The power of brand: naming rights in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite

As described in a recent New York Times article, the U.S federal government and the Delaware North company are locked in a contract dispute about who owns the brand names and other marketing aspects of Yosemite National Park.

President Abraham Lincoln first signed legislation to protect the Yosemite region for the enjoyment of all and gave birth to the National Parks movement. Some have called national parks “America’s best idea.” I view it as an inspired evolution of the concept of the commons. Today, nearly 100 countries around the world maintain and protect national parks.

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Building and maintaining infrastructure is an expression of our social nature

Road infrastructure in Baku city
We are social animals, goes the premise of this blog, and social animals build.

You might think of the social insects as builders: ants and termites, bees and wasps. Social mammals also build for the community. For instance, tunneling mammals like prairie dogs, voles and meerkats build communal networks of tubes and chambers.

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Governing the commons: Making markets for water

Floating market
Fresh water may be the ultimate community shared resource or commons. It’s a finite and renewing resource. It’s essential for life as we know it. We spend billions of dollars on space exploration searching for it on other planets. How we make use of this scarce shared resource now and in the coming decades will say a lot about our social nature. Marketing principles about pricing and distribution can help us make better use of water during times of drought.

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City design: Redesigning failed municipal golf courses

failed municipal golf course

More golf courses have closed than opened since 2006, according to Bloomberg. Many a failed municipal golf course opened during the stock market bubble of the 1990s and the housing market bubble of the 2000s, only to suffer during the Great Recession. In 2013, 14 new courses opened in the U.S. while 157 courses closed.

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Economic equality versus equality of opportunity: a fish tale

fishing

I’m sure you’re heard the aphorism about giving a hungry man a fish versus teaching him to fish. The first approach lets him eat for a day, the second for a lifetime. And it’s true enough, as far as it goes. But what if you allow one man to cast a line, another to cast a net, and a third to own a trawler?

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Governing the Commons: Reviving a commons in Japan

Working in the Rice Paddies in May

Elinor Ostrom‘s great book Governing the Commons describes how one community in Japan managed its common mountain forestry for hundreds of years using local traditions instead of government rules. But can government rules help revive commons farming in Japan?

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UN uses social media market research to improve development, crisis response

Even an organization as governmental and bureaucratic as the United Nations can think and act like a marketer.Through Global Pulse, the UN  is combining social media and big data to improve international development and crisis response.

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