December 4th -10th

Teaching the Commons Video and Podcast Contest

 The votes are in (thank you)!

And the winner is…


Transboundary Commons!

by Daniesse Sannara Kasanoski, Karl Koerner and Eduardo Penna

Congratulations to the winners and also to our finalists!

And a big THANK YOU to all video creators and the voting community who participated in this contest!



Step 1: Watch each of the three finalists

(listed in alphabetical order by title)

Design Global Manufacture Local (3 minutes, 26 seconds)

Food futures – Learning by Doing   (3 minutes, 57 seconds)

Transboundary Commons (6 minutes, 5 seconds)

NOTE: Below, for reminder’s sake, is the earlier contest announcement information. While we received a number of video submissions, surprisingly we only received one podcast entry. Therefore, we are only running the video contest.

Many people are still confused about what the “commons” is, why it’s important, and how to protect it.

Indeed, perhaps one of the most famous perspectives around the commons comes from Garrett Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons”. His appealing but simplistic and incomplete perspective on the commons has had a major impact on what people perceive as solutions to overcome the so-called tragedy. In 2009, Elinor Ostrom was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for her work that provided a much broader theoretical framework of the governance of the commons. ‘There are no panaceas’ was the message of Ostrom, recognizing the potential of the commons and collective action for governance, but also the complexity of social and biophysical context in influencing the possibility of success. Despite widespread academic recognition of Ostrom’s work, the contributions made by her and her colleagues remain largely unknown to the general audience.

The puzzle: How can we better communicate ideas of the commons to wider audiences?

What we’re looking for: Videos or Podcasts focused on teaching about the Commons

The aim of this contest is to produce a high-quality, well-conceptualized video or podcast that is 3-5 minutes long and instructional around commons terminology or commons-related concepts. Video or Podcast entries should target either:

  1. primary school age children;
  2. secondary or high school age children;
  3. university undergraduate and graduate students; or
  4. the general public.

Video submissions can include scenes of you or others out in the commons but can also contain other forms of creative expression – cartoons, animations or music videos – you name it! You can address concepts around traditional commons like forests, water, and fisheries, but also more recent applications such as knowledge commons, urban commons, cultural commons, or global commons (oceans, space, cyberspace, atmosphere, etc.). As long as you’re explaining concepts and key terms related to commons governance from a broader perspective and in a language suitable for the educational audience you choose from the list above, you can be as creative as you like.  We encourage submissions that focus on the work of a broad range of scholars in the commons literature including but not limited to the Ostroms’. 

Podcast submissions can be of similar content as the videos above, but without, obviously, video. They should be engaging, high-quality, audio that educates others on commons-related topics. 

The contest is open to anyone and we welcome contributions from other people besides commons scholars e.g. those from high school classes, university students, teachers, researchers, NGOs, activists, and journalists.

What you can win?

There will be a first, second and third place award for each of the two submission types: Video and Podcast. 

The winners in each of the two categories will receive a $500 USD award. Moreover, the top three entries in each category will have their entries recognized and promoted by the International Association for the Study of the Commons, the Ostrom Workshop, and – in the case of Podcast entries – the In Common Podcast.


We welcome video submissions in any language. If the submission is in a language other than English, please include English subtitles so that the broader global community can follow the video. For podcasts, for jury review purposes, the podcast should be in English. 

How to enter and submit entries and the judging process:

Step 1) As soon as possible:

If you think you are likely to submit an entry, we’d appreciate you letting us know by completing this short survey. By doing so, you are not obligating yourself to submit, but we’d like to have an idea of how many submissions to prepare for. 

Step 2) No later than October 20, 2022

Email a script of your teaching video or podcast to our review committee to Here we will quickly vet your script and will provide feedback. We ask this in part to help authors work toward a competitive product.

Step 3) November 15th, 2022 (or before)

Submit your final video or podcast file to using WeTransfer by the submission deadline.

Videos must be submitted in one of the file formats supported by YouTube (.MOV, .MPEG4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS .FLV, 3GPP and WebM) and be between 3-5 minutes. The aim is to be creative, concise, and to communicate the broader scholarship on the commons effectively. Podcasts should be submitted in .MP3 format.

Please include in Subject line “Video\Podcast contest submission” and include in the message section (1) your full name, (2) email address, (3)  affiliation, and (4) the contest category (video or podcast). 

4) Questions? Contact Us

Selecting finalists and category winners

There will be several steps toward the selection of winners in each of the two categories: Video and Podcast.

First, a panel of commons scholars — a judging panel — will review submissions to identify finalists in each of the two categories. 

Second, the chosen finalists (videos, podcasts) will be presented over the course of World Commons Week (December 4-10th, 2022). Votes from IASC members will be solicited to identify a winner for each category. Winning entries in each category will be announced on the final day of the week. Longer-term, videos will be uploaded and stored on the IASC and Ostrom Workshop YouTube channels. Podcasts will be made available through the In Common podcast website. 

Help us spread the news!

Copy and distribute the text supplied below to your social media feed:

“Calling all Commoners! Participate in World Commons Week’s 2022 ‘Teaching the Commons’ video and podcast contests! Submissions due November 15th, 2022. See for more information.”