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The 5th Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop (WOW5)

The 5th Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop #WOW5OstromThis week I have been participating in the 5th Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop (WOW5). I co-organized two panels in a Working Group on polycentric water governance, presented a paper on polycentric water governance in Mexico, and then co-presented the summary of our findings to a larger Working Group on polycentricity. I presented on my cumulative research on the governance of wastewater and sanitation, and recent work on polycentricity theory in water resources governance.

Even though this week was incredibly busy (I was finishing a report along with my team for a consultancy we’re doing to the Mexican government), I didn’t want to miss WOW5, even though it was bittersweet being at Indiana University Bloomington and the Workshop without Elinor Ostrom and Vincent Ostrom (both of whom passed away in 2012).

The 5th Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop #WOW5Ostrom As someone who was privileged to learn from Lin and Vince directly, and whose research was inspired by (in fact, semi-ordered by!) their own work, participating in WOW5 was definitely something I needed to do. It was also necessary because as I mentioned before, my interest is to remain competitive in the international academic community, not only in Mexican academia. It was also great to reconnect with former students of Lin and Vincent, with scholars with whom I have shared scholarly interests for a long time now.

More importantly, participating in WOW5 allowed me to form new networks and relationships of scholarly collaboration. Given how generous Lin and Vince were with their time, their humanity and kindness and with their intellectual power, it’s amazing how those who carry their scholarly legacy are equally generous and kind. I also enjoyed this conference as much as I did the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) 2013 in Fujiyoshida-shi, Japan. Many of the folks I saw here at WOW5 were at IASC 2013.

And more importantly, it appears as though I have finally learned the lessson: I need to spend a full week at the conference site so that I can (a) do some fieldwork (b) meet scholars who are located where the conference is taking place and (c) really build the long-term, lasting relationships that build collaboration.

It is indeed sad to be at IU Bloomington without Lin and Vince, but I’m sure they’d be happy I’m here. And I’ll continue to be here on a regular basis, linked and associated with the Ostrom Workshop and with the activities that were established by the Ostroms.

You can check my Flickr photo set and all the Twitter stream for #WOW5Ostrom. Thanks to Gayle Higgins, Emily Castle, Mike McGinnis, Burney Fischer, David Price, the entire staff of the Ostrom Workshop, volunteers, participants and organizers for a most wonderful WOW5.

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  1. Jim Smith says

    Me dio mucho gusto conocerte en WOW5.

    Jim Smith,
    Chiapas, Mexico

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