction of new ideas and innovative practices capable of meeting the challenges we face in these early years of a new millennium.
The concept of Proposal Papers has emerged from past activities initiated by the Alliance for a responsible, plural and united world. The Alliance is an open network of people and organizations wishing to invent new forms of collective action, both locally and globally, and to ensure that they influence the future of a world that has become increasingly complex and interdependent. Between 1995 and 2001, some 60 Proposal Papers were issued via the Alliance’s thematic workshops, with the support of an independent international foundation based in Switzerland, the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind (FPH). 
For this new series of Proposal Papers, a new format has been created: the Forum for a New World Governance. Created in 2008 with support from FPH, this initiative aims to generate a wide-ranging debate on world governance: in other words, to explore and identify the most appropriate methods of governance for our world today and for the future, given that, as history has shown, the greatest changes occur with unprecedented speed. In order to give substance to this vast debate, the Forum will invite as many participants as possible to come forward and think, discuss and work for the emergence of new ideas on managing this planet of ours, in all its various forms, at all levels, linking the local to the global and initiating a wide variety of action opportunities. The Forum will organize and facilitate seminars, speeches and local debates. All contributions will be widely published via a large range of outlets: an Internet site (www.world-governance.org) indispensable for promoting new publications, creation of networks, exchanges of ideas and proposals.