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.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Use graduated sanctions for rule violators.

 

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Provide accessible, low-cost means for dispute resolution.

 

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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.