Ideas in Action

Internationally, democratic innovations are responding to sustainable development concerns, contributing to the resolution of some of the tensions identified in The Challenge. We have divided these innovations into six interrelated themes:

You can search on these themes and different topics for existing initiatives:

  • Themes

  • Topics

One Comment

Sara Parkin

The work of Elinor Ostrom should be at the heart of FDSD thinking about ‘how to do it’. She got the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2009 (the first woman to do so) for showing that the thesis of the Tragedy of the Commons was not true. There are many local communities that have designed and are operating complex democratic systems for sharing what she calls ‘common pool’ resources, like water and land. Painstakingly she drew out 8 key features that, if present, made it more likely that the initiative would work – and most importantly endure. Plus a methodology for groups to design their own process. See her Governing the Commons, (1990) and her Wikipedia entry for more references. Basing new ways of organising and deciding democratically on her amazing research (though she said there was no panacea!) would take us forward more quickly.


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