2017 Agents of Change: Climate Solutions

AN ACCELERATOR FOR SOCIAL ENTERPRISES SCALING PROMISING PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND TECHNOLOGIES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO A REDUCTION IN GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS…

The negative impacts of climate change are already upon us and, according to scientific consensus, are only set to get much worse.

This great challenge presents us with the opportunity to build the more resilient, clean and low-carbon economy of the future, bringing with it new innovations, outlooks, jobs, products, skills, manufacturing and technologies.

Over two years, the Centre for Social Innovation is supporting up to 40 enterprises working on climate change solutions with workspace, training, business and impact modelling coaching, access to capital, advisory services, impact measurement, and membership in CSI’s community of over 1,000 organizations. Our educational partners providing training to the selected enterprises include Lean4Flourishing for business modelling, and Constructive for impact measurement.

 

Program Overview for 2017-2018 cohort

 

“Congratulations to the 20 organizations that were selected for the Centre for Social Innovation’s (CSI) Agents of Change: Climate Solutions program.”

Read Minister Murray’s Welcome Letter

 

 

Meet our first cohort!

After a rigorous selection process, 20 enterprises joined our first cohort for Agents of Change: Climate Solutions. Over 12 months their revenues grew by 120% to $1.4M, they created 14 new full-time equivalent jobs, increased volunteers by 55% to 160, and attained greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of 640 TC02e while being on track to achieve thousands more. Read this blog post for more updates. 

 

Alert Energy
Gregory Bonser (LinkedIn) & Albert Ler

Alert Energy helps building owners save energy and water.

 

 

Anwaatin Inc
Mary-Kate Gilbertson (LinkedIn) & Larry Sault

Anwaatin supports reconciliation working alongside Indigenous Stewardship Warriors. We provide technical support to Indigenous communities.

 

Better Current
Colin Campbell (LinkedIn)

Better Current is a renewable technology company launching the world’s first smart solar charger for home use to efficiently charge devices from the sun every day.

 

CO2Velo
Kathy Porter & Jacqui Gingras

Imagine Getting Paid to Cycle! CO2Velo sells locally based carbon offset credits to emitters. We use the funds from carbon offset sales to provide financial incentives for people to cycle.

 

DIG
Leor Rotchild (LinkedIn)

DIG (aka Do It Green) is a registered B Corp delivering environmental programming for large special events including zero-waste management, clean power and potable water solutions.

 

Enviromentum
Emmay Mah (LinkedIn) & Vince Schutt

Enviromentum mitigates climate change impacts by helping people to adopt environmentally responsible behaviours. Through applied behavioural change science, we empower people and organisations to lead a low carbon cultural transition.

 

Farm Fund
Anahita Belanger (LinkedIn)

Farm Fund invests in modern restorative agriculture to improve the lives of farmers, feed the world and reverse climate change.

 

 

Fashion Takes Action/ Fashion Impacts Challenge
Kelly Drennan (LinkedIn) & Sarah Peel

FTA advances fashion sustainability through education, awareness and collaboration. Our Fashion Impacts Challenge introduces youth to the sharing economy with school-wide swaps, and also helps them prevent GHG-producing textile waste.

 

 

Future of Protein Initiative
Michael Smith (LinkedIn) & Mark Juhasz

Future of Protein provides leaders with business intelligence on sustainable livestock production. We are examining sustainable animal feeds and developing a new tool to help leaders reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Genecis EnviroTech Inc.
Luna Yu & Kaitlyn Chow (LinkedIn)

Genecis aims to rid the world of food waste and up-cycle it into products of value.

 

 

Junction Geo
Paul Mero (LinkedIn)Natasa Zupancic

Junction Geo is a pilot project showcasing a new approach to bringing geoexchange heating and cooling to homes in older urban areas.

 

Green Story Inc.
Akhil Sivanandan (LinkedIn) & Navodit Babel (LinkedIn)

Green Story is a marketing and analytics platform that helps green companies connect with customers by showcasing their positive environmental and social impact.

 

Microbe Hub
Jessica Machado & Sarah Brigel

Microbe Hub aims to reduce a community’s carbon footprint by using composting as a method of diverting organic waste and as a platform for science literacy programming.

 

Organic Council of Ontario
Carolyn Young (LinkedIn) Laura Northey

The Organic Council of Ontario is the voice for organics in Ontario. We represent organic farmers and businesses and help them to grow Ontario organics from field to plate.

 

Peggy Sue Collection Inc.
Peggy Deaven (LinkedIn) & Emily Neill

Peggy Sue Collection Inc. is a clothing company founded upon the beliefs of revitalizing the North American fiberscape with a transparent and traceable Supply Chain of Farmers, Mills and Makers.

 

Random Acts of Green
Jessica Correa (LinkedIn)

Random Acts of Green™ is a social enterprise that offers social media advertising services. We advertise for our clients utilizing our engaging and empowering brand to showcase environmental initiatives.

 

Ripple Farms
Brandon Hebor (LinkedIn) & Steven Bourne

Ripple is a social enterprise working to combat food insecurity throughout Canada. Focusing on vertical farming techniques, Ripple operates out of Canada’s first Urban Farming Unit at the Evergreen Brickworks.

 

ShiftRide
Nima Tahami (LinkedIn) & Mohsen Mohsenpour

ShiftRide is a peer-to-peer car sharing platform, allowing people to rent cars from car owners nearby.

 

SWTCH
Carter Li & Laura Bryson

SWTCH is an online marketplace for residential electric vehicle (EV) charging. By enabling residential EV charging, SWTCH aims to improve EV charging accessibility and promote the mainstream adoption of EVs.

 

Groundswell Grid Energy
Daniel Adirim (LinkedIn)

Groundswell Grid Energy is a geoexchange utility dedicated to making it easy for building owners to switch to a less expensive, safer and lower carbon space heating and cooling technology.

 

Meet our advisory committee!

These experts are contributing their time and expertise to help our enterprises grow.

 

Ahmed Badruddin, CEO
WatrHub Inc.
Expertise: Fundraising, Investment, Technology

Ahmed Badruddin is the CEO of WatrHub Inc., a fast-growing Infrastructure Intelligence company that has introduced a novel Water Industry Analytics solution that enables businesses to focus their sales efforts on their most promising water utility prospects. Prior to WatrHub, Ahmed worked in various technology leadership roles at Microsoft.

 

Chris Caners, General Manager
SolarShare
Expertise: Behaviour Change, Investment, Product Development, Technology

Chris is a professional engineer with more than a decade of experience in renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions verification and management, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability. Prior to joining SolarShare, he worked with ICF (an environmental consultancy), M-KOPA Solar (Kenya) and the University of Toronto Sustainability Office.

 

David Berliner, CEO
CoPower
Expertise: Investment, Policy Change, Product Development

David is co-founder and CEO of CoPower, an online clean energy investing firm. David has been named “Emerging Solar Leader” by the Canadian Solar Industries Association and “Top 30 Under 30” by Corporate Knights. David holds an M.P.A. from Columbia University and a B.Sc from the University of Toronto.

 

Jeremiah Raining Bird, Associate
Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP
Expertise: Advocacy, Aboriginal and Environmental Law

I work exclusively for First Nations and their members. My work is varied but often involves advocating for stronger environmental protections before regulatory bodies such as the NEB and environmental tribunals as well as through the negotiation of agreements between First Nations and industry.

 

Joanna Reynolds, Associate Director
Centre for Social Impact, Smith School of Business
Expertise: Convening, Education and Training, Investment, Product Development

Find me at the Smith School of Business, Centre for Social Impact at Queen’s. Coming from a great run with the Centre for Social Innovation as the Director of Social Enterprise. Before all of that, I was at MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (2011-2015) and Social Innovation Generation (2008-2011).

 

John Smiciklas, Director, Energy & Environment
BOMA Canada
Expertise: Community Engagement, Policy Change, Technology

John Smiciklas is the Director, Energy and Environment for BOMA Canada. In that position John leads the BOMA BEST program, Canada’s largest sustainability certification program for existing buildings, Canada’s first tenant focused certification program and Canada’s first protocol for commercial building adaptation for severe weather events.

 

Katie Harper, Director
Project Neutral
Expertise: Behaviour Change, Community Engagement, Public Awareness

Katie Harper is Director of Project Neutral (Tides Canada), which helps residents reduce their household carbon footprint and join the transition to a low-carbon future. Previously, Katie worked in sustainability and engagement at Sears Canada and the David Suzuki Foundation. She holds a M.Sc. in Biology from McGill University.

 

Lawrence Alvarez, President
Institute for a Resource-Based Economy
Expertise: Advocacy, Community Engagement, Mentoring and Coaching

President of IRBE, and co-founder of the Toronto Tool Library and the Sharing Depot. I was born and raised in Zimbabwe and he have lived in Botswana, Canada, South Africa and Argentina. My passion lies in travel, exploring human relationships and our shared experience, and finding the connections between us.

 

Mary Pickering, Vice President – Programs and Partnerships
The Atmospheric Fund
Expertise: Collaboration, Policy Change, Urban Climate Action Design and Implementation

Mary Pickering has been with The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) since 2004. As VP Programs and Partnerships, she leads TAF’s multi-sectoral collaboration initiatives and oversees design and implementation of TAF’s grantmaking and urban greenhouse gas reduction programs.

 

Paul Bubelis, Executive Director
Sustainability Network
Expertise: Capacity Building, Collaboration, Convening

Paul Bubelis is the Executive Director of the Sustainability Network which he co-founded in 1997. He is a founding Director of Sustainability CoLab and advises the Ontario Nonprofit Network and Green Living Enterprises. Prior to his work at Sustainability Network, he worked at the Ontario Environment Network and Environment Canada.

 

Priyanka Lloyd, Managing Director
Sustainability CoLab
Expertise: Capacity Building, Collaboration, Community Engagement, Scaling a Social Innovation

Priyanka oversees all aspects of how CoLab runs, from its strategic direction to supporting her team in execution. She holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biochemistry, and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. Among other notable achievements, Priyanka was named to Canada’s Clean16 in 2016.

 

Rahul Raj, VP of Marketing & E-Commerce
ecobee
Expertise: Behaviour Change, Product Development, Public Awareness

I unlock the potential of brands to better the world and the bottom line. As the VP of Marketing & E-Commerce, I helped transform ecobee from relative obscurity to the #2 thermostat brand in North America with a run rate of 1,000,000 thermostats this year.

 

Rob Shirkey, Executive Director
Our Horizon
Expertise: Advocacy, Behaviour Change, Policy Change

Rob Shirkey is a lawyer and founder of Our Horizon, a non-profit organization that engages governments to mandate climate change risk disclosures or ‘warning labels’ for gas pumps. He has given lectures on the topic across North America and has been featured in media around the world.

 

Sandra Odendahl, Board Chair
The Atmospheric Fund
Expertise: Collaboration, Investment, Policy Change

Sandra is Chair of The Atmospheric Fund (TAF), where she also sits on the TAF Grants Committee. From 2007 to 2016 she led RBC’s Corporate Sustainability, Social Finance, and Social Innovation teams. Sandra has an M.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from UofT. She is a licensed P.Eng, and a CFA.

 

Sanjay Khanna, Futurist
Expertise: Behaviour Change, Capacity Building, Global Megatrends, Human Impacts of Climate Change

Sanjay Khanna is a futurist. Between 2011 and 2015, he was affiliated with the University of Toronto’s Massey College as Visiting Scholar and inaugural Resident Futurist. More recently, Sanjay was Futurist-in-Residence with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, where he explored arts and cultural innovation in response to unprecedented societal stressors.

 

Shaunna Bruton, Product Manager
SAMETRICA
Expertise: Behaviour Change, Product Development, Research

Social innovation and strategic impact investment are what drive me. Questioning how we can create greater social impact keeps me up at night. I have an MA from York University and a BA from McGill University. I received the Government of Ontario’s Leading Women, Building Communities award in 2014.

 

Sierra Frank, Program Manager
Ontario EcoSchools
Expertise: Behaviour Change, Community Engagement, Education and Training, Mentoring and Coaching

Sierra is committed to creating healthy, happy, and equitable communities, with an emphasis on environmental education. She has developed and managed a variety of programs for students, teachers, and community members. Sierra continues to develop her approach to teaching while maintaining a dedication to experiential and anti-oppressive education.

 

Theresa Ramirez, Data & Research Analyst
Ontario EcoSchools
Expertise: Mentoring and Coaching, Research, Technology, Business Analysis, Data Analysis

Theresa has a background in finance but has always had a passion for the environment and sustainability, which fits in great with her current role at Ontario EcoSchools. She is passionate about social equality and uses her stand-up comedy connections to promote awareness and raise funds for local housing initiatives.

 

If you have any questions about the Agents of Change or other CSI acceleration programs and services, please contact Barnabe Geis, Director of Programs, at Barnabe@socialinnovation.ca. For Agents of Change: Climate Solutions you can also contact Stefan Hostetter, the Program Coordinator, at Stefan@socialinnovation.ca. You can view our other accelerators and impact work at Getting to Impact. Interested in partnering? Get in touch!