New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Commons Champion

June 20, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Jay Walljasper

R.I.P. Elinor Ostrom (1933-2012), Advocate for Shared Resources

by Jay Walljasper

Elinor Ostrom, who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in economics for her lifelong work studying how communities share resources, died June 12. She was 78.

The only woman out of 69 Nobel Laureates in economics honored since 1969, Ostrom taught political science at Indiana University.

In research conducted throughout the world, she increased our understanding of how commons function in a wide variety of communities. Ostrom’s work also debunked the Tragedy of the Commons — the widespread idea that shared resources inevitably end in environmental and economic ruin

This international acclaim for her work was heralded in many developing nations as evidence that their commons-based traditions of cooperation and communal resources was not a violation of basic economic common sense, as many Western economic advisers warned. (more…)

All That We Are…

March 01, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Jay Walljasper

Annie Leonard Discusses the Influence and Importance of the Commons

by Jay Walljasper

Annie Leonard is one of the most articulate, effective champions of the commons today. Her webfilm The Story of Stuff has been seen more than 15 million times by viewers. She also adapted it into a book.

Drawing on her experience investigating and organizing on environmental health and justice issues in more than 40 countries, Leonard says she’s “made it her life’s calling to blow the whistle on important issues plaguing our world.”

She deploys hard facts, common sense, witty animation and an engaging “everywoman” role as narrator to probe complex problems such as the high costs of consumerism, the influence of corporate money in our democracy, and government budget priorities.

In 2008, she founded the Story of Stuff Project, to help people get involved in making the decisions that affect their future and to create new webfilms on critical issues such as The Story of Citizens United and The Story of Bottled Water. Her most recent film, The Story of Broke, provides a riveting rebuttal to claims that America can no longer afford health and social protections. (more…)