As such, the commons of a particular locality or culture are a birthright of that community. The commons are about relationships and belonging, about interbeing rather than separation. Holding things in ‘common’ invites people to collaborate and share the abundance provided by a particular place and culture, while private (or corporate) ownership creates artificial scarcity and separation, driving us to compete.
Elinor Ostrom’s (the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in economics) design principles’ leading to successful collective management of the commons:
- define the community of people sharing the commons
- adapt rules of use to the type of commons and its users
- commoners themselves have to set the rules
- the state of the commons has to be monitored in an accountable way
- abuse by individuals needs to be curbed in a gradual way
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