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CSI Network News: Celebrating Innovation and Innovators



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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Social Innovation matters. It’s right there in our name: we believe in the systems-changing power of innovation, particularly social innovation. It’s the keystone to all we do: social innovation breathes life into new ideas, awakens old ones, and is essential for unlocking the solutions for an equitable and sustainable world for us all.

This Canadian Innovation Week, we’re celebrating the innovations and innovators already doing the work to build a regenerative, equitable, and prosperous economy.


How CSI is Expanding from Coworking to Economy-Building

For the last 17 years we have been catalyzing, supporting, and inspiring social innovation. But, really, most people saw us as the “cool, beautiful, hippie coworking space” in downtown Toronto. Is that enough to drive the change we want to see in the world? The answer, in truth, is no. Here’s what we’re working on now.


How the Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network is Designing Inclusive Social Entrepreneurship

What does it take to create a truly inclusive economy? At WOSEN, it starts with disrupting and redesigning how entrepreneurship supports are offered and received. The Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network prioritizes inclusive design principles so that women and gender non-binary entrepreneurs can unleash their full potential.


How Earth Tech Ventures are Winning Big for the Planet

Over six months, our 2020 Earth Tech cohort earned and raised $4M, supported 76 jobs, and established 116 partnerships. Now, our 2021 cohort is on track to match that success. We’re profiling the big wins of our cohorts as they champion cleantech solutions that tackle pressing environmental challenges.


How We're Helping Build Community Wealth in Regent Park

Community wealth creation is a new way of developing local economies by strengthening community infrastructure. And while the strategy might be new, its core principles are ancient. People need people. Trust does not happen overnight. Community is built through organic, everyday interactions. We know this. The “Our Neighbourhood Project” operationalizes it.


How Social Entrepreurship 101 is Training the Next Generation of Social Entrepreneurs

Crises can become a catalyst for change. When the world shut down, individuals from different corners of the globe — many people who never considered themselves social entrepreneurs before — signed up in droves for our Social Entrepreneurship 101 course. It was the perfect place to hone and direct a reinvigorated sense of purpose.

Job Alert: How You Can Help Shape the Next Economy

CSI is still searching for a Chief Operating Officer (deadline: May 24) and Chief Program Officer (deadline: May 31).

If you are excited about new business models, and passionate about creating an economy that is regenerative, equitable, and prosperous for all, we want you on our team.


CSI Educates


Social Entrepreneurship 101 testimonial from Michael Szego of Third Party: “Social entrepreneurs are going to be essential to help author a new social contract and reset the economy. If you’re looking to make your mark on the universe, using business as a tool, SE 101 is a great place to start.”

Turn your ideas into feasible projects! Register for our upcoming cohort of Social Entrepreneurship 101 to learn and improve entrepreneurial competencies that will make you competitive in a fast-changing job market. Five scholarships are available — apply by May 23.

CSI Connects


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.

How to Write Successful Grants

How to Write Successful Grants
Wednesday, May 19, 12:30 – 1:15 PM ET
We’ll cover all the basics of grant funding, how to streamline your application process, and our best industry tips for winning grants! This event is for CSI Members only.


How to Prepare Your Organization for Successful Evaluation

How to Prepare Your Organization for Successful Evaluation
Wednesday, May 26, 12:00 – 1:30 PM ET
Learn how to make your organization’s evaluation work more efficient, make evidence-based decisions, and improve your impact. CSI Members get in free!


How to Create and Implement an Evaluable Impact Strategy

How to Create and Implement an Evaluable Impact Strategy
Thursday, May 27, 12:00 – 1:30 PM ET
Learn how to develop an impact strategy that is easy to implement and evaluate. CSI Members get in free!


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


Transformative Affordable Housing Ideas From Around The World

Transformative Affordable Housing Ideas From Around The World
May 21,10:00 – 11:00 AM ET
Join a presentation and discussion about how we can improve access to affordable housing, how access to affordable housing improves local economies, and inspirational new ideas and possibilities.

Spirit Spaces: Un-conference Festival

Spirit Spaces: Un-conference Festival
May 14-16, 21-23, 28-30
Young BIPOC leaders in Ontario are invited to this unconference to bridge communities, virtually. There will be land-based learning, movement, arts-based workshops, healing spaces, conversation spaces, and more.


Walrus Talks: Voices Online
Tuesday, May 18, 7:00 – 8:00 PM ET
Sandra Corbeil, Sarain Fox, Ronald Niezen, and Breanna Xavier-Carter will share their knowledge of taking action online to raise awareness and spark positive change.


Social Justice Cafe

Social Justice Cafe
Monthly on Thursdays
CSI Member BAM Collective is hosting a monthly virtual cafe for youth to discuss social justice issues and engage with professional guest speakers, and for BIPOC artists to heal and share their talents for social change.


Together Towards Recovery: Youth Mental Health Recovery Beyond COVID conference

Together Towards Recovery
May 20-21, 5:00 – 7:30 PM ET
Join the In This Together campaign for keynotes, a research presentation, and a youth panel discussing the mental health challenges faced by BIPOC youth.



Job Board

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

Administrative Support Officer, Customer Service AssistantSpecial Events Coordinator | Ontario Council for International Cooperation (OCIC)
Deadline: May 18, 9:00 AM ET
This CSI Member is looking to fill a number of 8-week paid internships.

Communication and Events Coordinator | Anima Leadership
Deadline: May 28, 5:00 PM ET
CSI Member Anima Leadership is looking for someone to design and lead implementation of their in-house communications strategy and to coordinate event planning (online and in-person).

Content Manager | Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN)
Deadline: May 31, 5:00 PM ET
BPTN is searching for a natural storyteller to be their editorial leader, ensuring that all copy and communications to members, prospective members, partners and prospective partners have a consistent tone of voice and consistently align with brand values.

Chief Program Officer, Chief Operating Officer | CSI (that’s us!)
Deadline: May 24 (COO), May 31 (CPO)
We are continuing our search for a CPO and COO to join our leadership team and help shape the Next Economy! Please apply and pass on the news to anyone who might be the right fit.

Director, Strategic Partnerships | Ontario Centre of Innovation
Deadline: Rolling
The OCI (previously Ontario Centres of Excellence) is searching for someone to direct the development of viable opportunities in partnership with key networks to obtain grants, negotiate contracts and generate outcomes aligned with the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) strategic and operating plans


It’s Up To Us


The CoCare Initiative: community-based micro-lending that is completely funded by your fellow neighbour.

Community financing and mutual aid are models that work!

coCare is one of these newest initiatives by neighbours, for neighbours. Through a $25 monthly membership fee, they hope to develop a community fund that will help folks meet their basic needs or cover an unexpected emergency expense with immediate financial support.

Currently, they are distributing emergency microgrants to folks in the Greater Toronto Area. Donate to the Emergency Microgrant Initiative here.

Go For It

Are you working on a tech solution that would reduce the carbon intensity of Canada’s oil & gas industry? Winners of the Low Emission Fuels & Products Competition will receive up to $10 million in funding. Deadline: June 9

As Seen At CSI


Happy, holding out a paw to shake her owner's hand. She is wearing a Centre for Social Innovation name tag.

Happy and her owner, Ling Ly Tan, are a couple of our newest members! Ling is the Founder of Linggo, a mobile app that improves the quality of life for people with complex communication needs. And Happy? She’s our Sunshine Coordinator, bringing smiles to everyone’s faces.

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