Innovation Commons

"An innovation commons is a governance institution to incentivize cooperation in order to pool distributed information, knowledge, and other inputs into innovation to facilitate the entrepreneurial discovery of an economic opportunity. In other words, the true origin of innovation is not entrepreneurial action per se, but the creation of a common-pool resource from which entrepreneurs can discover opportunities. The true origin of innovation, and therefore of economic evolution, occurs one step further back, in the commons. Innovation has a cooperative institutional origin. When the economic value or worth of a new technological prospect is shrouded in uncertainty—which arises because information is distributed or is only experimental obtained—a commons can be an economically efficient governance institution. Specifically, a commons is efficient compared to the creation of alternative economic institutions that involve extensive contracting and networks, private property rights and price signals, or public goods (i.e., firms, markets, and governments). A commons will often be an efficient governance solution to the hard economic problem of opportunity discovery. This new framework for analysis of the origin of innovation draws on evolutionary theory of cooperation and institutional theory of the commons and carries important implications for our understanding of the origin of firms and industries, and for the design of innovation policy."

Learn More

How innovation commons contribute to discovering and developing new technologies

Darcy W.E. Allen , Jason Potts

Commons, entrepreneurship, information, innovation, innovation problem, uncertainty

COVID-19 Health Technology Governance, Epistemic Competence, and the Future of Knowledge in an Uncertain World

Vural Özdemir, Simon Springer, Colin K. Garvey, Mustafa Bayram

Future of Knowledge

Where Does Open Science Lead Us During a Pandemic? A Public Good Argument to Prioritize Rights in the Open Commons

C Dwork, M Naor, A Sahai

COVID-19, open science, open commons, community of rights, public good

Democratizing Innovation

E Von Hippel

public policy Innovation

COVID-19 Digital Health Innovation Policy: A Portal to Alternative Futures in the Making

Mustafa Bayram, Simon Springer, Colin K. Garvey, and Vural Özdemir

COVID-19, digital health, innovation policy, digital transformation, digitalism, critical policy studies, futures, risk and uncertainty

Governing the innovation commons

J Potts

institutional economic theory

Commons-Based Peer-Production of Physical Goods: Is There Room for a Hybrid Innovation Ecology?

P Troxler

commons-based peer-production, fabbing, Fab Lab, open source hardware


Shaping the future of our planet now!

Social &
ESG Solutions

Have questions?