Ostrom among 100 most influential people of 2012
Along with Barack Obama and Stephen Colbert, ASU's own Elinor Ostrom was named among Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2012.
In 2009 Ostrom, a research professor at ASU and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, nestled in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, became the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics for her analysis of economic governance.
Ostrom's study of institutions – conceptualized as sets of rules – and how they affect the incentives of individuals interacting in repetitive and structured situations shows how common property can be successfully managed by user associations. Her research presents a compelling and contemporary framework for how to analyze and manage outcomes, which has major implication in the management of social, economic and environmental systems, such as the governance of common property like air and water.
"Virtually all the world's most urgent problems require collective action," writes Robert Johnson of Time. "Be it environmental protection, the international financial system or the dimensions of inequality, Ostrom's work sheds light on the direction society must follow to avoid misuse of shared resources, 'the tragedy of the commons.'"
Johnson continues: "After the TARP bailouts and the devastation of democracies in Europe by financial technocrats, the world is again beginning to appreciate what Elinor Ostrom has deeply, persistently and quietly been illuminating for nearly 50 years."