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Think-Know Tools, an online course presented by Howard Rheingold

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Think-know Tools dives into both the theoretical-historical background of intellect augmentation and the practical skills of personal knowledge management. Now that we have access to powerful mind-amplifying devices and self-evolving collective intelligence networks, we can benefit ourselves and improve the commons by learning how knowledge technologies work and how to work them:

  • Modules on Roots & Visions of Augmentation and The Extended Mind establish a conceptual-theoretical-empirical basis for understanding and discussing both the origin and future of tools specifically devised to magnify thinking capabilities and group problem-solving capacity.
  • Modules on Social BookmarkingConcept Mapping, and Personal Knowledge Management introduce practical tools and practices for finding, storing, refining, sharing, exploring knowledge.
  • Learning activities include group bookmarking as focused collective intelligence, concept map-making for understanding systems, construction of knowledge-plexes with Personal Brain."
Howard Rheingold's insight:

I'm following up my infotention instruction that I presented in Introduction to Mind Amplifiers with a more advanced examination of both the ideas and the practices around intellectual augmentation and the extended mind -- concept mapping, social bookmarking, personal knowledge management with tools like Personal Brain. June 19 - July 16. Limited to 30 co-learners. The class is half-filled and registration closes June 12.

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Meta-Collaboration: Thinking With Another

Meta-Collaboration: Thinking With Another | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
The two aspects of being human that set us apart from other mammals are metacognition and the deep desire to belong or feel felt. Our sense of needing to belong to a group is an inherited part of our neurobiology, and collaboration with others is the desired outcome. Metacognition is our brains' miraculous innate ability to self-assess, think about our thinking, and reshape our perspectives.

Feeling the emotions of others, social acceptance, and cooperation are critical to our early development of the identity and industry stages. Author and motivational speaker Daniel Pink states that the future belongs to conceptual cooperative thinkers.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Wonderfully, this post addresses two subjects I track because I know they are important: metacognition and its role in infotention, and the relationship of human cooperation to social media

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Opinion: Don’t ignore social justice in transportation rules | San Antonio, Texas Local Community News & Journalism

Opinion: Don’t ignore social justice in transportation rules | San Antonio, Texas Local Community News & Journalism | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
San Antonio's taxi mayhem had demonstrated the century-old “tragedy of the commons” theory: That shepherds could not be trusted to sustainably share a public resource such as a piece of grassland, because each would be more likely to act in his or her own self-interest and overgraze — to the detriment of the common good.

Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2009 for debunking that theory, using as proof the cooperative acequia canal systems such as those that irrigated croplands around the Alamo, parts of which still exist near Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Commons are about a lot of things besides fisheries and forestry. The Internet, the electromagnetic spectrum, scientific publications are three different commons threatened with enclosure. A San Antonio cab driver cites the relevance of Ostrom's design principles for governing commons to San Antonio's cabs-vs-uber conflict.

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gobsmackedmumble's comment, July 1, 6:36 AM
Stunning
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The Wealth of People for the 21st Century: January 2015

The Wealth of People for the 21st Century: January 2015 | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
The next series of posts I want to explore how information and identity are shaped by and shape fundamental social constraints. 
Howard Rheingold's insight:

A prequel to my previous scoop, riffing on the Dunbar number and other key ideas about cultural evolution of human cooperation.

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Searching For The Origins Of Individualism And Collectivism

Searching For The Origins Of Individualism And Collectivism | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Tonnies’ distinction between community and civil society profoundly shaped 20th century social science and inspired anthropologists, sociologists and cross-cultural psychologists to explore how different social groups organized themselves according to these different principles.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Much of sociology grew as a reaction to Tönnies 19th century distinction between ancient "community" and modern "civil society" (Gemeinschaft vs Gesellschaft). This recent research attempts to answer the question of how individuality and collective action -- the two poles of social dilemmas and building blocks of coooperation -- could have evolved.

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Intro to communities of practice | Wenger-Trayner

Intro to communities of practice | Wenger-Trayner | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavor: a tribe learning to survive, a band of artists seeking new forms of expression, a group of engineers working on similar problems, a clique of pupils defining their identity in the school, a network of surgeons exploring novel techniques, a gathering of first-time managers helping each other cope. In a nutshell:
Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.
Note that this definition allows for, but does not assume, intentionality: learning can be the reason the community comes together or an incidental outcome of member’s interactions. Not everything called a community is a community of practice. A neighborhood for instance, is often called a community, but is usually not a community of practice.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Coordination, cooperation, collaboration involved escalating levels of communication, negotiation, and commitment. The relatively recent theories about communities of practice are an important contribution to a number of discipline -- and the interdisciplinary studey of cooperation and collective action.

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cooperative competencies

cooperative competencies | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Both collaborative behaviours (working together for a common goal) and cooperative behaviours (sharing freely without any quid pro quo) are needed in the network era. Most organizations focus on shorter term collaborative behaviours, but networks thrive on cooperative behaviours, where people share without any direct benefit. This is the major shift we need in creating Enterprise 2.0 or social businesses. Being “social” means being human, and humans are much more than economic units. We like to be helpful and we like to get recognition. We need more than extrinsic compensation and our behaviour on Wikipedia and online social networks proves this. For the most part, we like to help others. This is cooperation, and it makes for more resilient networks. Better networks are better for business.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

I always pay attentio to Harold Jarche, who has useful things to say about personal knowledge management. There's a lot of hooey out there about collaboration. Jarche connects collaboration, cooperation, networks and organizations -- human needs, organizational needs, software, and behavior.

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Platform Cooperativism vs. the Sharing Economy — Medium

Platform Cooperativism vs. the Sharing Economy - Medium
The backlash against unethical labor practices in the “collaborative sharing economy” has been overplayed. Recently, The Washington Post, New York Times and others started to rail against online labor brokerages like Taskrabbit, Handy, and Uber because of an utter lack of concern for their workers. At the recent Digital Labor conference, my colleague McKenzie Wark proposed that the modes of production that we appear to be entering are not quite capitalism as classically described. “This is not capitalism,” he said, “this is something worse.” [1]

But just for one moment imagine that the algorithmic heart of any of these citadels of anti-unionism could be cloned and brought back to life under a different ownership model, with fair working conditions, as a humane alternative to the free market model.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Are "collaborative consumption" services such as Lyft & AirBNB really "cooperation economy," or are they a new facet of capitalism -- or a hybrid? Trebor Scholz, who coined the term "playbor" to describe the way online participants' voluntary behavior can create profits for others, is hardly a booster of capitalism. An interestingly balanced look at this emerging phenomenon.

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Best ever cooperative boardgames

Best ever cooperative boardgames | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Cooperative boardgames require some mental readjustment. Your fellow players aren’t your opponents; they’re on your team! Either you all beat the game, or you all lose!
Howard Rheingold's insight:

When I asked the late Peter Kollock, an expert on social dilemmas, how to reshape attitudes toward cooperation, he suggested starting with the games children play.

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Mesmerizing Amish Barn Raising Time-Lapse Captures the Incredible Power of Team Work

Mesmerizing Amish Barn Raising Time-Lapse Captures the Incredible Power of Team Work | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"The camera never moves, the interval never changes, there’s no crazy ‘flow-motion’ skills involved and what is captured isn’t a picturesque landscape… and yet, this time-lapse gabbed us and wouldn’t let go.

What’s captured in this three-and-a-half-minute time-lapse is an Amish barn raising… about a month of construction done in all of 10 hours. But more than that, it’s the power of team work."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

The Amish barn-raising is a primary archetype of cooperative work. It helps that they are neighbors, mostly cousins, and share a strong belief system that sets them apart from their "English" neighbors. (Ostrom -- strong boundaries are the first design principle for institutions for collective action)

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The Great Promise of Social Co-operatives | David Bollier

The Great Promise of Social Co-operatives | David Bollier | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"While most of us are familiar with consumer or worker coops, the social co-operative is a bit different.  First, it welcomes many types of members – from paid staff and volunteers to service users and family members to social economy investors.  While many coops look and feel like their market brethren, with a keen focus on profit and loss, social coops are committed to meeting social goals such as healthcare, eldercare, social services and workforce integration for former prisoners. They are able to blend market activity with social services provisioning and democratic participation, all in one swoop."


Via june holley
Howard Rheingold's insight:

David Bollier has been thinking very incisively about the commons for years. A co-operative is an institution for collective action. Many think of grocery co-ops or giant economic actors such as Mondragon. Here, Bollier introduces an institution for collective action that is aimed at social, not market goals.

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John Niles's curator insight, July 4, 2014 1:39 PM

Car-sharing is likely to be important for the environmental sustainability of personal mobility as cars become more electronics- and robotics (software)-enabled, thus trending toward cheaper to buy and easier to drive.  

 

Social co-operatives are likely to be important to facilitate the expansion of car-sharing, and you already know that vehicle automation is going to be a facilitating factor for car-sharing.

 

So learn about social co-operatives!

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The Lives of Sociable Spiders

The Lives of Sociable Spiders | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"A new study suggests that predictable social lives accentuate individual quirks and personal styles in spiders that live in groups....But about 25 arachnid species have swapped the hermit’s hair shirt for a more sociable and cooperative strategy, in which dozens or hundreds of spiders pool their powers to exploit resources that would elude a solo player."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

Darwin's defenders, who preached "survival of the fittest" and elevated competition to the role of supreme driving force in evolution, knew less about complex interdependencies and cooperative arrangements than we know today. Instead of competing for scarce resources, species from bacteria to arachnids to fishes and mammals sometimes team up to create an abundance of key resources.

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The Evolved Apprentice | The MIT Press

The Evolved Apprentice | The MIT Press | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"IThe Evolved Apprentice, Kim Sterelny argues that the divergence stems from the fact that humans gradually came to enrich the learning environment of the next generation. Humans came to cooperate in sharing information, and to cooperate ecologically and reproductively as well, and these changes initiated positive feedback loops that drove us further from other great apes.

Sterelny develops a new theory of the evolution of human cognition and human social life that emphasizes the gradual evolution of information sharing practices across generations and how information sharing transformed human minds and social lives. Sterelny proposes that humans developed a new form of ecological interaction with their environment, cooperative foraging, which led to positive feedback linking ecological cooperation, cultural learning, and environmental change. The ability to cope with the immense variety of human ancestral environments and social forms, he argues, depended not just on adapted minds but also on adapted developmental environments."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I have not yet read this, but we're talking about similar aspects of cultural evolution my Literacy of Cooperation course: biology equipped us for social learning, but cultural evolution took over when we began inventing communication media (language, writing) that extend social learning across time and space. 

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How big-hearted babies turn into selfish monsters

How big-hearted babies turn into selfish monsters | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Tracy McVeigh: Our natural instinct for altruism is being destroyed by the demands of modern life, claims a new book
Howard Rheingold's insight:

I'm not so sure it is entirely due to "modern life" -- it might be civilization (i.e., post-agriculture) or there are probably strong differences from culture to culture. But the research seems to indicate that contrary to the old narratives, humans are born altruistic and later learn to be more selfish.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, May 4, 2014 6:31 PM

We live in a crass, callous and careless world, where priorities are out of whack with our physical and psychological needs.

 

This makes a lot of sense, especially when and if you look at voting patterns and attitudes of people who get older.  Less empathetic, less caring, less in tune with what is right for other people, more authoritarian....

 

What a sad sad species we are.

 

We deserve to die off, especially in our present form.

 

Think about it.

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Research suggests cooperative behaviour is not instinctive, but learned

Research suggests cooperative behaviour is not instinctive, but learned | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Cooperative behaviour is not an instinctive impulse or deliberate choice, but a learning process.

Via Julie Tardy, Miloš Bajčetić
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Research with the ultimatum game also provides evidence that culture -- rituals, norms, habits, schooling, games -- strongly influence sense of fairness and willingness to cooperate

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luc taesch's curator insight, July 10, 5:14 AM

I would tend to say that fear as dominant behaviour is to be unlearned rather. Mothers need no taught being mothers. Otherwise nobody would be here to talk about it :-) 

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The Evolution of Altruism

The Evolution of Altruism | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

A new book by David Sloan Wilson provides some thoughtful answers. Wilson is a professor of biology and anthropology at Binghamton University, and one of the leading evolutionary theorists of his generation. He has written scholarly and popular books on the evolution of altruism, religion as a multilevel adaptation, and, in The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time (Little, Brown and Company, 2011), on applying evolutionary principles to better the quality of life in Binghamton, N.Y. His new book, Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others, is part of a series of little books on big ideas from Yale University Press, and a concise summary of his life’s work.

A cottage industry has grown in recent years around theories purporting to explain how our brains produce empathy, morality, and good will.


Like Darwin,Wilson begins with the animals, specifically bees, which, when their colony splits by swarming, send out scouts to search out a new nest cavity. Miraculously, when the individual scouts return, each having visited a cavity or two at most, and therefore lacking the requisite big picture to "argue" their case, a collective decision about the best option is nonetheless made based on their dancelike interactions. This collective process is uncannily similar in pattern to the one observed between individual neurons in the brains of rhesus monkeys that are trying to determine the principal direction of movement of haphazard dots on a screen. The "group mind" of the bees seems to work in almost identical ways to the single, multimillion-neuron mind of the monkey.

Howard Rheingold's insight:

The evolution of altruism is still hotly contested (group selection vs kin selection isn't, AFAIK, settled). Our approach to the subject of individuals who act in the interest of a group even if the action may not be in the immediate interest of the individual has been colored by the social constructions we have built around the word "altruism." The social-psychological-economic-political  complement to the question of how altruism arose in a competitive environment is the issue of "social dilemmas" (where individual rationality can add up to collective irrationality -- it is rational  for me to hop in my car to get from place to place, but irrational when billions of people do it and the aggregate effect alters the environment we share)

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pearfriday's comment, June 4, 6:19 AM

Its fantastic
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The Wealth of People for the 21st Century: The Mutual Constraints of Identity and Social Fabric – Part 2 – The Rise of Agricultural Society

The Wealth of People for the 21st Century: The Mutual Constraints of Identity and Social Fabric – Part 2 – The Rise of Agricultural Society | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Group size in early hunter-gather conditions was limited by the cognitive capacity required to ‘compute’ social organizational parameters (e.g. pecking order, status and role structures, divisions-of-labor, kinship networks, and territorial embeddedness). Group size was also limited by the mechanism that enabled the memory of all individual exchanges and other forms of ‘moral’ accounting history essential to maintaining group cohesiveness.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Some theory about the cultural co-evolution of thinking/communication tools, social structures, institutions

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A Natural History of Human Thinking: Michael Tomasello: 9780674724778: Amazon.com: Books

A Natural History of Human Thinking

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A Natural History of Human Thinking [Michael Tomasello] on Amazon.com. Tool-making or culture, language or religious belief: ever since Darwin, thinkers have struggled to identify what fundamentally differentiates human beings from other animals. In this much-anticipated book Michael Tomasello weaves his twenty years of comparative studies of humans and great apes into a compelling argument that cooperative social interaction is the key to our cognitive uniqueness. Once our ancestors learned to put their heads together with others to pursue shared goals, humankind was on an evolutionary path all its own.


Tomasello argues that our prehuman ancestors, like today's great apes, were social beings who could solve problems by thinking. But they were almost entirely competitive, aiming only at their individual goals. As ecological changes forced them into more cooperative living arrangements, early humans had to coordinate their actions and communicate their thoughts with collaborative partners. Tomasello's "shared intentionality hypothesis" captures how these more socially complex forms of life led to more conceptually complex forms of thinking. In order to survive, humans had to learn to see the world from multiple social perspectives, to draw socially recursive inferences, and to monitor their own thinking via the normative standards of the group. Even language and culture arose from the preexisting need to work together. What differentiates us most from other great apes, Tomasello proposes, are the new forms of thinking engendered by our new forms of collaborative and communicative interaction.


A Natural History of Human Thinking is the most detailed scientific analysis to date of the connection between human sociality and cognition.

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I have not read this yet, but I've been following Tomasello's work for years. He bases his theories on a wealth of experimental data. Although it is good to be skeptical about theories that attribute human uniqueness to single causes, Tomasello has done a great job marshalling evidence for the importance of human sociality and cooperative behavior.

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[eBook] The Peeragogy Handbook (Howard Rheingold)

[eBook] The Peeragogy Handbook (Howard Rheingold) | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

Peeragogy is a collection of techniques for collaborative learning and collaborative work. By learning how to “work smart” together, we hope to leave the world in a better state than it was when we arrived. Indeed, humans have always learned from each other. But for a long time – until the advent of the Web and widespread access to digital media – schools have had an effective monopoly on the business of learning. Now, with access to open educational resources and free or inexpensive communication platforms, groups of people can learn together outside as well as inside formal institutions. All of this prompted us to reconsider the meaning of “peer learning.”

The Peeragogy Handbook isn’t a normal book. It is an evolving guide, and it tells a collaboratively written story that you can help write. Using this book, you will develop new norms for the groups you work with — whether online, offline, or both. Every section includes practical ideas you can apply to build and sustain strong and exciting collaborations. When you read the book, you will get to know the authors and will see how we have applied these ideas: in classrooms, in research, in business, and more. You’ll meet Julian, one of the directors of a housing association; Roland, a professional journalist and change-maker; Charlie, a language teacher and writer who works with experimental media for fun and profit; and Charlotte, an indie publisher who wants to become better at what she does by helping others learn how to do it well too — as well as many other contributors from
around the globe.


Via Edumorfosis, juandoming
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Peeragogy is  about cooperative learning. With collaborative learning, you learn by working on projects together. With cooperative learning, you cultivate a learning community in which each member co-learns with each other member. The peeragogy handbook is a guide for groups of motivated self learners who want to learn a subject cooperatively -- whether or not any of the learners in the group is an expert in the subject they seek to learn.

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Peers Wants To Offer Help (And Some Stability) To Sharing Economy Workers

Peers Wants To Offer Help (And Some Stability) To Sharing Economy Workers | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
“There is an emerging sharing economy workforce,” Peers executive director Shelby Clark told BuzzFeed News. “It’s totally different than anything we’ve ever seen before, it has new needs. So we need to create new products and services that meet those needs.”
To that end, Peers, an online community for sharing economy workers — which according to Clark boasts a quarter of a million people in the network — is rolling out two of the first programs to be made available to its networks of workers on the site’s support marketplace: Homesharing Liability Insurance and Keep Driving.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

One test of whether the sharing economy is  real or mostly hype will be whether this online community thrives or withers.

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Plants talk to each other using an internet of fungus

Plants talk to each other using an internet of fungus | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
It's an information superhighway that speeds up interactions between a large, diverse population of individuals. It allows individuals who may be widely separated to communicate and help each other out. But it also allows them to commit new forms of crime.
No, we're not talking about the internet, we're talking about fungi. While mushrooms might be the most familiar part of a fungus, most of their bodies are made up of a mass of thin threads, known as a mycelium. We now know that these threads act as a kind of underground internet, linking the roots of different plants. That tree in your garden is probably hooked up to a bush several metres away, thanks to mycelia.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Cooperative communication between individuals, among members of a population, among members of a species, between species, is hardwired into biological evolution. Competition and cooperation are in a dance with the environment.

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The Dangerous Hole In The Ozone Layer Is Healing, And It’s Because Of A Global Agreement

The Dangerous Hole In The Ozone Layer Is Healing, And It’s Because Of A Global Agreement | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"According to a United Nations report published Wednesday, the ozone layer — which protects Earth’s inhabitants from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays — is slowly rebuilding itself. Almost more impressive is the fact that the prevention of this harmful hole is happening because of a global treaty: the Montreal Protocol."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

Evidence that effective institutions for collective action can be created, even at the global level, even with multiple actors with conflicting agendas.

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Mind-Culture Coevolution: Major Transitions in the Development of Human Culture and Society

"Our theory is thus about processes in the human mind. Those processes evolve in tandem with culture. They require culture for their support while they enable culture through their capacities. In particular, we believe that the genetic elements of culture are to be found in the external world, in the properties of artifacts and behaviors, not inside human heads. Hays first articulated this idea in his book on the evolution of technology and I have developed it in my papers Culture as an Evolutionary Arena"

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I've followed Bill Benzon's writing on evolutionary psychology ever since I read his book, Beethoven's Anvil: Music in Mind and Culture, in which he presents formidable evidence that music emerged as a way to coordinate and synchronize human minds and activities. Although humans are biologically equipped as primates to engage in cooperative activities and social learning, the real progress for our species has kicked in since cultural evolution began consciously building on those biologically evolved capabilities to invent new forms of learning, communication, and collective action.

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The Impact of Elinor Ostrom's Scholarship on Commons Governance in Mexico

The Impact of Elinor Ostrom's Scholarship on Commons Governance in Mexico | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Professor Elinor Ostrom’s work was extremely influential worldwide, and this includes important contributions to Mexican commons governance. From water governance to forest stewardship to small-scale fisheries’ management, Ostrom’s institutional
Howard Rheingold's insight:

This chapter in an edited volume focuses on the important impact that Ostrom's research and findings have had on actual policy-making around commons. Ostrom had complained that policy decisions were made about management of common pool resources in absence of knowledge by policy-makers of the considerable empirical research by Ostrom and others. The common wisdom that these endangered resources can only be preserved by privatization or state ownership or control turns out to be incomplete if not wrong -- as Ostrom has documented in many cases, people all over the world have come up with their own informal arrangements that have worked with resources from water use to hunting, fishing, and logging.

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P2P Foundation's blog » Blog Archive » The Governance of Online Creation Communities for the Building of Digital Commons

P2P Foundation's blog » Blog Archive » The Governance of Online Creation Communities for the Building of Digital Commons | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"This chapter addresses the governance of a specific type of constructed common-pool resource, online creation communities (OCCs).OCCs are communities of individuals that mainly interact via a platform of online participation, with the goal of building and sharing a common-pool resource resulting from collaboratively systematizing and integrating dispersed information and knowledge resources. Previous research of the governance of OCCs has been based on analyzing specific aspects of the governance. However, there has been a gap in the literature, one of lacking a comprehensive and holistic view of what governance means in collective action online. "

Howard Rheingold's insight:

The author of this paper, Mayo Fuster Morell, was one of my first students. She applies the framework of institutional governance of commons pioneered by Elinor Ostrom to online creation communities such as those that created Wikipedia. 

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Framework: Collaborative Economy Honeycomb | Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Digital Business

Framework: Collaborative Economy Honeycomb | Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Digital Business | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Howard Rheingold's insight:

An insightful infographic, backed up with stats, by a savvy group of social media analysts (thousands of people claim to be social media experts, but Owyang, Gansky,Gorenflo,  Solis, Samuel, and others really know their material. Collaborative economy is about ways that digital media enable people to interact economically in ways and at scales that were not before possible.

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