The Program on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) was launched in 2011. The principal approach of PECS research is in-depth understanding of social-ecological dynamics at landscape scale in a wide variety of situations, using a broadly similar set of conceptual frameworks and tools, leading to comparisons of place-based, long-term social-ecological case studies in order to reveal general principles for sustainably managing these systems. Since the beginning of 2014 PECS is officially part of Future Earth, the newly created global research platform that aims to provide the knowledge and support to accelerate our transformations to a sustainable world. The particular contribution of PECS to the Future Earth portfolio is its strong emphasis on the assessment of social-ecological systems at local scale and understanding how what is needed to build a “Good Anthropocene”, by scoping futures quite unlike the present, and how they might be reached. During its initial three years PECS has held several consultation workshops, conference sessions (e.g. Planet Under Pressure 2012, GLP 2014, Resilience 2014, ESP 2014) and conference presentations, along with surveys of potential collaborators, partners and sites. 13 transdisciplinary projects have officially been endorsed as PECS projects, which together cover 33 regional social-ecological case-studies around the world. Research across these case studies is adaptive and transdisciplinary and combines different knowledge systems and perspectives. A special feature of Ecology and Society highlighting the results of the different projects involved PECS is evolving throughout 2015. These features will ultimately, and ideally, allow for the guiding research questions of PECS to be co-designed and co-evolved together by researchers and stakeholders.