Every year, CSI organizes events, summits, competitions, workshops and more to accelerate the work of social innovators in Toronto. On this page you’ll find an assortment of ongoing and past programming CSI has been proud to offer.
The Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund
The Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund is a partnership between the Centre for Social Innovation, the Province of Ontario, Alterna Savings, Microsoft Canada, TD Bank Group, KPMG, and Social Capital Partners and is designed to help promising social entrepreneurs and innovators with low interest loans of $5,000-$25,000.
Nonprofits and charities suffer from a lack of resources and expertise when it comes to technology. TechSoup is a solution to this challenge, facilitating low-cost access to new software for those organizations that need it most. In 2007, the Centre for Social Innovation began working with TechSoup to establish TechSoup Canada – a program with a dedicated focus on this country. Since 2004, over 19,000 nonprofits, charities and libraries in Canada have received over $250 million worth of software and hardware donations through TechSoup Canada.
Agents of Change: City Builders
The Centre for Social Innovation has teamed up with 15 outstanding partners to support eleven great ideas for a better Toronto. Great cities are the product of engaged and active citizens. The types of people who insist on rolling up their sleeves to make their city a better place. The Agents of Change: City Builders program was created to give these dreamers, doers and innovators a helping hand.
Desk Exchange Community Animator
CSI's Desk Exchange Community Animator program is a work-exchange program that trades time for space. DECAs work at a CSI welcome desk for 8 hours a week and in exchange for unlimited CSI Hot Desk space, access to our dynamic community, and all the other benefits of being a member of CSI!
Social Innovation Pop Up Labs
In partnership with Rural Ontario Institute, Ontario Nonprofit Network, and Canadian Centre for Community Renewal, the Centre for Social Innovation is hitting the road! We're traveling across the province and offering a range of one day pop up labs designed to help nonprofits accelerate their social impact and implement social innovation strategies that heighten their capacity to respond to the changing needs of the communities they serve. Upcoming labs will explore Trends in Social Innovation, Innovative Collaborations, Community Bonds and Other Social Finance Strategies, Social Enterprise Development, and Network Revolution.
Agents of Change Youth: Community
We’ve partnered with Microsoft Canada and the Ontario Trillium Foundation to run the Agents of Change Youth competition. We selected 10 innovative projects led by teams of up to three youth under 30 working to build stronger and more resilient communities!
2012 Youth Agents of Change
The Youth Agents of Change Program is an initiative of the Centre for Social Innovation and our partner to provide space and support to young people aged 19-29 with a promising social venture. The 2011 winners were impressive, and the 2012 winners did not disappoint!
The Centre for Social Innovation teamed up with the Toronto Atmospheric Fund and the Toronto Community Foundation in 2011 to launch the ClimateSpark Social Venture Challenge. Our goal was to identify, strengthen and launch promising social ventures that could tackle the causes and effects of climate change. This three-phased program included an online crowd-sourcing platform, a two-day venture development bootcamp, and a Dragon's Den style pitch for close to $750,000 in funding.
Community Innovation Summit
We believe deeply in the power of everyday citizens to create change in their neighbourhoods. That's why we hosted the Community Innovation Summit, a day-long event to inspire, strengthen and support Toronto’s diverse environmental community. We wanted to prove that environmental change starts from the ground up, so we strengthened links among activists, environmental nonprofits and a cross-section of experts to create the conditions for a greener Toronto…and to celebrate Citizen Power!
Social Entrepreneurship Summit
We see social entrepreneurship as core to finding solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems. So CSI, in partnership with MaRS, the Boston Consulting Group, and the Toronto City Summit Alliance, hosted the first Social Entrepreneurship Summit on Dec 3 and 4, 2007, to foster a more resilient social mission sector. The summit was a smashing success with 250 people from a wide range of backgrounds in attendance.
Financial Knowledge & Skills Building
CSI has partnered with Alterna Savings, the Centre for Social Innovation’s credit union, to offer financial literacy courses for social enterprises, entrepreneurs and start-up organizations.
Mobile Strategies for Nonprofits and Small Businesses