In this article we reflect on the evolution of ice-fishing practices at Mille Lacs. Social learning took place largely outside the sphere of government and spurred substantial technological and institutional innovation. The study elaborates on the way in which unique patterns of networks, informal institutions and social learning environments delineate options for social learning that are more likely to succeed, to lead to implementation. The history of social learning on lake Mille Lacs showed that new formal institutions are not necessarily the best sites for social learning, and that forms of innovation and modes of learning cannot be separated. Interdependence and shared goals, and flexibility in role distribution appear as success factors. The diversity of learning sites in a community should not be understood as a problem, as an obstacle to central steering and education by government: it enables the community to adapt and survive.

The article can be found on the website of Land Use Policy