Reimagining CSI Membership For Everyone

Kyle Shantz

Kyle Shantz

Director of Growth

Dear Changemakers,

It’s 2021, it’s time to become a CSI member. 

I know what you’re thinking:

“Kyle, I would love to join you, but I’m in a 5 year lease!”

“Sure, as soon as they build a hyperloop to Nunavut, I’ll be right in.”

“Yes, coworking in a pandemic. Good call.”

But wait! It’s not what you think! CSI membership has evolved!

Since 2004, CSI has been best known for our first social innovation: coworking. But did you know that almost half of CSI’s members work outside of our (very) awesome Toronto coworking locations? It’s true!

It’s an incredible honour to be thought of as a vibrant community of social entrepreneurs holed up in our majestic, brick-and-beam beacons of a better world. But we also struggle with how exclusive that sounds: “If you don’t need to rent an office, you can’t be part of the movement”? Ridiculous!

Our Mission Statement Does Not Include the Word Office 

CSI catalyzes, inspires and supports people to create, develop, adopt and integrate new and renewed concepts and practices that put people and planet first. We envision a world where our systems – economy, government, culture and communities – serve to create a healthy, just, resilient & regenerative society full of meaning, equity & happiness. 

CSI Members come in all shapes and sizes: they are people and organizations, they are big and small. They are artists, activists, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs; but they are also government agencies, national foundations, university departments and Fortune 500s. They participate in incubators and accelerators, take courses, host conferences, and many live outside of Toronto.

For Entrepreneurs and Organizations 

Startups and students from across Canada apply to participate in our world-class accelerators, like Earth Tech, WOSEN, and Agents of Change. Those beginning their journey or brushing up on their skills join CSI to learn. Whether it’s by taking formal courses like CSI’s Social Entrepreneurship 101, or accessing the hundreds of learning opportunities every year hosted by CSI for our members, CSI is for those who want to grow. 

Organizations looking to grow their impact, but downsize their footprint (and expenses) and stay in the heart of Toronto love our flexible and cost effective coworking options. Or, many opt for just a mailing address and workspace-on-demand with a virtual office. 

For Networkers and Serial Socializers 

People who love people — and other social (innovation) butterflies — join CSI to stay connected, attend social events, and find a community of people who share their values.

CSI is about getting doers the tools they need to succeed, bringing people together to spark ideas and connections, and working collaboratively, building a movement toward the Next Economy: a system that is sustainable, equitable, and prosperous for all. 

For Supporters and Optimists 

Finally, as with most nonprofit organizations, people become CSI Members to support the work we’re doing for people and planet. CSI is a powerful ally and advocate for social purpose entities of all kinds, the practice of social innovation, and a leader when it comes to using social innovation methods to solve real problems in our communities.  

Doesn’t that sound amazing? You’ve got to join us. You can be a member for just $36/month.

 

It’s up to us! I hope to see you soon,

Kyle

 

P.S. Yes, we still do coworking! Our spaces aren’t open right now but they’re very safe.

 

Keep Reading

Break Free of Breakout Rooms

CSI Connects, Events
Most online spaces aren’t designed for serendipity. They’re strictly regulated: every meeting is prescribed with purpose and a set list of attendees. This is great when you need to hit a deadline, but terrible when you’re looking to truly connect with people.

The Community Bond in Action

Community Wealth, CSI Solves
In 2018, when SKETCH Executive Director Rudy Ruttimann saw that commercial rent was projected to rise 4.5% annually in Toronto, she knew it was time to act. If the rent increases continued SKETCH could no longer afford to stay in Toronto by 2023.

CSI CEO Tonya Surman talks to Bloomberg about The Future of Cities

News, Next Economy
The global pandemic changed everything in 2020. Now it is going to change everything forever. In their “The Future of” series, BNN Bloomberg looks at what is next for our transformed economy and daily lives. For their examination of The Future of Cities, they spoke with people like Richard Florida, and CSI CEO Tonya Surman.
Become A Member