Preserving the Global Commons Through Conservation and Cooperation

Sunday, February 21, 2010: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Room 8 (San Diego Convention Center)
We live in an increasingly globalized world with increasing pressure on common spaces and common property resources, including marine resources and the atmosphere. How can we encourage cooperative management of these spaces and resources? New research into reputation might reveal answers to this question. Recent studies in evolutionary biology and the social sciences have shown that many biological systems, and especially human societies, are organized around altruistic, cooperative interactions. Reputation is a natural extension of cooperation. A good reputation is valuable currency and is gained by playing by the rules of a social community. But it may be beneficial to act uncooperatively in a social dilemma (or with regards to common property resources), unless the news of defection is made available to those in the community, most often through gossip. Therefore, gossip can be used to help the environment. In a world obsessed with celebrity news and fueled by fast and far-reaching social media such as YouTube and Twitter, reputation has become a currency that could make or break a business or organization. This symposium examines the mechanism by which reputation is built -- or destroyed -- through gossip and uses real-life examples to evaluate the effectiveness of using public perception to advance conservational goals.
Jennifer Jacquet, University of British Columbia Fisheries Center
John Hocevar, Greenpeace USA
Jennifer Jacquet, University of British Columbia Fisheries Center
Ralf Sommerfeld, Max Planck Institute
Field Experiments on Cooperation
Jennifer Jacquet, University of British Columbia Fisheries Center
Guilt Versus Shame in Efforts To Improve the Global Commons
See more of: Understanding Environmental Change
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