Age of Awareness
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Age of Awareness

Elinor Ostrom, Winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics (Source)

Learning the art of commoning

“Growing numbers of people are taking steps that move us, gradually, in the direction of a commons-based society — a world in which the fundamental focus on competition that characterizes life today would be balanced with new attitudes and social structures that foster cooperation.”

Jay Walljasper (2010)

The Commons Framework (Source)
Elinor Ostrom

8 Principles for Managing a Commons

1. Define clear group boundaries.

2. Match rules governing use of common goods to local needs and conditions.

3. Ensure that those affected by the rules can participate in modifying the rules.

4. Make sure the rule-making rights of community members are respected by outside authorities.

5. Develop a system, carried out by community members, for monitoring members’ behavior.

6. Use graduated sanctions for rule violators.

7. Provide accessible, low-cost means for dispute resolution.

8. Build responsibility for governing the common resource in nested tiers from the lowest level up to the entire interconnected system.

“A commons arises whenever a given community decides to manage a resource in a collective manner, with special regard to equitable access, use and sustainability.” [Importantly, the commons is not simply a resource but] “a resource plus a defined community and the protocols, values and norms devised by the community to manage its resource”

— David Bollier, 2011

From Peter Barns Book: Capitalism 3.0 — A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons



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Daniel Christian Wahl

Catalysing transformative innovation, cultural co-creation, whole systems design, and bioregional regeneration. Author of Designing Regenerative Cultures