John Restakis Bio



John Restakis Bio

John 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.


The Great Train Robbery, Tax Justice & Civil Economy, Between the Lines, 2013

Humanizing the Economy – Co-operatives in the Age of Capital, New Society Publishers, 2010

The Co-op Alternative: Civil Society and the Future of Public Services
Institute of Public Administration of Canada, 2001

Storylines: Oral Histories for Literacy
Ontario Ministry of Education, 1987

1 Comment

  • Dear Mr. Restakis,
    I hope this message reaches you in good health and spirits. My name is Kazembe Balagun and I serve as a project manager for the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung-New York Office, a non governmental civic education organization located in New York.( I googled your name in search for contacts with Emilia Romana cooperatives. I was wondering if by chance you would know of any contacts there? I am doing research for a project I am working on in the coming weeks. I can be reached at or 917-409-1039.
    Many thanks

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