8 Keys to a Successful Commons

Advice on how to govern our commons by Nobel winner Elinor Ostrom.
The Alps

Swiss Alps pastures, wikimedia commons.


Blue Number 1
Define clear group boundaries.


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


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


Make sure the rulemaking rights of community members are respected by outside authorities.


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


Use graduated sanctions for rule violators.


Provide accessible, low-cost means for dispute resolution.


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


Interested?: Elinor Ostrom was an unusual choice for the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.


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