Date: Third Tuesday of every month, starting June 21.2011
Next Meeting: October,18, 2011
Time: Dinner at 6pm. Formal discussion 7:30PM to 9PM
Venue: The Lost Dog
Location: 222 Water Street
Binghamton, NY 13901
The name is inspired by the book Governing the Commons by Elinor Ostrom, 2009 Nobel laureate in economics, and one purpose of the discussion group is to prepare for a visit by Ostrom to Binghamton in late February 2012.
The more general purpose of the discussion group is to brainstorm about governing the city of Binghamton, based on the most recent social scientific research, including but not restricted to Ostrom’s concept of polycentric governance. Since starting the Binghamton Neighborhood Project in 2006 and the Evolution Institute in 2007, I have been organizing workshops on economics and governance at all scales and have been treating Binghamton as an implementation site for projects at the neighborhood scale. These activities have brought me into contact with Ostrom’s work, which is highly consilient with my own multilevel evolutionary perspective, and to research collaborations with Ostrom and her group at Indiana University. I was therefore thrilled when she accepted my invitation to visit Binghamton next year.
Another positive development has been the urban ecosystem initiative funded by Binghamton University’s faculty development fund, which includes both the biological and human components of urban ecosystems. Our conversation about governance can therefore be linked to issues such as environmental sustainability that also interest many of us.
I envision the discussion group consisting of BU faculty, members of the Mayor’s office and City Council, and members of the community interested in governance. The format would be dinner at the Binghamton Club followed by discussions and presentations based on readings. The Binghamton Club affords a relaxing and quiet atmosphere to hold meetings. Those who want to can convene for dinner and others can arrive for the discussion. If this is to be a serious working group, a substantial amount of reading should be expected, but the monthly interval between meetings should enable us to fit this into our busy schedules.
The ultimate goal of the discussion group is to make practical recommendations for improving the governance of the city of Binghamton. I appreciate that this will not necessarily be easy, especially when options are constrained by regulations at the state and federal levels. Nevertheless, we won’t know what is possible until we develop a coherent sense of what to work toward.
-David Sloan Wilson
July 19- SOCIAL CAPITAL:
Recommended readings after the discussion
August 16- David Wilson -Empowering Groups that Enable Play
Dave Currie- ABCD- Mapping Business Assets, Discovering Community Power- a guide mobilizing local assets and your organization