Cooperation & Transparency [was Commitments to community
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 2016 14:18:44 -0800 (PST)
Elinor Ostrom, American political economist, won the Nobel Prize for her 
research proving that cooperative organizations can and do work, often on a 
very large scale. Her work challenged previous theoretical frameworks and 
assumptions based on no experience, especially the commons.

A 2009 article in Forbes, "Why Elinor Ostrom Matters":

Her eight design principles for cooperative governance were based on very large 
organizations, independent fisheries for example, and with serious but mutually 
agreed upon  policing in place. Her seminal work "Governing the Commons: The 
Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action” is not for the faint hearted. 
It is an academic presentation of her research. 

Her principles are most applicable to how we collect monthly condo fees/dues 
because they relate to sharing resources, but one example is more relevant to 
living in cohousing. After discussing her theories, an interviewer left 
economics and asked a question most of us confront daily: How does her office 
manage the refrigerator cleaning?

She said everyone cleans because everyone benefits at one time or another by 
having the refrigerator there. They clean for a month on a rotating basis. A 
list is posted by the refrigerator so everyone knows who is responsible if it 
is not clean. And if it is super clean. She said it is always clean.

Clarity and transparency.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC

"Behavior is determined by the prevailing form of decision making." Gerard 

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.