The Social Rules project directed by Paul Steinberg of Harvey Mudd College is a great project that shows the importance of rules and norms in every day live, especially in the context of sustainability. Besides a book, an animation they also provide a game. A great educational source.
The students of the course “Rules, Games and Society” at Arizona State University use the book of this website, and they made some amazing videos. The task was to create a five minute video and apply concepts of the class to a specific topic. Here is a selection of the videos:
Recent rain events in the Phoenix valley may not allude to it, but there is a serious water scarcity in Arizona. The Arizona Community Foundation announced a $100,000 award for the best innovative campaign to make water scarcity and water use to be at the top of the political debate in Arizona. For more information see http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2014/09/28/arizona-water-scarcity-contest/16378517/.
A great documentary on how indigenous communities in Guatemala are managing successfully their community forest of about 21,000 hectares. It is a nice example of self-governance and illustrate many of the design principles Elinor Ostrom found in her analysis of many case studies.
Last December I experienced the traffic in India first hand. A big difference between the formal and informal rules!! One needs to honk the whole time to let people in front of you know you are there. People drive all kind of directions at the same time, and cows and other animals share the road with you too.
The video below shows the experience ambulance drivers have in India in contrast to a European or North American situation. In India nobody give way to the ambulance and the patient dies, in European and North American countries lives are saved due to different social norms.
Hopefully videos like this will raise awareness and change some of the norms people use in Indian traffic.
Defending the Global Commons is an on-going posted collection of essays and articles about the global commons of natural resources, basic services, public spaces and cultural traditions that may contribute to the “common good”, as the website puts it. This is one section of the online magazine from the Other Worlds organization. The Other Worlds organization is dedicated to social justice and the online magazine includes a number of sections dedicated to social justice issues such as food production, gender justice, water, health, housing and environmental protection.
The Open Educational Resources (OER) Commons by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) is an open-source resource for educators, offering search tools for shared resources, guidelines and a framework for the development of shared resources, the Open Author software platform, evaluation rubrics and a variety of tools and information to help educators build and share their curriculum. Educators must register through the website, but registration is free. In addition to the information and tools that are provided through the website, the organization also provides training opportunities in open-source curriculum development for educators within their local communities.
23andMe, Inc. is a private for-profit organization that offers DNA analysis and information to individual consumers. DNA collection is collected through a $99 at home saliva sample collection kit that is then mailed back to the company for genome mapping and analysis. Individualized reports and personalized health recommendations are then delivered to the consumer over the internet via a personal homepage on the company website. In addition, consumers are given the opportunity to share their genomic data with doctors, researchers, scientists, hospitals, and other individuals within the online community that are members of the organization. The company website states that 90% of their customers have opted-in to participation in their research. While the individual consumer can opt into sharing the data with other members at basic or extended levels or opt out of sharing entirely. The company website states that each individual has the opportunity to “contribute to science’s understanding of how genes interact with the environment to make individuals who they are” and “participate in research that could improve understanding of how genetics influences our lives”. This privately-held company, however, owns and controls the aggregated data which may raise questions about ethics and the commodity value of personal data to pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, governments, etc. The company states on the website that one of their core values is the encouragement of “dialogue in the ethical, social and policy implications of personalized genetic services”, but questions remain about the value and usage of individual and aggregated genetic data.
On the Commons (OTC) was founded in 2001 and is a commons movement strategy center to help bring visibility to and build the commons movement, catalyze commons work, and encourage commons leadership. The site includes information and a number of features about the commons movement. The site includes monthly editions of Commons Magazine, featuring articles about commons issues and initiatives; Commons Work, a resource center dedicated to work on the commons; and the Commons Network, where opportunities for collaboration and creative resource sharing are posted by members.
Technological development affects the way we can organize insurance. A new development is Peer to Peer insurance, which is basically a self-organization of customers to organize their insurance and bypassing the big insurance companies. This will lead to lower costs for the consumers since it does not pay for the large overhead of financial organizations. Each member is both an insurer and and insuree. The P2P insurance does not collect premiums but pays claims and the costs are shared among its members.