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CSI Network News: Why are climate solutions still struggling to scale?



Every Sunday, we curate solutions, stories, community events, jobs, and funding opportunities in our weekly newsletter. Here’s this week’s CSI Network News.

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Next Economy


Climate Solutions 101, presented by Project Drawdown

Towards Implementation: Making climate solutions happen
We already have most of the climate solutions we need, but they aren’t being funded and implemented on anywhere near the scale we need. When we spoke to Laura Witt of the Drawdown Fund last year, she explained why there is so little uptake on climate investing.It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Investors want teams with successful track records, but few firms have proven their potential to drive strong investment returns while delivering measurable climate impact. After all, sustainable investing is still relatively new.The prolonged time frame inherent to climate solutions is a challenge in itself: “A lot of these companies are hard technology. They take a long time to build. It will likely take four, five, six, seven years for these companies to get through the life cycle, to get to liquidity events that show good returns to investors.”In March, the Drawdown Fund launched Climate Solutions 101, a six-part video series focused solely on solutions. It’s filled with the latest need-to-know science and fascinating insights from global leaders in climate policy, research, investment, and beyond — and it’s all available to stream for free.

Stories from
the Network

ICYMI: COVID-19 Vaccines to be Distributed to “Hot Spot” Communities in Toronto
If you live in a “hot spot” region and are:

  • 50+ years old: you can book an appointment through the City of Toronto booking system
  • 18-49 years old: you may be eligible to book an appointment at a mobile clinic or pop-up centre (as supply allows)

Check your eligibility and next steps on this page under “Phase 2: Adults living in COVID-19 hot spot communities.”


Plant on windowsill at CSI Annex.

Keeping CSI Green During the Pandemic
With greenery making a comeback after a distinctly isolating winter, we want to spotlight a few of CSI’s unsung heroes: our plant caregivers, Veronika and Deenie. Over the course of the pandemic, they have spent many hours watering, pruning and taking care of CSI’s countless plants, and their work should not go unnoticed. Thank you, Veronika and Deenie!


CSI Connects


Climate Ventures Conversations with Dr. Melissa Lem, Director of PaRx and President-Elect of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE)

Climate Ventures Conversations: Dr. Melissa Lem of PaRx and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE)
Tuesday, April 20, 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET
How are Canadian doctors advocating for healthy people, a healthy planet, and a healthy recovery? Dr. Melissa Lem will share learnings from her work alongside CAPE doing just that.


How to Feed Your Soil and Fight Climate Change

How to Feed Your Soil and Fight Climate Change
Wednesday, April 14, 12:30 – 1:15 PM ET
Learn about regenerative growing techniques (a healthy alternative to chemical fertilizers) and best practices that get microbes working to feed your soil, so you can fuel your family and help fight climate change! This event is for CSI Members only.

It’s Up To Us


Storefront at an intersection

Do you work or volunteer with a community-based nonprofit in Toronto? CSI Member Alix Aylan is completing research on the relationship between gentrification and small, community-based nonprofit organizations in Toronto.

If access to space is a topic of concern for a group that you’re affiliated with (even if you’ve never had space but want it!), you are invited to participate in her research project. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete. Deadline: May 1



Want to get your events on our events calendar? Find out what membership could look like for you!


Our Sustainable Future: Building the Next Economy.

Our Sustainable Future: Building the Next Economy
Wednesday, April 14, 4:30 – 6:00 PM ET
CSI Alumni Toby Heaps of Corporate Knights and CSI CEO Tonya Surman will be sharing learnings from their work in social innovation, and what it means to build the Next Economy.

Shift 2021

Shift 2021
Wednesday, April 14 – Thursday, April 16
Explore how business can be used as a force for good through panels, keynotes, and action-oriented workshops. Use code SHIFT20 for 20% off the lowest ticket price.


Two people kneeling next to a bicycle.

Safe Cycling 101
Monday, April 19, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM EDT
Cycle Toronto will guide you through everything you need to know to bike with confidence. Topics include: equipment and bike fit, safe riding techniques, rules and responsibilities, interactions with others, and choosing your route.


Person putting ballot into voting box.

Shaping The Election Conversation: How To Use Elections To Promote Your Issues
Thursday, April 15, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
Election campaigning isn’t necessarily telling people who to vote for, it’s telling them what to vote for. Learn how to shape the conversation around issues that matter to you in this workshop from CSI Member The Sustainability Network.


From the Ground Up 2: Taking Action, a Global Gathering for Climate Justice

From the Ground Up II: Taking Action
Thursday, April 22 – Sunday, April 25
How do we build power in our communities and workplaces for climate justice? How can we mobilise millions of people into taking action? How can we organize to win? This gathering will provide a space for activists and community members to discuss, plan and strategize.


Job Board

Want to post your opportunities to our job board? Find out what membership could look like for you!

Community Coordinator and Technical Infrastructure Coordinator | CSI (that’s us!) 
Deadline: April 16
We’re looking for a couple of folks through the Investing in Neighbourhoods Initiative. Interested candidates must be Ontario Works participants living in Toronto.

Marketing and Partnerships Lead |
Deadline: April 16
This CSI Member is looking for an experienced communications or marketing professional who loves building relationships and wants to make change for mental health!

Senior Manager Major Gifts, Relationships & Philanthropy | Up With Women / Exponenti’elles
Deadline: April 16
Up With Women is a national charity dedicated to helping recently homeless and at-risk women and non-binary folks to build a sustainable pathway out of poverty. They’re looking for a fundraising professional to design and implement their strategy for major gifts.

Progressive Economics Fellowship | Canadian Council for Policy Alternatives
Deadline: April 23
This fellowship offers a contract for research, writing and organizational support to the Alternative Federal Budget and research into executive pay.

Finance & Administration Director, Philanthropy Tech Project Manager, and Implementation Specialists | Grantbook
Deadline: Rolling
This CSI Alumni is a technology consulting firm exclusively for grantmaking organizations. They’re looking to fill a number of positions!


Go For It

CSI (that’s us!) has put out a Request for Proposals to conduct our CSI Member Survey. We’re looking for someone to help us analyze our existing member data, design a new survey, and prepare a report on the findings. Deadline: April 15

Toronto, New York, Amsterdam, Glasgow, and Copenhagen have launched the Circular Innovation City Challenge! They’re looking for innovative digital and data-driven solutions to shape circular cities and urban sustainable living. Deadline: April 23

The Future Ground Prize celebrates citizen-led initiatives throughout Ontario that are making positive impacts on the environment in local communities. Winners will receive up to $5,000 and meet David Suzuki virtually! Deadline: April 26

As Seen at CSI

Every Tuesday afternoon, a group of our members convene to learn a piece of art history, exercise their creative minds, and hone their visual thinking skills. It’s become a lovely weekly ritual where we get to see familiar faces, learn something new, and take our minds off of the stresses of the day to day.

Zoom screenshot of Art Club members smiling at the camera.

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