John Restakis – Curriculum Vitae

John Restakis
1585 15
th Avenue
Vancouver, BC

Employment History

Executive Director, BC Co-operative Association Jan. ‘99 – Present

Responsible for the operation and strategic development of BCCA, the umbrella organization representing the co-operative and credit union movement of BC. The primary focus of work is the development of BC’s co-operative economy through co-op development programs, co-op education and research, co-op technical assistance & training, government relations, and youth programming.

In addition, I have provided technical assistance and evaluation of development programs and policies for international co-op projects in Africa and Sri Lanka. Currently a member of the Canadian delegation providing assistance to Cuba in its transition to a co-operative economy.

Co–Founder and Co-ordinator

Bologna Summer Program for Co-operative Studies
University of Bologna June ’00 – Sept. ‘08

In my capacity as ED of BCCA I have been a leader for the promotion of co-op education and research into the development and operation of co-operative economies. In partnership with Vancity and the University of Bologna, I founded the Bologna Summer Program for Co-operative Studies, a unique international study program focusing on the co-operative economy of Emilia Romagna.

Senior Manager, Community Economic Development

Canadian Co-operative Association - Ontario Region June ’94 – Dec. ‘98

Responsible for the development and co-ordination of Community Economic Development policy and programs for the co-operative movement in Ontario. Was a key advocate for the rise of co-op development as a primary policy focus for the co-op movement in Ontario and nationally.

Senior Consultant, Alpha Consultants Inc. June ’91 – June ’94

Co-owner and founder of Alpha Consultants, a consulting firm specializing in adult and popular education, community economic development and issues concerning government and community relations in Ontario. Projects and clients included:

Ontario Fair Tax Commission – co-ordinated province-wide community involvement in the evaluation of provincial tax policy and the formulation of fair tax reforms for Ontario.

Select Committee on Ontario in Confederation – organized province-wide public consultations on the Meech Lake Constitutional Accord and authored a report on public attitudes and the consultation process.

Cabinet Committee on Free Trade – co-ordinated province-wide public hearings, town hall sessions and debates on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on behalf of the Ontario cabinet.

Director, Community Literacy Programs

Ontario Ministry of Education May ’88 – Nov. ‘91

As Program Director my responsibilities centered on the development of community-based literacy program for Anglophone and Native communities in Ontario. Duties included the creation and co-ordination of training programs for literacy workers and the development of popular education learning materials, including the use of oral history for adult literacy and popular education.

Native Training Consultant

Community Literacy Branch, Ontario Ministry of Skills Development Oct. ’87 – May ‘88

Designed and delivered popular education and adult literacy training for Native literacy programs across Ontario.

Lead Instructor, Adult Education

Adult Basic Education Unit, Toronto Board of Education Oct. ’87 – May ‘88

Responsible for the oversight and evaluation of adult literacy and second language programs for the Toronto Board of Education. Duties also included the provision of administrative support, training and supervision of adult literacy instructors.

Senior Manager
Literacy Training Project, Toronto Board of Education Feb. ’87 – July ‘88

Responsible for the co-ordination and delivery of literacy training for the Adult Basic Education Unit of the Toronto Board of Education. Established the Toronto Board of Education’s first comprehensive training program in adult literacy and popular education.

Senior Project Officer, Youth Employment Services
Ontario Ministry of Skills Development
Aug. ’86 – Feb. ‘87

Supervised the development of community-based continuing education projects for unemployed youth in Ontario.

School Community Relations Worker
Toronto Board of Education 1979 – 1985

Responsible for the organization of parent involvement in education issues at the provincial, municipal and local school levels; organized and staffed Ontario’s first province-wide coalition of parent groups, student organizations, teacher federations and school boards to campaign jointly on provincial education issues.

Community Organizer, Trainer & Fundraiser
Southwest Federation, Chicago
Citizen’s Action Project (CAP), Chicago 1973 – 1975

Campaign organizer with the Southwest Federation, a large grass roots citizen’s organization on Chicago’s south side. Also a trainer and fundraiser for the Citizen’s Action Program, Chicago’s foremost direct-action Alinsky organization.

Community Organizer

Greater Riverdale Organization, Toronto 1970 – 1973

Staff organizer for one of Canada’s pioneering direct action community organizations in Toronto’s Riverdale area.

Academic/Training History

Master of Arts, University of Toronto, 1988
Philosophy of Religion, Centre for Religious Studies
Graduated with Distinction

Teaching English as a Second Language, George Brown College 1986

Bachelor of Arts, University of Toronto, 1985
Specialist Degree in East Asian Philosophy, Sanskrit and Classical Greek

Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), Chicago, 1974

Current Academic & Research Roles

Instructor, University of Victoria
Co-operatives in Global Perspective

Advisory Committee, Centre for Co-operative & Community-Based Economy University of Victoria

Senior Research Partner, BC/Alberta Social Economy Research Hub (BALTA)

Steering Committee, MA Program in Community Development
University of Victoria


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

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

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

Papers/Reports The Co-operative City – Social and Economic Tools for Sustainability
BC Co-operative Association, 2011

Community in Crisis – A Roadmap to Repair
BC Co-operative Association, 2011

Co-operatives and the Wealth of Nations
C-operatives UK, Inaugural Fortnight Lecture, 2011

Evaluation of Livelihood Development Training -

Rebuilding and Strengthening Livelihoods in Post Tsunami Sri Lanka
Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA), Canadian Red Cross & Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), 2009

EEP Evaluation Study: An Evaluation of the Enabling Policy Program for Co-operatives in East Africa
International Co-operative Alliance & Canadian Co-operative Association, 2008

Enabling Health and Social Co-op Policy in BC
BC/Alberta Social Economy Research Hub, 2008

To Life, Health Co-operatives in Japan
Making Waves, 2008

Co-op Elder Care in Canada: A Call to Action
BC Institute for Co-operative Studies, University of Victoria, 2007

Defining the Social Economy: The BC Context
BC Social Economy Roundtable, 2006

The Economics of Social Change
Common Ground, July 2006

The Emilian Model: Profile of a Co-operative Economy
The Co-op Perspective,BC Co-operative Association, 2005

The Rise of Social Co-operatives - Social Co-ops and Social Care: An Emerging Role for Civil Society.
InterSector, Newsletter of the Canadian Co-operative Association. Volume 7, #3, Winter 2004

Government Restructuring and Implications for Civil Society - the Co-op Alternative
ICA Review, Vol. 91 no. 1, 1998

The Rise and Demise of the Parent Movement in Toronto
with Errol Sharpe and Kari Dehli
Social Movements/Social Change, Between the Lines and the Society for Socialist Studies, 1988

Films/Videos Civilizing the Economy
Part One: The Co-op Alternative
Part Two: Social Co-ops and Social Care

Getaway Films, 2004

Words and Power: Oral History and Native Literacy
Ontario Ministry of Education, 1996

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