Page 1

The Collider Wellness










Local Living

? __________ Participatory


Conscious Capitalism

Green Sustainable



Economy ___________________________ 2018-2019

REAL LIFE SUPERHEROES: CSI members are breaking down barriers, creating solutions, and saving the planet.

IT’S BEEN HOW LONG?: Fifteen years of CSI, and fifteen things you might be surprised to learn about us.

FROM TWEENS TO NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS: We create spaces that function as the heart of our community.

WHAT’S SO NEW ABOUT “THE NEXT ECONOMY”?: Putting people and planet before profit.


& Our spaces are multipurpose, functional, and beautiful. Whether you’re hosting 2 or 200 people in TO or NYC, you’ll find what you’re looking for at one of our locations.

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Photo by Erin Kang

Our readers in the USA

Table of Contents

Our reader in Vietnam

Our readers in Germany

Our readers on the Adriatic

Our readers in China


Thank You for 15 Years


Agents of Change: Climate Solutions

p.44 DECAs, the Heartbeat of CSI


From DECA to CCO



Announcing the Social Innovation Institute

Climate Ventures: Our Cleantech Fellowship

p.45 Bear Standing Tall’s Spiritual Approach to Allyship & Reconciliation


Members Working to Save the Planet


Profits Should Serve a Purpose



The Next [?] Economy

15 Things You Might Not Know About CSI

p.46 Meet Some of Our Online Community Members


CSI Members Making the World Better for Women


TechSoup Canada + CSI = 10 Amazing Years

p.48 15 Years of Growth, Adaptation, & Financial Resilience


CSI Throughout the Years


How to Finance Your Next Project


Goodbye to 215


Hello to 192


Science Needed Everything that I Am


We Go Further Together


Our First Year of Civic Hall Toronto


CSI Goes to the Hill


Share the Love


Shout Out for Social Innovation Canada!


An Evening with Muhammad Yunus


Racial Justice In Maternal Health Care


A Year of CSI Acceleration Programs


The Women’s Lab at CSI New York


Climate Ventures Now Open!


CSI’s 2018 Demographic Report

Photos curated by Karim Rizkallah

p.50 Thank You’s

Our readers in the Czech Republic

The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 3

Thank You for 15 years BY Tonya Surman, Co-Founder and CEO Fifteen years ago, a small group of us set out to solve “the photocopier problem” for the non-profit sector. We knew that 85% of non-profit organizations had five or fewer staff and budgets of less than $1 million. We had an instinct that by sharing things like photocopiers, kitchens, and meeting rooms we could save money. We also had a hunch that by sharing we could strengthen the field and foster collaboration between like-minded but different sectors. With Margaret Zeidler’s generous contribution of space at 215 Spadina we were able to launch. Little did we know that by trying to solve a flexibility challenge for non-profits we would stumble across the creation of coworking. It’s now 2019 and coworking is ubiquitous. I’ve been so excited to watch this happen; this is true social innovation in action – offering access to space and community to people around the world. And now CSI gets closer to our ultimate mission: catalyzing social innovation by focusing our energy on building a next economy that puts people and planet first! The founding purposes and values of CSI were entrepreneurship, collaboration, and systems change. From the very beginning, we embedded solid business principles and leveraged the passionate energy of entrepreneurship to foster the collaboration and community that we knew were needed to shift the economic system. What we’ve learned is that change happens in three ways: culture, policy, and markets.

“What we’ve learned is that change happens in three ways: culture, policy, and markets.” See CSI's Landscape Paper for things we've learned along the way: socialinnovation.o rg/landscape.

There’s no denying the energy and momentum of the market economy. It has helped to create the most wealthy societies in history. Of course, we know that if left untethered it also has a tendency to concentrate wealth, deplete our planet’s resources, and leave us unable to make policy decisions at a global level. So what do we passionate defenders of people and planet do? Buckminster Fuller – one of my heroes – said, “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.” And that’s what CSI has been doing for 15 years: working to evolve solutions that put people and planet first. To replace old, broken systems and businesses with new business models that are circular, caring, inclusive, and regenerative. We haven’t done it alone. We’ve had 5,000 social purpose organizations and hundreds of thousands of people in our spaces. We’ve hosted countless meetings, events, workshops, and trainings, all focused on building the capacity of people to be better at how we serve our communities and our world. There’s so much strength in these numbers. Thank you to everyone who has been part of this journey, we can’t wait to work with you all over the next 15 years.

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Photo by Audra Williams

From DECA to CCO BY Shona Fulcher, Chief Community Officer

In 2010 a radio interview changed my life. Much like the present, 2010 was a year of turbulence. The mortgage crisis had gutted the American financial landscape and the world markets were reeling in response. The financial sector was laying off people in droves, and I was one of those people. Suddenly, I was faced with the question, “What do I want to do now?” The answer? To connect my values to my work and to invest my sweat and creativity for good. My mother has been listening to CBC Radio since before I learned to speak. It has been the background music to many important milestones of my life. In 2010 the CBC was interviewing an incredible entrepreneur who was challenging the way we thought about

See how the DECA program has grown on page 44.

work, creating a growing community for changemakers who put people and planet first. Tonya Surman was showcasing the power of collaboration to drive a future we choose. At the end of the interview, she invited the audience to come down and check out this incredible place, the Centre for Social Innovation! I remember so clearly the first time I walked into CSI. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. After so many years working in the grey cubicle world, here was a space full of colour and sound, where a diverse community of professionals were tackling the big questions like, “What happens when we collaborate?” So when the opportunity came to join CSI’s inaugural Desk Exchange Community Animation (DECA)

Headshot photo by Sara Elisabeth Photography

“I had never worked with a more focused, devoted, intelligent and agile group of people in my career.”

cohort, I jumped at the chance and started a deep dive into social innovation, social entrepreneurship, impact, and the value of facilitating active connections. I joined the CSI staff team in early 2011 as a Community Animator. I had never worked with a more focused, devoted, intelligent, and agile group of people in my career. It was initially intimidating for an “escapee” from the financial sector, and I was immediately welcomed. As of this writing, I’m CSI’s Chief Community Officer. Looking back on the past nine years, I can’t help but feel that one of the organization’s core values, “Make social change and have fun doing it,” perfectly encapsulates my experience at CSI. The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 5


“Science needed everything that I am” Eugenia Duodu: Visions of Science Network for Learning BY Emma Reid When she was watching episodes of Bill Nye and Magic School Bus as a kid, CSI member Eugenia Duodu had no idea that she was taking the first steps towards a career in science. She’s now CEO of Visions of Science Network for Learning, a non-profit that brings free STEM educational programming to low-income communities, but for many years she found it hard to picture herself as a scientist. “There weren’t people in my community lining up to go be scientists,” Duodu said in her 2017 TedxYouth talk. “I wasn’t really seeing myself, or who I wanted to be, portrayed in my textbooks or on television.” Growing up with a single mother in Toronto Community Housing, Duodu saw science as a hobby, not as a serious career prospect. When her mother pushed her to take advanced science courses in high school, Duodu wasn’t sure she was up for the challenge, even though she had excellent grades and a passion for the subject. That all changed when she was given the opportunity to participate in a summer mentorship program at the University of Toronto designed to bring students of African and Indigenous descent into labs and clinics to learn from researchers. The program sparked the idea in her mind that she could pursue a career in science.

Duodu enrolled at the University of Toronto, studying chemistry and biology. Despite the fact that she was pursuing her passion, she still struggled to believe that she belonged in the field. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she suffered from imposter syndrome. When a friend asked her if she was planning on pursuing a PhD after she graduated, she laughed it off, but her friend responded seriously, telling her, “I think you can do it, so you should.” Duodu went on to earn a PhD in chemistry from the University of Toronto, researching cancer diagnostic tools. During her PhD, she began volunteering with Visions of Science and realized that she could combine her interest in science with her desire to work in community building. After graduating, she decided to commit herself full-time to the organization. She wanted to help others overcome the kind of systemic barriers that she had faced when trying to access a STEM education. Looking forward, she’s excited for the youth that she serves, and also for the industry that they’re going to enter. “None of the narratives around who a scientist could be fit in with who I was,” Duodu says. But looking back on her own decision to pursue science, with her perspective changed, she added, “I realized that science needed me… science needed everything that I am.” Now, she’s inspired to help youth who are underrepresented in STEM make space for themselves because, she said, “What you bring to the table will change the field that you’re in.”

“None of the narratives around who a scientist could be fit in with who I was.”

6 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation


Our First Year

of Civic Hall Toronto BY Shea Sinnott, Program Manager, Civic hall Toronto Civic Hall Toronto is a non-profit hub for those working to strengthen civic innovation in Canada’s largest city. They build relationships between government innovators, entrepreneurs, technologists, and residents, and help them collaboratively address civic challenges using technology and design. I can’t believe it has been a year since I stood on a podium in The CSI Spadina Atrium and introduced the world to Civic Hall Toronto.

Good things happen when you bring people from different sectors together and remove barriers to shared learning and collaboration. We know this because we’ve seen it. Through our programs, the team at StreetARToronto connected with members of Civic Tech Toronto and built a new, interactive digital map of the city’s incredible street art. Toronto’s Entrepreneurship Services team met with the Indigenous business community and together they began building a new

Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. And Ample Labs, a local civic tech startup, connected with the city’s Shelter Support and Housing Administration to collaborate on an app that connects residents experiencing homelessness with services like food and housing. As we head into our second year, we look forward to strengthening these existing relationships, and creating opportunities to forge new ones. If you’d like to get involved, head to!

We launched the program with a clear goal: to break down siloes in the city – siloes isolating government from residents, or cutting the tech community off from the social impact sector – and enable innovators to co-create solutions for the Greater Toronto Area. And that’s what we’ve done. Over the past year, we signed up 13 government teams from the City of Toronto and the City of Markham, and welcomed them to work alongside us at CSI. We ran 32 events for 771 people, including 13 training workshops for public servants. We held six office hours events, where the public met our government members and shared the issues that matter to them.

Photography by Liz Beddall of Liz Beddall Photography

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Announcing the

Social Innovation Institute It’s my pleasure to serve as the inaugural Chair of the Social Innovation Institute. The Social Innovation Institute is a registered charitable organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. SII is committed to helping Canadians make real, lasting, positive change in their communities by providing accessible and inclusive social innovation education and training, building connections, and providing affordable access to coworking spaces for those facing economic barriers. We believe everyone can be part of the solution. In just a few short years we’ve run allyship programs, hosted regular “six degrees of separation” evenings to build and connect communities of change makers, and hosted SPARK!, Canada’s first national conference for social innovators. We’ve reached out across the country, engaging those working to address pressing needs in their communities, including those in government and in the corporate sector, to see how we can work collaboratively to unlock the potential of social innovation across Canada. From this engagement emerged Social Innovation Canada, a national initiative that’s empowering people and organizations with the tools, knowledge, skills, and connections they need to shift systems and solve real and complex problems. We’re so proud to be working with regional partners from across Canada, including the Centre for Social Innovation, to make this work possible. And looking forward? In 2019, we’re launching our social innovation education program that has a simple, yet audacious goal: help Canadians lead the world in systems change. We’re looking to make inclusive social innovation education a key pillar in how we create an economy that strengthens people and planet, to provide affordable workspaces for traditionally marginalized people, to help early stage social innovators access programs and services, and to expand our education and job-readiness programs that support the hundreds of people who give their time to pay for CSI membership and space. It’s early days yet for SII and we’re making great progress, thanks to the funding and support from our generous donors, sponsors, and partners. The opportunity to nurture transformational impact in our communities is at our fingertips. Thank you for being part of the solution! We want to especially acknowledge the Bealight Foundation for its founding support, which has been catalytic to this work. Thank you,

George Dark

Chair, Social Innovation Institute

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Profits should serve a purpose Alterna Savings is CSI’s longest-standing partner – a credit union that delivers the good in banking. Alterna believed in us when no other financial institution did. Innovative and socially responsible, Alterna has provided us with two mortgages and is a strong supporter of our Catapult microloans and matchmaking programs. Here’s what they have to say about our partnership: At Alterna, our goal is to see our members, employees, and communities thrive. We believe in making profits serve a purpose. In 2018, we sponsored, volunteered, fundraised, shared our knowledge, and empowered our members to strengthen our collective impact. We donated more than $1 million, benefitting many community organizations. We also donated 11,300 volunteer hours, as we know that giving time is just as important as giving money. It’s no wonder, then, that the partnership between Alterna and CSI is so fruitful. For 15 years, our two forward-thinking organizations have provided a dynamic space to empower innovation and growth. While CSI is a hub to nurture and fertilize the social impact ecosystem, Alterna is a co-operative dedicated to promoting financial health for communities by providing financial literacy programs and microfinancing. Together, Alterna and CSI foster a rich network of opportunities for anyone who has the vision, capability, and passion to succeed.

As we look back at what we’ve accomplished, the list of those who have benefited is long – Waste Not Farms, Grantbook, Documentary Organization of Canada, StopGap, Women’s Healthy Environments Network, SociaLight, Ontario Council for International Cooperation, Oikocredit, Good Investing, and so many more. The work these members do is transformational. Together, we’ve helped entrepreneurs on diverse projects such as advancing progressive housing policy, promoting public engagement and social justice, providing digital skills training, helping Canadians produce documentaries, and selling worm biofertilizer to replace synthetic ones. As we look forward, there will be new ways to access funding, new engagement opportunities, and creative ways to use existing products to help us collaborate. We’re all about being the good in banking, and we’re privileged to be doing this work. We look forward to the next chapter on this amazing journey with CSI.








Caring Empathic



Local Living

? __________ Participatory


Conscious Capitalism

Green Sustainable



Economy BY Audra Williams, CSI’s Content Specialist There are nearly as many definitions of “social innovation” as there are social innovators. In a growing field, this is a strength. There’s space for many perspectives, and we’ve always encouraged our community to take a fill-in-the-blank approach to creating new systems that put people and planet first.

triple threat of today’s environmental, social, and democratic crises a thing of the past.

Now we’re excited to ask for your help to create a new concept that’s begging for your fill-in-the-blank creativity: The Next Economy.

The CSI community now generates $270 million in annual revenue, and whether you’re using market tactics to put people and planet first, or just need to pay your rent and your employees to do good, you’re part of this. Around the world there are so many people co-creating this next economy that it has many names. A circular economy. An inclusive economy. A participatory economy.

Social innovators are creating a next economy every day. An economy where success isn’t measured in financial profit alone. An economy where it’s possible to support yourself doing work you love. An economy where your investments benefit the causes you care about. An economy dedicated to making the

It doesn’t really matter what you call it. What matters is that we’re going to build it together. Over the coming pages you’ll see more about how the CSI community has been building the next economy for 15 years. We’re excited to make this work more intentional and to co-create with you.

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Your daily source of social innovation news, research, and opportunities The internet is an impossibly huge place with endless pieces of useful information. Who has time to find it all? Well, literally no one. But that’s what CSI aims to do, with CLICK! Every weekday we send out CLICK, full of the news, research, analysis, and opportunities that we think will best help you start your day. Every email also contains a tangible action you can take to make the world better, from signing an online petition to volunteering with one of our amazing members. This daily email has been wildly popular. Since launching, we’ve seen over 200,000 opens and tens of thousands of pieces of content clicked on.

SUBSCRIBE NOW! Find out for yourself what makes CLICK so special, and why you’ll want it to be the first thing you read every morning. Subscribe at

“ I've p u ns u bsrcertibty we ll ed to most e-zin e. eNveory othe r It has j u t this o n e. st the rig ht the rigthotn e an d j ust of info rm amou nt atio - Al Etma n.' ' Preside nt ns ki of PLAN

CSI Throughout the years FIrst cookie competition If you’ve been to a CSI holiday party, you know the competition is real.

A lot has happened since we opened our doors 15 years ago… We couldn’t capture it all, but here are some highlights!

First DECA cohort Learn more about our Desk Exchange Community Animator program on page 44. First Cocktail Competition Our contestents go above and beyond with these drinks.

Sharing for Social Change Conference Co-hosted with Tides and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Agents of Change: Youth Our first dedicated accelorator program, funded by ING & Microsoft.

Opened CSI Regent Park A communityimmersed work space in east Toronto.

Turn Out Toronto An effort to increase civic engagment for the 2014 municipal election.

‘04 ‘05 ‘06 ‘07 ‘08 ‘09 ‘10 ‘11 ‘12 ‘13 ‘14

CSI Toronto opens

The first coworking space in Canada, maybe the world! We called it “virtual tenancy.”

Ralph Nader speaks at CSI

Community Bond campaign launches The first of its kind... learn more on page 13.

First Members Summit Networking on steriods.

Bought 720 Bathurst Our first CSI-owned building.

Canadian Conference on Social enterprise Partnered with SE Council of Canada and United Way Toronto. Social entrepreneurship summit Partnered with Civic Action and MaRS.

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Opened CSI New York Our fourth location, the first outside of Canada.

IDEA Committee Inclusion Diveristy, Equity, and Accessibilty: taking steps to live our values in a more clear and transparent way.

An Honest Farewell Raised money for anti-racism training and said goodbye to Honest Ed’s.

Opened Innovation Works London Look ma, a new city! (In Ontario.) Agents of Change: City Builders Held in both Toronto & New York City.


Innovator’s Drinks Members supporting members and making Fridays fun again.

Agents of Change: Community Health Launch of yearlong program, funded by Green Shield.


Joined the ONE _ SEP Network Read more on page 16.


Agents of Change: Climate Solutions Funded by the Government of Ontario, read more on page 20.

First ImpactFest Self-guided tour about our members’ impact.

Charity established The Social Innovation Institute, Read more on page 6.

Move to 192 Spadina Moved 700 members and 6 dogs 443 feet across the street.


Launch of Civic Hall Toronto


Read more on page 35.

Read more on page 18.

Muhammad Yunus visits Read more on page 38.

SPARK! Our first national social innovation conference asks, “What is the future of social innovation in Canada?”

Launch of Climate Ventures An intentional space for climate entrepreneurs.


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How to Finance

your next project BY Ryan Collins-Swartz, Tapestry Community Capital this as an opportunity to revisit your business plan and diversify your revenue sources. Take The Mount Community Centre in Peterborough, who built out a commercial kitchen, event rental spaces, and coworking space to support their expansion of affordable and supportive housing units.

So you have a big idea that’ll help you better serve your community. Whether it’s a bigger location, new equipment, or renovations, you’ll need the financing to make it happen. Community bonds have gone from a social finance experiment to a proven, trusted, and powerful method to finance capital projects. From renewable energy co-ops like Solarshare, empowering thousands of Ontarians to invest in a greener future, to right here at CSI, where community investment helped with the purchase of two buildings in downtown Toronto.

1. An Iconic Project What do you need the money for? Iconic projects are ambitious in both vision and scale. They’re deeply meaningful to your community and will inspire your supporters to invest. Consider the Argonaut Rowing Club. What started as a project to repair the club after flooding evolved into ARC Next, a $1.2 million campaign to revitalize the club for the future.

Tapestry launched in May 2017 to make it simple and accessible for organizations to raise community bonds. We support non-profits, charities, and co-ops to finance their own iconic projects with community bonds.

2. Community of Supporters Who will invest in you? Investors are community members who love your organization, who benefit from your work, and who have a shared stake in your success. They’re also partner organizations who share your vision. Community bonds create a long-term relationship with your supporters, turning them into your most powerful ambassadors.

I’ve met with hundreds of organizations to help determine if community bonds are right for them. Here’s what we look for in a successful bond campaign:

3. Sustainable Revenue Model How will you pay them back? Community bonds are an interestbearing loan. Often you may take

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4. Urgency Do you have a deadline? Investors are motivated by a true sense of urgency. When CSI launched their first community bond they had a short window of time to raise their first series of funds to close on the property. This allowed for a small founding group of investors to quickly come together to secure the property. CSI tied their next bond series to other milestones, like starting and completing renovations. 5. Tapestry Community Capital We’re your partner in community bonds. We guide organizations to success along every step of the community bond process. From introductory workshops to campaign feasibility, through to financial planning, campaign team training, and managing your investors after your raise. Get in touch to learn if your project is right for a community bond. Visit or email to learn more.

Photography by Lindsay Duncan of Eldie Photography

Invest Today

Community Bonds build Community Bonds Community bonds have helped CSI raise over $6 million to purchase and renovate over 100,000 sq. ft. of shared space for social purpose. Community bonds let you invest in both your financial security and your community’s well-being. To find out how you can be part of it, email:


Goodbye to 215

BY ​Kale Ridsdale, 192 Project and Community Coordinator A handful of days before our move into 192 Spadina, our 192 Project and Community Coordinator, Kale Ridsdale, wrote this heartfelt and moving letter to members about what we were about to undertake and all the things that got us here. Here we are Spadina! The final Salad Club at 215 Spadina and three sleeps ’till our move. It’s Sunday evening as I write this, in the fourth floor lounge. The room’s still in a state of disarray from the Wine and Cheese earlier Friday evening, but I’m taking a moment to reflect on the history of this building before I tackle that situation. I was only just starting as a new DECA at last year’s Wine and Cheese, held in the same lounge. That night, I didn’t recognize a single face around me. I didn’t even really know exactly what CSI was, what the people here were doing, and who just showed up for the wine. Through preparing to move CSI Spadina out of this building, I have come to be humbled by the history contained within. I’ve learned that the fake flowers in the kitchen came from the bicycle of one of CSI’s founding members, and that some of furniture pieces were found on the street by our CEO, Tonya Surman. I’ve learned about the origin of Salad Club, where the library came from, and which of you have been here for a long time. 16 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation

I can’t tell you how many times I had thought about throwing out those fake flowers. But I’m coming to learn that there’s 14 years of collective intelligence that made CSI Spadina into what it is now – and this week we pack it all up into boxes. A year ago at my first Wine and Cheese, I had walked up to a stranger at the party and said, “I’m new here, introduce me to some people?” And he did. A year later I was surrounded by friendly, familiar faces and had the feeling of being home. Through preparing to move CSI Spadina, I have also come to learn what CSI means to you, the community. We might be hauling the contents of this building across the street over the weekend, but it’s clear to me that CSI is not its artifacts. I know that what we’re packing into boxes are momentos of what this collective intelligence has built, and that CSI doesn’t move until you all show up on Monday morning. What I’ve learned in my year with CSI is that over this coming week I can trust the process and power of this community, and that CSI Spadina will cocoon itself a new home across the road. See you at the final Salad Club of 215!




to 192

BY Tonya Surman, Co-Founder and CEO

This autumn, we moved our whole CSI Spadina community 443 steps across the street to our new building at 192 Spadina, an amazing new home that we bought with the help of our community bondholders.

If we can figure out how to buy one building with 223 investors, what else can we do? What do we want to do in terms of our parks? In terms of bicycle lanes, in terms of making our city better, maybe even our democracy better?

The process was hugely illuminating in regards to the tangible and intangible. Because once we moved the community from 215 to across the street, you could feel that the community was actually not a space, it was a kind of intangible energy. It was so funny and unexpected to me that when I did the last walkthrough of an empty 215 Spadina it felt like a dead shell. But even within the first few days of being in our new space I could feel the buzz. We brought the energy with us!

To me, it’s proof that we can do things differently when we’re willing to put our social capital first and our financial capital second, and not get caught in old ways of thinking. So I want people to come and be inspired by the incredible work that our members are doing every day, and to really honour and celebrate the people who are willing to take a risk to help us to make this possible.

For the next several months, I got to watch our members figure out the lay of the land. How will this space work? What’s the new community? Where are my friends? Where did they go and where do I go? Where’s the secret spots? Where’s the cool place to hang out? I loved seeing that sense of discovery and renewal. Even now, I still have to remind myself that it’s all real. I mean, we bought a building in downtown Toronto with the help of 223 community investors! Photography by Nyo Mudzingwa of You the Best Photography

Margaret Wheatley said, “I know it is possible to create islands of sanity in the midst of wildly disruptive seas.” When I heard her say that, I reflected on how incredibly blessed we are to have this island of sanity that we’ve built. But it wouldn’t have happened without everyone. This was and is communityowned, community-operated, community-led, and community-driven. We are for the community, by the community, and it just delights me. Please come visit anytime. I want everybody to see what our team did, what our Board did, and what our members have done by believing in us. The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 17


Genecis EnviroTech Inc., was the winner of OCE’s Discovery’s $20,000 social enterprise pitch competition.

Ontario’s Social Enterprise Ecosystem: Impact Now, Impact Forever

CSI provided over 350 hours of direct coaching for social entrepreneurs.

BYJoanna Reynolds, director of social enterprise

Partnering with BDC, the O.N.E. Social Enterprise Partnership supported 19 social enterprise events to take place for Small Business Week.

A new wave of entrepreneurs is leading the way in building a diverse and resilient economy aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These entrepreneurs know that it’s possible to do well by doing good. They run businesses, non-profits, charitable organizations, and B Corporations. Their work focuses on commercializing new and innovative products, processes, and technologies that put people and planet first. They’re social entrepreneurs and they’re building a next economy that can be a game changer for our future well-being and prosperity.

tion. Last year alone,, our online matchmaking platform, matched over 1,600 social enterprises with 130 opportunity partners. The demand is real and the opportunities are growing.

CSI is a social enterprise and thousands of our members are too, together contributing over $270 million to the regional economy each year. And here’s the really exciting thing: there are tens of thousands of us mobilizing our individual and collective efforts across Ontario and this great country to create real, lasting impact – today and for tomorrow. In each entrepreneur there’s a story of resilience and incredible tenacity. Yet, social entrepreneurship remains a new concept for most business development services and the infrastructure to position these enterprises for success is struggling to catch up. This is where the critical work of building the ecosystem for social enterprise comes in, and it’s work that CSI is proud be leading, along with amazing partners and regional networks. Together, we’re creating deep, sector-wide collaboration, building connections and capacity. We’re providing key supports, such as guidance from coaches and peers, connections to customers and impact capital, plus vital recognition and promo-

As a partner in the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs Social Enterprise Partnership project, CSI worked with SVX, Ryerson Social Venture Zone, and the City of Vaughan to position Central Region social enterprises for growth. We mobilized for greater impact across geography, through collaborations with other regional leads – Pillar Nonprofit Network (South West), Impact Hub Ottawa (East), and the NORDIK Institute (North). Together, we united over 80 agencies and networks – many for the first time – across 24 Ontario communities, bridging gaps to better understand the needs and potential of enterprises with social and environmental solutions. In total, we provided direct support to over 1,500 ventures! It’s an encouraging start to building Ontario’s social enterprise ecosystem, one in which social enterprises don’t simply survive, but thrive. We all need the solutions they offer to succeed – for the health of our planet, for our communities, and for the economy. There’s no time to lose in supporting social enterprises to flourish. Here’s to creating the next chapter in achieving greater impact across Ontario!

We built a tool to help connect you with programs, opportunities and funding!

Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, Social Enterprise Partnership (ONE_SEP)

1,500 Ventures Served


Organizations Involved


Ontario Communities

Over 65 percent of entrepreneurs served are between 20-35 years of age. 18 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation

More than 50 percent of these entrepreneurs are new to entrepreneurship.

Go to for more info!


To buy our first building, we talked to venture capitalists. They saw our fast growth and offered to buy us, but they wouldn’t give us a loan because we’re a non-profit. Infrastructure Ontario considered us ineligible because we didn’t receive “enough” government funding. We could get a mortgage, but there was no source of capital for our equity portion. Ineligible on both the for-profit and non-profit sides, we invented the Community Bond. We bought the building through community-based investing.

CSI Goes to the Hill In September 2018, Tonya spoke with the Senate Special Committee on the Charitable Sector about the impact of federal and provincial laws and policies governing charities, non-profit organizations, foundations, and other similar groups; and, about the impact of the voluntary sector in Canada. Thank you for inviting me to speak with you today. I am here as a serial social entrepreneur, a community organizer, and a Canadian. The promise of social innovation is that we can solve the most pressing issues facing our society, while generating revenue. The revenue supports our sustainability, saves government money, and creates meaningful work. Like you, we want Canadians to have and build community assets that will serve for generations. But the playing field in Canada favours the private sector, with few supports – and many barriers – for the charitable and non-profit sector. While other countries are accelerating their social economies, Canada’s social entrepreneurs are wading through quicksand. This needs to change. Fourteen years ago, the Centre for Social Innovation became the first coworking space in Canada, and maybe the world. We now serve over 1,000 social mission organizations and 3,000 individuals every day. Our members create solutions to some of the hardest social, environmental, and economic challenges Canadians face. They generate over $270 million a year, employ thousands of people, and serve millions more. We’re a Canadian success story. And yet at every stage in our growth we’ve faced barriers where private companies would have found opportunities. When we needed capital for our first expansion, we were excluded from government enterprise growth programs because we’re a non-profit.

We’ve developed digital tools to scale our work, and once again no one will give us the capital we need to invest. Scientific Research and Development, and the Industrial Research Assistance Program consider non-profits to be ineligible for their innovation grants. We have a proven track record of innovation and job creation – why not support us? Non-profits aren’t eligible. So we created a for-profit to house our digital innovation work. In fact, we’ve had to create and now manage three organizations – a non-profit, a for-profit, and a charity – to get the most basic work done. These barriers have slowed us down and wasted energy. Despite all of this, we’ve grown a $572 surplus in our first quarter to $10 million revenue last year, with $30 million in real estate, 6 locations, 70 staff, and 180 volunteers. What could we have done with fewer barriers and more support? Our members face the same challenges, and a fresh generation of Canadian do-gooders feel forced into for-profits. But for-profits can’t solve the problems that matter most – a private profit motive won’t solve poverty. Assets that should be in the public and common good are left vulnerable to being bought and stripped. Building on the recommendations of the Social Innovation and Social Finance Co-Creation group, we need the Government of Canada to: First, create a level playing field for social mission organizations. We should have equal access to the government supports that for-profits use. Our regulatory regime should unlock and enable, not create fear and trepidation. Second, the CRA needs to adopt the “destination of funds” test. Don’t try to determine how we can and cannot make money. Focus on whether the money is going to serve our mission. Australia’s done it, so can Canada. Third, support social enterprise in the way that you would support any sector that you want to see grow. Countless millions go into sophisticated for-profit innovation strategies, imagine what could be done for our country and our communities with a bit of help for public benefit. Finally, please stop treating us as if we’re breaking the law.The two million people who work in this sector across the country are smart, handle multiple bottom lines, and have sacrificed so much to serve our communities and country. Treat us with the respect we’ve earned. Thank you again for inviting me. I’m looking forward to your questions. The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 19


Shout Out for

Social Innovation Canada ! by Chi Nguyen, Director of SI Canada How might we unlock the potential of social innovation to build a unique, inclusive, and open movement that puts people and planet first? This was the central question that a coalition of partners came together to answer in late 2017 and early 2018 through consultation and collaboration with hundreds of social innovators across the country.

the stories, knowledge, and experience of social innovators working on regional issues with the potential for systemic impact. •

Deepening and sharing knowledge through communities of practice (or “thematic nodes”) ranging from social labs to lab evaluation, from transformational leadership to corporate social innovation, and exploring the unique role of Indigenous innovation. We’re also building capacity through a social innovation curriculum that will extend its reach with train-the-trainer and peer learning.

Communicating and showcasing our collective work through a new digital home and online platform, a virtual space for finding each other and the resources that will help fuel our work.

With the insights gained from this consultation process, Social Innovation Canada was launched – a new pan-Canadian initiative designed to weave the social innovation ecosystem together. SI Canada is designed and governed by innovators united by the shared desire to bring a systems lens to their work. They know that to do this they need to learn quickly, and build connections, collaborations, and capacity. They know that each of us needs to get better at aggregating our data and communicating our stories in ways that elevate our work and our impact in communities across Canada. Here are some of the ways SI Canada is doing just this: •

Building on the incredible leadership in communities from coast-to-coast through a partnership of six regional nodes: RADIUS SFU in BC, ABSI Connect in Alberta, Social Enterprise Centre in Manitoba, Centre for Social Innovation in Ontario, La MIS in Quebec, and Inspiring Communities in Atlantic Canada. Each of these nodes is helping to find and elevate

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SI Canada is a great sign that the emerging field of social innovation is gaining momentum. We invite anyone who’s interested in taking a social innovation approach to accelerate their impact to be part of SI Canada. Over the weeks and months ahead, we’ll be providing news on convenings, opportunities to take part in Social Innovation 101, and sharing insights from the communities of practice. We’re also launching a daily social innovation digest built on the success of CSI’s CLICK, but for a Pan-Canadian audience. Make sure you join our mailing list at, and stay tuned!

“Helping people, organisations, and systems problemsolve better.� Join us:

A special thanks to our inaugural partners

The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 21


A Year of CSI Acceleration Programs BY Barnabe Geis, Director of Programs From accelerators to fellowships, workshops to pitch competitions, advisory services to microloans, CSI offers a range of programs and supports to CSI members and carefully selected social enterprises. Here’s a snapshot of just some of the programs we ran over the last year! Social Entrepreneurship 101 CSI launched an eight-week course covering all the basics of starting a social enterprise, from making sure you’ve identified the right problem, to testing solutions, turning your solution into a sustainable business model, and measuring its impact. Learn more and sign up at CSI Summits Summits are designed to reveal the assets in our community, and spur collaboration and shared learning opportunities. We gather members with a shared interest to surface goals, needs and offerings. In 2018, 250 members connected at CSI Summits. The Desk Exchange Community Animator (DECA) Program This program provides membership and workspace at CSI in exchange for working at the Welcome Desk eight hours a week. The DECA program has provided over 800 people with work experience and membership. 22 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation

CSI Hookup Hookup connects members to free consultations with experts in the community in areas such as strategy, fundraising, impact measurement, and more. Hookup has facilitated 670 connections and counting! Catapult Microloan Fund Catapult provides loans of $5,000 to $25,000 to early stage, revenue-generating social enterprises, in a partnership with Alterna Savings. The fund has already made $355,000 in loans. Enterprises have used the loans to grow their businesses and hire more staff. Learn more and apply at Pitch Night On February 22, 240 people came out to our Pitch Night for Agents of Change: Climate Solutions. Thirteen ventures pitched and the audience voted on the top

five elevator pitches. Those five ventures – Biopolynet, Feedback, FreshRents, Spent Goods, and Free Geek – proceeded to the finals, giving their full five-minute pitches to the audience and judges. The judges then selected the top three, which were (drum roll please): 1st place of $10,000 to Biopolynet, $6,000 to The Spent Goods Company, and $4,000 to Feedback! Climate Pilots We ran a competition on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Climate CoLab platform to solicit a broad range of possible solutions to help SMEs in Ontario reduce their direct and indirect GHG emissions while helping them thrive. During the application period, 30 proposals were submitted. Those proposals were voted on by the public, as well as assessed by a team of six judges. The results? The winners were Climate Smart and Pitstop Connect! Climate Ventures You may be noticing a theme emerging around climate action and solutions. Well, that’s because we focused much of our acceleration work on climate change, including launching a cleantech fellowship and opening a dedicated incubator at our 192 Spadina location. Read on to learn more!

Photography by Nyo Mudzingwa of You the Best Photography


Climate ventures now Open! BY Barnabe Geis, Director of Programs

The world’s leading climate scientists have warned us that we only have a dozen years to take drastic action to limit global warming to 1.5C. Anything beyond that point will result in significantly worse natural disasters, the collapse of entire ecosystems, the displacement of millions of climate refugees, and a whole raft of other horrors we should avoid at all costs. Fortunately, we already have many of the solutions needed to stop and reverse global warming, so now is the time to act. In September 2018, CSI opened Climate Ventures, Toronto’s first cross-sector climate solutions incubator. Climate Ventures is a dedicated space at 192 Spadina for climate entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders to work. It’s a community within a community, connecting 50+ enterprises with 35 special advisors and CSI’s 3,000 members. It’s a platform for us to hold peer circles, workshops, and events. Lastly, it’s a kind of climate consultancy, developing programs in partnership with funders to support and scale climate solutions. The Climate Ventures space was designed for functionality, connection, and inspiration by Peggy Sue Deaven of Peggy Sue Collection, an award-winning, CSI-accelerated venture. Almost everything in the space has a sustainability story, such as being made locally by a member (green wall by Ripple Farms, tables by Just Be Woodsy) or out of low-carbon materials. We even have a light fixture made in Cabbagetown in the shape of an HFC molecule – a reference to the Montreal Protocol, a global agreement to protect the ozone layer by phasing out ozone-depleting substances. A recent report by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate found that the world economy could grow by an additional US$26 trillion by 2030 if governments and businesses get serious about stopping global warming. Climate change is not just a threat; it’s also the greatest economic opportunity of the 21st century. Around the world, entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, farmers, designers, architects, engineers, policy makers, systems thinkers, journalists, activists, Indigenous peoples, and others have been laying the groundwork for the more sustainable, just, low-carbon economy of the future. Climate Ventures is where they can work, connect, create, and transform.

Climate Ventures by the numbers in 2018





55 + 366



22 + 210



240 + 13 + $20K






Learn more and join us at

495 tCO2e




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Agents of Change: Climate Solutions Meet our second cohort!

Agents of Change is our flagship one-year accelerator program providing early-stage enterprises with business and impact coaching, impact measurement support, training, advisors, connections, workspace, and more. In the past the program has focused on city building, community health, and youth. Most recently, we ran Agents of Change: Climate Solutions, supporting a total of 38 social enterprises reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Biopolynet Inc, Mostafa Aghaei & Arian Shahnazari Biopolynet is a cleantech company specializing in developing innovative bioproducts. Our BioNanoCoil is a solution for the treatment and recovery of tailings in oil sands.

Affecting Change Inc, Sandra Lester Affecting Change Inc. is an award-winning high performance building consultancy, and our mission is to mitigate the ecological impact of the built environment.

Boreal Wool, Jennifer Osborn & Tim Fisher

Brave Soles, Christal Earle & Florence Levasseur

Boreal Wool is committed to making quality products using Canadian wool that are functional, innovative, and carbon neutral, at fair prices and wages for all.

Brave Soles are handmade shoes with recycled-tire soles. We’re female-owned, ethically produced, and globally inspired.

Feedback Inc, Benjamin Walters & Josh Walters Feedback is a mobile platform that allows customers to access great food for less, while reducing food waste. Feedback does this by offering time-specific promotions, rewarding customers for eating at off-peak times. Free Geek Toronto, Ryan Fukunaga Free Geek Toronto is making our city a place where everyone has access to affordable technology and the internet, and where electronic waste is disposed of responsibly, safely, and ethically.


FreshRents, Samia Syed & Zoey Wen

Gaia Verde Algae, Jordan Worona

FreshRents is an online platform that brings together communities of designers, businesses, and individuals to list, rent, or buy fashion both affordably and sustainably.

Gaia Verde Algae’s mission is to accelerate the widespread adoption of sustainable algae growth by bringing a compelling algae farming system to market.


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pointA, Kelly Bray & Stewart Slaymaker

Insight Energy, Aaron Savatti

Just Be Woodsy, Robert Jarvis & Sinéad Wills

Insight Energy helps building owners by providing insights into their energy consumption through a holistic, analytical approach, guaranteeing energy reduction and overall sustainable development.

Woodsy is creating an intelligent circular system: connecting urban furniture buyers to local woodworkers, woodworkers to local wood, and communities to the urban forest.

pointA is a non-profit that envisions sustainable transportation options for everyone. In collaboration with our funders, members, and partners, we facilitate transportation demand management programs and advocate for sustainable transportation.

Revelo, Mary Chong & Henry Chong Revelo creates clean and efficient portable transportation solutions for urban commuting that fold and roll faster, store thinner, ride better.

Sustainability Consultant Network, Pui Leung & Sahra Shojaei SCN offers a Sustainability Consultant Internship program that helps professionals gain green-job experience through projects that assist local enterprises in reducing their waste and emissions.

SHIFT, Miranda Black & Adam Scott We want to see Canadian pension funds make three important changes: first, improve climate risk reporting; second, cut carbon emissions; and third, shift to investments that fight climate change.


The Spent Goods Company, Dihan Chandra

Tiny Toronto, Soha Babar & Sa’ad Ahmed Tiny Toronto facilitates attainable housing. We develop small dwellings in backyards that are legally-permitted and tax-paying, using Passive House principals to reduce energy and water use.

The Spent Goods Company transforms food waste into value: from used coffee grinds into clothing, to brewer’s waste into bricks, animal feed, and mushroom farms.

UnWrapIt, Peter Deitz

Upper Canada Fibreshed, Becky Porlier & Laura Sharpe

UnWrapIt is a marketplace of gifts and gift opening experiences, helping you add excitement and joy into your gift giving, especially with non-material, experiential gifts.

Upper Canada Fibreshed supports bioregional textile value-chains, changing the way we make, purchase, and use textiles, envisioning a culture rooted in environmental regeneration.






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Inclusive Innovation

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Climate Ventures:

Cleantech Fellowship The 2017 Global Cleantech Innovation Index ranked Canada’s cleantech sector fourth in the world in a market expected to be worth $2.5 trillion by 2022. To help build on this success, CSI launched a one-year fellowship for entrepreneurs leading discovery to validation-stage cleantech startups focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario. Our 15 Fellows are provided with workspace at CSI’s Climate Ventures, one-on-one coaching with our Entrepreneur in Residence, office hours with our 35 advisors, workshops, and connections to funders and investors. Only halfway through the program, they have already raised nearly $5,000,000!

Featured Fellows

ChargeLab builds an open software platform for managing electric vehicle charging stations. Their platform leverages intelligent charging to improve how we move, work, and live.

Recycl3D utilizes post-consumer PET bottles to produce organic photovoltaics, which can be used in a wide range of applications, from solar modules to electronic apparel.

Solistra converts greenhouse gases into value-added products like plastics or fuels using solar-activated nanomaterials known as “photocatalysts.”

Pitstop predicts vehicle failures before they happen, reducing emissions from engine inefficiencies while making emissions data available to drivers.

ReGenerate co-develops locally-owned biogas plants, whether it’s owned by 1 person or 1,000, creating more integrated waste, energy, and food systems.

Genecis Bioindustries uses biology to turn low value waste into high value materials, including using their engineered bacteria to turn food waste into bioplastics.

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Members working to save the Planet BY Audra Williams, CSI’s Content Specialist CSI is filled with green innovators, from staff to visitors to, of course, our amazing members. Here are 10 of our members who are putting the planet first.


350 is building a global grassroots climate movement that can hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice. That movement is rising from the bottom up all over the world, and is uniting to create the solutions that will ensure a better future for all. Their online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions bring together a global network active in over 188 countries.

The world’s forests are being logged at an alarming rate, putting species, communities, and our climate at risk. Canopy works with the forest industry’s biggest customers and their suppliers to develop solutions that protect the last frontier forests. Best known for greening the Harry Potter book series, Canopy helps develop tangible alternatives and is a key player behind some of the world’s most innovative conservation initiatives.

Architect Builders Collaborative


The Architect Builders Collaborative is a group of architects and designers in Toronto who want to change the world one office or home at a time. They help non-profits and homeowners transform their spaces into beautiful, healthy, green spaces in which to enjoy life and work. They work closely with their clients to bring dreams to life in the healthiest and most eco-sensitive way possible.

CycleTO is a member-supported non-profit organization working to make Toronto a healthy, safe, and vibrant cycling city for all. They’re focused on advocacy, education, and encouragement, as they work to shape policy and infrastructure, and build community to transform Toronto’s cycling culture.

Bluesource Canada Bluesource works with companies, governments, and NGOs to reduce and mitigate environmental impacts. For over 20 years, Bluesource has been a leader in climate change and low carbon environmental products and services, starting with the capture and large scale sequestration of ventstack carbon dioxide in 1996. Today, they create emission reductions from over 20 different technologies in over 85 locations across 46 states and 4 Canadian provinces.

EM-ONE Having spent decades working in Nigeria’s power sector, EM-ONE has over 20 projects in conflict zones. They’ve provided contract-ready solar system designs for general hospitals, primary health centres, and schools in the Northeast of Nigeria, an area suffering a major crisis due to the Boko Haram insurgency. EcoTone Ecotone Software Consulting transforms your company’s enterprise data into actionable sustainability strategies. Their mission is to enable clients to achieve their sustainability goals by leveraging

people, process, and technology. They strive toward a net zero environmental footprint from their operations and work to make a positive contribution to their communities. Ripple Farms From their farms to your forks, Ripple Farms is growing Toronto’s freshest greens and seafood. Their aquaponic farms balance sustainability and innovation to produce some of the highest quality crops in Canada. These vertical farms provide Toronto’s top restaurants with hyper-local greens and seafood all year round. Toronto Tool Library Reusing and recycling are great, but reduction is a crucial part of fighting climate change. Sharing tools with others means not needing to buy more for yourself. Local tool libraries reduce the costs of improving and greening neighbourhoods, helping to transform homes and community spaces into vibrant places that reflect a commitment to sustainability and the environment. Water Docs Rather than resorting to doom, gloom, and guilt to move people, Ecologos appeals to our fundamental connection to nature. Their programs reconnect people with these deeply felt experiences, and nourish a commitment to action for a sustainable future. Best known for their annual Water Docs Film Festival, Ecologos has been delivering environmental education and action programs since 1999. The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 29



Things You Might Not Know About CSI 1

2 3 4 5 6

Incorporated in 2004, we were Canada’s (and maybe the world’s!) first coworking space.

Canadian Alternative Investment Cooperative gave us our first loan in 2007, which was secured against our phone system – which we never replaced because cell phones did the job for us in the end. Turned a $572 surplus in our first quarter but didn’t break even for another four years.

It took six weeks for banks to agree to let us open an account. Tonya was walking around with a handful of cheques we couldn’t cash. In the end, Alterna Savings came through! In eight years, over 800 people have been through our DECA program. One of our first DECA’s is now our Chief Community Officer! We have over 5000 alumni orgs including Spacing Magazine, David Suzuki Foundation, Pembina Institute and

30 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation

7 8 9 10 11

In Toronto alone the CSI Community is home to nearly 1,000 non-profits, charities, and social ventures. Our membership employs over 2,700 people and generates combined annual revenues of $270 million. We presently have four locations – CSI Spadina, CSI Annex, CSI Regent Park, and CSI New York City – with another affiliate location in London, Ontario. Every location is dog-friendly!

12 13

More about OCM on page 46.

Many CSI members were early adopters of the concept of online community. So we also offer Online Community Memberships to folks looking to be part of our dynamic network but who don’t need a physical workspace.

CSI has been specializing in social entrepreneurship since 2007. We offer acceleration programs, microloans, and free consultations with legal, design, and business development experts. We make connections: 85% of our members say they have collaborated with other members.

14 15

More on community bonds on page 13.. We own two of our four locations, thanks in large part to having invented the Community Bond, an innovation in social finance that allowed us to raise $6.3 million dollars. Accessibility is hugely important to us. In addition to our own wheelchair accessible spaces, we helped accelerate both The StopGap Foundation (which offers free removable wheelchair ramps to business owners), and the Access Now app. We’re also the home of Accessibility Ontario.

In 2007, CSI helped establish TechSoup Canada, which has resulted in 21,000 Canadian non-profits, charities, and libraries receiving over $273 million worth of software and hardware donations.

Our definition of “social innovation” is: the creation, development, adoption, and integration of new and renewed concepts, systems, and practices that put people and planet first.

Want to change the world? Join CSI’s coworking space, community, and incubator for climate and environment entrepreneurs, innovators, advocates, and their teams.

For more information or to book a tour of Climate Ventures at 192 Spadina, Suite 216 check out:

Photography by Nyo Mudzingwa of You the Best Photography


CSI MEMBERS MAKING THE WORLD BETTER FOR WOMEN BY Audra Williams, CSI’s Content Specialist CSI is filled with dynamic women, from staff to visitors to our amazing members. We want to highlight seven of those members who are working locally and globally on women’s equality. The Equality Effect Drawing on a team of feisty international lawyers, the Equality Effect initiates creative legal advocacy projects to achieve systemic change. In Kenya, the Equality Effect coordinated a constitutional claim against the government for failing to protect girls who had been raped, and Kenya’s High Court agreed that the police failure to enforce existing rape laws and to protect them from rape is a violation of domestic, regional, and human rights law. Young Women’s Leadership Network The Young Women’s Leadership Network provides skill-building workshops encouraging young women’s

social and political empowerment, while also studying and dismantling the existing barriers to that empowerment. Aware that women who participate in politics regularly deal with threats (or worse) of sexual violence, the organization is working on a Sexual Violence Support Toolkit to provide resources for creating harassment-free spaces. Ladies Learning Code Ladies Learning Code – now part of Canadians Learning Code – seeks to close the gender gap in technology by offering courses and workshops to empower and educate women. They also run Girls Learning Code (for girls 3 to 12 years old) and Teens Learning Code (for girls

32 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation

Founded by one of our 2010 DECAs, Heather Payne 13 to 17 years old), helping students develop skills like webmaking, game making, and even app inventing. Mommy Monitor African, Caribbean, and Latin American women in North America are about four times more likely on average to experience complications in childbirth. So Mommy Monitor collects personal information from expectant mothers to predict and mitigate any risks. It then creates a maternal care package, including a tailored list of resources, as well as connects mothers-to-be with a maternal mentor who is from the same country and speaks the same language. G(irls)20 G(irls)20 is invested in changing the status quo for women at decision-making tables in communities across Canada by placing girls on company boards. The organization supports young women through education and training, building networks, and access to unparalleled opportunities at home and abroad. All while advocating for change at the global level through the annual G(irls)20 Global Summit.

African Women Acting African Women Acting aims to empower, preserve, and promote women’s issues and African cultural heritage through African music, theatre, dance, visual art, and other media. AWA promotes inclusiveness, community engagement, and a lasting positive impact on community members. To that end, AWA collaborates with various artists and art organizations to service, educate, innovate, and provide free and affordable art programmes to under-resourced communities. Women’s Healthy Environments Network Women’s Healthy Environments Network works to educate the general public, media, and policymakers about the ways environmental health is a key determinant of public health. WHEN has promoted public action for the prevention of environmental health harms, which include the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe, and is a trusted source of credible tools and information for women on today’s relevant and emerging environmental health topics. womenshealthy

Track your impact. Tell your story. Share your results. CSI’s Impact Dashboard allows you to track, visualize, and share your impact with your stakeholders.

Fill out and customize the different dashboards

use our Logic Model tool to articulate your Theory of Change input your Key Performance Indicators to create charts Start tracking your impact now! The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 33



= 10 amazing years TechSoup Canada has been a program of the Centre for Social Innovation, and a member of the TechSoup Global Network for 10 years! TechSoup provides the transformative technology solutions, the digital platforms, and the in-person experiences that enable people to work together toward a more equitable world. In collaboration with the TechSoup Global Network, TechSoup enables companies, foundations, and governments to connect their philanthropic resources with vetted NGOs globally. “The past 10 years has been a wonderful journey for the TechSoup Canada team. Being a non-profit ourselves, we understand the challenges organizations face with the ever-changing technical landscape. I hope the next 10 years will bring even more opportunities for us to collaborate with partners in our community to best serve the non-profit sector in Canada.” - Jane Zhang, Executive Director, TechSoup Canada

Technology Donations Program Qualified charities, nonprofits and libraries can order donated and discounted software, such as Microsoft Office and Bitdefender Antivirus, for a very low administrative fee. How is this possible? Through the generosity of technology donor partners, such as Microsoft, Symantec, Adobe and Cisco, and their commitment to help the nonprofit sector. Learning Resources TechSoup hosts and shares events, blogs, newsletters and content on nonprofit technology so organisations can find the best solutions available. The TechSoup Canada Recipe TechSoup Canada was formed in 2009 as a collaborative effort of the Centre for Social Innovation, TechSoup and the Information Technology Association of Canada. This initiative was made possible through a seed funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Here are just a few of the non-profits that have benefitted from TechSoup Canada’s 10 years of impact: Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta South Region CMHA, Alberta South Region promotes mental health and provides recoveryfocused programs for individuals of all ages, as well as families. 34 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation

Comox Valley Head Injury Society

Toronto Wildlife Centre

CVHIS provides support and services to brain injury survivors, their families, and caregivers.

Toronto Wildlife Centre rescues sick, injured, and orphaned animals and cares for them until they can be returned to the wild.


Over the past

Canadian nonprofits access technology via the USA.


2009 TechSoup Canada is founded. Our first blog post explains how nonprofits can use Twitter.

2010 Our community reaches 10,000 nonprofits.

2011 Intuit Quickbooks offered in our catalogue. First full-time Customer Service team hired.

2012 1,000 hours of learning facilitated for nonprofits. Ontario Trillium Foundation Minister's Award. Connected nonprofits to $100 million worth of technology.

2013 Advocated to 16 technology partners to expand eligibility.

supporting them with

has hosted

1.7 million


interactions with our dedicated customer service team

online visitors

Microsoft Office 365 offered to Canadian nonprofits.



hours of nonprofit learning to leverage technology


a community of

2014 Our first webinar is on data privacy for nonprofits. 10,000 hours of learning facilitated for nonprofits. Google for Nonprofits offered to Canadian nonprofits.


2015 40th speaking event to help nonprofits use technology.

registered members

2016 Our community reaches 30,000 nonprofits.

2017 Amazon Web Services offered in our catalogue. 50,000 hours of learning facilitated for nonprofits.


2018 Connected nonprofits to $400 million worth of technology.


TechSoup Canada turns 10 years old!

$422 million

worth of technology to advance their missions

is a project of

and a partner of

The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 35 @ techsoupcanada


“The CSI community helped us secure our first source of financing to help us incubate and launch our social innovation in Canada. We are very grateful for the community and support.” - Ami Shah, CEO & Co-Founder, Peekapak

“CSI was an important part of Rainbow Railroad’s growth. When we first obtained charitable status, we purchased a hot desk for one staff. As the organization grew, CSI accommodated us every time, and its flexibility allowed us to build from a team of 1 to 12 in a warm, caring, and professional work environment. CSI also managed to grow as well, adopting gender neutral washrooms and ensuring the environment was safe for LGTBQI people. Thank you CSI!” - Kimahli Powell, Executive Director, Rainbow Railroad

Share theLove CSI Members past and present tell us something good.

“Ontario EcoSchools (EcoSchools Canada) actually started out as one of the original CSI Annex tenants. As an organization, we have collaborated with, befriended, and interacted with many CSI members – it felt great to feel a part of what made the CSI space so cooperative, fun, and neighbourly. We were salad club regulars, holiday party-ers, and bagel bonders! I was also on the Agents of Change advisory committee, which was another great opportunity to meet up with climate change-focused organizations. We now work out of our own space, as we grew too big, but we still often recognize friendly faces from CSI!” - Theresa Ramirez, Systems and Impact, Manager, Ontario EcoSchools

“Being part of CSI by having an office at CSI Spadina has both kept Canopy connected in Toronto, where so many of the companies we collaborate with are based, and allowed us access to a community of innovators to be inspired by.” - Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director, Canopy 36 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation

“CSI’s impact on ZooShare has been both direct and indirect. We have enjoyed strong support from the entire CSI community over the years (and years) of the project’s development, but, in addition, we were a recipient of one of the first social enterprise Catapult microloans via Alterna, have participated in a number of great events where our community bonds were for sale, and made incredibly valuable connections that have led to growth for both me personally and our co-operative. Furthermore, being a part of this inspiring community has often times given me the lift needed to keep pushing the rock up the manure pile.” - Daniel Bida, Executive Director, ZooShare

“More than any formal programming, the small moments with our great community are so full of grace and goodness. They really keep my mental health on track… CSI is a big part of me feeling fully alive, as a practitioner, as a woman, as a fellow ‘seeker’ on the path.” - Hayley Lapalme, Nourish Program Designer/Facilitator

“I’m grateful for the support and opportunities to tell my story. Peggy Sue, Barnabe, Joanna, Kimberley, CSI Annex and Spadina staff Ana, Gonzalo, and Tara, have all directly helped me to shape my story – I couldn’t have gotten this far without their support.”

“We have someone who understands and believes in what we’re doing. And is willing to go out of their way to find resources for us.”

- Elsie Amako, Founder of Mommy Monitor

- Dihan Chandra, Founder of The Spent Goods Company

“Stefan [CSI Spadina’s Community Manager] is a networking wizard! There has been so many connections that have helped us along the way, but the most impactful and promising to date was Joanna Reynolds [CSI’s Director of Social Enterprise] – she immediately got behind our vision and wants to see us succeed. It’s connections like that we see as ‘lifers,’ good people helping each other succeed.” - Brandon Hebor and Steven Bourne, Co-Founders of Ripple Farms

“There’s no way I would have been able to launch without CSI!” - Tim Nash, Founder of Good Investing

“Our experience at CSI has far exceeded our expectations. We love the community aspect and being able to make meaningful connections. For example, Renata [’s Chief Technology Officer] found out about Riipen through CSI, and because of that, we have a group of their students working on an AI project for us!” - L auren Baldesarra, Creative Director of Vision & Strategy of

The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 37


an evening with Muhammad Yunus Tonya sits down with Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize winner and social entrepreneur. BY Stefan Palios, freelance writer

Speaking to a packed room at CSI Annex, Muhammad Yunus – founder of Grameen Bank and father of modern social entrepreneurship – shared his insights on how business can change the world. A fervent believer in business structures imbued with selflessness, Yunus spoke with our CEO, Tonya Surman, as part of our Fireside Chat series to educate and connect social entrepreneurs. By the end of the chat, it was clear the crowd was inspired by his story. Beyond overcoming rumours, hurdles, and challenges – something all entrepreneurs have to go through – Yunus touched on scaling a business model that isn’t inherently profit-driven and explained how he believes capitalism should fundamentally shift. Sexism and Grameen’s founding story The Grameen Bank had humble beginnings. So humble, in fact, that it was not even an organization – it was simply a problem that Yunus thought he had a solution to. He noticed, while teaching at a university in Bangladesh, that women entrepreneurs had a difficult time getting capital. Seeing that their only access to funds were loan sharks charging high interest, Yunus simply started loaning out his own money as microloans. Yunus explained that, even from the beginning of this impulse that would become a movement, he didn’t want to give women money as charity because then the money could only be used once. Instead, he “took the objective of charity but put a business engine behind it.” That way, he explained, the money “goes out, does its job, and comes back,” able to be used again.

38 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation

With this model his money grew, as did the impact he was able to make. And Grameen was born.

there, call Grameen a social entrepreneurship success story, and move on. However, Yunus’ model took on a life of its own.

Many women were keen to make use of the microloans, but some of their husbands felt disrespected. Loan sharks also grew angry about their lost profits. Yunus explained that the two groups worked together to spread a rumour that Grameen was actually an army of Christian missionaries, giving money out to eventually seduce locals to convert to Christianity. They said that Yunus offered money only to women because they are more gullible than men and thus could be made to convert more easily. Further, they said that a true Muslim would not allow a woman out of the house and into the markets, as that’s against religious practice.

Capitalism and global expansion Inspiration struck a Norwegian government worker who’d seen Grameen in action, and she brought the Grameen model to remote fishing villages in Norway. Something similar happened in France, where a woman created a network of microcredit programs in small towns. Even in New York City, Grameen boasts nearly 10 branches in multiple boroughs.

“When you do something new, you invite trouble for yourself,” he joked. Instead of pushing back against his attackers with an ad campaign extolling the virtues of his operating model, or trying to convince women to go against their husbands’ wishes, he reminded everyone of how a good Muslim must follow the footsteps of the Prophet. He explained that the Prophet took a job under a businesswoman that was older than him. “So if you wanted to be a good Muslim, you had to take a job under an older businesswoman,” he said. “And if you can’t find a businesswoman in your village, we have a lot of them.” Lawyers and other corporate types “Everything the traditional banks do, we do the opposite,” explained Yunus. “We go to the poor, not the rich. We go to small villages, not business centres, and we have no lawyers.”

This expansion came once again not from outside investors, but from localized capital. The Grameen model is community-focused from day one, based on Yunus’ belief that capitalism is fundamentally flawed. “Capitalism assumes all human beings are driven by self-interest,” he said. “So the whole world becomes a selfish world… and everything we do is for selfish reasons. As a result, all the wealth of the world concentrates into a few hands.”

“Poverty is not created by poor people – it’s created by the system that we practice. We need to bring in social business, powered by selflessness. Social business does not contribute to wealth centralization. All the wealth remains with the business, not the person.”

Sharing a story that resonates with any renegade business founder, profit-seeking or not, Yunus explained that the current banking infrastructure around the world is like a super tanker made for deep oceans and large expeditions. They’re big and have to work with a lot of money to be successful. However, they don’t get to the shallow waters, where folks with not a lot of money live. That’s where Grameen goes, and it works. Grameen’s expansion is also unique when compared to many businesses. Instead of looking for outside capital to fund development, Grameen sends someone into a local community to get acquainted with it. Their first task is to walk around the whole village and identify the core people and communities. From there, the individual proposes a Grameen branch, but only if the locality commits enough of their own money to make it happen. Grameen’s expansion, then, is entirely based on localized money. “With localized money, you can make as many branches as you want,” said Yunus. After founding what became Grameen in 1976 and becoming a formal, legal bank in 1983, Grameen grew to successfully operate in most villages across Bangladesh. Many would stop

Far from hating business, Yunus evangelizes using business structures to solve problems because they’re more scalable and repeatable than charity. Yet, he feels that a system that only allows selfishness can never solve problems like systemic poverty. “Poverty is not created by poor people – it’s created by the system that we practice,” he said. “We need to bring in social business, powered by selflessness. Social business does not contribute to wealth centralization. All the wealth remains with the business, not the person.”

To enable this around the world, Yunus recommends a laser-focus on sustainability, ensuring each operating unit covers its own costs. “If you know how to get five people out of unemployment [in a self-sustainable way], you can get five million out because it’s the same system [repeated over again],” he said.

While the focus on solving problems is attractive to any entrepreneur, some might still want to focus on profit-seeking work with a social mission as opposed to a profit-neutral social business. To Yunus, being profit-seeking with a social mission is great, too. The system just needs to be tweaked a bit. “Don’t take capitalism away,” he said. “Just give people the option to invest in social initiatives over only giving to charity.” “There are traditionally two ways to solve problems: create a business or create a charity,” he continued. “The problem [with business] is that people take advantage of problems to make their own money. But when you solve a problem with charity, the money goes out and doesn’t come back – you only have one time use of the money.” “Instead, I built a social business: a non-dividend company built to solve problems.”

The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 39




Important conversations are finally happening in mainstream media about racial inequality in maternal health care. Several recent stories reveal how Black women in particular are at much higher risk of complications in childbirth. We reached out to get local context from Mommy Monitor founder Elsie Amoako. Mommy Monitor is a maternal health platform that customizes care by providing on demand support and a combination of behavioral and predictive analyses to identify risks and adverse health outcomes. Recent data out of the United States showed that Black women are six times more likely to die from pregnancyrelated birth conditions as white women. How does Canada compare? We have a very similar challenge in Canada, but we lack evidence that’s focused on race to help us demonstrate this. We have very limited studies that examine the experiences Black women have here, though there is some qualitative research from various academic papers. So we’re provided some evidence through the stories of women from the community. These stories demonstrate the inequities that are impacting the lives of African, Caribbean, and Black women, whether they’re an immigrant or Canadian-born. There are common factors that are connected to the Black experience globally that increase the likelihood of having these same adverse outcomes, regardless of where we live. Can you talk a bit about your Birth Justice Awareness series? What have been the best moments so far? Our birth justice workshops began after I realized that Black and racialized parents and parents-to-be didn’t have a safe space to share their experiences and ask questions. So we began focusing on engaging the communities and the parents, and finding out what they wanted to know or understand about 40 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation

the pregnancy journey, and providing them that information. The best moments thus far are just seeing the parents during the hour of the class when they share their own experiences and comfort one another. It feels good to see that they have a space to let go of some of the pain they have been carrying for years in some cases. What is your biggest hope for Mommy Monitor? What does the world look like if all those hopes come true? I I would like for Mommy Monitor to become a platform and an organization that provides expertise concerning Black maternal health globally, and a global maternal health option that will provide governments, health care institutions, and communities with cost-effective practices, tools, and innovations to provide care to those who need it. If this happens, we have the opportunity to revolutionize maternal health care and outcomes globally. How has being a CSI member impacted your work so far? CSI is an amazing family that’s constantly patient and supportive of all of the work that we do without question. I always meet people who want to help me and Mommy Monitor, and I always know someone will answer if I ask for help. This is extremely comforting.

CSI New York The Women’s Lab

CS I N ew Yo rk’s social exp e rim elan test t

A collaborative and supportive workspace and community for social mission organizations benefitting young girls and women. Programming Personalized connections to high-quality networks, mentors, and experise. Animation Co-creating the conditions for optimal collaboration, learning, and support. Storytelling Celebrating the success and sharing the stories of how CSI members are changing the world. Alumni Connecting the dots between past and present members and resources. The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 41

CSI Community Demographic Survey Results Design by Charissa Rais

Innovation thrives in diversity! That’s why CSI launched its first community demographic survey in 2016. We wanted baseline data to set our priorities and measure our progress as we took new steps to make CSI more welcoming and inclusive. In 2018 CSI launched its second demographic survey to see how we’re doing, and provide a foundation for our next steps. Here are the highlights of the 2018 results, broken down into areas where traditionally marginalized groups are strongly represented in the community, areas where we’ve made concrete progress, and emerging priorities for our plans.



3. Youth Women are 59% of our members in 2018, up from 57% in 2016.


2. LGTBQ+ 32% of our members identify as a sexual orientation other than heterosexual, up from 20% in 2016. 4.4% have a gender identity other than male or female, up from 2.3% in 2016.

4. DECA Economic Inclusion The DECA (Desk Exchange Community Animator) program creates a pathway into social innovation for people with the highest barriers to access. In 2018, 40% of DECA incomes were less than $10K/year, while 60% made $30K/year or less.

38% of our members are 26-35 years old, with another 9% under the age of 25. AGE (y.o.) 9%

under 25


26-36 21%

36-45 16%

46-55 11%

56-64 4%

65+ 2%

prefer not to say 0








40 %

Q: What is your approximate individual income annually, before taxes? $0-$9,999





$125,000 and up


Prefer not to say


PROGRESS AREAS 5. Race and Ethnicity

more diverse


33% Racialized

42 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation

Racial and ethnic diversity has increased by 4% since 2016, with 33% identifying as racialized.

Our Regent Park location has the greatest racial diversity, with 43% of members identifying as racialized, while CSI Spadina and CSI Annex made the most progress.

6. Physical Needs

8. Sense of Inclusion

Since 2016 we have invested in the physical accessibility of our spaces. Out of 16% of our members who identify as having a disability, the percentage who describe it as a mobility disability has grown from 15% in 2016 to 18% in 2018.

In 2018 we asked members about their overall sense of inclusion at CSI for the first time. Among every racial or ethnic group, more

physical accessibility

than 60% rate their sense of inclusion as good or better. A great deal of anecdotal evidence suggests that’s an improvement over 2016, while there’s still more progress to be made, especially amongst people who identify as racialized. Q: How would you rate your sense of inclusion/inclusivity at CSI? Excellent





47 36.17%





Our members are continuing to show that social innovation is a viable career path. The percentage of members making $50-75K/yr grew by more than 5% between 2016 and 2018, while the percentage making $75-100K jumped more than 4%.





1.96% 19.61% 18.75%










28.57% 7











1.21% 13.35%


csi members %

9.52% 9.52%




21.28% 21.05%




7.89% 21.05%


7. Middle Income



18.18% 12.50%

9.09% 11



27% 33



9.52% 33.33%



38.10% 27.27%











5 0








Total Respondents : 663


EMERGING PRIORITIES 9. Invisible Needs Many of our members have invisible needs. Of the members who identify as having a disability, 37% describe it as a mental/emotional challenge.

10. Indigenous People Only 1.62% of members identify as Indigenous, down from 1.91% in 2016. We are currently working with partners to support the opening of an Indigenous business incubator.

NEXT Steps CSI's Incslusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee will work with 3rd party diversity consultants to use this data and personal outreach to develop a multi-year plan. To get the full demographic report or connect with the process, email The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 43


At CSI, we’re committed to creating welcoming spaces with accessible membership. So we created a program for Desk Exchange Community Animators (also known as “DECAs”), an amazing crew of folks who spend eight hours a week greeting and assisting members in exchange for a free membership to CSI. Some DECAs have gone on to start their own companies. Others have joined organizations working out of CSI. And a handful have even become full-time CSI staff. All DECAs are creative and interesting people that we think you should get to know. Usually DECAs are adults, but we made an exception for Arqish. At 11 years old, Arqish already has a great sense of who he is and who he hopes to become. He loves science, math, origami, and maple ice cream. When he grows up, he wants to become a professional tennis player, or to build robots that could transport people to a hospital during a medical emergency. Already determined to work with others to create change, Arqish told his parents that he felt a typical summer activity like going to camp wouldn’t allow him to make the kind of difference he wants to with his time. He became excited about CSI after his father showed him some of our videos, particularly one about how CSI member StopGap is working to create a barrier-free world.

“Here at CSI, you can do what your heart and your mind tell you to do.”


Meet Arqish! BY Audra Williams, CSI’s Content Specialist

Impressed by our commitment to diversity and working together to make change, Arqish decided to become a DECA for the summer. In the role, he hoped to improve his collaboration and communication skills, and to learn to speak out more and have more discussions – all while being a part of place and connecting with a community. He also wanted to boost his relationships with other people, because he knows that different people have different expertise, and that you can always ask your friends to help you out! Arqish’s parents agree that it’s going to take innovation and collaboration to solve the world’s problems. They’re proud of how much passion he has for working with and helping others, and are looking forward to him becoming part of the broader community at CSI. They hope the DECA program contributes to Arqish understanding the world from non-traditional and multiple perspectives. They also want him to live up to being a Canadian by helping others and being a part of the solution. “Here at CSI,” Arqish said, “you can do what your heart and your mind tell you to do.”

44 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation


Bear Standing Tall’s Spiritual Approach to Allyship & Reconciliation BY Richie Assaly, freelance writer

“Nothing I teach you tonight can be found on Google,” Bear Standing Tall explained. “This information has been transmitted from elders, and from traditional Indigenous knowledge.” Bear Standing Tall is a self-described “elder-in-training.” He’s also the founder of Bear Standing Tall Corporate Training (BSTCT), a company that specializes in cultural sensitivity training designed to create bridges between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous allies. In February 2018, he facilitated a workshop on smudging for CSI members. The purpose of the workshop was threefold. First, to familiarize participants with the process that sees dried herbs or medicines burned to create an appropriate space to communicate with spirits and ancestors. Second, to impart an appreciation for the Indigenous worldviews and philosophies that inform the smudging ceremony. And third, to explain the traditional protocols for working with Indigenous people, and especially Indigenous elders.

Reconciliation often seems tied to legislation. But it also requires a transformation of the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. BSTCT aims to facilitate these efforts by instructing non-Indigenous individuals, organizations, and government entities on how to build foundations of allyship, trust, and mutual respect. For example, smudging, we learned, can be conducted using one of the four sacred medicines: sage, tobacco, sweetgrass, or cedar. The spiritual significance of these medicines are related to the four cardinal directions of the Medicine Wheel – a complex spiritual metaphor common to many Indigenous cultures across Turtle Island. When collaborating with Indigenous people or elders, one should be aware of the significance of each herb and follow the protocols for its exchange.

“For [Indigenous people] there are spiritual protocols that are more important than money. When you offer tobacco to an elder, that tobacco is more sacred than a contract,” Bear Bear Standing Tall with Rola Mustafa, a Syrian Standing Tall explained. “We refugee living in Canada. “You’re not allowed on a have natural laws we have to construction site if you don’t have abide to. To respect the universe and the spiritual way of First Aid or CPR training,” he noted. “If you’re going to life, these [protocols] have to be done properly.” work with my people in our backyard, you should have some fundamental knowledge about our philosophies For more information on Bear Standing Tall Corporate and our relationship with the land.” Training, visit Photo in center by Craig Carter-Edwards

The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 45


Meet Some of Our Online Community Members! BY Audra Williams, CSI’s Content Specialist Whatever your innovative idea, becoming a CSI Online Community Member can help make it a reality. Meet some of our current Online Community Members. What she does: Chloe took her love of site-specific stories and turned it into Driftscape, where she’s the CEO. This mobile app provides a platform for local arts, culture, and history organizations to share site-specific stories. Driftscape hopes to inspire a greater understanding of the spaces we share and the people we share them with.

Chloe Doesburg

In her own words: “My Online Membership helped me connect with this amazing community and learn about some fantastic programs I could participate in. Now our business is growing, and we’re hot desk members at CSI Annex. Connecting with the CSI Community definitely helped us grow.”

What he does: After spending a lot of time in new countries, Rudolf didn’t want to see anyone suffering from anxiety because they’re not used to living abroad. So he helps Japanese newcomers to Toronto get settled, offering assistance with things like job searching, English tutoring, and connecting them with other Japanese people in the city. In his own words: “Shortly after signing up for CSI’s Online Membership, I discovered connections and opportunities that I never would have known about before. I’ve since become a full member running a small social business, and I’m grateful to be in such a warm, vibrant community.”

What she does: Nesh calls herself the “Robin Hood” of PR and believes that empathy can fix the world. She’s the founder and CEO of Press Pillay, a digital communications agency dedicated to giving back. They help grow startups, non-profits, and lifestyle-tech brands that have integrated social responsibility into their core values.

46 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation

In her own words: “The community here at CSI has helped me set up my law practice from the ground up. The listserv has connected me with a free filing cabinet, IT support, a bookkeeper, tickets to neat events – I wouldn’t have come as fast or as far without this network of good people.”

Andrea Fanjoy

In his own words: “I really love the CSI community. With so much bad behavior in the business community – profit being prioritized, late stage capitalism and all that – it’s great to be involved in a community of entrepreneurs who care about the social impact of their work. You will not find anything of the same caliber anywhere else.”

In her own words: “Press Pillay is a service-based business, which means that we grow as our accounts grow. I started out as a community member, then rented a tiny office, and now have an office that seats FIVE. It’s the little things, really.”

What she does: Access to justice is Caryma’s raison d’être. A major component of Caryma’s current work involves advocacy on human rights and social justice issues. Her perspective on the intersection of law, politics, and racism underlying cannabis prohibition makes her a strong proponent of legalization and amnesty.

Rudolf Janns

What he does: A lifelong nerd, Dave has always loved everything sci-fi, fantasy, and tech. He turned this love into Donor Engine, a web application that integrates every major feature non-profits need in one seamless, intuitive, and easy-to-use package.

Dave Saraiva

Caryma Sa’d

Nesh Pillay

What she does: Education is Andrea’s driving passion. She’s part of a project to design an independent secondary school that offers what students need to thrive at school and for the rest of their lives. In her own words: “The CSI community is an inspiring reminder that there are infinite ways to make the world better, and that a large, growing, change-making community is doing just that. As an educator dedicated to developing student leaders, I’m grateful to know I’m part of this community and that I can connect this wealth of knowledge and experience with students, ready to be inspired and join their ranks.”

You need a network Join the Centre for Social Innovation’s Online Community now! NOT E V ERYONE NEEDS TO R EN T WOR KSPACE. Maybe you’ve already created the home office of your dreams. Maybe you work on your own projects during downtime at your day job. Maybe you have your laptop with you as you bounce around the country. BU T E V ERYONE DOES NEED A COMM U NIT Y. CSI has built one of the best that there is. Since 2004, we’ve become the home-base –both online and offline – for thousands of smart, warm, and principled people. Be a part of it! Let us connect you with a national network of leaders, innovators, and collaborators. You’ll gain access to exclusive tools, a braintrust of peers, and exclusive, hard-to-reach audiences. But most of all, you’ll have the CSI team on your side.


15 Years

of Growth, Adaptation, and Financial Resilience ing, funded in whole through our real estate spaces, we learned that providing greater supports to our members and leveraging our impact to fuel movements required digital platforms, broader partnerships, and different forms of earned revenue and fundraising. We’ve pivoted to address these gaps and opportunities. 1

BY Seana Irvine, Chief Operating Officer The Centre for Social Innovation doesn’t just support social innovators and entrepreneurs, we are social innovators and entrepreneurs, and this is deeply embedded across all facets of our business model and our lean operations. Since our founding in 2004, we’ve grown our revenue every year, personifying our scrappy, “it’s up to us” entrepreneurial values, always with an eye to supporting our members and fueling movements that put people and planet first. Over the last few years, we’ve grown our annual budget to approximately $8.8 million. Our diversified revenue model is built on three core pillars: physical spaces and memberships; digital services; and a wide-range of animation, acceleration, and education programs. Our “backbone” financial, HR, and facility services are integrated across these business units, ensuring efficiencies and avoiding duplication. While we initially started with the goal of making CSI financially self-sustain48 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation

Building homes for social innovators who are changing the world: Our locations are the core of our business model. CSI now has over 130,000 sq.ft. of coworking and educational spaces spread across three downtown Toronto campuses, in London, Ontario, and in New York City. As we’ve learned, purchasing buildings as a non-profit without access to traditional forms of capital and financing presents unique challenges. In 2010, CSI pioneered the Community Bond as a form of real estate investment: bondholders earn a return and build social innovation. We’ve raised over $6.3 million in community bonds for our purchases of both 720 Bathurst and 192 Spadina, and have combined assets of $26 million. In 15 years, our coworking spaces have supported more than 5,000 social purpose organizations. Annually, our Toronto locations generate just shy of $5 million, paid for through a range of membership offerings, from permanent offices, to designated desks and hot desk hourly packages. CSI strives to maintain affordable rental rates, knowing that our members get so much more beyond the physical spaces. We’ve worked to minimize our price increases to our members, while many of our costs, such as property

CSI’s Story in Numbers








COMMUNITY BONDHOLDERS Photo by Sara Elisabeth Photography

tax, continue to climb. Lastly and certainly not least, our Meeting Room and Event Revenues contribute approximately 12% of the annual space revenue. 2 Digital services: CSI’s online knowledge sharing and connecting platforms generate approximately $2 million annually, comprised of member and license fees, grants, and donations. Our role as TechSoup Canada has seen us facilitate donations of $25 million of software to 7,000 charities every year as a part of a global network. 3

Programs: CSI is building our capacity to be a centre of social entrepreneurial excellence, building communities and acting as a one-stop shop accelerator for social enterprise education, development, and growth. CSI relies on donations and sponsorships to bring these programs to life. Sponsorships, grants, and donations comprise approximately a third of our revenue stream. Our new charitable affiliate organization, the Social Innovation Institute, is helping support inclusive social innovation, driving systems change educational programs, and building networks to help social innovation practitioners align for impact beyond our walls. As we look forward, we know we’ll need to continue to innovate and find new ways to leverage our assets and drive revenues to support our mission. But what won’t change is our commitment to serving our members and to building partnerships across sectors that fuel movements. To everyone who contributes their resources – their money, their energy, time, and ideas – thank you!





Space & Membership

$ 4,370,542

$ 5,179,478

$ 4,683,181

Online Services

$ 2,009,209

$ 2,162,050

$ 2,563,153

Grants & Sponsorships

$ 874,599

$ 675,236

$ 673,410


$ 292,434

$ 544,724

$ 730,365


$ 7,546,783

$ 8,561,488

$ 8,650,110

Space & Membership

$ 4,509,808

$ 5,549,262

$ 5,858,049

Online Services

$ 699,313

$ 731,853

$ 1,207,525


$ 1,324,691

$ 1,149,689

$ 959,020


$ 589,263

$ 770,290

$ 694,134


$ 7,123,076

$ 8,201,094

$ 8,718,728

Net Total

$ 423,708

$ 360,395

$ (68,618)


10,000,000 7,500,000 5,000,000








-2 16





-2 14







-2 0 12















The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 49 20



10 20



-2 0







-2 07 20




06 20

-2 05 20









Consolidated Statement of Operations


To All Who Make our work Possible,

ThankYou SPONSORS & PARTNERS 2018/19 We thank all of our sponsors and partners who have supported us in the 2018/19 fiscal year. CHAMPIONS Government of Canada Government of Ontario City of Toronto Alterna CoPower Daniels Corporation Desjardins-Cooperathon DUCA Iler Campbell LLP Vancity Community Investment Bank PARTNERS Civic Action Artscape ABSI Connect Carleton University CEDNet Civic Action Civic Hall Code for Canada Evergreen Hot Docs Impact Hub Ottawa Inspiring Communities Lean 4 Flourishing Maison de L’Innovation Sociale Nordik Institute Okwaho Equal Source

Ontario Centres of Excellence Ontario Trillium Foundation Pillar Non-Profit Tapestry Capital Toronto Tool Library Radius SFU Ryerson Social Venture Zone Social Enterprise Centre SVX Toronto Enterprise Fund TIFF Vaughan Small Business Enterprise Centre

DONORS We thank all of our generous donors who have helped to grow the Social Innovation Institute this past year.* BENEFACTOR ($1,000,000+) McConnell Foundation VISIONARY ($50,000+) Peter Gilgan Foundation Suncor Energy Foundation Suncor Inc. SUSTAINER ($1,000 – $4,999) Brian Iler Denny Manchee Eric Meerkamper Marie Moliner

50 The Collider Centre for Social Innovation

Tonya Surman Helen Yung SUPPORTER ($500 – $999) Raissa Espiritu Jason Dojc Steven Dolman David Gotlib Seana Irvine Ecotone Software Anonymous (1) FRIEND ($25 – $499) Valerie Adriaanse Saira Ansari Paul Antze Ann Armstrong Anahita Belanger Solange Belluz Jamie Biggar Angela Bischoff Louanne Chan Common Thread Collective Tanya Cothran Rick Findlay Valerie Fox Rosemary Frei Amy Furness Kelly Hawke Baxter Allyson Hewitt Brian & Carolyn Hoessler Adam Jamkhou Ryan Knight Ron Koperdraad Debra Lary Eli Levin Anna Liu Sharon Lovett Darryl Moore John Napoleone Ratna Omidvar

Katie Perconti Pluck Tea Inc. Khondkar Rabbani Joanna Reynolds Anne Simpson-Porco Geoffrey Singer Elisa Smith Smooth River Consulting Denise Thomson Annelies Tjebbes Brittany Twiss Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-Op Ronny Yaron Jennifer Zelmer Stanislav Zlobinski Anonymous (3) *This list represents cumulative giving from June 2018 to May 31 2019 SPECIAL THANKS TO THE INCREDIBLE COLLIDER TEAM Lisa Amerongen (Managing Editor) Robyn Asquini (Designer) Philip Zigman (Senior Editor) Contributing editors and writers: Jamie Biggar Raissa Espiritu Barnabe Geis Seana Irvine Kyle Shantz Tonya Surman Audra Williams


We are bound by one shared vision: to put people and planet first. Everything we do, every decision, exchange, system, product and offering must move us closer to impact. We are determined to make the world better.

We believe in the synergies of connection, the explosive potential of partnership, and the transformative power of movements. No one can do it all. We must work together. Collaboration is in our DNA. It isn’t just nice—it’s imperative.

We’re serious about not taking ourselves too seriously. Happiness, joy and play remind us that the process and the product both matter. Changing the world is hard work. You may as well have fun doing it.

We are a dynamic group of bootstrapping entrepreneurs who navigate chaos and embrace opportunity. We will not forget that being resourceful, nimble and humble make us who we are. We are innovators.

We won’t pretend to be something we aren’t. Authenticity and transparency keep us grounded in truth. You may not like what you see, but at least you will know exactly who we are. We bring our values & vision to this work.

CSI is a place for solutions. We default to optimism. We will always design our work, our systems and our world to get to yes. When we have to say no, it’s because we are saying yes to our mission.

Don’t let the blue jeans fool you. We embody excellence, experience & expertise every day. We do our homework, hone our craft and get the job done. We are both gritty and great! Core to the human experience is a sense of belonging. We will be absolute in our pursuit of inclusivity, diversity and openness. We will often smile and sometimes even hug you if you let us. We really love each other. We all have a role in co-creating our amazing community.

We believe that change happens when people decide to make a difference. We don’t sit back and wait for things to get better; we shape the world in which we live. We’re ready to lead with you! The Collider Centre for Social Innovation 51




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