Near the end of World War II his family fled Estonia and Lasn spent his childhood in a German refugee camp. He was then resettled in Australia. In the 1960s, he founded a market research company in Tokyo, and in 1970, moved to Vancouver, Canada.
For twenty years, he produced documentaries for PBS and Canada’s National Film Board. He is the founder of Adbusters magazine and author of the books Culture Jam and Design Anarchy and is the co-founder of the Adbusters Media Foundation, which owns the magazine.
Lasn believes that humans struggle with activism because they have failed to identify the key issues. He sees corporate rights and power as deeply problematic and a pressing issue. He has attempted to examine what he sees as the greater structural problems at hand, and declared a need to recode the corporation.