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Donnie Maclurcan is co-founder of the Post Growth Institute, an international group exploring inspiring paths to global prosperity that doesn’t rely on economic growth. He is the Founder and Ideas Guy at Project Australia, a community organization helping people launch not-for-profit initiatives.
His unusually diverse career has included working as co-developer of the (En)Rich List, global organizer for Free Money Day, an exercise physiologist and telephone counselor, coordinator of a lobby group for Aboriginal justice and a team assisting Sydney’s homeless, a journalist at the World Social Forum in Kenya, coach of the Fijian sailing team, an English and mathematics teacher in South Korea, and event manager for The Great Australian Bike Ride.
Mike Lewis is well known in Canada and internationally as a practitioner, author, educator, and leader in the field of CED and the social economy. His experience cuts across the full range of functions connected to community renewal and development. He has built and advised a wide range of businesses, organizations and governments all over Canada and internationally as well. An innovator, activist and thinker with a penchant for linking practice with policy and the micro and macro, Mike’s leadership in CCCR and elsewhere continues to help us connect the dots and stay ahead of the curve.
In B.C., Bob Williams is perhaps best known for his distinguished career in politics – first as a Vancouver city councillor (1965-66) and then as a B.C. MLA for the constituency of Vancouver East (1966-1984). Between 1972 and 1975, Bob was Minister of Resources in the government of former Premier Dave Barrett, and is most proud of his role in saving Blackcomb Mountain from logging and creating Whistler Town Centre; his efforts with renowned architect Arthur Erickson to create Robson Square in downtown Vancouver; and, supporting the establishment of the Central City/ SFU project in the Surrey City Centre, which won international awards. Bob was also instrumental in establishing three million acres of wilderness parks in B.C., including Kalamalka Lake, Spatsizi and Naikoon, among many others. More people know Bob as an avid supporter of the Arts in Vancouver and as an owner of the Railway Club in downtown Vancouver, a pioneering music venue where k.d. lang got her first gig out of Alberta.
John Restakis has been a committed activist and troublemaker most of his life. He was born in Athens and grew up in Toronto where he was expelled from high school (Thistletown Collegiate Institute) for general insubordination and being a bad influence. At the age of eighteen, he started working as a community organizer in Toronto’s Riverdale area, joining the staff of the Greater Riverdale Organization, at the time Canada’s foremost direct action organization. He then moved to Chicago to continue his training as a community organizer with the Industrial Areas Foundation. Returning to Canada he settled for a year in Quebec City where he washed dishes in a Greek restaurant and learned to speak French badly. He then went on the road for a year traveling extensively through Southeast Asia and India and became an avid student of Buddhism. He returned to Toronto and became active in the parent movement as an organizer for school reform with the School Community Relations (SCR) Department of the Toronto Board of Education. To his great surprise, he was not fired for the aggravation he caused, but he did adopt a life-long respect for the infinite adaptability of bureaucracy. After the dissolution of the SCR by the school board, Restakis went to India to study and to teach at the Rishi Valley School established by J. Krishnamurti. He returned to Canada to work as a popular educator and trainer in adult literacy. In the early 90’s Restakis became active in the co-op movement of Ontario. The combination of the election of Mike Harris and the bleak Toronto winters finally drove Restakis westward to take up his current post as the Executive Director of the BC Co-operative Association. In addition to his duties in building the co-op movement of BC, he does consulting work on international co-op development projects, researches and teaches on co-operative economies and globalization, and is a founding member of the Advisory Committee for the MA Program in Community Development at UVic.
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