After a process in which experts and the Award Council received many candidates and carefully evaluated them in three consecutive rounds, we are very glad to announce the eight winners of the First Edition of this Elinor Ostrom Award on Collective Governance of the Commons. The laureates are:
o Foundation for Ecological Security (India), for their extensive work with both communities and the government to strengthen the local management of the commons and supportive policies for equity and on sustainability.
o The Open Spaces Society (United Kingdom), for their long stewardship of the commons and their impact on commons policy and management both in the Uk and Japan.
o Grupo de Estudios Ambientales A.C. (Mexico), for their work to consolidate local rules into practice, particularly with ejidos and indigenous communities on forests management.
• Senior Scholars:
o Ben Cousins of the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (University of Western Cape, South Africa), for his multi disciplinary approach to explore how property rights and collective action arenas interact in agrarian settings where community management of land is crucial, for actively engaging with public policy in these areas, as well as for developing a community of scholars studying aspects of the commons.
o Harini Nagendra, Ramanujan Fellow and Urban Ecology Coordinator at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE, India), for her wide diversity of work, her innovation and her use of different methodological approaches, as well as for her active participation as a practitioner on the commons.
o Charles Schweik, of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (United States of America), for his innovative use of the Institutional Analysis and Development framework, his long term commitment and impact in public policy around the topic of knowledge commons and his development of communities of practice and learning.
• Young Scholars:
o Eduardo Araral (National University of Singapore), for his work on multiple sector commons, his innovative approaches to the commons, his long-term commitment to the analysis of governance institutions and his impact on policies and consultancies, both locally and internationally
o Michael Cox of Dartmouth College (United States of America), for his innovative and collaborative work on Social Ecological Systems, his revision of the Ostrom design principles, and his widely comparative approach on the meta-analyses of large scale common-pool resources.
From left to right: Kate Ashbrook (OSS), Jagdeesh Rao (FES), Micheal Murphree (on behalf of Ben Cousin), Micheal Cox, Charles Schweik, Eduardo Araral, Catarina Illsley, Harini Nagendra.
The pool of awardees shows the wide diversity of common-pool resources and the many ways in which individuals can cooperate to create, maintain, defend and manage commons.
The younger scholars have a promising career in community building and in the analysis of their governance, while the more experienced ones have shown an extraordinary commitment to their analysis, creation and defence. On their part, the awarded organizations show the different ways in which communities and groups can organize to nurture and foster the commons.
The Award Council of the Ostrom Award would like to thank each and every one who collaborated with this initiative. The Ostrom Award itself works by the spirit of Elinor Ostrom, an exceptional academic leader who challenged the conventional vision of individuals who act only as rational utility-maximizers and who was awarded the 2009 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
The Elinor Ostrom Award Council would also like to extend a particular recognition to the Ford Foundation, for granting the majority of resources which made this possible, and the Comisión Nacional para el Concimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (Conabio, Mexico) for their administrative support.
The Award Ceremony took place on June 5th, 2013 during the XIV International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) Global Conference.