The theme of the 2022 CASC/ACEC conference at congress was “Just Transitions: Reimagining Social Movement Solidarities Through and Beyond Crisis.” Congress 2022 turned our attention to transitions, to the impact of a global pandemic that has taken so many lives and exposed and exacerbated inequities within and across nations—and the structural and systemic factors that produce and reproduce them. If the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted a world we thought we knew, it has also caused rethinking of values and priorities, posing challenging questions about what recovery will look like—and for whom. The pandemic has underlined intersecting forms of oppression and highlighted remarkable resilience and capacities among peoples determined to build back better, marching in solidarity and making sure that there will be “Nothing about us without us.” Social movements are leading the way to socio-economic, ecological, cultural, and racial justice promoting circular, caring, and solidarity economies. They should not be mistaken for, far less dismissed as, angry versions of populism. They are rather coalitions of creativity, caring, and concern.
Keynote speaker JOHN RESTAKIS is a co-founder of Synergia Co-operative Institute and Instructor for Alternative Economies for Social Transformation at the University of Victoria. He is former Executive Director of Community Evolution Foundation and former ED of the BC Co-operative Association in Vancouver. He consults on international co-op and community economic development projects, researches and teaches on co-operative economies and the social economy, and lectures widely on globalization, regional development, and alternative economics. He 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. John 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.