Staff and board
A small but dedicated team of individuals committed to positive social change leads the Centre.
Tonya Surman, CEO
Raised by hippies, Tonya Surman has been making peace signs and raising a ruckus since the day she was born. Her most recent ruckus is the Centre for Social Innovation. As founding CEO, Tonya imagines the Centre as a space that sparks creativity, connectedness, and fun. Before this, she channeled her overzealous optimism into a national coalition of organizations working on children's environmental health, a social enterprise offering e-mail to activists, and an edgy online news hub for Canadian progressives. Between these experiments in social entrepreneurship, Tonya has found the time to create a coop daycare, host chaotic street parties, and create community gardens. She is also the mother of two wonderful boys which, in the end, is what matters most. Tonya is available for consulting and speaking engagements... See her full bio on her website.
Adil Dhalla, Director of Culture
Adil Dhalla is the ukulele playing, bow tie wearing, Director of Culture at the Centre for Social Innovation. His story, as he describes it, has been "one helluva adventure", which includes community organizing for the Obama campaign in Brooklyn, helping Tanzanian farmers leverage technology to improve their efforts and most recently, being among the pioneers in the mobile video space with his acclaimed brainchild - My City Lives. Adil has long been enamoured with CSI and the potential of its community to create a social innovation movement. He strongly believes that it's up to each of us to change the world, and accordingly, his energy is spent animating the community by instilling a shared sense of purpose, elevating happiness levels through awesome service and evangelizing the many stories of systems change and social innovation. Adil is available for both consulting and speaking engagements.
To reach Adil, drop him an email.
Heather Farquharson, Director of Partnerships
Heather is a traveller and a story-teller. Endless curiosity has propelled her to look and listen for the amazing around every corner. In Canada and South Africa, Heather has worked with a diverse group of public and private sector partners and community members; focusing on a wide range of issues, including, environmental stewardship; public health; human rights; early-childhood development; at-risk youth outreach and poverty alleviation. As the Director of Partnerships for the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), Heather is responsible for establishing and expanding corporate, government and foundation relationships; in order that the centre and its growing membership of over 800 social enterprises be fully supported, and the social missions of the partner organizations be realized in turn. Heather is a strategic planner and facilitator; specializing in multi-sector partnership development to bring influence and resources to bear on collaboratively designed social innovation projects, aimed at creating systems change. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Queen’s University, Kingston. She has recently completed the Rotman School of Management (U of T) / Institute of Corporate Directors - Not-For-Profit Governance Essentials and the Harvard Business School - Creating Shared Value programs.
To reach Heather, drop her an email.
Karine Jaouich, Director of Finance and Special Projects
Karine's ideal holiday involves mucking around with 600 farm animals. She tolerates, and even enjoys, being surrounded by manure because of her passion for food and sustainable farming issues. Through her work in the food sector (FoodShare, Local Food Plus, Everdale and other social enterprises) she learned the importance of community-building to fostering successful social movements. And this is, of course, what brought her to CSI, where she is currently the Director of Finance. Karine led the purchasing and development of the CSI Annex and of the future CSI Spadina building (192 Spadina Ave.) using CSI's innovation is social finance, the Community Bond. She's also supported the operations and finances of CSI's third and fourth locations in Toronto's Regent Park and in New York City. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Guelph.
To reach Karine, drop her an email.
Joanna Reynolds, Director for Social Enterprise
Joanna is a conduit for curious and driven individuals from every walk of life to get connected to one another and make great things happen. Before arriving at CSI as the new Director for Social Enterprise, Joanna was a founding team member of the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing. She works alongside community groups, foundations, entrepreneurs and business leaders to use finance for good and to get their initiatives connected and off the ground. For seven years, Joanna curated Canada’s Social Finance Forum and has been proud to support the growth of SocialFinance.ca since its inception in 2008. Previously, she worked in the community sector in Toronto for over 10 years. This experience sparked my interest in finding ways for not-for-profits to diversify their revenue base and open opportunities for people to get involved in their local economy. Joanna is currently a board member of TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative and enjoys exploring sustainable food movements, renewable energy systems, art and music. Most of all, she loves getting on her bike for long cycles across the hillsides of Creemore.
To reach Joanna, drop her an email.
Jane Zhang, Director of Online Services
Born in the jungles of Sothern China, Jane’s first exposure to technology was the telegraph machine, from that point on, she was hooked. Jane has spent the last 20 years working in technology and helping to build relationships between the voluntary, public, and private sectors to make technology more accessible for charity and nonprofits. She has extensive experience in the IT field, as well as the nonprofit sector; in particular she's both founded and acted in a leadership role aimed at helping to bridge the digital divide. As the Director of Online Services, Jane’s role is to help social innovators all over the world to connect with each other and assisting them in achieving their goals. Jane is looking forward to helping CSI optimize its current IT infrastructure to better serve its members and looking at the development of new platforms/services to support social innovation. Jane is also currently the Executive Director of TechSoup Canada, a project of CSI aimed at growing the technology capacity of the Canadian nonprofit sector. In her free time, you can find Jane playing video games, running half marathons, and hanging out with her cats.
To reach Jane, drop her an email.
Timna Ben-Ari, Executive Assistant
Timna has always been “that-person-taking-notes” in class, at home and even at the gym. Even as a child, she was a diligent note-taker, although her initial writing process was mirror image and upside-down—really, ask her kindergarten teacher about it. Now, with the invention of the computer, she is perpetually the one taking notes and then re-typing them. As a lefty, Timna has never been quite normal—she takes her own path and takes as many people down it with her as possible. Described by those who love her as charmingly neurotic, and by others as just neurotic, Timna has always been a creative problem solver. A hypochondriac at heart (is that a heart murmur?), Timna always provides an understanding shoulder to lean on and has empathy up the ying yang! Her interests include dancing (awkwardly, but with passion), playing trumpet (loudly, but with passion) and eating (often and with passion). Her dislikes are members of the onion family—white onions, red onions, green onions and leeks, to name a few— and the inconsiderate (i.e., those who put onions in everything). She studied Film and English at The University of Manitoba, which led her towards various administrative roles (don’t be sad—she loves administrative work!). In this regard, she had the opportunity to work for many years as a Personal Assistant to iconic filmmaker, Guy Maddin. The majority of her experience has been in Production Management in film and theatre, where she honed her skills and her love for organizing the world. CSI is the community Timna has been searching for her whole life—a community of those interested in helping others and doing it through an organized system of efficiency! With a notebook and pen in hand, she is happy to be home.
To reach Timna, drop her an email
Sare D'Alimonte, Community Animator, CSI Spadina
Sare is a tender-hearted musician and performer currently grappling with the amount of accessibility issues that Toronto’s oppressed communities face. Their social mission is to connect with people and bring to light all the privileges and disadvantages we all have and making people ask themselves “Who am I, and how can we be together?”. All the while finding balance and harmony among political chaos and inter-community tensions with simply bringing joy to people through their art. Their goal for their own self-love and growth is to always be open and accepting of their own humanity and imperfections, and to extend that same patience to the rest of the human race.
Chris DePaul, Communications Animator
To reach Chris, send him an email
Brittney Drysdale, Community Animator, CSI Annex
Brittney was raised on a farm in rural, northern Alberta. She can drive a tractor. You probably could too though, it’s not that hard. Or maybe you've got your own interesting skills - why don't you stop by and tell her about them sometime? After the farm chores were done, she moved to Montreal to study Political Science and Humanistic Studies at McGill University. Brittney has recently returned to Canada following a two year sojurn in South Korea where she taught English to impossibly cute children. Along the way she had a chance to travel throughout Asia, but kind of missed the snow back home. Kind of. Brittney is excited to call Toronto home now, and even more excited to start her journey with CSI!
To reach Brittney, drop her an email
Shona Fulcher, CSI Spadina Manager
Shona has long had a softspot for the reluctant hero who, when faced with a wrong they can right, quietly pulls up their socks and changes the world. This early fascination led her to a degree in Peace & Conflict studies and a career in the social services sector with the Ontario Child Welfare Training system. After a brief detour through the world of private sector finance, Shona returned to the social mission sector as one the CSI's inaugural Agents of Change interns. Now Shona excitedly returns to the real business of changing the world here at CSI & has high hopes to become her very own reluctant hero someday.
To reach Shona send her an email.
Barnabe Geis, Communications Architect
Barnabe Geis is an entrepreneur, communications specialist and filmmaker. As CSI’s Communications Architect, Barnabe helps drive CSI’s internal and external communications and marketing campaigns. He also works closely with staff to support CSI’s acceleration work, and provides crowdfunding and communications consulting to members. He is the creator, producer and host of UPLIFT, a documentary series that takes viewers to the frontlines of social and environmental challenges to meet the entrepreneurs and innovators working on solutions. He is a 2015 Reelworld Impact Film Lab Emerging Filmmaker, a 2015 Ariane de Rothschild Fellow for his work in Solutions Journalism, and holds a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University. An intrepid traveller, he once met a half-crazy, toothless taxi driver in Iraq who told him “politicians don’t fix problems, neighbours do.” Barnabe thought it was a pretty succinct way of saying that systems-change most often starts at the grassroots level with a few dedicated individuals. He wishes he could tell that taxi driver where he now works. Find him on LinkedIn.
To reach Barnabe send him an email.
Matt Guthrie, Facilities Manager
Matt is a self-declared jack-of-all-trades who is easily fascinated by obscure trivia. After spending four years studying Political Science and History, he went completely in the opposite direction and entered the trades. His experience includes general contracting, landscaping and tinkering with stuff until it works (or doesn’t). Matt is also a trained machinist and toolmaker, and will gloat as he shows off the tools he made WITH HIS BARE HANDS (and the help of mills and lathes). He’s a newcomer to Toronto and is completely in love with the city. As CSI’s Facilities Manager he’ll be the one called when you plug up the toilet and swear that you found it like that. Guys, don’t flush paper towels. Or baby wipes. Seriously.
To reach Matt, send him an email.
Stefan Hostetter, Community Animator, CSI Spadina
Stefan is probably best described as someone who doesn’t stop moving, whether that’s a positive thing is harder to discern. Ever since the first year dorms of the University of Toronto he’s been obsessed with the power of community and the impact they can play on our lives. This obsession along with a belief in the need for a healthy planet has lead him to creating a variety of projects all centred around the environment, culture, media, and the oxford comma. While not a world traveller by any stretch of the imagination he was born and raised in Scarborough (which is pretty far) and tries to bring some of the wonder that comes from travelling here to the city through co-organizing fundraising concerts, story telling events and even a game show. He’s infinitely curious and always happy to chat about whatever’s on your mind.
To reach Stefan, send him an email.
Kevin Hurley, Special Projects Manager
With a healthy obsession in community-focused sustainable development, Kevin understands the social impact potential of shared spaces and will be looking to engage with new communities as part of his role at CSI. A seasoned project and operations manager, Kevin helped lead his family-run facility services business into being named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies before joining CSI as a Project Manager. No stranger to the classroom, Kevin is armed with a Masters degree in City Planning from the Bartlett School of Planning (University College London) as well as LEED and CSBA designations in sustainable development and design. Outside of life at CSI, Kevin is involved in a range of community planning projects in his Junction Triangle neighbourhood, is a past board member of the Clean Train Coalition and volunteers with PARC’s community land trust initiative.
To reach Kevin, send him an email.
Mohram Hussain Yari
Mohram finds people, imagination, learning and laughter drive him to grow professionally. He learns better from people when there is a fun and innovative way of doing things. He has used this approach in his previous work with international development aid agencies and in his experience with both public sector and nonprofit agencies in Iran and Afghanistan. In his journey with CSI, Mohram likes new challenges that make him think more about how he can contribute to creating a better world. He earned his B.A. degree in English-Persian Translation in Iran, and his Master in Public Policy in Germany. Mohram is passionate about jogging outside, even on the coldest days in Toronto.
To reach Mohram, send him an email.
Erin Kang, Events Manager
Erin is a passionate storyteller, event producer, social entrepreneur, & city-builder local to Toronto who sometimes dabbles in writing, improv, jewelry-making, & art. Her professional and personal goals are to always to connect people to each other to collaboratively tackle issues, empower Torontonians to increase civic engagement and fight systemic oppression, and use creative arts to drive positive change and strong, resilient communities. Her background in Urban Studies, Human Geography and History now manifest in her love for travel, hyper-local community-building, and trying all of the food all of the time. Erin is a firm believer in the power of storytelling to achieve social change, and shaking up who gets to share and consume such stories through her project, Stories of Ours.
To reach Erin, send her an email.
Shilbee Kim, CSI Regent Park Manager
Shilbee Kim was born in Sydney, grew up in Busan, and moved to Toronto when she was eight. Learning from South Korea's transformation from its war-torn and poverty-stricken state to a leading OECD country, Shilbee committed herself to understanding how societies undergo change. On her quest to become a “button pusher”--- knowing which buttons to push, when and how-- she finds herself in fun (but often awkward) places where seemingly divergent motivations can align, unlocking systemic change. She has dabbled in Ontario politics job-shadowing MPPs from different stripes, founded a charity fashion show in Montreal, and has worked on two early-stage social enterprises, one to empower Aboriginal women and another to support eco-friendly stores. Her other passions include food, dancing, and more food. One of her proudest moments was to outeat her friends at a buffet while maintaining her style and grace on her 11th plate. Shilbee's dream is to combine these two passions and go travelling to learn eclectic dance styles and recipes.
To reach Shilbee, send her an email.
Sacha Kumar, CSI Annex Manager
Although he was born and raised in Oakville, Sacha has always been a Torontonian at heart. As a child, he would express his devotion to the city by attending as many Blue Jays games as possible. He once caught a home run ball (from Devon White) and appeared on the Jumbotron in the same game marking what was easily one of the greatest days of his entire childhood. As the son of an Indian father and Irish/French mother, Sacha has fallen in love with the diversity and vibrance in Toronto. His ethnic background instilled a keen interest in culture that has taken him on adventures overseas including a trip through the Middle East and , more recently, a trip to Karnataka, India where he worked as a Global Fellow for the Deshpande Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, training and mentoring youth social entrepreneurs. He is also a Co-Founder of BizInc, an on-campus business incubator for undergraduate student entrepreneurs at the University of Western Ontario that he started with a few friends after completing a Political Science degree. Now that he calls Toronto a permanent home, he is looking forward to making a splash in the Social Enterprise scene in the course of his career. While he isn't working at CSI, he volunteers his time with the ACCESS Community Capital Fund and Endeavour Volunteer Consulting.
To reach Sacha, send him an email
Sharon Lovett, Business Analyst
Helping people be as awesome as they can be is a passion for Sharon. She enjoys seeing how work is done and wonders how it can be made easier, more effective and hopefully more fun. Her primary interests are a love of the natural environment and a fascination with what technology can do to help make our lives more sustainable (and fulfilling). As chair (and/or co-chair) of the High Park Stewards, who help restore its rare Black Oak Savannah, she describes herself as a “plant cheerleader”, doing what is necessary to encourage volunteers to become involved in assisting the city with planting, seed collecting and invasive species removal. A lover of photography, mystery novels, and cooking, she approaches her CSI projects as revealing the hidden structure that guides us, putting it all together to come up with solutions to problems and creating recipes for success for everyone.
To reach Sharon, shoot her an email
Will Mattfeld-Sarbaugh, Leasing Manager
Will can usually be found laughing and hard at work. His love of people and systems compliment an insatiable joie de vivre that has lead him to say yes to almost any challenge or new experience. One of only sixty students in his high school class, Will set out to learn as much as possible about the world outside of small towns. A stop in Iowa for university planted the seed of his belief that businesses have an obligation to support and uplift the communities that they are a part of by sourcing local first, employing people from the surrounding area if possible, and keeping tax dollars in the community to support infrastructure improvements and public education. That seed took root in that rich midwestern soil, and these principles have guided his life for the ensuing decade - the culmination of which was joining CSI and having the privilege of working beside some of the most inspiring people he’s ever met. In his spare time Will can be found talking way too much about sports while perfecting the concept of breakfast for dinner and getting excited about just about anything.
To reach Will, send him an email.
Liz Phillips, Leasing Coordinator
After more than a decade of freelance writing/editing/project coordination for a variety of organizations – most notably Gender at Work, rabble.ca, Web Networks, and Queen’s School of Business – Liz is thrilled to bring her passion for communication, organization, and people to the Leasing Coordinator position at CSI. Her experience as a volunteer in the Desk Exchange Program for over a year at the Annex honed her skill in artfully, wittily, and respectfully slapping wrists for dirty dishes. She plans to evolve those skills as she welcomes new members to participate fully in the incredible community that is CSI.
To reach Liz, send her an email
Leah Pollock, Partnership Manager
With a professional background in social enterprise, partnerships and entrepreneurship, Leah has found a home at the Centre for Social Innovation — a coworking space, community, and launchpad for people who are changing the world. Leah develops microfinance and business development programs that accelerate the success of CSI’s members and manages key partnerships that advance the work of CSI. Drawing on knowledge gained from the entrepreneurship community at CSI, she currently sits on the Social Services Advisory Board at George Brown College to help shape the school’s growing social enterprise program. Leah is also the co-founder of Turnout Toronto, a civic engagement fair created to showcase opportunities for civic engagement and participation in the GTA.
To reach Leah, send her an email
Kyle Shantz, Community and Communications Animator
Kyle's a self-described jack-of-all-trades and master of fun. He grew up on an isolated farm in rural Ontario where he spent most days wandering through corn fields with only his imagination, a tractor-tire inner-tube serving as a make-shift Batman cape (yes, it was very heavy), and muddy golden lab named Lucky to keep him company. His family eventually moved to Oakville by the early 90's, where his father founded a charity serving at-risk youth through free summer camps and after school drop-ins. Kyle moved to Toronto in 2001 to attend Ryerson and pursue a BA in Economics, which led him to Bay Street and soul-crushing misery. He quit Bay Street after three years and formed a punk-country band, which proved to be wildly unpopular. In 2012 he combined his banking skills with his social conscience and founded Canada's first nonprofit mortgage brokerage, which provided subsidized interest rate mortgages to people working in the nonprofit sector. It was then he joined CSI as a member, and fell in love with Social Innovation. Kyle now splits his time using the imagination he crafted in cornfields to support the Communications team with creative and innovative design and marketing assets, and is CSI’s Community Membership animator.
To reach Kyle, shoot him an email
Kirtan Shrestha, Assistant Accounts Manager
Kirtan loves numbers so accounting was an obvious career choice. He is passionate about football and cricket, and his accounting background comes in handy keeping track of scores and player stats. He also loves sketching and photography, and is honing his guitar skills in the hopes of one day delighting his family and friends. It may take a while… He graduated in business management, and is currently pursuing a CGA program. Kirtan, who strongly believes in supporting social causes, began his professional journey with Shanti Griha—an NGO in rural Nepal working for the empowerment of underprivileged and marginalized ethnic communities. He worked as an accountant, and also contributed to initiatives such as mobilizing local youth for community development. Settling in Canada in 2010 was a big transition for Kirtan, who, while adjusting to a new life, still desired to serve those in need and help build community. Kirtan is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine his love of numbers with his desire to support social causes at CSI.
To reach Kirtan, send him an email
Fatemeh Tizhoosh, Community Animator, CSI Regent Park
To reach Fatemeh, send her an email
Andrea Tsang, Finance Manager/Controller
Andrea’s perspective changed after she crossed the finish line of the Toronto marathon. As a non-runner, she decided that her first race should be 42.2 kilometres in length. If this seemingly impossible feat could be accomplished, she thought, what else was possible? Since then, she’s tried to live her life with that attitude. When the opportunity arose, she was thrilled to join CSI where she would be surrounded and inspired by the many amazing organizations turning the impossible into reality. Andrea has spent the past decade working in the non-profit sector and is passionate about helping people solve problems. She has an Economics degree from Queen’s University and is a CPA, CMA. Andrea loves travelling, music, fat orange cats and trying new crazy things. Occasionally, you’ll still find Andrea out on a run (but only in the dead of winter).
To reach Andrea, send her an email
Hamid Yusufi, Accounts Assistant
Hamid hails from the mountainous landlocked country at the heart of Asia and an ancient focal point of the Silk Road, Afghanistan. Hamid has worked in capacity building projects in Afghanistan, and has now taken his very first steps in Canada at CSI. He shares CSI’s goal to change the world with the power of innovation. He finds hockey interesting, though it’s certainly not as exciting as Buzkashi, the Afghan national sport played on horseback using a headless goat instead of a puck. Hamid likes taking long walks to discover the city. He doesn’t quite get the jogging craze. When he finds spare time, he grabs his pencil, finds a photo of a person he likes, and draws it.
To reach Hamid, send him an email
Board of Directors
Marie Moliner, Board Chair
Marie Moliner identifies as a public sector entrepreneur, and sometime as an undercover fed, apt labels to describe her 25 +years of proud public service. Tri-lingual and raised in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Marie attributes her resilience, humour and do-it-yourself style to immigrant parents who met in Montreal and begat 4 children. As the eldest child she is bossy by nature and chose a career in law with the lofty goal of changing the system. In her fifties now, she concedes that she has made fewer inroads towards the revolution… but still aspires to it. Based in Toronto, she is the Ontario Regional Executive Director for the Department of Canadian Heritage where she focuses her work on building strong cultural and social infrastructure so Ontarians can actively participate in their communities.
Brian Iler, Board Secretary
Brian brings valuable skills and experience to our board. As a commercial lawyer for the past 35(!) years, he's advised many of Toronto's (and Ontario's) co-operative, charitable, and non-profit organizations on a wide range of issues and transactions. He's been the creative legal mind behind many of our innovative social enterprises. He's learned and applied the business skills required to build his law firm - Iler Campbell - to its current twenty staff, including seven lawyers. And he's a committed community activist, as a member of Ontario Non-profit Network's Expert Working Group on corporate law reform; a long-time advocate for reforms to Ontario's Co-operative Corporations Act; a founder of Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative that erected the wind turbine at Exhibition Place; a founding director of the Community Power Fund, established to finance community-based renewable energy projects; a member of the management committee for the hugely successful Green Energy Act campaign; chair and spokesperson for CommunityAIR that campaigns to rid Toronto's waterfront of the scourge that is the Island Airport.
Thursdays all summer, he'll be out racing his sailboat Indefatigable on Humber Bay.
Bernie Li, Treasurer
Bernie brings his passion for entrepreneurship and innovation to the Board of the Centre for Social Innovation. He is a Co-Founder of Pure Energies, a company that created an innovative program for Ontario homeowners to earn money while producing clean energy for the province. Before that, he had the opportunity to invest in and work alongside many amazing entrepreneurs, as a team member of the venture capital funds iNovia Capital and Carrot Capital. During that time he founded and led the Emerging Partners, a not-for-profit organization to catalyze and foster the relationships between private equity professionals across North America. Bernie is an avid music fan and readily accepts suggestions for new bands/artists to listen to.
Named in 2000 as one of the 100 Graduates Who Shaped the Century by the University of Toronto Alumnae Association, Alice Klein is co-founder of Toronto's news and entertainment weekly, NOW magazine and its editor/CEO. Launched in 1981, it boasts a weekly readership of 325,000. As a frequent writer, Klein draws on her experience in politics, business and psychology to focus on issues related to world evolution, the environment and the global economy. Klein is also a documentary producer, director and writer (2007's Call of the Hummingbird). She's a founding member of Green Enterprise Toronto (GET), one of the co-creators of VoteforEnvironment.ca and on the Board of the Toronto Arts Council (TAC) and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) as well as the Centre for Social Innovation.
Jeb Brugmann, Managing Partner of The Next Practice, is a strategist and innovation expert in the fields of sustainability, business and urban development. He is best known for leading roles in the international establishment of the fields of urban sustainability planning, ‘base of the pyramid’ business development, and urban greenhouse gas mitigation planning. In 1990, he founded ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, an international association of 1,200 cities and towns that are advancing practices in local sustainable development. He served as ICLEI Secretary General from 1991-2000. He co-founded The Next Practice with Prof. C.K. Prahalad in 2004, managing market analytics, product development, and business model innovation to customize clients’ solutions to local conditions. Jeb is a speaker to business, government, civic and academic audiences worldwide, and has received a variety of distinctions and awards for his international initiatives and publications. He is a Senior Associate with the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership. His latest book is Welcome to the Urban Revolution: How Cities Are Changing the World.
André Sorensen is Associate Professor of Urban Geography in the Department of Social Science, University of Toronto Scarborough. He has published extensively on urbanisation, land development, and urban policy processes. His current research examines processes and institutions generative of urban space, and the engagement of civil society actors and networks in urban conversations and city-building. A particular focus is on non-market spaces and practices in cities. His most recent book, co-edited with Professor J. Okata, titled Megacities: Urban Form, Governance and Sustainability was published by Springer in January 2011. His book ‘The Making of Urban Japan: Cities and Planning from Edo to the 21st Century’ (Routledge 2002) won the book prize of the International Planning History Association in 2004.
Tim Draimin has pursued a career across Canada and globally as a changemaker working in the nonprofit sector while bridging initiatives with government, the private sector, and international organizations. He is the Executive Director of Social Innovation Generation (SiG), a national initiative supporting the growth of the social innovation ecosystem in Canada. In 2010 Tim organized the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance, a blue ribbon panel that proposed a seven-point agenda for mobilizing private capital for public good. In 2000, from Vancouver, he started up Tides Canada Foundation and Tides Canada Initiatives. He's also lived and worked in Ottawa and Latin America. An active volunteer, Tim serves on the boards of the Trico Charitable Foundation (AB), Partnership Brokers Association (UK), Social Innovation Exchange (UK) and on the Scientific Advisory Board of Grand Challenges Canada. Tim is a senior advisor to the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (CII).
Past Board Members
For more than fifteen years, Jacline Nyman has built an impressive track record in the fields of marketing higher education and business strategy. As a management consultant, Jacline works with social mission organizations on strategic business planning, in addition to pursuing doctoral studies at the Schulich School of Business, York University. Prior to this, Jacline was vice-president of fundraising and donor relations with the York University Foundation (2002-04) and director of external relations for the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary (1999-04). Jacline has also held the following positions: Director of Development with the University of Calgary (1997-99); Director of Advancement Services (1994-97) and Manager of Student Recruitment, both with the University of Ottawa (1992-94).
Board Member 2005 - 2008
Sandy Crawley is a lifelong Arts Activist and, as the erstwhile Executive Director of the Documentary Organisation of Canada/ Documentaristes du Canada, he was also the first tenant of the CSI. Among his many roles, Sandy has been President of the Alliance of Canadian Radio and Television Artists (ACTRA), director of the Canadian Conference of the Arts for Film and Broadcasting, Chair of the Cultural Human Resources Council, delegate to UNESCO Conference on the Status of the Artist, 1996, Executive Director of Canadian Screen Training Centre, and a Board member of the Great Canadian Theatre Company and Word-On-The-Street Ottawa. Behind it all, Sandy has been self-employed as an actor, composer, musician, writer, teacher and director for over 35 years.
Founding Board Member 2004 - 2008
Margaret Zeidler is president and creator of 401 Richmond Limited, a vibrant urban community of diverse artists and entrepreneurs, located in the old garment district in the Spadina and Richmond area of downtown Toronto. Margie was formally trained as an architect at the University of Toronto and the University of Westminster, and subsequently worked for a number of years with the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), raising money and monitoring projects in eastern Africa. Margie has served on the Board of Artscape and is a current board member of Foodshare/Field to Table. Margie is currently the President of Urbanspace Property Group... Read about Margie's many incredible contributions to CSI.
Co-Founder and Founding Board Member – 2004 - 2010
Jini Stolk is founding Executive Director of Creative Trust, a $6.4 million program to improve the financial health and sustainability of Toronto's creative performing arts organizations. Before that, she was Managing Director of Toronto Dance Theatre and Executive Director of the Toronto Theatre Alliance/ Dora Mavor Moore Awards; at the TTA she acquired and revitalized Toronto's half-price ticket booth, T.O. TIX. She was also Associate Director of the Association of Canadian Publishers and General Manager of Open Studio. She is Vice-President of the Toronto Arts Council, a director of the Centre for Social Innovation and on the steering committee of the Ontario Nonprofit Network; and is Past-President of Toronto Artscape, Hum dansoundart and Six Stages Theatre Festival.
Board Member 2004 - 2014
Eric Meerkamper, Board Chair
Eric is the President of The RIWI Corporation, which creates real-time global market intelligence (www.riwi.com). Over the past 12 years, Eric has been actively involved in facilitating the interaction between "space" and "creativity". In addition to being a Co-Founder of the Centre for Social Innovation, he was the Founder and President of the Spadina Bus business association, and was on the Leadership Team for Toronto's "Strategies for a Creative Cites Project". Eric is the past Chair of the Daily Bread Food Bank and holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business and an Honours BA in International Political Science from the University of Western Ontario. Co-Founder and Board Member 2004 - 2014
Mary W. Rowe is currently Vice President & Managing Director of the Municipal Art Society of New York City (www.mas.org), a century-old advocacy organization working to promote the livability and resilience of New York City. She recently returned to the northeast United States after several years working in the philanthropy, most recently coordinating the New Orleans Institute for Resilience and Innovation, a loose alliance of initiatives that emerged in response to the systemic collapses of 2005. Previous positions include: a fellowship and subsequent staff position as Vice President, Urban Programs with the blue moon fund of Charlottesville, Virginia, to focus on self-organization in cities as the underpinning of urban and regional social, economic and environmental resilience; President of Ideas that Matter, a convening and publishing program based on the work of Jane Jacobs based in Toronto. She is a contributor to several volumes on urban life, with a particular interest in self-organization. She served on the founding Board of the Centre for Social Innovation.