Commons, Collaboration, and Civic Design with Dr. Erik Nordman


Dr. Erik Nordman, professor of Natural Resource Management and adjunct professor of Economics at Grand Valley State University and author of The Uncommon Knowledge of Elinor Ostrom will discuss shared resources, often called “commons,” which tend to be overused. For decades, policymakers believed that the government must privatize or regulate such shared resources. However, Elinor Ostrom, a political scientist who won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics, studied resource-using communities worldwide. In many cases, these communities could govern their shared resources, such as fisheries, forests, and irrigation systems, without resorting to privatization or top-down government regulations. Ostrom identified a set of “design principles” for sustaining a shared resource. This talk will show how Ostrom arrived at her groundbreaking ideas and how these ideas are being implemented to create vibrant urban communities.

This program is part of the Communities by Design series in partnership with the Kent District Library.