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Canadian Innovation Week 2024

It’s Canadian Innovation Week 2024! This year’s theme, “Innovate Where You Are“, celebrates our members in all of their various stages, industries, and locations. At CSI, all innovators are welcome to join our community of changemakers putting people and planet first.

And while you truly can’t put our members in a box, we did our best to categorize them into this year’s Innovation Week themes. Read on for a highlight on just a few of the thousands of CSI members who are innovating for a better world, and check out their advice to the next generation of innovators and changemakers.

Local Spark

Youth4NatureA group of nine people pose together at COP 28 (Y4N) is a by-youth, for-youth, international non-profit organisation that educates, equips, and establishes youth as leaders on system-wide solutions for the nature and climate crises that are rooted in traditional & scientific knowledge and grounded in intergenerational justice. We do this through capacity building, knowledge sharing & storytelling programmes.

Advice to the next generation of innovators and changemakers:
“My personal advice to the next generation after working in a youth-led organisation for 5 years is: There is no need to reinvent the wheel! There are such incredible climate, biodiversity and social solutions out there, and even when they happen in different places or for different audiences, there is still so much we can replicate and learn from each other.”

An illustrated graphic of a group of diverse people sitting on a couch. Text overlay: Together Project. Connecting refugee newcomers and volunteers to build stronger, more integrated communities.Together Project, a charitable initiative of MakeWay, matches volunteers with refugee newcomers from over 25 different countries for social and integration support through its Welcome Group Program. Our Welcome Group volunteers provide refugee newcomers with 3-6 months of social and integration support.

We match our volunteers with refugee newcomers based on shared interests, newcomer needs, and volunteers’ experience and skills. The fastest way to get started is to form a Welcome Group with coworkers, friends, or family members. Since 2016, we’ve had over 1400 volunteers, and we’re always looking for more. Join us today! 

Learn more at  

Advice to the next generation of innovators and changemakers:
“We think of social media as a way to amplify others in order to create collective change. At Together Project, we spend a lot of our time sharing resources that we think would be helpful to our newcomers and volunteers: job fairs, mental health workshops, refugee services, and more.”

Bazaar GalaA decorative graphic with the words overlaid in the background. is a new platform reshaping local commerce. Image a digital marketplace where small, medium-sized businesses and services thrive, where community connection meets seamless transactions – that’s Bazaar Gala. Based in Toronto and born from family-run startup, Bazaar Gala is not just another ecommerce site, it’s a movement towards community empowerment and economic revitalization, by providing the platform tailored to local businesses, we are aiming to foster prosperity and growth right in our local neighbourhoods. Let’s build a brighter, more connected future together.

A group of people sit on chairs in front of a red curtain at CSI Spadina.It’s important to have the voices and stories of disabled people, especially the neurodivergent population brought forward. Unique Players is doing this by working to produce Unique Stories, a disability- led play. You can learn more and support this work through their GoFundMe.

Global Impact

An illustrated graphic of below, word bubbles, and nature elements. Text bubbles include: Collective intelligence. Access group wisdom. Co-generativity. Lead from the emerging future. Listen to all voices. Put the system in the room.ZENDialogue offers group process facilitation services online and in person, in Toronto and around the world. Addressing the complex local and global challenges of our times calls for the intelligence and creativity of the collective. ZENDialogue holds space and facilitates processes that activate the wisdom in groups, helping organizations and networks get the results that both they and the world need.

Advice to the next generation of innovators and changemakers:
“Get really good at listening deeply—to your own inner guidance, to others, and to the future that wants to emerge.”

Youth Showcase

Ask An UndergradAsk An Undergrad Coffee Chats. Connect 1-1 with a university study. Let us know your areas of interests and/or universities you'd like to attend, and we will connect you with a mentor that can answer your questions and share their experience with you. About us: Ask An Undergrad is a national nonprofit organization comprised of 50+ undergraduate students attending universities across Canada. Mission: To provide resources and mentorship opportunities to youth across Canada and help them in their transition to post-secondary education. is a national registered non-profit in Canada dedicated to helping youth transition to post-secondary. The team consists of university students from across Canada who curate resources for applying to, navigating, and matriculating to Canadian universities, while also providing mentorship opportunities for high school students. For youth who are unsure about which university programs to pursue or have questions about life after high school, Ask An Undergrad is a student-driven resource here to support you. Connect with us on social media or check out our website

A group of people pose together.

Discover Year is a structured and purposeful gap year program that helps young adults better understand what they want in life and build the skills they need to go out and get it. Designed to support high school graduates aged 17-21, Discover Year integrates hands-on, experiential learning—including skills workshops, mentorship, work, travel, and community service—to help students gain the skills and experience they need to thrive in school, work, and life.

Advice to the next generation of innovators and changemakers:
“Make time in your life for the things that pique your curiosity, regardless of how ‘practical’ they seem. Curiosities lead to passion, and passion, combined with your unique talents, will create purpose. The world needs more people who are living life with purpose.” 

Sustainability Solutions

A loaf of broad with two slices cut off, a mason jar with a tag that reads Pulp Crunch, and a both of Butter Crisps that reads: we make delicious foods from grains previously used to make beer.Empowering you to take climate action by eating bread and drinking beer. Instead of disposing of food by-products, we upcycle and feed people instead. Learn more:

Advice to the next generation of innovators and changemakers:
“There is hope, not in society, not in systems, but in you and me.” – Juddu Krishnamurti

EcoSchools CanadaA group of people pose together outside is a registered charity that works to nurture environmental leaders, reduce the ecological impact of schools, and build sustainable school communities. Since 2005, EcoSchools’ bilingual K-12 certification program has supported over 4,000 schools, reaching over 1 million students annually, and currently supports a network of over 100 school boards and districts and 30 community partners across the country. The EcoSchools program leverages our award-winning online platform, known as the EcoSchools Certification Application or ECA to track year-over-year sustainability and impact metrics for schools, boards/districts, cities and provinces including engagement statistics, connections to the UN SDGs and a suite of sustainability metrics covering waste, energy and transportation and carbon sequestration. 

Advice to the next generation of innovators and changemakers:
“Let’s continue to connect, track, measure, celebrate and learn from the important work that is happening across Canada so we can keep igniting positive change across K-12 school communities and beyond!”

A person poses holding a pamphlet in either hand. Behind them is a poster board on an easel. The United Church of Canada’s Faithful Footprints program offers inspiration, tools, and grants to help United Church communities of faith across Canada reduce their energy and carbon footprint. Delivered by Faith & the Common Good, the program provides up to $30,000 in grants towards energy conservation and renewable energy projects (conditions apply). Since its establishment in 2018, the program has engaged with 490+ congregations, camps, and buildings across the country and has invested over 5.8 million dollars into energy and carbon-reducing building renovations. The program aligns with The United Church of Canada’s Strategic Objective, Deepen Integrity: Living Climate Commitments and is one initiative toward achieving the church’s national goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2030.

Tech Forward

Three people pose together in front of a stand up banner.Lowfoot is a full-service data company whose software platform processes large volumes of energy data into actionable analytics for energy and water utilities, helping to reduce energy costs, build customer trust, and decarbonize. We acquire, process, and run deep analysis on energy and water data, from smart meter data to real-time high-resolution energy monitoring data. Our platform is proven to reduce operating costs, lower GHG emissions, and accelerates the energy transition through transparent communication of effective data. Lowfoot has served energy and water clients in the United States, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands, Colombia, and the Caribbean.

Advice to the next generation of innovators and changemakers:
“Solving big problems gets easier when you surround yourself with creative thinkers.”

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It's Canadian Innovation Week 2024! This year's theme, "Innovate Where You Are", celebrates our members in all of their various stages, industries, and locations. And while you truly can't put our members in a box, we did our best to categorize them into this year's Innovation Week themes. Read on for a highlight on just a few of the thousands of CSI members who are innovating for a better world, and check out their advice to the next generation of innovators and changemakers.
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We exist in a world with overlapping crises that we wake up and face everyday. And so the next generation of climate action must tell a different story, and reflect a different reality. A reality where climate investments meaningfully improve the lives of residents, where every community in the country feels connected to the work, where we acknowledge the stakes and get down to the hard work of building a world that breaks down the individualistic silos and shows how much better life could be.
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