John Restakis

restakis catbioJohn Restakis was past Executive Director of the BC Co-operative Association in Vancouver, a position he held since 1998.  His professional background includes community organizing, adult and popular education, and co-op development.

In addition to his role within the co-op movement of BC, he does consulting work on international co-op development projects, researches and teaches on co-operative economies and the social economy, and lectures widely on the subject of globalization, regional development and alternative economics.

John is a founding member of the Advisory Committee for the MA Program in Community Development at the University of Victoria and was co -founder and Co-ordinator of the Bologna Summer Program for Co-operative Studies at the University of Bologna. He is developing courses on co-operatives and sustainability for BCIT (BC Institute of Technology) and co-operative models for local economic development for Selkirk College in BC.

Currently, Restakis is heading research on social infrastructure and institutional innovation as part of Ecuador’s Free/Libre Open Knowledge Society, or FLOK Society, project to develop a commons based economy for Ecuador. It is housed at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (IAEN) in Quito and has the support of the Ministry of Human Resource and Knowledge in Ecuador.

Restakis earned his BA at the University of Toronto with a Major degree in East Asian Studies and specialist studies in Sanskrit and Classical Greek. He holds a Masters Degree in Philosophy of Religion.

Towards a Material Commons

Towards a Material Commons

Can commons-oriented peer production be applied to material production? Will activists and contributors to the commons always be forced to work within capitalist structures to subsist while investing their available free time in volunteer activities? How can we create socially-oriented companies without the start-up capital to fund them? Is there a model that will allow us to make a living, produce goods and services and even compete with the dominant hegemony?