Welcome to Good Market Info!

Click the logo to go to the directory & marketplace

Welcome to Good Market Info! Click the logo to go to the directory and marketplace

Governing the Commons

Commons are resources that groups of people hold in common, self-govern according to agreed rules, and manage for individual and collective benefit. 


Good Market serves as a digital commons for the new economy movement. It includes three types of shared resources:


  • A community-owned curation process and crowdsourced monitoring system that works across economic sectors, income levels, language barriers, and regional divides.
  • Inclusive software that is designed to facilitate connection and trade, highlight and support existing networks, integrate with other platforms and software tools, and serve as enabling infrastructure.
  • Localization resources to support place-based movement building including tools and information related to curated marketplaces, participatory guarantee systems, shared spaces, and procurement initiatives

The community rules were developed to create a clear boundary and protect the Good Market digital commons as a shared not-for-profit resource. They include the Terms of Use, Directory PolicyMarketplace PolicyCommunications PolicyBrand and Logo Policy, and Privacy Policy.


Design Principles

Good Market aligns with Elinor Ostrom’s 8 design principles for self-governing and sustaining a commons:

1. Clearly defined boundaries

The identity of the group and the boundaries of the shared resource are clearly delineated.

The shared resources are the curation process, digital infrastructure, and localization resources. Full use of the shared resources is limited to social enterprises, cooperatives, responsible businesses, civic organizations, and networks that prioritize people and the planet, meet the minimum standards, go through the curation process, and are recognized as Good Market Approved. 

2. Proportional equivalence between benefits and costs

Benefits are earned. Members are rewarded for contributions. 

Access to information is public, which means anyone can use the directory and marketplace to find enterprises, products, services, and other information. Participation in decision-making is limited to cocreators who have contributed time or resources. Full use of the shared resources, including having a public profile, adding to the marketplace, or creating a network, is limited to enterprises that meet the minimum standards and are Good Market Approved.

3. Collective choice arrangements

Those affected by the rules can participate in modifying the rules.

The community rules, including the minimum standards and the curation policy were developed by cocreators and can be updated and improved by cocreators.

4. Monitoring

Norm-abiding members of the group are able to detect free-riding and exploitation at relatively low cost.

Good Market has a crowdsourced monitoring system. All approved enterprises have a public profile page with transparent claims. Customers, workers, suppliers, partners, and community members can flag an enterprise if they have evidence that they are making false claims or not meeting the minimum standards.

5. Fast and fair conflict resolution

Community has mechanisms to resolve conflicts quickly and consistently.

Flagging starts a review process. Enterprises are asked to submit additional supporting information or take corrective action. The majority of reviews are straightforward and closed within a week. If new issues arise, a council of approved enterprises with sector-specific expertise is available to oversee the review.

6. Graduated sanctions

The consequences for violating rules depend on the seriousness and context of the offense. Sanctions are stronger for repeat offenses. 

The review process can result in the flagged enterprise improving their communication, updating their claims, taking corrective action, or losing their status as Good Market Approved and being removed from the platform.

7. Autonomy

The group has the right to organize and the authority to conduct its own affairs.

Good Market is registered as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, which means there are no private owners, and the community has legal space to operate and self-govern.

8. Polycentric governance

If groups are part of a larger social system, activities are coordinated at the appropriate scale.

Good Market was designed to support local community groups and networks that have emerged around different sectors, issues, and regions. The minimum standards and curation process provide a common baseline for everyone on the platform. Networks may have additional criteria and a secondary curation process. They use their network page on the platform to show the members that meet their standards. This polycentric approach makes it possible to weave together a network of networks across different sectors, issues, and regions.


Implementing and Evolving the Rules

The community rules, including the minimum standards, the curation process, and the guidelines for the marketplace and community areas of the site were developed and refined by Good Market Approved enterprises. The below section explains how the rules are implemented and how they evolve over time through a trias politica model.


Good Market has a crowdsourced monitoring system. Anyone can anonymously flag an enterprise, a marketplace listing, or content on the site if there is evidence of a false claim or if it does not meet minimum standards or other community rules. Flagging starts a review process. 


The Good Market team plays an administrative role. They ensure the community rules are applied consistently on a day-to-day basis. This includes reviewing applications submitted by enterprises and reviewing enterprises, listings, and content flagged by the public. Most reviews can be easily handled based on the current minimum standards and community rules.


The council plays a judicial role when a review arises that cannot be handled by the team based on the current rules. They also draft proposals and oversee the voting process if the rules need to be reviewed, refined, or updated by cocreators.


Who is included: The council includes seven Level 4 or Level 5 Good Market Approved enterprises. Of the seven council seats, four are reserved for enterprises in the sectors with the most frequent review challenges: Agriculture, Food and Beverage, Personal Care, and Apparel and Housewares. Enterprises can self-nominate for one-year voluntary terms. If there are more volunteers than seats, cocreators choose council members through a vote.


How are decisions made: Deliberation and consent-based decision-making


Cocreators play a legislative role and are able to review, revise, and update the community rules including minimum standards, application questions, and guidelines for the marketplace and community areas of the site. 


Who is included: Cocreators have contributed time or resources to the commons. They include Good Market Approved enterprises and individuals who have assisted with translation, invites, financial support, etc.


How are decisions made: Online polling, approval voting, and ranked choice voting on a one vote per cocreator basis


Good Market Stewards

Stewards are responsible for protecting the commons and ensuring that Good Market maintains its vision and values and is financially sustainable, technologically resilient, and legally compliant. Stewards can have fiduciary board responsibilities, but they delegate decision-making regarding community rules as explained above.


There are currently 5 stewardship roles:


Curation: Ensures the minimum standards, curation process, and governance systems meet the evolving needs of cocreators and the broader movement.


Localization: Ensures local movement building in Sri Lanka continues to thrive and shares experiences and resources with communities and networks around the world.


Software: Ensures the Good Market software has the architecture, team, and processes for scalability and resilience.


Finance: Ensures Good Market has the financial systems in place for accountability and sustainability.


Legal: Ensures Good Market identifies and addresses legal risks and has the legal space to develop new models while maintaining compliance with current institutional structures.