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CSI Network News: Proving the Next Economy is Possible



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


State of the CSI Nation

State of the [CSI] Nation

As we bid a bittersweet farewell to our beloved COO Seana Irvine and begin a search for a new CPO and COO, our CEO Tonya Surman reflected on the last 17 years — and what we’re doing next.

“We have been pushing, promoting and nudging people towards social innovation, a concept which remains vague and high level. We’ve also been supporting social entrepreneurs… why? Because we believe those idealists with drive and passion are just the right breed of mix – visionary, opportunistic, and pragmatic – to be able to radically redesign business models that put people and planet first,” she writes.

“But you know, despite progress, social entrepreneurs and social enterprise have been side-lined from halls of power. “Oh, look at those nice nonprofits dreaming up those neat little community bonds! How quaint!” or “Maybe the government can create a nice ‘sector’ fund for us and we can have access to… what? 0.001% of the budget?” Maybe I sound harsh, but social enterprise is not enough. Yes, it is important in and of itself, but social enterprise is NOT ENOUGH to fundamentally change our systems.”


Reflections on Investing in Community Bonds and Opportunities to Improve the Market

Lars Biggold, Senior Manager, Banking, and Investments at Vancity Community Investment Bank, reflected on the growth of the community finance sector in Ontario:

“Since relocating to Toronto almost seven years ago, it’s been exciting to play witness to and support a growing community finance sector in Ontario. Through the leadership of organizations like the Centre for Social Innovation, community bonds have become much better understood by the coop and nonprofit sectors. Now organizations like Tapestry Community Capital are helping professionalize the delivery of these tools and campaigns, so I certainly expect more to come.”

With the success of community finance, Lars proposes something new: a “market-making” community bond fund.

Stories from
the Network

Designing a Transformative Learning Institution from the Ground Up

At CSI Annex, a unique experiment in secondary school education is unfolding at a torrid pace. Begun just last June in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, CaST is quickly becoming an exemplar of what high school can become when creativity, ambition and best practices in education are combined at a time of disruptive change in schooling.

CaST answers two simple questions with elegance: What can high school in Ontario become, and what can innovative teaching accomplish?

While CaST is an inspected Ministry of Education approved and high school, it works in tandem with its affiliates — one of which, CaST Public Arts, is about to participate in a large-scale art project.


CSI Connects


How to Get Your Vaccine Questions Answered

How To Get Your Vaccine Questions Answered
Wednesday, May 5, 12:30 – 1:15 PM ET
Join CSI Member Women’s Healthy Environments Network (WHEN) and 19ToZero Ambassadors for the latest information about vaccines. Physicians will be available to answer your vaccine-related questions.

Climate Ventures Conversations: Nicole Rycroft of Canopy
Thursday, May 20, 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET
We’re speaking with Nicole Rycroft, founder of environmental not-for-profit Canopy and winner of the US$3M 2020 Climate Breakthrough Award, about the partnerships, innovations, and solutions that are protecting our forests.


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


Building(s) Back Better: Bricks, Mortar, and Organizational Resilience for Nonprofits

Building(s) Back Better: Bricks, Mortar, and Organizational Resilience for Nonprofits
Monday, May 3, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
As businesses and organizations plan for a post-pandemic world, it’s a great moment to reflect on if your space is optimized for your long-term goals. Join VCIB for a webinar about the benefits and drawbacks that come from nonprofits acquiring or redeveloping their own space.

Metaphone illustration

Effective Email Outreach
Tuesday, May 4, 1:00 – 2:30 PM
Email outreach remains one of the most vital communications tools available to organizations for successful campaigns and development efforts. Learn how to make the most out of email marketing in this webinar from The Sustainability Network.


Two people walking on a forest path.

Walk Your Path: An Inside-Outside Retreat
Saturday, May 15, 7:30 AM or 8:30 AM start
CSI Member Winifred Hunsburger is hosting a semi-self-directed walking retreat, including meditation, gentle stretching and guidance for mindful walking.


Green-covered island on water.

Making Nature Investable Summit
Tuesday, May 11, 1:00 – 4:15 PM ET
What can we leverage or create to attract capital into conservation? What enabling conditions are necessary to effectively scale the market for Nature-based Solutions in Canada? Join leading experts, including UN Special Advisor on Climate Change Mark Carney, to explore these topics.


Venture Summit / Virtual Connect
Tuesday, May 18, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET
Three days of investor panels, workshops, and pitching! Get an extra 20% off early bird rates with code “CSIVIP” and apply to be a Top Innovator to pitch live and access one-on-one investor meetings.



Job Board

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

Director, Policy and Research | The Brookfield Institute
Deadline: May 5
The Director, Policy and Research will lead the short- and long-term strategic planning of Brookfield Institute’s policy and research vision, goals and objectives, in collaboration with the Executive Director and the rest of the leadership team.

Fundraising and Engagement Coordinator | Cycle Toronto
Deadline: May 7
This CSI Member is looking for a highly motivated professional looking to engage our donors, members, and partners in opportunities to grow their impact.

Communications Assistant (Part-time) | Good Foot Delivery
Deadline: May 7
Longtime CSI Member Good Foot is searching for a Communications Assistant to support strategies that increase Good Foot Delivery’s visibility and brand awareness.

Human Resources Generalist | CSI (that’s us!)
Deadline: May 12
We’re looking for an HR Generalist to fill a 1-year maternity leave contract!

Board of Directors | Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
Deadline: May 14, 12:00 PM ET
This CSI Member is seeking candidates for a number of positions on its voluntary Board of Directors, beginning in September 2021.


Go For It

In celebration of Mental Health Month, employees of startups with less than 20 employees can sign up for a free 30-day CheckingIn Challenge. You’ll take 30 seconds each day to check in on your mood and energy levels through the app. After the 30 days, you’ll receive a complimentary, tailored insight report where you can better understand yourself and your mental health. Deadline: May 3

SPECTRUM is seeking a service provider to develop, publish, and analyze a survey directed at the transgender community in Waterloo Region, then use the findings create a toolkit focused on mental health promotion and suicide prevention. Deadline: May 7, 5:00 PM ET

As Seen At CSI


Level Justice recently worked with Brian from You&Media/Annex Improv to produce a series of animated educational videos explaining legal concepts. We’re always thrilled to see collaborations between our members!

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