About us

We promote knowledge, discussion and idea generation through deep, rigorous thought, with the aim to decidedly influence both public opinion and government institutions.

The liberal think tank in Catalonia

The Ostrom Institute is a grassroots nonpartisan think tank and policy advocacy organization founded in 2016 standing for civil liberties, open societies, free markets and evidence-based policy.

We promote knowledge, discussion and idea generation through deep, rigorous thought, with the aim to decidedly influence both public opinion and government institutions.

Our platform is devised as a conduit for participation and influence in social debate. We serve as a bridge between the academic world, civil society and public agents for uniting efforts and contributing to the progress of Catalan society.

Our founding principles

1.Acceptance of pluralism

2. Practise of tolerance

3. Protection of civil rights

4. Defence of individual liberties

5. Promotion of inclusive institutions

6. Development of open societies

7. Creation of a free market economy

8. Commitment to fiscal moderation

Honoring Elinor Ostrom

The institute is named in honour of Elinor Ostrom, Professor of Political Economy, holder of the Arthur F. Bentley Chair of the University of Indiana and first woman ever awarded with a Nobel Prize. Doctor Honoris Causa for universities in Berlin, Uppsala, Montpellier, Valencia, Trondheim, Lulea, Oslo, Michigan, Montreal and New Delhi, Ostrom was one of the most recognized academics in the field of the New Institutional Economy. Using a both heterodox and antidogmatic approach, her work develops new institutional arrangements for the sustainable management of communal resources, such as the Valencia Water Court.

Ostrom teaches us the value of diversity and regulatory flexibility through decentralized experimentation and evaluation of public policies. Influenced by the idea of Hayek's dispersed knowledge and the members of the Public Choice school such as Buchanan and Tullock, her work enriches the liberal intellectual tradition with a new vision on the commons and polycentric governance beyond public and private. In the words of the Nobel Prize, “if governmental officials presume that only they have the authority to set the rules, then it will be very difficult for local appropriators to sustain rule-governed institutions over the long run.” Ostrom's pioneering ideas on economic analysis, the importance of freedom of association and the role of institutions and civic participation set a benchmark and guide the activity of this think tank.

A protocol with three key pillars




We believe in you

The Ostrom Institute is a private, not-for-profit organisation with no political affiliation, whose funding comes from private individuals and institutions who share its objectives. We accept no grants or financial support from political parties or government agencies.

By self-limiting our sources of funding, we exhibit cohesiveness and a guarantee of our independence. We are obliged to seek funding for our activities from people like you who consider freedom to be a prized asset.

We invite all those who endorse these principles to work with us to contribute knowledge, offer reflection and generate and disseminate ideas. It’s here that a tool is born to address the challenges of the future and to construct an open, prosperous society of free citizens. It’s here that the Ostrom Institute is born.

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