2016 Agents of Change: Community Health

2016 Agents of Change: Community Health

With an aging population, rising healthcare costs and increasing levels of chronic disease, the world needs new innovations that improve health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. Here at the Centre for Social Innovation, we know that great challenges also present opportunities to make the world a better place. We set out to find innovators tackling health challenges head on for Agents of Change: Community Health.

CSI and Green Shield Canada Foundation created the 2016 Agents of Change: Community Health program to give dreamers, doers and innovators in Toronto a helping hand in developing solutions to health problems affecting various communities.

Each agent received a $10,000-grant, a one-year membership at the Centre for Social Innovation, acceleration supports from leading advisors and educators in organizational and business development, and took part in special programming such as Peer Circles and events to support their work. They achieved a 195% increase in revenues, and a 97% increase in the number of people impacted.


Imagine riding home from work along a freshly painted bike lane where Cycle TO is offering a cycling workshop. You watch a local running club training in the park as a group of seniors pass by on a walking tour led by Building Roads Together. You stop at a farmers market to purchase some local produce from Fresh City Farms. You pick up a few extra things for your neighbour, recently diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. You’re worried but feel relieved knowing that her friends are taking turns bringing her meals using the TYZE Personal Networks online platform. You make one last stop at the local Health Centre to pick up some brochures on how to be a caregiver.

Agents of Change: Community Health is funded by:

Meet the Agents of Change: Community Health



Susan Wright (LinkedIn)

Feed, educate and grow great kids and communities through summer meals programming.




Indigenous Full Spectrum Doulas
Denise Booth & Krysta Williams (LinkedIn)

Improving the health of Indigenous pregnant people by restoring birth and reproductive justice through sharing traditional knowledge, support and building a network of Indigenous full spectrum doulas.



Dying Well Collective
Glenda Myles & Susan Dawson (LinkedIn)

Educate. Advocate. Support. Helping people die with dignity, compassion and choice.




New Leaf Foundation
Laura Sygrove (LinkedIn)

Supporting the mental, emotional and physical health of youth in marginalized communities through yoga and mindfulness-based programming.



Access Now
Maayan Ziv (LinkedIn)

Crowdsourced mobile/web platform to share accessibility information on places worldwide.




The Dance Ability Movement
Mallory and Jade Ryan (LinkedIn)

Providing inclusive and meaningful opportunities for individuals with additional needs to improve their health and wellness through dance.




LIFT (Low-income families together)
Josephine Grey (LinkedIn)

Addressing the problem of food security, poverty, deprivation and the price effects of climate change for the working poor in St. James Town.



The Mommy Monitor Project
Elsie Amoako (LinkedIn)

Reducing adverse birth outcomes for African, Caribbean & Latin American women living in Canada through monitoring, information and community support on a mobile app.



Patient Commando
Zal Press (LinkedIn)

Starting “health cooperatives” and shared value amongst specific patient groups.




Our Horizon
Rob Shirkey (LinkedIn)

Accelerating our transition off fossil fuels with government mandated climate change & air pollution disclosure labels on gas pumps.


Agents will gain access to workspace, meeting space and CSI’s dynamic, multidisciplinary community of more than 1,000 organizations and 2,500 individuals. Agents of Change winners will also benefit from CSI programs such as CSI Hookup, which provides free consultations with experts in law, design, accounting, fundraising and financing.

Program Advisors

Most importantly, each Agent will be connected to the talent of our incredible expert advisory committee! Committee members bring decades of experience, connections and insights from working in health.

Hima Batavia, Agents of Change: Community Health Program Manager

Hima Batavia
Agents of Change: Community Health Manager

Hima is passionate about bringing equitable health and well-being to communities and cities across the world through intentionally designed experiences and solutions. Her work has taken her across India and Africa, with organizations such as the Earth Institute, Clinton Health Access Initiative and United Nations Foundation, and has been featured in publications including the Stanford Social Innovation Review, World Health Organization Bulletin, and PLoS Medicine. She joined the Centre for Social Innovation as the program lead of the Agents of Change program after returning to Toronto from being abroad. In her spare time, she co-leads a digital detox adult summer camp, called Camp Reset, to bring some play back into our lives. You can find her @himabatavia, and himabatavia.com.

Emma Barr, Manager, Community Investment
Green Shield Canada Foundation

Maggie Macdonald, Toxin Program Manager
Environmental Defence

Surkhab Peerzada, Manager
Toronto Central Self Management

Simon Trevarthen, Founder & Chief Inspiration Officer
Elevate Your Greatness

Rachel Gray, Executive Director
The Stop

Asad Ali Moten, Health Systems Solutions Coordinator,
Women’s College Hospital

Dr. Vipan Nikore, Healthcare Quality Officer
Trillium Health Partners

Narinder Dhami, Executive Director
LEAP: The Centre for Social Impact

Zannat Reza, Founder
Thrive 360

Deanna Heroux, Senior Manager
KPMG – Health Unit


Community Health is the ecosystem that supports our well-being and is a rapidly growing field abounding with innovations.

If you have any questions about the Agents of Change: Community Health program or other CSI acceleration programs and services, please contact Barnabe Geis, Manager of Impact & Accelerators, at Barnabe@socialinnovation.ca. You can view our other accelerators and impact work at Getting to Impact