FLOK: Social Infrastructure and Institutional Innovation

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by John Restakis

Introductory Phase

Scope of Subject Area

The research will focus on the institutional supports that are necessary for the transition to, and the ongoing support of, the social and economic systems that embody fundamental principles of reciprocity, co-operation, sharing, and commons-based value creation and utilization.

This will include an examination of corporate legislation for co-operative and social enterprises and NGOs; public policy with respect to the promotion of co-operative and commons-based production models; public policy with respect to the promotion and extension of civil society and the social and solidarity economy; tax policy with respect to co-operative, social, and non-profit enterprises; and public policy with respect to the support of partnering frameworks for co-production of goods and services by the state and civil society.

Research Priorities and Plan

  1. Public Policy and the Civil Economy
  2. Co-operative legislation
  3. Society Legislation – NGOs & Non-profits
  4. Tax Policy and the Civil Economy
  5. Social Economy & Social Market
  6. Public Benefit and Common Pool Resources
  7. The Partner State – Public/Civil partnerships
  8. Policy Making & Civil Society
  9. Health and Social Care

Progress Report – November 2013

  1. Have completed a survey and collection of key documents pertaining to the institutional support of civil society and its relation to the state. These include both primary sources such as Ecuadorian Public Policy and legislation, as well as studies and commentaries from both within Ecuador and outside sources (see attached)
  2. Have begun to compile a list of experts and key organizations, web links, and sources for my research area (see attached)
  3. Am compiling a list of key contacts to interview for the month of December (see attached)
  4. Am preparing for a seminar on the subject of The State, Civil Society, and the Ethical Market for presentation in January (see attached).
  5. Have commenced the writing on Institutional Supports for Civil Society and the Social Market (see draft to date).

Progress Report – December 2013

  1. Have completed a survey of documents relating to the legislative and policy environment for NGOs and CSOs in Ecuador.
  2. Have completed a preliminary review of Ecuador legislation on the Popular and Solidarity Economy
  3. Have completed a preliminary analysis of legislation pertaining to co-operatives
  4. Have drafted a new section pertaining to issues concerning the legislative and policy environment for civil society and social economy organizations in Ecuador, including a listing of key issues and concerns.
  5. Have initiated outreach to potential interview subjects with respect to government policy for civil society and social economy organizations (Orazio Bellettini Cedeño (Grupo Faro), Sofia Zaragosa (IAEN), Felipe Oqaz (Dia Blum), Pedro Moroles (Machita Kusunchi Co-op), Pablo Davalos
  6. Conducted a meeting with staff of Superindencia de Economia Popular y Solidaria (Gabriela Cordova).
  7. Met with Sofia Zaragocin to discuss issues pertaining to Civil Society and the role of the State.
  8. Completed the presentation of a four hour class on Dec. 20 on the subject of Social Co-ops and Social Care; class was well attended included staff from three ministries (Superindencia de Economia Popular y Solidaria, Ministterio de Inclusion Economica y Social, Synesyct).
  9. Met with staff from SENESCYT to review National Policy for a Social Knowledge Economy.
  10. Reviewed the National Policy for a Social Knowledge Economy and prepared suggestions for improvements of the document and policy recommendations.
  11. Met with staff from the Superintendencia de Control del Poder de Mercato, to finalize organizational logisitics and presenters for the Seminar on State, Civil Society and the Ethical Market on Jan. 15 & 16.
  12. Have confirmed additional presenters for the Jan. 15 & 16th seminar.

Collected Documents


  • Analytical Framework for Dialogue on Common Pool Resource Management. Bill Adams, Dan Brockington, Jane Dyson and Bhaskar Vira
  • Community Currency Systems: A Co-operative Option for the Developing World?
  • Peter Moers, 1998
  • Summary of the evaluation conducted by the Government of Canada on the impact of co-operatives in development. October 28, 2013. 
  • Montivideo Statement on the Future of Internet Co-operation, 7 October 2013
  • Ideas, Artifacts, and facilities: Information as a Common Pool Resource. Charlotte Hesse, Elinor Ostrom
  • NGO Law Monitor: Ecuador
  • Peer to Peer Rental: The Rise of the Sharing Economy. The Economist, 10/31/13
  • Quebec Social Economy Act – Bill 127
  • South Africa Social Stock Exchange
  • The Social Economy in the European Union. European Economic and Social Committee
  • The Argument for Worker-Owned Tech Collectives. Brian Van Slyke
  • The Economics of Well Being. Mark Anielski, April 3, 2012
  • A Visionary Pragmatist, Rudolph Meidner. Robin Blackburn, Dec. 22, 2005


  • Constitution of the Ecuador Republic
  • Ecuador Co-op Legislation
  • Ecuador Good Living National Plan, 2013-2017
  • How to Make an NGO in Ecuador
  • Political Crisis, Social Conflict and Economic Development, Andrés Solimano, 2005
  • Revenue Policy, The Ecuador Experience, Elsa De Mena
  • Social Movement and Leftist Governments in Latin America, Confrontation or Co-optation? 2012


Ecuador Commons Organizations

Kawsay Foundation


Foundation 180º Social and Environmental Development


[email protected]

Latacunga, Quito, Cuenca







Social Economy

International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law


Common Pool Resources


Key Experts & Practitioners

Social Economy Policy & Legislation

  • Margie Mendell
  • David LePage
  • Jean-Pierre Girard
  • Nancy Neamtam
  • Carlo Borzaga
  • Enzo Pezzini

Common Pool Resources

  • Charlotte Hess
  • Eleanor Ostrom

Co-operative/Commons-based Trading

  • Anna Milford

Co-operative Cities

  • Pat Conaty

Social Benefit Valuation

  • Mark Anielski

Tax Policy

  • Dennis Howlett

Co-operative Technology

  • Robin Murray
  • Brian Van Slyke

FLOK: Social Knowledge and the Social Economy

FLOK: Public Policy for a Civil Economy