Desk Exchange Community Animator Program

Are you a social entrepreneur or innovator looking to be part of a dynamic community?

Do you love meeting new people, solving new problems every day and making sure our spaces flow? Would you exchange 7 hours a week for a fantastic free workspace and access to an incredible community?

If the answer to these questions is a resounding “YES!” then the DECA program is perfect for you.

We are now recruiting our next cohort of DECAs for CSI Annex, CSI Spadina, and the Community Living Room in Regent Park. Apply to become a DECA.

Feb 15th 2022 Update:

Thank you for your interest in the DECA program at the Centre for Social Innovation. We have now moved into our selection process and will be contacting successful applicants for interviews. If you are interested in joining the DECA program you can still apply! However our selection will be on a rolling basis moving forward and our staff will get back to you as space becomes available in the program.

Thank you again and looking forward to meeting you soon.

-The Community Team


The DECA program remains an important part of community building at CSI Annex, CSI Spadina, and the Community Living Room. We are committed to protecting the community and all our DECA program participants in the current public health situation. We will roll out our onboarding of the next DECA program cohort in phases after we see a reliable reduction in COVID-19 case numbers and public health measures.

Tentatively, we’re aiming for an early April 2022 start date, preceded by interviews and online training in February and March. In the meantime, we are eager to collect expressions of interest and look forward to welcoming a new cohort of Desk Exchange Community Animators aka DECAs, into the CSI community when the time is right.

Please note that these timelines could change based on provincial guidelines and CSI’s internal policy decisions.


To literally spell it out, DECA stands for:
Desk (the welcome desk of one of the CSI locations)
Exchange (you volunteer in exchange for unlimited desk hours and 10 meeting room hours)
Community (you are the heart of the CSI community)
Animator (you are a connector of ideas and people)

So a “DECA” is someone who welcomes people as they arrive at a CSI building. They are the first faces people see when they arrive at a CSI location, and they set the tone for the rest of that experience.

The commitment: Exchange 7 hours on a dedicated day, once per week on a 6 month term.


No pressure, but DECAs are the glue that keeps the CSI community together. This program is perfect for anyone wanting to learn about social innovation by immersing themselves in it. CSI is a network of networks with over 2,500 members. On any given day you could meet someone who will change your life. Some DECAs have gone on to start their own companies. Others have joined organizations working out of CSI. A handful have even become full-time CSI staff.


DECAs are diverse in every way. They have varied backgrounds including race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, age, socio-economic status, national origin, sexual orientation, ability and religion. But they all have excellent customer service, organization, communications, and problem solving skills. (And a commitment to approaching tasks with sincerity, care, fun and goodwill).

Part of the CSI Connects Initiative

At CSI we connect the community to each other with convenings and communities of practice, socials, networking, and animation. Learn more about our approach here.