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Festival of the Commons slated October 7-8 at Augsburg College

thecommonsEvery day we use and benefit from resources we all share—elements of “the commons” such as water, land, technology, public parks, and even culture. How society creates, uses, and manages the commons will be the theme of The Festival of the Commons, held October 7-8 at Augsburg College.

Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics, will be the keynote speaker. This professor of political science at Indiana University won the 2009 Nobel for research that demonstrates the worldwide importance of the commons.

She found that—counter to conventional wisdom—people could collaborate to use and manage natural resources, intellectual property, and other shared resources. Her work runs counter to current ideas about common property management, regulation, and privatization.

The concept of the commons is founded upon principles including collaborative and participatory governance, responsibility to prevent harm and repair damage, creation of a sense of shared ownership and belonging, enhanced relationships built upon deep connections to one another and the earth, and stewardship that creates sustainability for coming generations.

Learn more about Ostrom’s ideas and theories in this YouTube video.

What is the commons? Read more here.

The Festival of the Commons: Celebrating All That We Share

All events are free and open to the public.

Friday, October 7

3 p.m. – Commons Gathering featuring the Brass Messengers and theater performance, plaza at Foss Center

3:30 p.m. – Keynote Address by Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Laureate, “Constructing Common Property Regimes,” Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center

5:30-7 p.m. – Commons Festival with music and food, Murphy ParkSaturday, October 8

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Commons Walking Tour of West Bank and Seward Neighborhood, Garry Hesser, Sabo Center Chair

1-3 p.m. – Commons Bike Tour of Minneapolis, Jay Walljasper, author of All That We Share: A Field Guide to the Commons, and Lars Christiansen, Associate Professor of Sociology and Sabo Senior Fellow

The Festival of the Commons is a joint project of the Augsburg College Center for Citizenship and Learning, the Center for Democracy and Citizenship, and On the Commons. For more information, contact Elaine Eschenbacher at

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