Leading the world in commons and governance research

Here is where the world's top academics, lawyers, economists, policymakers, political scientists, urban and rural developers, and dozens of other disciplines come together.

The Ostrom Workshop was founded at Indiana University in 1973 by Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom and her husband, Vincent. Here, professionals and researchers come together to share solutions to the world’s most pressing problems involving communal and contested resources—from clean water to secure cyberspace.

Advancing cooperation and understanding of the commons

True to our commitment to advancing cooperation, the Ostrom Workshop is enthusiastically seeking partners with a shared vision of advancing effective governance. We welcome new ideas and directions for our programs, and look forward to connecting with potential collaborators.

See how you can partner with the Workshop

It's not just our aspiration to be a global destination, we are one. The Ostrom Workshop draws the foremost governance scholars and thought leaders to Indiana University. 

Read more about our history and namesakes


Photo of a small group of people outdoors talking amongst each other.
Elinor Ostrom

One of the reasons we called this place a workshop instead of a center was because...the whole idea of artisans and apprentices and the structure of a good workshop really made an impression on us.

Elinor Ostrom, on the founding of the Workshop

50+Years of groundbreaking research on governance and the commons.

7There are 7 interdisciplinary research program areas

200+Researchers, students, and other collaborators working with us around the world.