Fourteen years ago today, the Centre for Social Innovation was incorporated! Since then, we have been changing the world through coworking,community, and collaboration. We thought we’d take the chance today to let you know fourteen reasons that CSI is the best place on earth to be a social innovator. Period.
1. Incorporated in 2004, we were Canada’s (and maybe the world’s!) first coworking space.
2. In Toronto alone, the CSI Community is home to 1,000 nonprofits, charities and social ventures. Our membership employs over 2,500 people, and generates combined annual revenues of $250 million.
3. We presently have four locations: 192 Spadina, CSI Annex, CSI Regent Park, and CSI New York City. In addition to being gorgeous and expansive, our buildings also offer things like makerspace facilities, gender neutral washrooms, free organic coffee, community kitchens, and even an indoor swing! Oh, and every location is dog-friendly!
4. Our coworking packages begin at just $125 a month and include 24/7 access to the building, shared security, cleaning, high-speed internet, photocopier access, kitchen, AV equipment, and a mailbox.
5. In addition to these spaces, we have also created CSIx, which offers our technology, community and expertise enable local ownership and customization of CSI-like spaces across the country and the world.
6. Many CSI members (including our co-founder and CEO Tonya Surman!) were early adopters of the concept of “online community”. So we also offer community memberships to folks looking to be part of our dynamic network who don’t need a physical workspace.
7. CSI also offers acceleration programs, microloans and free consultations with legal, design, and business development experts.
8. 85% of our members say they have collaborated with other members.
9. We own the two of the buildings that make up two of our four locations, thanks in large part to our creation and development of the Community Bond, an innovation in social finance that allowed us to raise over $6M dollars.
10. Accessibility is hugely important to us. In addition to our own wheelchair accessible spaces, we also helped accelerate both The StopGap Foundation (which offers free removable wheelchair ramps to business owners), and the Access Now app (which uses crowdsourcing to pinpoint the accessibility status of locations on an interactive map). We are also the home of Accessibility Ontario.
12. In 2017 we launched Soshent, a platform to help social entrepreneurs access programs and support from a growing number of partners. By simply filling out a short profile, you can discover the programs and resources you may be eligible for.
13. In 2007, the Centre for Social Innovation helped establish TechSoup Canada which has resulted in 21,000 Canadian nonprofits, charities, and libraries receiving over $273 million worth of software and hardware donations.
14. 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 get on board before our 15th anniversary? Become a member today