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Environmental Management: A Bottom-Up Approach to Policy Implementation

Adam Smith Center via FutureLearn


Understand how the bottom-up approach functions

The bottom-up approach to environmental policy consists of individuals such as activists and entrepreneurs influencing policy through action on the ground level. This approach has shown to be extremely effective in motivating change.

On this four-week course from the Adam Smith Centre, you’ll delve deep into the concept of the bottom-up approach to environmentalism. Through this, you’ll gain knowledge of the process, its implementations, as well as its advantages over the top-down approach.

Explore case studies to see real-world applications of the bottom-up method

While inspiring, the bottom-up approach can be hard to implement in a real-world context.

On this course, you’ll have access to dynamic and interesting case studies that showcase examples of individuals who have successfully used the bottom-up method to make a difference. From this, you’ll gain insight into the impact of local self-governance and understand how to apply these principles in your own environment.

Discover the impact of Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom on resource management

Elinor Ostrom was a political economist and Nobel Prize winner, renowned for her work in economic governance and resource management policy.

You’ll learn about Ostrom’s work to understand how her methodology influenced environmental policy-making and governance. You’ll then be equipped to use her Ostromian principles in your own environmental work.

Use your knowledge to implement public policy and inspire change

Affecting change as an individual actor can seem daunting. There are a number of obstacles that can obstruct your path.

With guidance from the experts at the Adam Smith Centre, you’ll discover how to use experimentation and out-of-the-box thinking to overcome these challenges and influence real change from the bottom-up.

This course is designed for students pursuing studies in environmentalism, economics, business, public policy, and other socio-economic fields.

It will also be beneficial for professionals in the sustainability, public policy, public or private sectors.


  • Who is Elinor Ostrom?
    • Course introduction
    • Early life
    • Overcoming obstacles
    • End of Week 1
  • Bloomington School of Political Economy
    • Polycentricity
    • Self-governance
    • End of Week 2
  • Bottom-up approaches to resource conservation
    • Changing our perspective
    • Tragedy of the commons
    • End of Week 3
  • Bottom-up approaches to climate change
    • Polycentric climate governance
    • Climate action by communities and companies
    • End of Week 4

Taught by

Erik Nordman


5 rating at FutureLearn based on 1 rating

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