TORONTO/NEW YORK CITY
THE CENTRE FOR SOCIAL INNOVATION’S COMMUNITY MAGAZINE | VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1
DON’T JUST SAY YOU’RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE, SHOW IT p. 8
COLLABORATING FOR SUCCESS: NEW OPEN SOURCE TOOL KITS p. 14
EQUITY CROWDFUNDING TURNOUT TORONTO PREPARES TO DISRUPT SEEKS TO CREATE A CITY U.S. MARKETS OF MAYORS p. 16 p. 22
Making the world a better place? Then you have a home in Toronto and New York City! Weâ€™re a coworking space, community, and launchpad for people who are changing the world. CSI Annex is a five-story, beautifully restored brick and beam building packed with innovators and always supercharged with fresh coffee. 720 BATHURST STREET CSI Spadina is in a restored warehouse with natural light, character, and the benefits of a living, breathing bio-wall in the front entrance. 215 SPADINA AVENUE, SUITE 400 CSI Regent Park is bold, bright, modern, and based on the 3rd floor of the mind-blowing Daniels Spectrum building in the revitalized Regent Park community. 585 DUNDAS STREET EAST, 3RD FLOOR CSI Starrett-Lehigh is our first foray into another country! Bold and iconic, Starrett-Lehigh is one of Manhattanâ€™s largest and premier landmark properties with a history of attracting world-class talent and brands. 601 WEST 26TH STREET, SUITE 325, NYC
Join us! socialinnovation.org
C O N T E N T S WHAT ARE YOU READING!? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 b y TON YA SUR M A N
5 WAYS TO MAKE MONEY AND DO GOOD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 b y ELI M A LIN SK Y and DE V AUJL A
PHOTO: Y VONNEBA MBRIC K .COM/PHOTOGR APH Y
ONTARIO NONPROFIT NETWORK BLOWS UP (IN A GOOD WAY) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 b y S A R A H M AT SUSHITA
INTRODUCING CSI’S EMERITUS COUNCIL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 KIDS BECOME CREATORS, TEACHERS, AND ANIMATORS!. . . . . . . . . 7 b y TED K ILLIN
DON’T JUST SAY YOU’RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE, SHOW IT: EVALUATION 101. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 b y C A M ERON NOR M A N
THE CSI SUMMIT, P. 11
EVENTS ON KALE JUICE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 b y ERIN K A NG and A NDRE W K A RP
GET INVOLVED!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
TECH TRENDS AND BEST PRACTICES: NONPROFIT EDITION . . . . . . . 12 b y JOYCE H SU
UPCOMING EVENTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 COLLABORATING FOR SUCCESS: NEW OPEN SOURCE TOOL KITS FROM CREATIVE TRUST. . . . . . . 14 b y JINI STOLK
EQUITY CROWDFUNDING PREPARES TO DISRUPT U.S. MARKETS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 b y JORDA N PHOENI X
COMMUNITY BUILDING THROUGH PUBLIC ART. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 PHOTO: M ARY WANG
b y RUDAY N A BA HUBESHI
PAST COLLISIONS: JANE JACOBS’ LEGACY LIVES ON AT CSI. . . . . . . 19 b y JA MIE BR A DBURN
CSI EVENTS, P. 9
THE COLLIDER Editor-in-chief: BARNABE GEIS BARNABE@SOCIALINNOVATION .CA
POP UP MARKETS CREATING MORE COMMUNITY RETAIL OPPORTUNITIES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 b y JORDA N PHOENI X
TURNOUT TORONTO SEEKS TO CREATE CITY OF MAYORS. . . . . . . . 22 b y JODIE SHUPAC
Design: GIL MARTINEZ, RGD HEADHONCHO@BIGGU YSTUDIO.CA
Managing Director: ADIL DHALLA ADIL@SOCIALINNOVATION .CA
Editors: MILENA PRIBIC, KATIA SNUKAL, ROBERT HICKEY, and TED KILLIN Cover photo: CHRIS DEPAUL Thank you to our members for their support and inspiration.
TWO TORONTO ORGANIZATIONS USING CREATIVITY TO HELP THOSE WITH MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES. . . . . . . . 23 b y BE ATRICE PA E Z
GETTING TO YES!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 b y A DIL DH A LL A
UPDATES FROM THE COMMUNITY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
WHAT ARE YOU READING!?
By TONYA SURMAN, CEO of the Centre for Social Innovation
The Collider connects and champions our members, and showcases social innovation in action.
The Centre for Social Innovation’s THE COLLIDER
tices that put people and the planet first. This definition goes beyond “invention” - the creation of a new idea - to include what’s truly innovative: the adoption of the new idea into widespread practice. Why? Because an innovation doesn’t sit on the shelf. It’s value is only as good as its use. And we need to make sure that we are moving our ideas into action and impact. You’ll also notice the emphasis on people and the planet. That’s because our innovations must have an end game: innovation is not an end to itself. We need to declare our goals and our vision for the world in which we want
PHOTO: Y VONNEBA MBRIC K .COM/PHOTOGR APH Y
We’ve been at it for ten years. That’s right - CSI is now ten years old! Over the past decade, our incredible member community has never ceased to amaze us. The wealth of knowledge, inspiration, and impact is simply mind-blowing. Now spread across four locations in two cities, our numbers and our reach are greater than ever. The Collider started out as a small newspaper for this community to share its news, plans, hopes, and dreams with one another and with the thousands of people who come through our spaces each year. We printed each edition in house and our wonderful Community Animators graciously stapled and folded each copy. Needless to say, they were pretty excited to hear we were transforming our humble newspaper into a beautiful magazine they wouldn’t need to assemble! But what got everyone most excited is the fact we’ve created a publication that connects and champions our members, that reflects the essence of CSI, and that inspires people to make a difference in the world. The Collider is about showing social innovation in action. So what is social innovation? Over the years we’ve heard and debated many competing definitions. Some we found too restrictive. Some were too broad. Some were too prescriptive. Social innovation is about balancing chaos and order. It’s about coming together to find solutions. It can’t be too rigid, and it can’t be top down. And so we are offering up a definition that we hope will inspire and include you: Social innovation refers to the creation, development, adoption, and integration of new and renewed concepts and prac-
to live. We need to replace existing structures and behaviours with those that put social and environmental well-being at the top, where they belong. This is what social innovation is driving towards. The Collider is about profiling and supporting this movement - the innovators and the innovations that are making the world a better place. In these pages, you’ll learn how open source thinking is inspiring performing artists; how public art is building community; how pop-up shops are enabling a new economy; how equity crowdfunding will disrupt the status quo; how to measure your impact, and much more. You’ll also read about people coming together, taking the initiative, and making a difference.
GR APHIC: BIGGU YSTUDIO.C A
In the face of the unprecedented social, cultural, economic, and environmental challenges we are facing, we all have a responsibility to take action. Social innovations come from individuals, groups, or organizations, and can take place in the for-profit, nonprofit, and public sectors. Increasingly, they are happening in the spaces between these three sectors as people and perspectives collide to spark new ways of thinking. The collisions in this magazine reflect the dynamism of our community and the mystery of innovation. And if any conclusion needs to be drawn from these pages, it is simply that it’s up to us. So let’s get cracking! n
In 2014 we are celebrating CSI Starrett-Lehigh’s first anniversary in NYC, and our 10th anniversary as an organization!
It all started ten years ago in 5,000 sq. ft. We now operate 94,000 sq. ft. over four locations in two countries with over 1,700 members. We purchased CSI Annex in 2010 thanks to our innovation in social finance, the Community Bond (communitybonds.ca).
By ELI MALINSKY, Executive Director of CSI Starrett-Lehigh, and DEV AUJLA, Founder of Catalog, an agency that provides recruiting services for companies that make money and do good.
5 WAYS TO MAKE MONEY AND DO GOOD
ou no longer have to take a vow of poverty to work in the social sector, but it still requires a lot of hard work. These models can help you chart your path to success. Does doing good equal a life of poverty? Or is it really possible to make a positive social impact without breaking the bank? The good news is that it’s definitely possible. The bad news is that it ain’t easy. But, if you have the passion and determination, you can make money and make a difference along the way. Here are five classic ways to make money and do good. Which model is the right fit for you?
1. THE MOONLIGHTER The Moonlighter carries out the daytime hustle and does good after hours. They work a full-time job in the traditional economy, which enables them to dedicate time to their real passion in the evenings. The full-time job can be just about anything, and so can the afterhours pursuit. But it’s the side gig that provides motivation for the day job by bringing a longer-term purpose. Character Traits: Capacity to handle an overstretched workload, ability to transition between passion and obligation, ability to adapt to different audiences seamlessly. Opportunities: Moonlighters can keep their bank account full while also connecting insights from their day job to their passion projects. Innovation often happens at these unlikely intersections. Challenges: Working two distinct careers can often wear one down, raising the chances of burning out and becoming disenfranchised.
2. THE STARTER UP’ER Never content with the options in front of them, Starter Up’ers create their own path forward. This often means 4 |
The Centre for Social Innovation’s THE COLLIDER
stepping into the unknown and taking on a huge amount of risk--as well as a serious pay cut. They have a clear vision. But they also need a long enough runway to make sure they can live, eat, and maintain at least a semblance of balance. But the payoff makes it all worthwhile. Character Traits: Big vision, tolerance for risk, ability to build and motivate teams. Opportunities: Starter Up’ers get to design their own lifestyles while pursuing their passion and making their mark. Challenges: Falling victim to one’s own design and ending up with a nonstop schedule while struggling to get any traction.
3. THE SERVICE PROVIDER The social impact sector splits neatly between those on a mission and those who support them. Social change isn’t possible without the designers, researchers, writers, developers, bookkeepers, and fundraisers who make us all look good. Service Providers depend on their passions and talents, but also need to hustle to line up the next job. Their market is smaller than in the traditional economy but their specialization puts them in high demand. Character Traits: Practically-minded, product-focused, ready to deliver whatever, whenever. Opportunities: Leaning into one’s core skill set while lending one’s talents to inspiring projects. Challenges: The Service Provider must be content playing a supporting
role, working behind the leaders to enable their work.
4. THE SERIAL CONTRACTOR The Serial Contractor is a hired gun that drops in to deliver on short-term projects. Often balancing a handful of contracts, the Serial Contractor is a juggler, at times scrambling for the next opportunity and at others overwhelmed by a full plate. These folks play a critical role in rounding out teams and plugging gaps. They are sometimes engaged on meaningful projects, while other times do whatever it takes to pay the bills. Character Traits: Multi-talented, easily bored, tolerance for droughts and floods, fear of commitment. Opportunities: Exposure to a wide range of people and projects while facing responsibilities that are always new. Challenges: Rarely has the opportunity to dig deep on a given issue or see a project through from start to finish.
5. THE INSIDER Change doesn’t always come from the outside. The Insider is our advocate within the walls of power, helping to marshal corporate and public sector assets toward social impact. The Insider drives new ideas while shifting culture and translating concepts across worlds. A consummate intrapreneur, the Insider needs boundless energy to continue to push for change within a sometimes hostile system. Character Traits: Dogged determination, subtle influencer, comfortable loner. Opportunities: The chance to influence large institutional behavior and unlock incredible resources across the sector. Challenges: Must find ways to feed the core passion while handling the isolation, bureaucratic frustrations, and blank stares. n This article first appeared in FastCompany.
By SARAH MATSUSHITA, Communications & Network Engagement Manager, Ontario Nonprofit Network
ONTARIO NONPROFIT NETWORK BLOWS UP (IN A GOOD WAY)
IT’S UP TO US
OUR VIDEO SERIES LOOKS AT CSI MEMBERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR COMMUNITIES AND THE WORLD. CHECK OUT THE LATEST EPISODES AT YOUTUBE.COM/CENTREFORSI
ntario’s nonprofit sector is a driver of the economy with over 55,000 organizations creating $50 billion in economic impact for the province, and employing 600,000 people. The nonprofit sector is a key way for Ontarians to help shape their province. Yet, in such a diverse sector, previous attempts at organizing the sector collectively using a traditional organizational model never took off. But founders of the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) approached this challenge differently back in 2007. “When Tonya Surman the CEO of CSI suggested a network and I made this recommendation to nonprofits, I got enormous positive feedback,” said ONN’s founding organizer Lynn Eakin. The Centre for Social Innovation and its leadership have played an instrumental role in the development of ONN. By incubating the network, CSI provided a foundation for the network to establish and grow, with access to infrastructure, trusteeship, and management support. Tonya Surman, who is also one of ONN’s founding co-chairs, explained, “We support the emergence of new ideas that may not have otherwise been able to find life.” This network approach has enabled ONN to respond to emerging issues and trends for nonprofits through policy development with sector leaders, and engage a 7,000strong network to share information, stay connected, and work together on strategy. ONN has established its network as an effective and innovative resource and advocate. Part of its role has been working with the provincial government to help strengthen the nonprofit sector. In only seven years, ONN has influenced policy and legislation including recognition for nonprofits to earn their own income in the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, and opening access for nonprofits to public lands and other government programs, while supporting organizations to comply with new accessibility guidelines in the province. On February 11th, ONN incorporated as a stand-alone organization, where it will continue its mission to help make Ontario’s nonprofit sector, and ultimately communities, healthier and more resilient. The support and encouragement of CSI, its Board of Directors, and particularly Tonya and Board Member Jini Stolk, will have a lasting impact. ONN is grateful to be part of CSI’s legacy and the power of incubation! n
CSI’S ONTARIO CATAPULT MICROLOAN FUND CATAPULT YOUR ONTARIO SOCIAL VENTURE WITH A LOAN OF $5K-$25K FIND OUT MORE AT SOCIALINNOVATION.CA/CATAPULT
An initiative of the Centre for Social Innovation, the Province of Ontario, Alterna Savings, Microsoft Canada, TD Bank Group, KPMG, and Social Capital Partners.
With special thanks to ADIL DHALLA and MILENA PRIBIC
INTRODUCING CSI’S EMERITUS COUNCIL
n March 22nd, CSI will officially be 10 years old! It’ll be 10 years from the date we incorporated the Centre for Social Innovation. As you likely know, it’s been one heck of a ride since, and we have many of you to thank for that! There were six people in particular to whom we owe the deepest of gratitude because they have been an integral part of CSI’s conception, creation, design, and success. These are the people who took the biggest risks to make us real and to ensure that we were open for business by June 1st. We soon thereafter celebrated with a wicked party, of course. It’s no easy feat to fully honor Margie Zeidler, Eric Meerkamper, Sandy Crawley, Patrick Tobin, Mary Rowe, and Jini Stolk, but we are excited to try with the introduction of our Emeritus Council.
WHAT’S AN EMERITUS COUNCIL? The word Emeritus comes from Latin and means “having served one’s time” or “having merited one’s discharge by service.” It’s commonly used in business and nonprofit organizations as a mark of distinguished service.
SO, WHO ARE CSI’S EMERITUS? MARGIE ZEIDLER
buying the CSI Annex build-
“Note to self: if Margie and Tonya come to you with an idea, just say yes. And put on your running shoes,” says Mary Rowe.
the moment, thinking about
Margie is one of Toronto’s most influential urbanists, a pioneer of the shared spaces movement in the city, and one of CSI’s founders. Margie is the President of Urbanspace Property Group, and has been on the Boards of several notable organizations including Artscape and Foodshare/Field to Table.
ERIC MEERKAMPER “We didn’t realize at the time how important it was
ing. At the time we were in the feasibility, finances, etc. But the auxiliary benefit to us being able to control that investment much, much more is incredible and we’re only now realizing the benefit of it and the dividends today and beyond are incredible. The ability to have control and agency in our future is invaluable,” says Eric. Eric is a cofounder and current Chairman of the Board for the Cenre for Social Innovation. He is the President of The RIWI Corporation, which creates real-time global market intelligence
The Centre for Social Innovation’s THE COLLIDER
“At the CSI Starrett-Lehigh opening party I took great pleasure in answering the blackboard question ‘What do you value about CSI’ with ‘I like to wake up every day and change the world by intention rather than by accident,’” says Sandy.
“Those Tuesday mid-day pot
Sandy Crawley is a lifelong arts activist, the erstwhile Executive Director of the Documentary Organisation of Canada, and was President of the Alliance of Canadian Radio and Television Artists (ACTRA). He was the first tenant of CSI and an early Board Member.
of noise around them; VERY
luck salad bars. How brilliant are they? Love the concept of commensality—food as the great connector between people—and those salad bar lunch events, how popular they are, how diverse and fabulous, and the din CSI,” says Mary. Mary W. Rowe is currently Vice President & Managing Director of the Municipal Art Society of New York City, a century-old advocacy organization working to promote the livability and resilience of New
PATRICK TOBIN “My greatest memory is just having been able to be a part of this incredible project. I’ll always remember sitting in the roughed out space at a banged up church basement particleboard table working out the business model and tenant mix. I’m happy to have played a small role at the front end and greatly appreciate being included along with all who carried it forward into the force it is now,” says Patrick. Pat is the Regional Director General with Canadian Heritage’s Western Region based in Vancouver. He has worked in a variety of program and policy areas including book publishing, multiculturalism, and youth engagement.
York City. Mary was a Founding Board Member.
JINI STOLK “What I found and still find really beautiful and surprising is just how much those social and professional interactions really mean to the success of any org. I’m not even sure if I expected that [in the beginning] but it continues to be something I notice, I like, and its pretty wonderful,” Jini Stolk. Jini Stolk is founding Executive Director of Creative Trust. She chairs the Ontario Nonprofit Network, and is Creative Trust Research Fellow at the Toronto Arts Foundation. Jini was one of our first tenants and an early Board Member.
hank you so much to our Emeritus. While they ensured that the platform was built, the next ten years is all about the community realizing its potential. “There’s even more significant challenges and changes ahead of us,” Mary points out. “But let’s remember what Jane Jacobs, an early fan of CSI, used to say about problems in a city: they represented work that still needed doing. CSI is about doing that work.” It definitely is, but for a moment we’d like to pause and express our deep gratitude to the six incredible trailblazers who made it possible. CHEERS TO THE EMERITUS! n
By TED KILLIN, CSI Reporter in Toronto
KIDS BECOME CREATORS, TEACHERS, AND ANIMATORS! ike never before, children and young adults are making their voices heard and offering their own solutions to the problems we face. Several organizations in Toronto are providing a springboard for youth who are keen to help change our city for the better. Here are a few.
MADELEINE COLLECTIVE: ARTISTIC LEADERSHIP FOR KIDS A Toronto-based art and design collective, Madeleine Collective develops participatory events and art installations that inspire active audience engagement in social and community-building initiatives. Their projects integrate the participation of children and youth as part of the design, development, and final production of the initiative. The collective’s exhibits are usually colourful and boisterous, designed to inspire a child’s aesthetic imagination yet still be appealing for all participants, young or old. “Art is powerful because it can tap into a world where we aren’t bound by logic or reason, a 9-to-5 job, or chores. This is basically the realm where kids rule, and sometimes you just have to let them be the boss and let them surprise you,” says Cheryl Hsu, one of Madeleine’s founding members. For the Luminato Festival in Toronto, the collective collaborated with Mammalian Diving Reflex to create Future Tastes of Toronto: At The Kids’ Table. The project directly connected local chefs with students from five schools across the GTA through a series of workshops where youth met the chefs and became experts on their histories, the menus served, as well as the environmental and sustainable implications tied to the food. During the opening weekend of the Luminato festival, the youth were given the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and lead discussions, becoming teachers and experts on the food sector in Toronto.
YOUTH EMPOWERING PARENTS: SWITCHING ROLES In primary schools, children don’t often have the chance to explore communities outside of their classrooms
and neighborhoods. But in a recent initiative called Youth Empowering Parents (YEP), kids are taking on adult pupils in a mentorship program that supports immigrants to Canada. Housed in Toronto’s Regent Park, YEP has encouraged children to take a leadership role in reaching out to hundreds of marginalized adults throughout Toronto. Neighbourhood youth are matched with an adult student, meeting often over several months to set goals and socialize with others in the community. This type of role-reversal is important, because youth often have a mastery of technology and can communicate effectively using new digital tools. Teaching digital and language skills have directly involved youth in providing The Madeleine support to many who can Collective’s Future feel isolated due to linguistic Tastes of Toronto: and cultural barriers. At The Kids’ Table
CSI REGENT PARK: KIDS BECOME COMMUNITY BUILDERS
At CSI Regent Park, inquisitive middle school students from the neighbourhood carved out a niche of their own by participating in CSI’s Desk Exchange Community Animator (DECA) program, which trades time for space. DECAs work one day a week at the Welcome Desk at a CSI location in exchange for workspace and full membership in the CSI community. The youth version of this program, MiniDECA, took root when several students in the Regent Park neighbourhood started dropping by CSI during their lunch hours. When they got a tour of the building and learned about the DECAs and members, they came forward and asked to participate. “The MiniDECA’s also have an idea to change the world,” said one MiniDECA. “We all look forward to pairing up with an older DECA who has a similar idea to ours. So we have meetings and invite members from the other locations in Toronto. We talk to them about their ideas and ask them questions.” Launched officially in January 2014, the MiniDECA program is one example of how organizations can become more adept at welcoming the energy of youth in ways that will elevate the community and create meaningful connections based on mutual respect. n PHOTOS: WILL PEMULIS
By CAMERON NORMAN
ILLUSTR ATION: M A X GRIBOEDOV/SHUTTERSTOC K
DON’T JUST SAY YOU’RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE, SHOW IT: EVALUATION 101
hen we say we’re making a difference, changing the world, and inspiring innovation: what do we mean and how do we know it? When you’re speaking to partners, investors, clients, or community members, you need a better answer than “We just are.” Frankly, a good answer to that question helps you out just as much as everyone else. Evaluation provides a means to help you articulate what you’re doing, how well you’re doing it, and what to do next. Let’s put it another way: you are to hypothetically invest — time, ideas, money, reputation, enthusiasm — in one of two enterprises. One of them collects data on itself and its impact on the world, and the other doesn’t. Which one would you choose? Here’s 10 basic guidelines to get you thinking: 1 Framing your goal is critical. If you seek to offer the world “more” of something or an “improvement” on something, you need a means of making that comparison using the same metrics— otherwise, you’re comparing apples to oranges. 2 If you are comparing apples to oranges, consider what (metaphorical) metrics matter to you. Is it crunchiness, tartness, or sweetness? If you can’t compare metrics, you’re asking the wrong question. 3 You might not have a direct comparison since innovation is about doing something new to produce value. Is there something close? Indirect comparisons might be the way to go. 4 Maybe numbers don’t work. Observations, interviews, even a mood board with symbols like smiley faces next to statements can be
The Centre for Social Innovation’s THE COLLIDER
useful in assessing the quality of experiences and services you offer. If you want to claim you’re better/ bigger/ more awesome than your peers, you need a standard to base that on. Start by connecting with your networks and researching your industry to see what the standards for success are. Context matters. Say 20 people attended your last workshop. If you had 5 at the one before, great! If you had 50, maybe not. But if on the day of your workshop the subway was shut down, there was bad weather, and half of your invitations had the wrong date on them — 20 attendees looks much different. Pay attention not only to your own program or product, but to the context of its use. Consider ways to build evaluation into your offerings. If you offer training, quick check-ins throughout the day or periodic short-burst polls may be better than keeping people afterwards to fill out a survey or to do a group interview. Evaluate your values. Focus on what’s meaningful to you unless you’re required by a funder, investor, partner, or profession to collect particular data. A good evaluation consultant can provide you with ideas about what to focus on based on your needs now and in the future. Evaluation requires resources like time and money, but more importantly, it requires focus and willingness to pay attention. Con-
sider what you want to give, and what you want to get back from your evaluations. 10 A good evaluation gets you the right contextual information with the available resources. It can be external and professionally designed, or done in-house by you and your team: the key is that they’re systematic and not haphazard. Evaluation need not be a scary word. Collecting the right data about what you do helps you make strategic decisions, serves as a marketing tool, and allows you to amplify what you’re doing well and modify the things you’re not. So, next time someone asks what kind of difference you’re making— you can back up your answer. I can help you think about evaluation, strategy, and program design; it’s what I do. Contact me at cdnorman@ cense.ca. n
Cameron Norman is the Principal of CENSE Research + Design, a Credentialed Evaluator, and a member of the CSI community since 2012.
OUR EVENTS COORDINATORS BRAG ABOUT LAST YEAR’S HIGHLIGHTS TORONTO By ERIN KANG, Events Coordinator at CSI in Toronto
Events at CSI exemplify the very spirit that sets us apart, showcasing the diversity and connectivity of the people in our community. As Events Coordinator, I’ve had a front row seat to many of the incredible events that took place over the past year. Not Far From The Tree brought together volunteers, urban fruit enthusiasts, homeowners, and stakeholders to toast the end of another successful season with local apple cider. The Wellesley Institute hosted Better Budget Day, where Torontonians from diverse communities came together to discuss the city’s budget process. Amnesty International has hosted Write For Rights Day at CSI two years in a row. Hundreds of Torontonians participated in Turnout Toronto, a civic engagement fair designed to help educate people on the different ways to show our city the love it deserves. Over fifty Rotman Commerce students from the University of Toronto took part in a Case Competition, pitching ideas on how CSI could better engage youth to a panel of judges comprised of CSI Staff, Members, and Volunteers. At CSI, hundreds of exceptional people from all sectors and disciplines fill our spaces. The energy that CSI emanates draws in people who believe in
our core values and goal to shape a better future for people and the planet. When I started at CSI as an intern back in 2011, this energy instantly filled me to the brim. My passion as Events Coordinator does not stem from any particular affinity for events—my passions lie in the potential that events at CSI hold in creating the conditions for true collaboration and systems-changing thinking. I think of CSI as a beacon that inspires hope. It unearths commonalities between seemingly disparate groups and disciplines. Events elevate conversations, celebrate achievements, and uncover opportunities for collaboration. They bring ideas together, offer clarity, and build social capital. But most importantly, events tell our stories to the world and strengthen the global movement of Social Innovation. Looking ahead, it’s clearer than ever: the more stories we tell and the more experiences we share, the greater our impact will be. n
NEW YORK CITY By ANDREW KARP, Events Coordinator at CSI Starrett-Lehigh
It seems like it was just yesterday that we welcomed our first members at CSI Starrett-Lehigh. How time flies! From the day CSI opened its doors in May 2013, the level of curiosity and excitement in the space has yet to cease. What began as a blank canvas of Chelsea
creative lab. Notably, CSI partnered with the Taproot Foundation, desigNYC, and the Citi Foundation to produce Pro Bono Day, a daylong fair showcasing and celebrating the vast pro bono landscape in New York City. The day was a powerful cross-pollination of CSI members, panelists, and participants eager to connect with the pro bono movement. There’s no question that CSI has already seen thousands of social entrepreneurs, hundreds of interior re-designs, and more than a handful of memorable parties. But above all else, CSI is furthering the creation of one home and one community for social innovation. Events empower communities, embody experiential learning, and exhibit the rawest form of collaboration. CSI has played host to a number of fascinating events since opening in May, and will continue to push the envelope in creating innovative experiences. We are so grateful for the interest received thus far, and are honored to play a part in the thriving social impact scene in New York City. Come stop by to say hi one night, chances are you’ll connect with something or someone great. n
The Education Scrimmage brought together startups, professionals, and executives to transform the CSI NYC space into a brainstorming and rapid prototyping creative lab.
PHOTO: M ARY WANG
EVENTS ON KALE JUICE
real estate has morphed into something unique, positioned as both a service and an offering to the budding social entrepreneurship community. The vibrant textiles, the patina of the furniture, and the intentionality behind each design decision embody the essence of the home we’ve created for social innovation. But physicality aside, what’s a home without the life that brightens it? The event spaces at CSI NYC have yet to experience quiet moments, and there couldn’t be a more inspiring and eclectic grouping of people hosting meetings and events inside. The Civic Accelerator, held by national nonprofit organization Points of Light, converted CSI into a weeklong home for 12 early stage civic ventures. Accelerator mentors facilitated a number of colorful workshops, supporting teams in strengthening of business plans and tightening of pitches in preparation to pitch for a $50,000 seed investment at the week’s end. NY+Acumen and ReWork hosted a day long Education Scrimmage, bringing together 10 education-based startups, 80 professionals, and a panel of innovation executives to transform the CSI space into a brainstorming and rapid prototyping
CSI has more than 1,600 individuals in its ecosystem, each with their own connections in the social sector. Six Degrees of Social Innovation or “SIX” is a monthly social where members invite people from their respective networks into the space for some good old-fashioned networking. First Thursday of every month from 6-8 pm at CSI Annex in Toronto, and last Tuesday of every month from 6-8 pm at CSI Starrett-Lehigh in New York City (excluding August).
Social Innovation Trend Talks (TO) In order to stay at the top of your game you need to take the time to reflect on some of the big topics, and that’s exactly what we do at the Social Innovation Trend Talks. These community led conversations are held the first Thursday of each month from 4:30-6:00pm (just before the SIX party at CSI Annex). We generally have either a reading or a speaker (from amongst us) to present the topic and lay the foundation for the conversation. We look forward to having new members join us.
PHOTO: JA SON HARGROVE
Six Degrees of Social Innovation (TO + NYC)
Members had a chance to pitch their ideas to the community at the CSI Summit in NYC.
CSI Summits (TO + NYC)
Office Hours (TO + NYC)
Salad Club (TO + NYC)
The CSI ecosystem is an extremely diverse community of entrepreneurs who offer a wide array of skills and experience. The CSI Summit is a gathering of CSI members at each of our four locations that is designed to reveal the assets in our community, and spur collaboration and shared learning opportunities. Every entrepreneur has both strengths and needs, and the CSI Summit is designed to encourage members to make strategic connections in the community.
Free half hour consultations with a wide variety of experts, including lawyers, accountants, designers, evaluators, and more. It’s a chance to get pointed in the right direction or to find the right person to hire for your project. Log in to the CSI intranet to search providers and schedule your appointment.
This perennial favourite happens one day a week at each location when members get together for a delicious communal lunch. Bring two items to share (preferably one vegetable or fruit and one protein such as nuts or salmon), and you’ll experience one of the best lunches around. If that’s not enough, pair your salad with the unique opportunity to relax, discuss and collaborate with fellow CSI members and you have a winning combination. n
(For CSI Members only)
CSI Regent Park, A pril 10
(For CSI members,
hese are just some of the awesome events happening at CSI. Be sure to check the events listings on our websites for start times, and to discover the hundreds of other events taking place in our spaces! socialinnovation.org
their guests, and everyone!)
CSI Starrett-Lehigh, May 27 CSI Annex, June 12 CSI Spadina, S eptember 10 CSI Starrett-Lehigh, S eptember 30
SOCIALS (For CSI Members and their guests)
CSI Starrett-Lehigh One Year Anniversary,May 16th CSI Ten-year Bash (in Toronto), May 31 Party in the Park(in Toronto), July 17 Welcome Back Wine and Cheese at CSI Spadina,September 10
Turnout Toronto C SI Regent Park,A pril 10th Six Degrees of Social Innovation In Toronto: The first Thursday of every month from 6-8 pm at CSI Annex. In NYC: The last Tuesday of every month from 6-8 pm at CSI Starrett-Lehigh (excluding August).
By JOYCE HSU, Communications Coordinator, TechSoup Canada
TECH TRENDS AND BEST PRACTICES: NONPROFIT EDITION
echnology advances at such a rapid pace that it becomes hard for you, the hardworking nonprofit, to determine which tools are good, long lasting solutions - especially when you already don’t have the time to keep up with the latest technologies. To help you navigate the tech scene, here are five technology trends that we predict will have the most impact on the nonprofit sector in 2014. If your nonprofit has not implemented these trends, we highly recommend embracing them this year!
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2 DYNAMIC DATA There is an over-saturation of static infographics, so we predict we’re going to see an increased demand for dynamic data. Dynamic data allows users to watch, click, share and really explore data in a way that isn’t possible with a static image. Dynamic data is also great for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as it can combine image and text elements that can be indexed. Not sure what this means? Here are a couple examples you can draw inspiration from: War Child Holland’s Annual Report (annualreportwarchild.org) and Google Think Insight’s Databoard (think.withgoogle.com/databoard/).
3 MODULAR TECHNOLOGY & INTEGRATION Free, open-source technologies have propelled the concept of modular design and made it feasible for any nonprofit to implement. Modular technology basically subdivides a system into smaller parts that can be independently created and combined to fulfill multiple functionalities. In 2014, we predict that modular technology will become mainstream for nonprofits (and rightly so!). For example, Sumac is a constituent relation management (CRM) software that offers basic functionalities straight out of the box (such as adding contacts, saving contact information, etc.). However, Sumac also offers add-ons that users can download and install to improve the CRM’s capabilities (ie. event management add-ons, volunteer management, case management, etc.). Modular technologies also determine how agile a nonprofit can be and can help “future-proof” organizations with little to no IT support. Many systems that adopt a modular approach are also designed to integrate well with other tech solutions, even if it’s external to that particular system. For example, Salesforce integrates with EventBrite, an external online event registration service.
4 HYBRID CLOUD AND INTERNAL IT INFRASTRUCTURE We predict that more and more nonprofits will adopt a hybrid cloud and internal IT infrastructure in order to benefit from the advantages of cloud computing without sacrificing the need to house sensitive data (such as patient medical information) internally. A hybrid cloud computing and internal IT system model would look something like this: n Operations are conducted on the cloud to allow for better collaboration and improved efficiencies (i.e., marketing collateral and meeting minutes stored on the cloud). n Sensitive data (i.e., credit card numbers, patient’s medical information) are kept on an internal server. This model allows for any nonprofit or charity to
adopt cloud computing without compromising security. If your nonprofit has not setup a hybrid cloud/IT system, design your cloud service usage with a hybrid future in mind to make sure future integration is possible.
5 MOBILE BEACON BASED SENSORS Mobile beacon based sensors are essentially a wireless network that can be used for routing, monitoring, and tracking. This technology gives nonprofits the potential to create more engaging experiences with supporters and can also improve internal operations. Geofencing, for example, is a type of mobile beacon based sensor that is essentially a virtual perimeter around any geographic area. Geofences are beginning to be used for marketing, security, and anti-theft purposes and have potential for nonprofit events and campaigns, such as: n Improving event participants’ experiences (e.g., attendees can automatically check-in to an event zone using a geofence app) n Keeping track of your nonprofit’s assets (e.g., you can receive a notification when a laptop leaves your office) Apple’s iBeacon is a great example of mobile beacon technology. The iBeacon is a transmitter that notifies nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence and has enormous potential for retail (sending coupons to visitors once they enter the store), GPS tracking (think of this as Apple’s answer to Google Maps), and much more (i.e., seamless integration with AppleTV). n
TechSoup Canada is dedicated to connecting charities, nonprofits, and libraries to affordable technologies, nonprofit learning resources, and more. Learn more at www.techsoupcanada.ca. TechSoup Canada is a program of CSI.
CROWDFUNDING FOR A BETTER WORLD CSICATALYST.ORG WORKSHOPS @ HTTP://BIT.LY/CSICATALYST
By JINI STOLK
COLLABORATING FOR SUCCESS: NEW OPEN SOURCE TOOL KITS FROM CREATIVE TRUST
reative Trust, which has been a tenant of the Centre for Social Innovation since it opened its doors at 215 Spadina in 2004, recently completed a ten-year run as the most successful arts sustainability program in Canada. As always intended, we happily announced our closing once our goals were achieved a year ago last October. The wonderful news is that our experiences and learnings continue to be made available to Toronto’s entire arts and nonprofit community through a new and very special partnership with the Toronto Arts Foundation. The Creative Trust Open Source Tool Kits are a compendium of processes, policies, and program materials reflecting the most important thinking and activities in the success of Working Capital for the Arts, and they’re available for free to download on our website, creativetrust.ca. Creative Trust’s achievements included helping 21 of Toronto’s most celebrated performing arts companies (think Tafelmusik, Toronto Dance Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Opera Atelier, Dancemakers, and more) improve their governance, planning, and management skills; eliminate deficits; and acquire and maintain working capital reserves. We reached another 30+ small and culturally diverse organizations with our many learning activities: over 100 workshops, seminars, and roundtables over the years. Our Working Capital for the Arts program had a measurable impact on the health and stability of music, theatre, and dance companies in our city. Thanks to the Creative Trust Research Fellowship at the Toronto Arts Foundation, we’ve been able to capture this work through a series of nine Open Source Tool Kits, which
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embody our desire to share our approach and learnings for others to explore and borrow from. The experience of sorting through materials to create the Tool Kits was a vivid reminder of the amount of time, thought, and energy staff and board put into them. They cover everything from the one year process of Exploring the Feasibility of starting a multi-year, multi-million dollar capacity building program; Developing the Organization and building the structure to support this ambitious project; developing Board and Governance policies and procedures to guide the work and provide community trust and credibility; Creating the Program to allow us to achieve our goals,
and developing fair and transparent Grants and Awards Processes. Collaborative Fundraising was at the heart of Creative Trust’s first collective $1.4 million endowment fundraising campaign, and allowed us to raise over $6.4 million for capacity building. Once the Working Capital for the Arts program was successfully underway, we carefully explored Expanding the Mandate of our work, and eventually launched two new programs, Collaborating to Build Facilities and Collaborating to Build Audiences. We approached these latter challenges in the same way we developed our sustainability programs: with a focus on building the capacity, skills, support, and public awareness needed by our members to expand and engage their audiences, and plan successful capital and renovation campaigns. Creative Trust encouraged Toronto’s performing arts community to embrace open sharing and collaboration. In that spirit, our Tool Kits are freely available to anyone who wants to use, adapt, or study them. We think they’ll be especially helpful to organizations or collectives developing initiatives to improve the strength and sustainability of their memberships and communities
PHOTOS: COURTES Y OF TORONTO DANC E THEATRE
– or anyone contemplating or planning a major new program. We’ll be delighted if our Tool Kits offer inspiration and valuable ideas or spark the collective energies of artists and other nonprofit leaders. Creative Trust’s work with the Toronto Arts Foundation continues in the coming year with the development of new resources and research with a special focus on nonprofit governance, looking at roles and responsibilities from both the management and board sides of the table. n
Jini stolk’s blog on building organizations, audiences, and facilities can be found at www.creativetrust.ca. She chairs the Ontario Nonprofit Network, is Creative Trust Research Fellow at the Toronto Arts Foundation, and is a CSI Emeritus (see p.6).
By JORDAN PHOENIX, CSI Reporter in New York City
EQUITY CROWDFUNDING PREPARES TO DISRUPT U.S. MARKETS
rowdfunding has become somewhat of a revelation for creative and business-savvy types all around the globe over the past few years. The amount of collective funds raised worldwide via crowdfunding platforms has nearly doubled year over year recently; jumping from an estimated $1.5 billion in 2011, to $2.7 billion in 2012, all the way up to $5.1 billion in 2013. From prototypes for inventions, to video games, to books, films, and social causes—a wide array of new possibilities have opened up; consequentially creating vital new opportunities for entrepreneurs and activists at a time where unemployment and inequality remain among the largest global challenges to be addressed. While much progress has been made in terms of new doors opening up in the crowdfunding arena, we’re on the verge of seeing an entirely new dynamic emerge in this realm in the United States. Back in April of 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act into law. This act required the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to begin studying more efficient ways to give companies access to capital, in order to write rules that can both protect consumers and accelerate
The team at Return on Change.
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progress without regulations that are overly burdensome. Two years later, the results of this process are expected to be formally written into law. A major change involves the allowance of a new type of crowdfunding practice that is already underway in Europe: crowdfunding for equity. Rather than simply giving money towards a product purchase or cause, crowdfunding for equity enables individuals to invest in an idea and become partial owners of that venture. If the business becomes a thriving enterprise, the investor can be rewarded financially for their willingness to transfer their funds into an early stage concept. Sang Lee, the CEO and Founder of Return on Change (RoC), has been working in conjunction with CrowdFund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA) in Washington D.C. in order to take part in the process of revising the laws. Lee predicts that new laws permitting organizations to engage in crowdfunding for equity are expected to become official in mid-2014. “This could really open up the floodgates for small businesses,” Lee says, “since right now around 98% of startups that seek to raise venture capital from traditional investment banks are rejected.”
He adds, “2014 will be an exciting year, with equity crowdfunding for the general public opening up in the latter half of the year. The comment period on the proposed regulations were closed as of February 3, 2014, and now we’re in the final stretch!” The pool of accredited investors in the United States to seek funding from is currently extremely limited, as only larger organizations and people with at least $1 million in net worth or an annual salary of over $200,000 in each of the two previous years can become an accredited investor. This has created a situation whereby many of America’s brightest and most ambitious innovators are largely stuck in the mud, unable to gain the resources and traction necessary to bring their ideas to life, while also unable to find high growth jobs to consider self-funding their ventures either. Crowdfunding for equity aims to eliminate this dilemma by opening up a much larger pool of investment capital for those aspiring to implement ideas that can improve our world. Return on Change, a founding member of the Centre for Social Innovation in New York City, is uniquely positioned to become an early pioneer in the equity crowdfunding space once the green light is officially given from Washington. Director of Brand Development Grace Kim states that Return on Change’s mission is to bring together investors with startups in the fields of: life sciences, technology, edtech, cleantech, and social enterprises; industries that can massively improve the quality of life for countless people and the environments they inhabit. When hopeful startups apply to appear on Return on Change’s platform, they must first pass through a curation phase before being able to raise funding. This allows the site’s users to validate a startup’s business model, in order to ensure that the investments listed are sound and in high demand. According to Lee, “We have already received over $34 million in capital that startups are seeking through our platform, and over $1.5 million of investor interest and commitments in these companies.” One organization that hopes to benefit from the upcoming equity crowdfunding law changes is Iroquois Valley Farms, another founding
member of the Centre for Social Innovation. Based in Illinois, Iroquois Valley Farms connects investors with farms that engage in organic food production. Having now expanded into Indiana, Michigan, and New York, their goal is to provide family farmers with the stability of indefinite long-term leasing or outright purchasing options for their land, so that they can utilize it in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly ways. When small and mid-sized farms do not own their land outright, they can often be forced to move when their leases expire, preventing them from partaking in strategies that promote best practices for the land in the longterm. Crowdfunding for Kevin Egolf, Director of Business Development equity opens up for Iroquois Valley Farms, states that the organization a much larger pool could certainly benefit from raising additional funds of of investment up to $1 million per year from non-accredited investcapital for those ors, which could help them expand operations further aspiring to implement across the Mid-Atlantic region. He believes that ideas that can the shifting laws can have massive implications that go improve our world. beyond just his own organization; empowering family farmers all across the country to take matters into their own hands and seek capital to provide themselves with the conditions to operate optimally. With crowdfunding on the verge of what seems to be an even larger expansion this year, we can only begin to imagine all of the new organizations—and even entire industries—that may arise from it. n
By RUDAYNA BAHUBESHI in Toronto
COMMUNITY BUILDING THROUGH PUBLIC ART t can be as big as a 250-foot mural, as small as a painting on a nondescript utility box, and as ephemeral as a mob of “gangsters” descending on a subway car to play ukuleles for unsuspecting morning commuters. At first glance it could be mistaken for graffiti or an impromptu street performance. But it’s more than that; it’s community-driven art. And, in Toronto, it’s a movement in the making. According to Michael Cavanaugh, CSI tenant and founder of the Bell Box Murals Project, the appeal of community art lies in its democratic potential. As Cavanaugh explains, “people don’t have to have a membership to an art gallery or know art [to participate].” For the past 6 years, Cavanaugh has worked with communities across Toronto and Southern Ontario to transform outdoor Bell utility boxes into an artist’s canvas. Averaging about eight in each community, Cavanaugh has overseen the completion of 75 murals to date. Rather than a top-down approach to public art, Cavanaugh advocates for public art projects that are about “true community development.” It’s about residents determining what they want to see. This philosophy—that public art has community building potential—also drives the work of the STEPS Initiative, a program of CSI. STEPS, an acronym for Sustainable Thinking and Expression on Public Space, sees public art not only as tool for community collaboration but also as a way to confront social challenges. In the summer of 2013, STEPS brought more than 40 St. James Town youth, eight Toronto artists, 100+ community residents, and many community partners and organizations together to paint a mural on the side of 200 Wellesley, a 32-storey social housing building. The final product,
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a 250-foot mural featuring a soaring phoenix, is the tallest mural in the world. STEPS’s youth artists hope the mural will challenge the perceptions about their neighbourhood. St. James Town is often stigmatized for its dense population, lack of green space, socioeconomic struggles, and poor infrastructure. “[The youth] wanted to give people a reason to come here and for them to feel good about coming here,” says Alexis Kane Speer, the Founding Director of STEPS. “And the image itself speaks to the rising of the neighbourhood and rising above the stigma.” Like Cavanaugh, Speer eschews a top-down approach to public art. The STEPS project is thus another example of Cavanaugh’s “true community development;” it’s about working with residents to determine the kind of art they want to see and the kinds of places
A Bell utility box brought to life by the Bell Box Murals Project
PHOTO: PENN Y WILLIA MS
they want to create. “I think it is a little bit unfortunate that a lot of the public art that you see around the city can be high brow art downtown,” says Speer. “Like where a really renowned artist has been commissioned to do a really amazing installation, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect the residents in the space. I don’t know that those installations have the same kind of impact on the people that are interacting in that space as it would if they were designing or creating the work.” The goal is to portray the city’s communities as they see themselves and to make the art and the artistic process accessible and inclusive. That means it’s not just about the result; it’s about the process. And the process can be meticulous. For Cavanaugh, it involves learning about the community, receiving proposals from local artists, speaking to community members (such as resident groups and Business Improvement Associations), and pulling together a volunteer jury from the neighbourhood to choose the best submissions. This approach to public art, according to Cavanaugh, has benefits beyond the beautification of the neighbourhood. Not only does it deter illicit
By JAMIE BRADBURN
PAST COLLISIONS: JANE JACOBS’ LEGACY LIVES ON AT CSI A COLUMN LOOKING BACK AT CIVIC ACTION TO INSPIRE US TODAY
tupid.” “Insane.” “Anarchy.” Jane Jacobs didn’t mince words while fighting the development of urban expressways in the cities where she resided, New York and Toronto. Wielding sharp language and a mix of political and media savvy, Jacobs demonstrated that communities committed to a cause could defeat titans like New York urban planning czar Robert Moses. The legacy of the techniques Jacobs used to oppose expressways, alongside her urban theorizing about observing one’s surroundings and improving public space, is seen daily throughout CSI via the work of tenants like Jane’s Walk and Spacing magazine. “Her notion of the ‘sidewalk ballet’ is one of the most integral philosophies at the core of Spacing,” notes publisher Matthew Blackett. “Her influence has been so apparent on us that I think it is the reason why we won the 2010 Jane Jacobs Prize.” During the 1960s, development plans threatened to bury cities across North America under ribbons of concrete criss-crossing their cores. Elaborate expressway plans promised to ease traffic congestion, usually for commuters coming in from postwar suburbs. Sure, there’d be human costs in terms of evictions, expropriations, and ruined businesses, planners conceded, but some neighbourhoods required sacrifice in the name of progress. “When you operate in an overbuilt metropolis,” Moses noted while devising his plans for Manhattan, “you have to hack your way in with a meat ax.” Moses may have hacked too much while pushing the Lower Manhattan Expressway, which would have wiped out Broome Street and portions of Greenwich Village. He and other transportation officials ran up against residents in the path of the roadway. Jacobs mobilized opposition by connecting citizen groups with sympathetic politicians.
PHOTO: JEREMY K AI
graffiti and provide income for local artists, it also makes the streets more inviting and brings the neighbourhood closer together. “Anything that involves people working together in creative activities makes them better,” says Cavanaugh. “I see it on the ground all the time.” Community engagement is also the foundation of the public performance project founded by Adil Dhalla, the Director of Culture at CSI. Project Ukulele Gangsterism (PUG) is a group of 150 ukulele players that serenade morning commuters with their song “Have an Awesome Day.” Recognizing how disconnected and alienated passengers can feel on the subway, Dhalla and co-conspirators decided to “interrupt the status quo.” While they achieved the intended response of bringing joy to normally static spaces, Dhalla was surprised to see who got the most from the experience. “What makes us whole and human and happy is our sense of belonging, so what PUG did for the 150 or so who participated is it gave them a community to belong to,” Dhalla says. “Those who benefitted most from PUG were the people who participated in it, although that was the unintended consequence.” Like the Bell Box Murals Project and STEPS, Dhalla places priority on community involvement. Public art is about much more than brightening shared spaces. For these organizations and their participants, the benefits of public art lie primarily in bringing the community together. The projects don’t reflect solitary artistic genius; they reflect collectives that, because of their size and contribution, are able to change our city, one mural, utility box, or ukulele at time. And by focusing on mobilizing communities, these three CSI-based projects suggest that this change must be a collective project. As Dhalla puts it, “we are all responsible if we want a great city.” n
A “Ghost Tour” of the grounds of the University of Toronto organized by Jane’s Walk.
A veteran of the successful battle against a Fifth Avenue extension through Washington Square Park, she offered reporters media-friendly sound bites such as, “The expressway would Los Angelize New York.” When residents testifying against the expressway at an April 1968 public hearing realized that state transportation officials were ignoring their deputations, they yelled, “We want Jane!” Jacobs stepped to the mic, blasted the project, then led audience members on a silent protest across the stage in front of officials. The criticism following her arrest that night proved a PR disaster for the project. The Lower Manhattan Expressway was cancelled the following year. Soon after that incident, Jacobs moved to Toronto, where construction of the southern end of the Spadina Expressway was about to commence. Community groups were coalescing to preserve “When you operate homes in the Annex, and became involved, in an overbuilt Jacobs speaking out against the metropolis,” development. “Here is the most hopeful and healthy Moses noted while city in North America, unmangled, still with devising his plans still options,” she wrote in the for Manhattan, Globe and Mail in November 1969. “Few of us profit “you have to hack from the mistakes of others, your way in with and perhaps Toronto will prove to share this disabila meat ax.” ity. If so, I am grateful at least to have enjoyed this great city before its destruction.” Some destruction was averted when the province cancelled the Spadina Expressway in 1971. As Jacobs biographer Alice Sparberg Alexiou observed, “Her power to change people’s perceptions came from her ability to tell the story. What she said, and, most of all, how she said it, touched your emotions, went beyond logic. Her words moved you, like music or poetry.” Those inspired by Jacobs’s work have utilized similar communication skills to spur communities into action to preserve their neighbourhoods or support projects for the common good. n
by JORDAN PHOENIX, CSI Reporter in NYC
POP UP MARKETS CREATING MORE COMMUNITY RETAIL OPPORTUNITIES
PHOTO: M ARGAUX Y IU
or aspiring entrepreneurs and local business owners in the retail industry, opening up a brick and mortar store in a high traffic urban area brings with it a considerable amount of risk. The need to accumulate a significant amount of funding and sign a long-term lease agreement can be a major barrier of entry for individuals who have an interest in testing out an idea for market feasibility. At the same time, many urban storefronts continue to sit vacant. The concept of the pop up shop has become a popular trend to bridge the gap, while creating a win-win-win situation for the entrepreneur, the space owner, and the community at large. Essentially, a pop up shop is a short-term sales space that allows a business to bring their products to
Belly Full, a walk in Parkdale organized by PARC and MP Peggy Nash in 2013.
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PHOTOS: SEAN LILIANI ( TOP RIGHT ), HOWARD TA M (RIGHT AND BELOW )
Market 707 at the Scadding Court Community Centre in Toronto has transformed the entire intersection of Dundas and Bathurst, attracting people to the area with a wide variety of street food.
market for a brief period; spanning anywhere from just a few hours to a few weeks (such as during the holiday season). With reduced costs and risks, this can be just the impetus needed to take the entrepreneurial leap. Several members and organizations working within the Centre for Social Innovation offices in Toronto and New York City have brought their original pop up shop ideas to life. In New York, miLES (Made in The Lower East Side) facilitates the process of opening up a pop up space: connecting local residents, artists, and businesses with landlords in order to transform underused spaces into vibrant community hubs. Heidi Sloane, the Communications Manager for miLES, states that the organization can be described as “the AirBnB for storefronts, with an incubator twist.” The Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan contains an estimated 200+ empty lots and
storefronts, so it’s a great location for these types of stores to emerge. Some of the pop ups miLES has helped bring to life include the Jack Kirby Museum, a pop up deli from Ghetto Gastro, and a Makers Salon by Kollabora and The Makery. In Toronto, another trend with pop up stores that further minimizes the barriers of entry has begun to take root. Howard Tam, the Founder of ThinkFresh Group, drives local business growth through the development of microenterprise marketplaces that go beyond empty storefronts. Tam has facilitated the process of starting small retail businesses by utilizing repurposed shipping containers. For individuals who run small businesses from their apartments, these shipping container pop up shops represent a chance to gain more exposure in higher traffic areas. The shipping container pop ups outside of the Scadding Court Community Centre have transformed the entire intersection of Dundas and Bathurst, attracting people to the area with a wide variety of street food. Synergies have also emerged between local pop up shops— by integrating the services of a food vendor and a small bike shop, a food delivery service was created. CSI Toronto’s Annex building has developed a Pop Up Market of its own. Run by Events Coordinator Erin Kang, the market aims to support the local economy within CSI, and is open to the general public. Vendors range from member organizations such as Spacing Magazine, Peekapak, and Kang’s very own Night Owl Jewelry, to local community businesses such as Karma Food Co-Op and Bees Life. Check the CSI event listings for upcoming pop up markets! socialinnovation.org n
By JODIE SHUPAC, CSI Reporter
TURNOUT TORONTO SEEKS TO CREATE A CITY OF MAYORS HUNDREDS TURNOUT FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT FAIR AT CSI ANNEX
he room buzzing with energy and curiosity, last month’s Turnout Toronto event felt somewhat reminiscent of a middle school science fair. Held January 14 in the CSI Annex Lounge, Turnout Toronto—aptly named, with over 500 people in attendance—was indeed intended as a kind of civic engagement fair, an innovative opportunity for CSI members and non-members alike to get acquainted with a diverse range of local advocacy and civic engagement groups. CSI staff members Leah Pollock, Adil Dhalla, Erin Kang, and Kyle Shantz conceived of Turnout Toronto as a way to galvanize Torontonians looking for ways to effect positive change in the city, and to get involved in positive, forward-thinking initiatives. Along with a host of volunteers, the team spent six weeks coordinating the event, carefully selecting a diverse collection of what they’ve dubbed Civic Champions—organizations and individuals working on a particular civic issue—to represent their respective cause. “We very much wanted a variety of groups to be represented, so we asked city councilors, established organizations, and grassroots organizations,” explained CSI’s Program Coordinator, Leah Pollock. “Once we started asking people to be our Civic Champions, word spread, and we had many people requesting a table. It was a great opportunity to showcase the excellent work that’s being done across sectors and interest areas in Toronto.” In addition to political figures like Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina) and mayoral hopeful Richard Underhill, who came to promote his vision for change in Toronto, the roughly 25 Civic Champions included Toronto Park People, the City Youth Council of Toronto, TTCriders, CivicAction, Toronto Women’s City Alliance, Jane’s Walk and Spacing magazine. Attendees were given the chance to walk around and peruse the organizations’ brochure
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and flier-laden tables, chat with organizers, and sign up for volunteer opportunities or mailing lists. “I was impressed by the array of civic causes, groups, and ideas that were represented,” noted Alex Derry, an attendee and a volunteer with CSI tenant Action Against Hunger. “The turnout was proof that, while the current municipal system may ring hollow with a lot of Torontonians, there is certainly no lack of engagement from every corner of the city.” In addition to being given ample time to schmooze and exchange ideas and contact information, attendees were invited to participate in several breakout discussion sessions, held informally around various tables and sofas throughout the night. Councillor Mike Layton, for instance, convened a brainstorming session for an affirmative Toronto slogan to signify constituents’ growing appetite for progress in the city. Additional discussions were facilitated by groups like NoJetsTO, Better Budget TO, and Spacing. Short addresses to the whole crowd were made by Olivia Chow (MP, Trinity Spadina), who proclaimed, “We have the power to make a difference!” Tiff Blair, a staff member at startup and CSI Annex tenant Groundforce Digital, manned a table on behalf of her organization, which helps nonprofits and political candidates launch digital campaigns. “It was really valuable for us to have an opportunity to talk to people who are interested in advocacy and the political space—to share what we do and figure out if there’s a way we can support work others are doing,” Blair said. “And,” she grinned, “I think it helped that we had snacks at our table.” Pollock says she and her fellow organizers were pleasantly surprised by the evening’s immense turnout, and are eager to keep the momentum going. They’re enthusiastic about what they perceive to be a growing interest, among Torontonians, in taking the initiative and becoming civically involved. “There are people who are always seeking opportunities to improve things, and now we’re seeing a growing curiosity about how to get engaged with making this city a better place,” Pollock explained. “We see Turnout Toronto as an opportunity to create a kind of city of mayors, a city where each individual feels they have the power to make change because, ultimately, it’s up to all of us.” n Turnout Toronto at CSI Annex was such a hit, we are doing it all over again at CSI Regent Park, April 10
TWO TORONTO ORGANISATIONS USING CREATIVITY TO HELP THOSE WITH MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES
he city can be an alienating place for people with mental illness. It’s hard to talk about, it’s heavily stigmatized, and for those learning to cope, it can often be overwhelming. But, as two organizations in Toronto are proving, sometimes something as simple as a paintbrush and a safe space to use it can make a big difference. Creative Works Studio and Mindful Arts, a CSI member organization, are two Toronto nonprofits that provide arts-based programming for people living with a diagnosis of mental illness. Both have found that the process of creating art and connecting with others has become a lifeline for their participants. Mindful Arts, a Regent Park based organization, works with the neighbourhood’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s (CAMH) outpatient clinic to provide programming for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. They offer in-house creative programming and organize field trips to galleries and community organizations to help participants explore and interact with their community. “Art is a way to get people talking and involved with each other,” says Mindful Arts co-founder Eleanor Berenson. “People who have schizophrenia tend to communicate in a different way that people don’t understand.” “Sometimes it’s their medication. They can struggle with minor details, nonlinear thoughts, following directions,” adds Mindful Art’s second co-founder, Amanda Ruppert. Art provides a way of overcoming some of these barriers, and all visiting artists who facilitate workshops at Mindful Arts receive training on how best to communicate instructions. Mindful Arts’ most recent project is a six-month program that uses art and mindfulness practices to explore the five senses. Each month focuses on a different sense, with the last month culminating in the production of a book of participants’ artwork. For example, during the month of “taste” Mindful Arts brought food for participants to meditate on and had them draw a visual representation of the experience. As Berenson explains, “Engaging the senses is a very therapeutic way to engage people in the present moment and the spaces they’re in.” A growing body of research and clinical study supports Berenson and Ruppert’s first-hand experience of the benefits of creativity. And just as there’s been a rise in arts programming within clinical and community settings, there’s also been an increase in standalone community-engaged arts
organizations like Mindful Arts. Creative Works, which operates a fully equipped studio on Gerrard Street East, regularly holds workshops for members with mental illness and addictions. According to Isabel Fryszberg, occupational therapist and founder of Creative Works, art not only provides a means of expression, it also provides a means of resistance; it’s a way to combat the stigma that surrounds mental health issues. Fryszberg notes that there’s a reluctance to talk about mental illness, even as none of us are immune from experiencing its impact, whether we’re affected directly or whether it affects a friend or family member. According to CAMH, Canada’s leading health and addiction research facility, every year, one in five Canadians may battle with mental health issues or addiction. Creative Works participants once made a giant papier-mâché banana for an installation at City Hall. The message: the words people sometimes use to describe people living with mental health issues—like “going bananas”—can trivialize their struggles and reveal nothing about the depth of their personalities. It’s initiatives like these that Fryszberg hopes will generate awareness and engage the public. At Creative Works, there’s a palpable sense of inclusion, when young and old swap stories while working. “It’s a grounding place for a new person trying to get back into society from being in a hospital or a shelter,” Fryszberg says. “So often they don’t have families or safe homes.” The studio helps people develop a new purpose and rebuild their identity. “It’s helping me learn how to just be myself,” says Declan, a participant who enjoys ceramics and painting. Fryszberg meets with four people every month to determine whether they’re ready to join. Some are overcome with fear when they first walk in and see the art. “They wonder if they can perform or they’re socially anxious,” she says. Others are eager to start and have stayed on for years. Participants receive support in job searches, build their portfolios, and meet fellow artists through Art Gems—an auction and exhibit, which features participants’ work alongside professional artists. And while many find their creative voice, the program is about a lot more than becoming a great artist. “Some people come and they may not do a piece of art,” says Fryszberg. “They may just sit and absorb the energy. When there’s a creative exchange happening, that’s art.” n
PHOTO: BEATRIC E PAEZ
By BEATRICE PAEZ, CSI Reporter in Toronto
Isabel Fryszberg, Creative Works Studio
GETTING TO YES!
hat would happen if we all thought about designing systems, products, or policies that were all about “getting to yes”? While I was writing this piece we were recruiting for CSI’s first ever Communications Animator to join us to take storytelling (among our other communications efforts) to the next level. Recruiting is exciting for all the obvious reasons, but it’s also not all lollipops and unicorns. The fact is, while positively changing your organization and one individual’s trajectory by saying “yes,” you have a different and more negative kind of impact on all the people you have to say no to. Here’s a group of people saying, “Hey, I believe in you!” and in response we’re forced to say, “thanks but no thanks.” This hiring example is emblematic of a larger challenge we’re facing at CSI. As we grow, the invitations to collaborate in every way are escalating. Be it a heavy response to a job opportunity, a member’s new community initiative, an invitation to open a new space, or the opportunity to partner to deliver a program, we are humbled by the opportunities and also challenged by our inability to say yes each time. It’s just not possible and yet, how do you grow a movement if you turn people away when they offer to join you? This problem has inspired a design principle for our team around the notion of “getting to yes.” What this means is that we are continually asking how can we create multiple entry points for people to join us so that we never have to say no. Doing this is critical to basic movement theory: n Movements must be easy to join n Movements must have multiple entry points. n Movements must be filled with getting to yes. I recently had the benefit of seeing
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“getting to yes” in play when Tonya Surman, CEO of CSI, and I were trying to get some time with Tony Hsieh, CEO of online retailer Zappos and leader of the Downtown Project, which is aimed at revitalizing downtown Las Vegas. In both instances, Tony has led with culture, and his results are truly astounding. Not surprisingly, I’m a bit obsessed with his body of work and am often quoting excerpts from his book “Delivering Happiness.” I’m not alone in my fandom, and Tony gets a lot of requests for his time. Knowing that it’s impossible to see and meet everyone, he has created systems and a culture around “getting to yes” in which he employs a team of people to provide multiple alternatives for interested folks like myself to get what we’re looking for. Within a few weeks of reaching out to him and being told he couldn’t meet with us, we were invited to be on the Zappos podcast, to participate in the Downtown Project’s office hours program, to deliver a speech at their Catalyst event, and to take tours of the Downtown Project
and of Zappos respectively. What’s pretty magical about this is that while I might not get to meet Tony, I’ll still have every opportunity to learn about his work, and I’ll also get to share a lot of our own knowledge with their community. Talk about getting to yes! Back to where we started with the story about our recent hiring experience. For those we didn’t invite to the second round, we provided three other options for them to join us online, at an event, or via one of our work-exchanges. I didn’t hear back from some people, but for many others it felt like we turned a moment of rejection into one of opportunity; albeit not the opportunity they had applied for. Before I get too self-congratulatory, we have a ways to go to truly live and embody getting to yes. But it’s a start and our hope is that this kind of design principle will live in everything we do because getting to yes is the only way we’re going to build an inclusive movement to change the world. n
PHOTO: Y VONNEBA MBRIC K .COM/PHOTOGR APH Y
By ADIL DHALLA, Director of Culture a.k.a “THE DOC”
Movements must be inclusive, easy to join, and have multiple entry points.
community, along with a chance for one organization to partner with us to make their story into a short documentary film. We can’t wait to hear yours!
SOME CSI MEMBERS SHARE WHAT THEY’RE UP TO!
ARTS AND CULTURE COOL CULTURE (USA) Cool Culture is building a mobile app to help low-income families in NYC have greater access to New York’s world renowned cultural institutions by digitalizing their current resources. The app will launch this summer and will be helpful to any parent visiting a museum in New York. The project was made possible by a grant from the Blue Ridge Foundation and a partnership with ThoughtWorks. Visit Cool Culture’s website for more information. coolculture.org
SMALL WOODEN SHOE (CANADA) After a residency at the Banff Centre, Small Wooden Shoe’s live-to-tape Fun Palace Radio Variety Show is on the web and performing at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre for the Rhubarb Festival. Feedback very welcome at funpalace. org! Founder Jacob Zimmer has also started more freelance web design and presentation coaching at unclog.ca. smallwoodenshoe.org
COLBORNE COMMUNICATIONS (CANADA) Your book ideas. Your way. Colborne Communications makes you the publisher with our new Build-Your-Own Publisher service. Our experienced team will support you as much or as little as you need (writing, editing, layout, design, printing, e-files) as we facilitate your very own publishing imprint and set you up with global distribution. You maintain creative control and ownership, and you get the profits. colcomm.ca
INCITEMENT DESIGN (USA) Incitement Design, a design firm committed to progressive change, recently launched the War on Irrational Fear– a video and poster campaign to call
PIVOTAL RESEARCH INC (CANADA) In 2012, we interviewed 22 museum professionals from across the country to assess the need for improved visitor research metrics. This research concluded with “A Case for Visitor Research” published in the 2014 March/ April issue of the Canadian Museums Association magazine, MUSE. Ongoing in 2014 is the launch of our new survey developed with the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies that captures museum audience drivers such as behaviour, motivation, and values.
attention to America’s dangerous overreaction to threats of terrorism. We mixed satire with serious research, imagining all the wars America would be in if it reacted to other rare forms of death the way it does to terrorism; i.e. America’s War On Lightning, America’s War On The Sniffles, and more. incitementdesign.com
THE PROFESSIONAL WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA (CANADA)
At the Professional Writers Association of Canada we have been crafting a beautiful new website: www.pwac.ca, designed by WiredWidget. We are building an inspiring 2014 MagNet Conference taking place June 3rd6th in Toronto. MagNet is Canada’s premiere public policy, professional development, and networking conference for magazine professionals (magnet.magazines canada.ca). pwac.ca
CHILDREN AND YOUTH PUEBLO SCIENCE (CANADA) As part of our efforts to promote science literacy in Ontario, we delivered our Science on Ice event at UofT’s varsity arena on October 3rd for the benefit of the 4,000 school kids attending the women’s hockey match between UofT and Ryerson. On January 28, we will be having yet another Science on Ice event in Waterloo during the men’s hockey match between Laurier and UofWaterloo with 2,000 schools attending. puebloscience.org
NO.9: CONTEMPORARY ART AND THE ENVIRONMENT (CANADA) No.9 is an arts organization that uses art and design to bring awareness to environmental concerns. Our current Scott McFarland exhibition is on from December 15th- June 15th at the Pearson International Airport. Upcoming, we have the Eco-Art-Fest from mid June-September 14th at Todmorden Mills, and Imagining My Sustainable City from May 20th-August 1st at Evergreen Brick Works. For more info, please visit no9.ca!
YOUTH CLIMATE REPORT (CANADA) Youth Climate Report (YCR) recently announced a partnership with US nonprofit IDEAS for US. The organizations will work together to expand the IDEAS footprint in Africa and the YCR footprint on campuses across the US. YCR brings video reports from global youth on climate change adaptation and mitigation issues to high-level UN events. IDEAS aims to advance sustainability across communities and universities by providing youth the opportunity to address their most pressing issues.
THE STORY STUDIO (CANADA) Today, a mind-boggling amount of media is competing for attention. As documentary experts, we’ve been working hard to put our storytelling expertise towards helping nonprofits and social enterprises get their messages seen and heard. This spring, we’ll be offering free storytelling workshops to our CSI
ECHOAGE (USA) ECHOage.com is an online party planning website with a charitable twist. Reinventing the party experience, we give hosts all the tools they need to plan and manage a fantastic party, while inspiring their guests to ECHO the gift of giving! Stina is excited to announce that she is heading up the NYC headquarters for ECHOage.com at CSI NYC. ECHOage is a Toronto based company and this is our first US headquarters! echoage.com
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT THE WISE CITY (USA) The Wise City is a civic engagement, product strategy, and service design practice. Daniel Latorre is currently leading the community engagement strategy for a challenging community centered and place-based design project in the post-Hurricane Sandy area of the Rockaways in New York City entitled “Design/ Relief”. This is part of a new AIGA/NY program funded by Art Place America to demonstrate how graphic design can contribute to the practice of creative placemaking. thewisecity.org
CIVIL SOCIETY STOA COMMUNICATIONS (CANADA) Traditionally, stoas were structures that created public spaces where people from different social spheres could come together to exchange goods, services, and knowledge. Stoa Communications was created in the same spirit to help organizations and individuals connect with audiences and promote the circulation of their ideas. stoacommunications.com
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT THE PHUSE (CANADA) The Phuse–a team of creatives who craft websites, interfaces, and brands– is going to Austin, Texas this March! Two of our CSI Hot Deskers (Emma and James) will be heading to South by Southwest Interactive 2014. It’s our
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very first time speaking at the conference and we’re beyond excited to share our tips on creating awesome culture in remote teams. Not attending? No worries! We’ll post the info to thephuse. com/blog. thephuse.com
OUR TRUE NORTH 3D PRINT (CANADA) Our True North 3D Printing Ltd. is preparing for the launch of an entrepreneurship and maker space in Beardmore. Founders KC and Tim Harry will collaborate with Toronto and Boston businesses and maker communities to build capacity in Northern Ontario in entrepreneurship, 3D printing, and emerging technologies; and identify ‘maker solutions’ for the mining industry. Curious makers, 3D print designers, and other businesses can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved. truenorth3d.com
EDUCATION CENSE RESEARCH + DESIGN (CANADA) Social innovation is about doing something new to achieve something good while making an impact. But how to do you know if you’ve done just that? CENSE Research + Design is a CSI-based group that works with social innovators to help them to evaluate their programs and design and re-design them for impact and sustainability. We consult and deliver workshops to support innovators in making a difference. Contact us at email@example.com! cense.ca
RLABS CANADA (CANADA) RLabs Canada has added more opportunities for Canadians to participate through our InXchange program. We are now offering more options and packages for individuals, pre-/post-university students, groups, and corporate teams to travel to our headquarters in Cape Town, South Africa to take part in an international internship, research project, intensive learning/volunteer program, or an emerging market investment opportunity. Join to spread hope and innovation throughout our global community! rlabs.org
SLA SUPPORT AND TRAINING (CANADA) I know most of you use Google Docs, but there’s more out there! Non-profits
stand to benefit from my specialization in Microsoft Office and Windows; Word, Access, Outlook and PowerPoint are all useful, as is MS Office 35. Excel is versatile and can be used for data cleanup, bookkeeping, annual reports, board submissions, charts, inventory lists, and a wide range of other organizational ways. Let’s unlock your potential. firstname.lastname@example.org
MINDFULNESS WITHOUT BORDERS (CANADA)
Mindfulness Without Borders (MWB) provides evidence-based educational programs to enhance mental health and well-being in youth and their educators. In just three years, MWB has become the largest high school program provider for social and emotional learning in Ontario, Canada. Since inception, we’ve trained 1,500 professionals. Our programs have shaped more than 35,000 youth in 60+ schools across seven international borders. mwithoutborders.org
TWENTY ONE TOYS (CANADA) After a month of sleep deprivation and elf-hat wearing in December, we are ecstatic to announce that WE MADE IT! Our Kickstarter campaign for the Empathy Toy was 115% funded through pre-orders from as far away as Australia, Europe, Japan, Laos, Uzbekistan, Peru—and of course all across North America. We’re looking forward to shipping out over 350 toy sets across the globe in the spring! Thanks for the love CSI! twentyonetoys.com
B95CONSULTING (CANADA) Our purpose is to help small Canadian enterprises become socially responsible to increase their gains by exploring the South American market. Our methods are designed to access specialized networks and foster effective communication with potential partners.
PROJECTART (USA) ProjectArt aims to change the way the world views arts education through public awareness and programming. ProjectArt addresses the crisis of access to arts education for youth in a highly innovative, collaborative, and cost-effective way. Using a unique library-partnerships model, we help
youth express their artistic visions, set goals, and display their art in celebrated art galleries in NYC– drawing thousands of New Yorkers at no cost to the students. projectart.org
CONTEXT CONSULTING (CANADA) Our program, Leading Full Circle, is a multi-generational leadership retreat for women combining mentoring with artistic and embodiment practice. Entering our fourth year, we’re accepting applications for the two-day offering from June 6th-7th in Toronto. With over 60 alumnae, we come together each fall to offer women a place where they can re-connect and deepen their leadership presence and practice. contextconsulting.com
EMPLOYMENT CAREER SKILLS INCUBATOR (CANADA) Career Skills Incubator has been developing an open-source tool to make its mentor matching faster and more efficient. We’re still building the basic functionality, but once it gets better we hope to share with other organizations. Feel free to stay in touch if you’re interested in learning more, and we’re always looking for new mentors! Check out Victoria’s article on youth entrepreneurship in Yonge Street Media. careerskillsincubator.com
ENVIRONMENT OUR HORIZON (CANADA) We just finished a cross-Canada tour where we shared our campaign to get cities to pass laws that would require climate change warning labels on gas pumps. Citizens are now organizing in their own communities and we hope to see a series of successful votes take place this spring. We have plans to launch another simple, yet globally-unprecedented climate campaign this summer and would love to collaborate with like-minded organizations. Get in touch! ourhorizon.org
UPWISE (USA) We just launched Upwise, a website for recycling all your old stuff. You pledge which product to recycle, we send you
a product deal and a prepaid mailer, and you send it back. Our goal is to complete the lifecycle on all consumer products. We have only two categories since we’re just testing the platform, but we’d love some feedback! In Canada? Email us first. We may be able to accommodate you. upwise.co
balance of justice and equality for minority members servicing the province of Ontario. We want to foster positive productivity in the work environment and community, and to combat all forms of human rights injustice! torontoguardians.net
SWAPSITY (CANADA) I have recently given a TEDx talk on the Bartering Economy. Barter has been making headlines lately. In fall 2013, Toronto Life’s Money Issue featured a major story, “No Money, No Problem”, which included three pages of facts and success stories about the New Bartering Economy in Toronto. In it, they asserted that we’re on the “cusp of a new wave of alternative financial thinking.” According to Toronto Life, the Barter Economy is driven by the “uncertainties of a cash economy,” and many local success stories—like Swapsity—have emerged. swapsity.ca
THE KITCHEN LIBRARY (CANADA) Since opening in October, The Kitchen Library has received some great buzz. We’re hard at work expanding our inventory, hosting workshops, looking for collaborators, and just generally building an awesome sharing economy in this beautiful city of ours. thekitchenlibrary.ca
WASTENOT WORM FARMS (CANADA) Wastenot Worm Farms has officially launched an office organics collection service; Green Bins Growing provides workplaces with a clean, convenient, and environmentally responsible solution for collecting and recycling employees’ food scraps. For a low flat rate, clients receive collection containers, weekly bin cleaning, personalized training and signage, and a facilitated community engagement event using the worm poop produced from their food scraps. Learn more at our website: wastenotwormfarms.com.
EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS CENTRE FOR EQUALITY RIGHTS IN ACCOMMODATION (CANADA) The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) is new to CSI and excited to be here! Since 1987, CERA has been the only organization in Canada dedicated to ending housing discrimination through human rights advocacy. Our human rights casework and eviction prevention programs help tenants keep a roof over their heads. New projects include legal education, research, and capacity-building initiatives for Aboriginal Peoples living in Northwestern Ontario and the housing providers working with them.
HEALTH AND WELL-BEING HARBORING HEARTS (USA) Harboring Hearts provides resources to heart patients and their families, mainly to help caregivers secure comfortable accommodations while their family members are undergoing treatment. We also provide programs that build community and offer emotional sustenance. This year, our CSI NYC friends and neighbors created heartfelt greeting cards for our patients during #GivingTuesday. Here’s to another awesome year of service at CSI!
THE TORONTO GUARDIANS FOR UNITY, PEACE, & JUSTICE INC. (CANADA) We’re a fraternal Organization comprised of racialized uniformed provincial Correctional Officers, OPP Officers, and civilian employees. We’re constantly striving for betterment & fighting for officers that have been discriminated against. Our mission? To bring back the
CANADIAN MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION, ONTARIO DIVISION (CANADA)
CMHA Ontario is piloting a new program to help people get their lives back on track. Living Life to the Full is a fun and interactive 12-hour, eight-week life skills course based on cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) principles. Whether participants are writing on their bathroom mirror or reciting “1, 2, 3, Chill!”, the course provides people from all walks of life with tools to manage life’s challenges and feel better. Stay tuned for our next steps! llttf.ca
ENVIRO-HEALTH PRESENTATIONS (CANADA)
I joined CSI in October and totally submerged myself: summits, networking events, talent shows, and holiday parties. In December, I presented a Lunch n’ Learn on the topic of scents in the workplace, had a TV interview about “No Scents Makes Sense”, and had a radio interview about how my passions for enviro-health started. I used CSI’s The Green Majority and Camp Tech to strengthen my online presence & prepare me for my site’s launch: scent-smart.ca. envirohealthpresentations.ca
INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SPIRIT IN ACTION (USA) Continuing its support of families and grassroots organizations in Eastern Africa, SIA approved 25 small business grants and three community development grants in November. The community programs include: a goat husbandry project implemented by Raising the Village (CSI Spadina) in Uganda, a sewing and tailoring school for girls in Kenya, and a poultry project/ micro-savings cooperative in Zambia. All these projects rely on the knowledge, input, and leadership of the local community. godsspiritinaction.org
YOUTH CHALLENGE INTERNATIONAL (CANADA)
Interested in getting off your computer, out of your comfort zone, and into something that matters? YCI offers
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events like a four-week volunteer project in Ghana, the Three Peaks Challenge, and a breathtaking six-day trek to Mount Kilimanjaro. Test your limits, all while raising funds for our youth development program. Help us help youth create a sustainable future for themselves. Join YCI and discover how Changing Lives is Life Changing: yci.org
other locations around NYC. Follow us @SnowdayTruck to find our schedule! drivechangenyc.org,
SACRED RIDES MOUNTAIN BIKE ADVENTURES (CANADA)
NEW VILLAGE PRESS; ARCHITECTS DESIGNERS PLANNERS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILIITY (USA) New Village Press, the publishing division of Architects Designers Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), is celebrating both the launch of “Green Schoolyards America” by Sharon Gamson Danks and starting under ADPSR’s fiscal agency. We would also like to recognize Chester Hartman for coediting our most recent title, “From Foreclosure to Fair Lending”, an original collected work that strengthens the latest wave of fair housing activism initiated by the Occupy Wall Street movement. newvillagepress.net; adpsr.org
AWAKE STORYTELLING (USA) Awake Storytelling is an impact driven company– spreading stories that change the way we see ourselves, each other, and the world. Over the next few months, we’re creating videos for KIPP charter schools, the Auburn Seminary, and the NYC Department of Education. We’re traveling to Bangladesh to create a short film about a young woman who works at an H&M factory. We’re also in the design phase of an online storytelling workshop for changemakers. awakestorytelling.com
DRIVE CHANGE/ SNOWDAY FOOD TRUCK (USA) Drive Change and the Snowday food truck are gearing up to hit the streets of NYC with our first food truck business offering job training, employment, and transitional support to formerly incarcerated youth ages 16-25. Our food truck, Snowday, will serve a local, seasonal menu featuring Upstate NY maple syrup in locations such as: the World Financial Center, Dumbo, Harlem, and
SPORTS AND RECREATION We recently launched a new line of ‘Explorer’ trips targeted at beginner mountain bikers: adventurers with little or no mountain bike experience. These adventures will allow keen adventurers to experience the best of what our mountain bike tours have to offer - spectacular landscapes, local cultures, awe-inspiring experiences - without the skill requirements of our more advanced trips. sacredrides.com
URBAN ISSUES THINKFRESH GROUP (CANADA) In collaboration with Exhibit Change (exhibit-change.com), we’re launching Toronto’s first urban planning and unplanning design course for citizen designers - Designing Toronto (designingtoronto.ca or #dezTO)! Enterprising Spaces, a new project creating small affordable spaces for micro-enterprises is also set to launch in 2014. More details to follow, but in the meantime– check out our video coverage in the Globe and Mail. thinkfreshgroup.com
MEETING AND EVENT SPACE Is your organization looking for meeting rooms or event spaces? Come to the Centre for Social Innovation! CSI hosts hundreds of social mission events, ranging from book releases and conferences to board meetings and workshops. Our spaces are multipurpose, functional, and beautiful. Whether you’re hosting 2 or 200, you’ll find what you’re looking for at one of our four office locations.
TORONTO NEW YORK CITY
A COWORKING SPACE,
AND LAUNCHPAD FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE CHANGING THE WORLD
PHOTO: CHRIS LUCKHARDT
Published on Apr 21, 2014
Published on Apr 21, 2014
The Centre for Social Innovation is a coworking space, community, and launchpad for people who are changing the world, with three locations...