About the Cooperation Project

  • About the Cooperation Project (PDF)
  • Howard Rheingold's
    Walk-Through of the Knowledge Commons
  • Problems of health care, economic development,
    political and interpersonal conflict, environmental sustainability, resource allocation, disaster relief, urban planning, civil society, democratic governance, technological innovation, intellectual property, public education—the most critical problems of our time—involve social dilemmas and institutions for collective action that are not yet well-understood.


    Evidence from biology, sociology, economics,
    political science, computer science, and psychology suggest the
    feasibility of building an interdisciplinary framework for
    understanding cooperation. Because of institutional specialization, a program of cooperation studies will not happen without purposeful action. In order to catalyze the growth of this enterprise, the Cooperation Project has created:

    • An open, shared, knowledge base of insights and resources
      relevant to cooperation and collective action: the Knowledge Commons
    • Several visual maps for customized navigation of the
      cooperation studies landscape
    • A university course with publicly available lecture
      videos and readings
    • A workshop and guidebook for re-perceiving the role of
      cooperation in business and the technologies that enable it
    • The beginnings of a social network of cooperation

    The Cooperation Project has convened expert workshops, published a syllabus, launched online discussion communities, compiled reports, created and published video lectures, and built software
    prototypes—the beginnings of a Cooperation Toolset. Now we
    seek to:

    • Test and refine these instruments through workshops and
      further research.
    • Attract the best minds in cooperation-related disciplines
      to help.
    • Learn how practitioners can use the knowledge and tools
      in their domains.
    • Make these resources public and invite broad

    This site is administered by Jim Benson, Paul Hartzog, and Mike Love. For more information about the project, use the 'contact' link at the top right of this site.