The world is undergoing a process of structural transformation in multiple dimensions: technological, economic, cultural, and institutional. This creates as many opportunities as it induces perils. Perhaps the most fundamental problem we now face is the crisis of political institutions in charge of managing the transition. We know the problems, we understand the issues, and in many countries there is enough political will to tackle the questions to be addressed. However, the organizational and institutional tools of governance are either insufficient or inadequate. Furthermore, the crisis of governance is related to a crisis of political legitimacy, characterized by increasing distance between citizens and their representatives. Both crises feed into each other, threatening with political paralysis and opening the way both for authoritarian policies and for demagogic revolts.