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WOSEN’s Troop Closes Pre-Seed Funding at 300K

CSI’s WOSEN participant, Troop, is at it again. Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Recovery Projects in 2020, Troop recently participated in our Investment Readiness Supports program. Now, the tech-for-good startup just closed its pre-seed round of funding at $300,000. 

“It wasn’t easy.” Troop’s Founder, Kelly Emery, writes on social media: 

“I’ve spent the past 18 months building out a MVP, getting users and proving the product-market fit.  I have a previous startup and exit under my belt.  I should have been confident about raising, right? I wasn’t.  

Only 2.3% of funding goes to women-led startups

My frustration at the inequality of the system fuelled my drive to succeed. I met (virtually!) with 49 different angels, VCs and personal investment firms. With every pitch, I was fighting for the money, but I was also fighting for every other woman founder in the same boat.”

She’s right. That’s why we are part of the Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN). CSI’s WOSEN program supports women and gender non-binary entrepreneurs from ideation to acceleration to investment. Last year, Kelly participated in WOSEN’s Resilience program and Investment Readiness Supports, a program designed for social entrepreneurs who are preparing for funding or investment in the coming year. 

She explains, “At the beginning, even the smallest ounce of support can be the catalyst for success. For me, it was the phone call with [CSI’s WOSEN Senior Program Manager], Mitalie Makhani, when she told me about the WOSEN program. There I met a mentor, that led to an introduction to someone who would become an advisor, and from there, the first investment cheque.” 

Look at her now. This is what happens when we invest in individuals underrepresented in entrepreneurship: 

“Today, I closed the round at $300K.  Eleven investors are backing my idea and ME.”

More from Troop on the announcement: 

Founded in 2019, Troop will use the new capital to further develop their software that drives community giving by connecting businesses and their employees with local needs.  With 50+ charity and nonprofit partners in the GTA, Troop aggregates tangible needs and allows employees to vote monthly on the local needs they want their business to fulfill.  The contribution is captured in a monthly Impact Report that is easily shared with staff and customers.

The round was led by Sand Hill North, a private investment firm that focuses on software solutions that make the world a better place, followed by several angel investors from the Toronto area, including former CEO and founder of HomeStars, Nancy Peterson. 

“It’s fantastic to have this support from our investors and to be in a position to grow what we started with Troop,” said Kelly Emery, founder and CEO of Troop.  “Customers and employees are demanding greater social responsibility from companies, but that’s tough for SMBs operating on minimal resources.  Troop offers a cost effective giving program that engages all employees.  Because it happens every month, the team develops a stronger understanding of the needs in their community and how they fit in. When it’s this easy to do good, everyone wants to get involved.”

We’re so glad we are. Congratulations, Kelly! 

Keep reading: https://hitroop.com/blog/troop-closes-pre-seed-funding-round/

Need support preparing for the right grant, loan or investment opportunity? 

Registration is open for women and gender non-binary people who lead established social ventures, who have a defined capital need, and who are preparing for funding or investment in the coming year.

Designing a Transformative Learning Institution from the Ground Up

Last year, we welcomed City-as-School Toronto (CaST) to CSI Annex. They’ve been hard at work ever since. We spoke with CaST’s Co-Founder and Head of School, Dr. Kelvin Sealey, about what it’s been like to start a school during a pandemic and about their latest initiative, Mask4Aid. 

At CSI Annex, a unique experiment in secondary school education is unfolding at a torrid pace. As you can imagine, this is an unusual opening sentence for an article on a new high school, but CaST is no ordinary high school. Begun just last June in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is quickly becoming an exemplar of what high school can become when creativity, ambition and best practices in education are combined at a time of disruptive change in schooling.

CaST answers two simple questions: What can high school in Ontario become, and what can innovative teaching accomplish? Answers to these questions require that we expand our understanding of secondary school to include examples one can find separately in learning organizations around the world, but seldom see fully integrated within high schools. Explained simply, CaST leadership are crafting a university model for high school students, integrating the work of multiple, independently operated for-profit, non-profit and charitable organizations into a unified whole supportive of academically advanced secondary school teaching and learning. It is as if a university, often comprised of multiple small colleges each offering students a different set of courses and research opportunities, were designed for high school-aged students. And the process is working.

While CaST is an inspected Ministry of Education approved and high school, it works in tandem with its affiliates CaST Public Arts, CaST Earth and CaST Center for Bioinformatics Research. This complex of organizations is collectively called CaST Portfolio. With separate but linked governing boards, each was incorporated over the last year, and have begun an impressive set of large-scale projects designed to integrate students and teachers into their separate organizational missions. 

For instance, CaST Public Arts is one of just twelve individuals or organizations to win coveted financing under the umbrella of the City of Toronto’s heritage and culture funding program, and will debut its Project Mask4Aid in partnership with TDSB, TCDSB and select private schools all across the city in May & June of 2021. CaST students and CaST student artwork will be front and center, together with artwork by students from multiple private, parochial and public schools around the city.

Simultaneously, CaST Center for Bioinformatics Research (CaST Bio) is in negotiations with three major teaching and research institutions in the US and Canada to begin public health-related research using artificial intelligence systems. It’s first researcher is a CaST School computer science and bioinformatics teacher. CaST Earth will support environment-related education projects, and is seeking to partner with a videogame design company to promote climate science videogames to high school populations worldwide. Board members of all four CaST Portfolio enterprises are educators connected to CaST School, and all four organizations currently share the same employees. In short, this portfolio of companies, with a secondary school teaching mission at its heart, combines experiential, co-operative, expeditionary, and enterprise education in a seamless flow supportive of both students and teachers. And each offers world class, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for young people enrolled in CaST to learn how the world works and how to succeed within it. That’s a great deal of activity for a school that is less than one year old.

Experiential, expeditionary, cooperative and enterprise learning are not new concepts, and Ontario’s Ministry of Education promotes these concepts within its governing documents for province-wide K12 education. Over the past thirty years, each of these teaching and learning models has gained solid academic adherents and anchored the design of schools, teaching programs and careers globally. Collectively, all four emerge from the simple premise that students learn best when they actually experience their lessons by practicing them in the real-world. In short, to quote an oft used truism: experience is the best teacher. 

To that end, CaST believes traveling to near or distant locations to experience new cultures, people or activities (expeditionary learning) is better than simply reading about the North Pole, for example, in books. Working one-on-one with research scientists (co-operative & enterprise education) studying how machine learning analyses can aid scientists in the development of new vaccines is far better than merely learning about those methods from teachers. Combining classroom teaching with real-world experience not only provides students with active ways of applying theories they’ve only read in books, but it makes the entire learning enterprise both fun and engaging. CaST is proving that learning outside of the classroom, it turns out, can be just as powerful, if not more so, than learning daily within it.

Leading CaST secondary school and the entire CaST Portfolio is Dr. Kelvin Sealey, an academic and educator with a long history of art production, technology-related entrepreneurship, and private school administration upon which to draw. Dr. Sealey’s academic expertise lies in applying “spectacular,” mass media formulas to teaching and learning. His research on the use of film and education, his lectures and graduate courses on architecture and education and entrepreneurship in education prepared him well for presiding over the young but ambitious CaST Portfolio. 

CaST School, and the portfolio of companies you’ve begun to support it, operates as a unique entity within the realm of public or private education. What brought you to design this school?

First, you should know that I am not working on this enterprise alone, but with supremely talented and generous education partners that have supported this experiment we’re building from day one. My two partners in CaST are Assistant Head of School for Finance, Web, and Human Resources, Steph Bushnik, and Vanessa Alsop, Assistant Head for Guidance and Curriculum. They bring a combined thirty years of Ontario education experience to CaST every day, and we began building CaST Portfolio as a collective. Together with our teachers, our board, students and community members, we intend to make CaST the best, most engaging, most academically challenging secondary school in Canada. 

Second, CaST Portfolio is an experiment in teaching and learning, but one in which many of the risks in founding new schools have been minimized. Because Steph, Vanessa and I have such a long history in education, we are able to go into our deep professional networks to source what we need when we need it. It is for these reasons that we were able to begin so quickly and with strong community support. I’ll also say that in a strange way, the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has broadened what people see and consider good education, and gave us an opening in the market for private secondary school education that might not otherwise have existed in the same way. 

CaST’s daily classes begin online in the late morning (10am), and end with in-person teaching in the late afternoon (4:30pm). Students love this! Once the pandemic ends, we’re likely to maintain both online and in-person classes, as well as the late start, since these elements are clearly appealing to many students and their families. Later in Spring semester, or beginning this summer, once the Ministry of Education and Toronto Health officials allow for broader in-person experiences across the GTA, we’ll expand our classrooms beyond CSI to include museums, galleries, parks, and libraries all around the city. Besides being our name, CaST is an acronym which stands for City-as-School-Toronto; we see the entire City of Toronto as the school, and individual locations around the city as our classrooms. This “place-based” model of learning is at the heart of experiential education, and allows our teachers to draw upon a diverse pool of geographically dispersed resources in which to deliver and shape their lessons. 

How will you integrate the work of three or more companies into the mission and curriculum of CaST School? 

In addition to outside directors and advisors, I and my senior administrative colleagues run or sit on the boards of all CaST Portfolio enterprises, and I am the board chairman of all of them. Therefore, I am well-placed to take an overarching view of what works best for any individual corporate entity, and how the work of each can be integrated into a seamless whole for the benefit of CaST students. In my negotiations with outside organizations, from which I will gain expertise, human and financial resources, and a wide variety of as-yet-undiscovered opportunities, I place the teaching and learning needs of my students and teachers first, and proceeding from that beginning, strike deals that advance CaST School ends. This model has deep roots in social enterprise research and practice where supporting a triple bottom line of people, profit and planet is demanded of governing boards: an active social mission (people), seeking to earn commercial revenue (profit), can also be environmentally sustainable (planet). This is CaST Portfolio in a nutshell. 

CaST Public Arts is about to participate in a large-scale art project. How did this come about? 

While still in the process of developing CaST School last summer, I wondered how I could put my knowledge of large-scale artmaking to good use for the benefit of my as-yet-unfinished school. The answer was Mask4Aid. Originally, I had hoped to involve all of the City’s major museums in a fundraising effort by joining some of their donors with a creative plague-mask design contest and show. All of it could have taken place online, socially distanced, and we could have generated a great deal of enthusiasm given that all museums closed and were – and are – in serious need of new funding. Hence the name Mask 4 “Aid,” the aid being charitably given financial assistance. 

But I was a newcomer and Toronto’s museums were individually struggling to figure out what Covid-19 survival mode looked like, so the charitable element never did emerge. Once I discovered that the City of Toronto had funding for such projects, it seemed natural that I should apply for some of the funds the City was offering artists to design and deploy public art in 2021. Ultimately the City said yes, which is why I’m now poised to work with hundreds of TDSB, TCDSB and private schools to create multiple projection mapping sites at those schools featuring student-designed creative masks and poetry. We don’t have much time, but the plan is to solicit art from students across the entire system and see who delivers what. 

That sounds like an exciting program, and logistically difficult. But if I’m a student or parent and I read this article, how do I involve my school?

Well, it’s easy to write directly to me at mask4aid@castschool.org and let me know what you think about the project and what school you or your child attends. If you tell me the name of your school and the name of your principal, then I can reach out to them directly to let her or him know that there’s interest in Mask4Aid participation within your school. If the principal agrees to join the program, given the encouragement of the Mayor’s office as well as the Deputy Mayor, I’ll connect my art teachers to their art teachers and we can begin planning what your school will need to participate.   

How do you see CaST Portfolio growing over the next 5 years?

Because each portfolio company follows its own mission, and will ultimately have its own executive team running it, I can’t say which direction each individual company will take. But I can say that whatever route they follow towards success, that route must hold the interests of CaST students and their success in mind. Each portfolio company must find opportunities to survive in the marketplace, offer students the opportunity to learn, and give back to rather than take from, our planet. There are three bottom lines: people, profit, planet. This route will be difficult, and it will certainly be exciting. I can’t wait to see what actually happens!

How Your Enterprise can Create a Trans Inclusive Workplace

Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility! March 31 is a day to celebrate the lives of trans people and their contributions to society, while continuing to take action against the discrimination trans people face every day. A little history: the day was founded by US transgender activist, Rachel Crandall, in 2009, in response to the lack of mainstream representation of trans people as whole, joyful and contributing members of society. 

It’s important to note, as trans activists have, that increased visibility for trans people is complex and can often be accompanied by increased risk to personal safety due to ongoing stigma, discrimination and violence, including workplace harassment. It’s a good reminder for allies who choose to take part in the celebration, to also choose to be part of the everyday struggle and solution — and that includes at work.

That’s why, today, we’re profiling CSI member, Pride at Work Canada, about how organizations can create trans inclusive workplaces. Their report, included below, is the first of its kind in Canada; it shows “how organizations can invest in building a future where all people, including all trans and gender non-conforming individuals, have safe and affirming workplaces.” We think that’s something worth celebrating.  

Pride At Work Canada

Through education, conversation, and thought leadership, Pride at Work Canada empowers Canadian employers to create safer and more inclusive workplaces that recognize the skills and contributions of LGBTQ2+ people. They do this through workshops, networking events, and other member-based services. 

In 2019, Pride at Work Canada partnered with the Institute for Gender and the Economy at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to complete the first Canadian study focused on workplace policies and practices for supporting trans and gender non-conforming people. They surveyed 69 major Canadian employers within the Pride at Work Canada network to get a sense of where progress was being made and where organizations were falling short. 

If you’re a social enterprise, nonprofit or business of any kind, check out the report here. It’s a ready-to-use resource to see where your policies stand and how you can improve. 

What does workplace inclusion look like? 

The word “inclusion” is a popular one and ideas around what it means and how you get there differ. The report makes a helpful distinction by classifying workplace policies into basic accommodations and fully inclusive practices

Providing an all-genders washroom, identifying your pronouns in your email signature, and adopting more inclusive language are examples of basic accommodations. Full inclusion often means changing workplace culture and starts from the top-down. 

According to the study, basic accommodations look like: 

  • Policy on non-discrimination protections 
  • Protocols with assisting employees with transitioning 
  • Protocols for changing to names and identity markers 
  • Health coverage for medically necessary care 
  • Gender-inclusive facilities, forms, and dress codes
  • Privacy protections for data collection 
  • Harassment and complaints policies 

According to the study, fully inclusive practices look like: 

  • Executive leadership support
  • Employee training on gender identity and gender expression
  • Inclusive recruiting practices
  • Onboarding training on gender identity
  • Employee resource groups
  • Targeted mentorship and allyship
  • Diversity and inclusion managers with a trans inclusion mandate
  • Networking with community organizations to develop insight and expertise
Moving Beyond Accommodation to Inclusion 

While large organizations are increasingly adopting basic accommodations to comply with legal obligations (the study found 62% of surveyed organizations have policies for non-discrimination protections, for example), we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to full inclusion (only 22% have senior executive leadership focused on trans inclusion). 

As the report points out, “accommodation efforts are good place to begin for an organization starting to think about their gender-diverse employees, but they may not adequately address the stigma about what it means to be a person who is trans or to counteract stereotypes about how ‘men’ and ‘women’ ought to look. This stigma impacts everything from workplace culture to the hiring pipeline.”

So, here’s how you can celebrate International Trans Day of Visibility: 

  1. Take a fifteen minute break and read the report.
  2. Choose a basic accommodation you will act on today (and commit to bringing forward at work). 
  3. Start planning how your organization can adopt the other recommendations to become fully inclusive. 

Happy International Trans Day of Visibility! 

How 12 Women Entrepreneurs are Building the Next Economy

Graphic of 8 women entrepreneurs featured in the blog

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, here’s a statistic we’re pondering: women are the majority owners of only 15.6% of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Canada. 15.6%. That’s it? It portrays a dire picture of gender inequality in our sector – but it’s one we can change.

Take our women-focussed WOSEN programs, for example. The WOSEN partnership is all about upleveling women entrepreneurs with the skills and resources they need to grow their ventures. We’ve also got Social Entrepreneurship 101 – our education course for burgeoning entrepreneurs – of which 75% of past graduates are women! Of course, building an inclusive Next Economy doesn’t stop with our programs – it’s happening in the heart of our network where over 75 CSI member organizations are working to end gender inequality. We’re also proud to say 59% of CSI members are women – many of whom are the founders, CEOs, and leaders of their organizations.

Here are just some of the brilliant women entrepreneurs at CSI building the Next Economy by combatting the climate crisis, creating healthcare solutions, developing new technologies, and mentoring the next generation. 

A headshot photo of Minelli Clements Minelli Clements

LorCan Technologies Inc.
Earth Tech Accelerated Venture 

Minelli Clements wants to break systemic barriers and challenge the “archaic” idea that green technology and circular business models are not viable. This dream found its legs when Minelli founded LorCan Technologies Inc

While volunteering for a conservation agency in Alberta, Minelli noticed researchers had to manually retrieve data from sensors placed in wildlife corridors. She saw a need for a solution that can help these agencies connect to valuable data without trekking through harsh terrain and disrupting natural environments. LorCan Tech will help agencies reduce environmental impacts by providing companies with real-time monitoring connectivity solutions for remote sensing devices, empowering them to create more sustainable business practices.  

What does Minelli envision for the Next Economy? 

“I want us to look at the entire supply chain to find ways we can reduce our impact. And I want us to come to a collective understanding of ‘sustainability’, so that we can measure our progress and hold accountable those that can do more.”

A photo of Amoye Henry

Amoye Henry 

Pitch Better & AH Consulting
WOSEN Coach 

Amoye Henry describes herself as “a rockstar millennial entrepreneur.” The description fits: in 2018, Amoye was named one of Canada’s top 100 Accomplished Black Women. She is on a mission to help scale growth-based businesses led by unique founders. “Basically, I want to see the underdog win,” she says. 

Co-founding Pitch Better with Adeela Carter-Charles, Amoye is bridging the gap between women-led start-ups and their means of acquiring capital through grants and investments. With a mandate to “create more women millionaires,” Pitch Better connects innovative Black women entrepreneurs with seasoned professionals via workshops, talks and coaching sessions.

Taking their work to the systems-level, Pitch Better is currently completing the first national market analysis of Black women founders in Canada. In part, the FoundHers campaign aims to address gaps in the social economy by resolving gaps in data collection; Black women-led organizations can complete the survey here. 

What does Amoye envision for the Next Economy? 

“We need to empower more women as agents of change. We need more diverse voices at the table making decisions and informing policy and systems.”

A headshot photo of Yamila Michelle Franco PenaYamila Michelle Franco Pena

Nyoka Design Labs
Earth Tech Accelerated Venture 

Yamila is a proud Afro-Indigenous woman working to empower and elevate her community through entrepreneurship and education. She is the co-founder of Nyoka Design Labs, a clean technology social enterprise creating plastic-free, non-toxic and sustainable technology. Starting with the world’s first sustainable, non-toxic, bioluminescent glow stick (the Nyoka Light Wand), Nyoka is designing products that leverage advances in sustainable biotechnology, material sciences and Land-based knowledge. Yamila is also creating more accessible opportunities for communities to access STEM, emphasizing that “our stakeholders include our community and the Land.” 

Her advice for new entrepreneurs? 

“You must be consistently bad to get good at something. Consistency is key. Stay in long enough, ask for help, access mentorship and support. It will pay off.”

A headshot photo of Kelly Emery Kelly Emery

Troop
WOSEN Participant

Kelly Emery leverages technology to mainstream generosity and “help create communities where basic needs don’t go unmet.” In 2019, Kelly founded Troop, a tech-based needs marketplace to help neighbours and businesses discover local, tangible needs in their community. 

“I was blown away by a stat from Imagine Canada that the charitable sector is anticipating a 30% shortfall in donations by 2028. I kept coming back to that,” Kelly reflects. “I knew something needed to change.” Enter Troop. Members receive weekly text or email notifications letting them know how they can help out a local neighbour by, say, donating bed sheets to a women’s shelter or buying a stroller for a new parent. And it’s working: so far, Troop has fulfilled over $40,000 worth of tangible needs for over fifty charity partners, and The Future of Good recently ranked Troop among Canada’s Top 100 Recovery Projects in 2020. Congratulations, Kelly! 

What does Kelly envision for the Next Economy? 

“There is this thought that generosity should not be self-serving. I believe we need to adjust our thinking in this area and instead focus on the personal benefits derived from acts of kindness. 

There’s data to prove that strong personal connections, generosity and finding purpose in life play a significant role in overall health. Let’s take advantage of the growing trend around improving personal wellbeing to engage more people in building a better, more kind world.”

A photo of Ami Shah Ami Shah

Peekapak | Social Emotional Learning
CSI Annex MemberOntario Catapult Microloan Fund Recipient 

Ami Shah is the co-founder and CEO of Peekapak, an award-winning social-emotional learning platform that engages elementary students to learn skills like self-regulation, empathy and teamwork through stories, evidence-based lessons, and personalized learning experiences. 

Having taught in classrooms before, her work now reaches over 400,000 educators and students in classrooms, libraries, and after-school programs. Behind the scenes, teachers and administrators receive real-time reports indicating a student’s progress and emotional state. Educators can then share pre-written class updates, activities, and stories with students’ families to reinforce learning at home in English and Spanish. In this way, Peekapak empowers educators and families to be proactive to help curb future mental health issues. 

What is something Ami wishes she had known from the start? 

“How important it was to take care of my own mental health through this journey.” 

A headshot photo of Stevie Klick

Stevie Klick

The Indoor Forest
WOSEN Participant + Climate Ventures member

Stevie is a nutritionist, an artist, and a self-described “barefoot tree hugger.” She is also the owner and creator of The Indoor Forest, a biophilic design company that makes preserved moss frames and walls, as well as living green walls and other custom plant installations. 

Inspired by American biologist, Edward O. Wilson’s biophilia hypothesis that “humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life,” The Indoor Forest enables people to adapt their home and office environments to better interact with the natural elements and promote wellbeing for people and the planet. 

Stevie was motivated by her love of nature and “by the lack of product choices, availability, costs, and people out there actually focusing on vertical growing, especially here in Toronto. I want to help make these products more available because I believe Toronto could be a lot greener.”

 her advice for new entrepreneurs? 

“Adopting a solution-oriented approach to obstacles has helped me achieve goals and push through challenging or uncomfortable moments that come with entrepreneurship.”

A headshot photo of Gillian Cullen Gillian Cullen

Birth Mark
CSI Spadina Member 

Raised in Toronto’s northwest, Gillian’s keen sense of social injustice was ignited at a young age having witnessed the disparity in treatment of people based on their appearance and circumstance. 

Flash forward: Gillian is now the founder of Birth Mark, a registered charity providing free reproductive doula support to folks in Toronto and Hamilton. Birth Mark doulas pursue social change by assisting at-risk and marginalized individuals and their families navigate the public medical system. They are a source of knowledge and comfort to their clients as they navigate pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting while dealing with the obstacles often faced by our focus population in today’s society. Birth Mark is revolutionizing reproductive health care for all.

What does Gillian envision for the Next Economy? 

“Our primary hope would be an inclusive recovery. To achieve this we need to assess the inequalities and racism in our society and rebuild the systems that have continuously failed our society.

A headshot photo of Anthea SargeauntAnthea Sargeaunt

2S Water Inc.
Earth Tech Accelerated Venture 

Anthea Sargeaunt is the CEO of 2S Water, where they have developed the world’s first sensor for detecting metals in water in realtime. She is also an MBA, a three-time entrepreneur, and a mother of two. 

Water quality is a global issue affecting the most marginalized populations worldwide. Canada is no exception. We are on a mission to protect the world’s water with real time data. It’s that simple, she says. According to Anthea, 2S Water’s technology provides an automated, real-time, and cost-effective alternative to traditional laboratory services, enabling operators in mining, oil and gas, municipal water systems and other industries to see a problem as it occurs and take immediate action to prevent health issues and reduce costs. 

What does Anthea envision for the Next Economy? 

“We have a very specific mission on the Next Economy. Green technology is based on metals. Metals for batteries, metals for windmills, metals are the core of the future. If we don’t bring green to mining, then we are building that on a false foundation. We are doing our part to green mining, because we believe it’s where we can have the most impact on the world.”

A headshot photo of Jessica L. CorreaJessica L. Correa

Random Acts of Green, Inc.
WOSEN participant + CSI Agent of Change: Climate Solutions 

Jessica L. Correa is an expert in sustainability and environmental education. Since 2015, Jessica and her team have been encouraging and empowering both individuals and organizations to take action for our planet through Random Acts of Green

Through their app, website, social media networks, and blog (not to mention their “out-of-the-box toolbox of actions”), Random Acts of Green is a women-led and women-operated social enterprise with a vision to build a global climate action community. Jessica believes one small “Act of Green” at a time can change the world – that’s why her and her team developed a mobile app that incentivizes people to log their sustainability actions in order to acquire “green points” that they can then redeem for real-life discounts. 

What does Jessica envision for the Next Economy? 

“The Next Economy must be sustainable. That’s why Random Acts of Green has set out to inspire others to overcome apathy, eco-guilt, and eco-anxiety with hope and action. Our business model is a testament to how sustainability is just better for business – in fact, it is a business. We’ve designed ‘Green Programs’ for individuals and businesses – both for-profit and nonprofit. We’re encouraging everyone to recognize the role they play in the Next Economy and to take accountability – but most of all, staying positive about what’s ahead!”

A headshot photo of Monique ChanMonique Chan

Bruized
WOSEN participant + past DECA

Bruized is a Toronto-based, women-run startup on a mission to revolutionize our food systems. They create wholesome plant-based products from up-cycled ingredients and imperfect produce that are unnecessarily discarded as they make their way across the supply chain. 

After noticing “horrendous amounts of food waste” while working as a line cook in restaurants across Toronto, Monique began visiting local farms and grocery stores to better understand the extent of our current food waste problem. Through conversations with suppliers, she discovered that discarding perfectly edible food was common practice. From there, Bruized was born. 

“Bruized aims to challenge this damaging notion of ‘perfection’ or ‘all or nothing thinking’, and show people that with a little creativity and care, perfectly good food can be transformed into something both delicious and nutritious,” Monique explains. And she proves this every day: when Monique isn’t taking part in WOSEN’s incubator program, she can be found wandering her local farmer’s market, experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, and – of course – cooking delicious meals with perfectly good, ‘imperfect’ ingredients. 

Her advice for new entrepreneurs? 

“Some advice I drive home to myself on the daily is to not be afraid of simply asking. In the beginning, it was daunting to start a venture when I felt I didn’t even have any connections or knowledge on running a business. And yet, the relationships and knowledge built over the last few years are THE foundation of Bruized.”

A headshot photo of Adrianna Couto Adrianna Couto

Inwit
WOSEN participant

Adrianna Couto, alongside co-founder Erika Reyes, wants to make sustainability “irresistible to all Torontonians.” ‍Inwit is a women-led social enterprise  working to make the takeout industry circular and zero waste. 

“Imagine ordering takeout that doesn’t compromise your love for food or the planet. Imagine returning our reusable containers while out walking your dog or heading to the grocery store.Adrianna explains. “We are piloting Toronto’s first low waste takeout platform that will offer a glimpse into our low-carbon future.  In three simple steps (“Order, Return, and Repeat”), Inwit believes there is a way to live a modern lifestyle without compromising our ecosystems – and they’re set to prove it starting this April.

Her advice for new entrepreneurs? 

“Find the people who really hear your voice because it reminds them of their own.”

The Mommy Monitor logo Elsie Amoako

Mommy Monitor
CSI Spadina Member + CSI Agent of Change: Community Health

As the founder of both Mommy Monitor and the Racialized Maternal Health Conference, Elsie Amoako is a rising leader in racialized maternal health. She is motivated by the knowledge that effecting change in reproductive and birth rights of Black women begins by changing the narrative for “the Black women who think they have no choice but to be in pain, be abused or die and the little girls who continue in that cycle.” 

Mommy Monitor is a social enterprise that offers customized maternal health services, support and education. This comes in the form of an app, a full circle of care, various services and programs, resources, research and an annual conference to ensure that maternal health is equitable, anti-racist, patient-centered and enjoyable for parents, birth workers and health care professionals.

Elsie imagines a future with innovative, sustainable, and global maternal health services that are virtual, culturally safe, prevent adverse outcomes and promote reproductive and birth justice.

How does Elsie believe we should ”Build Back Better?” 

“We need to be able to prepare policies that support parents that lose their jobs. We need something that supports moms with new training or retraining for jobs, safe education for their children, and CERB-like payments for stay at home moms or moms that work in precarious jobs.”

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN EXPLORING YOUR PURPOSE AS A SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR?

Applications for the Spring 2021 WOSEN Start cohort are currently open! Apply by April 4, 11:59 PM ET.

A Community Celebration Goes Virtual and We Honour the Toronto Tool Library

snowy 8bit pixel art

It’s snowing and the end of year is in the air as innovators across our community wrap up their work. At CSI, December usually brings our end-of-year holiday party, an all-out bash famous for its cocktail and cookie competitions and busy dance floor. Despite the challenges of being physically distant this year, we weren’t about to give up on a ritual. On December 18th we brought together over 250 of our nearest and dearest to celebrate community resilience in a year that showed us just how important community is. 

The 3rd Annual BowTie Award for Exceptional Community Leadership 

Named for former Executive Director Adil Dhalla’s proclivity for community leadership (and a certain kind of neck adornment), the BowTie Award honours community builders by recognizing their work. Thanks to 2019 BowTie recipient Linda Odnokon for helping us recognize the work of the Toronto Tool Library (TTL) by presenting them the award.

Celebratory image featuring a black bowtie and gold glitter with CSI logo in the bottom right corner. White text reads: Congratulations Toronto Tool Library. 2020 BowTie Award recipients for exceptional community leadership

To illustrate all TTL has done this year, CSI’s Chief Community Officer, Shona Fulcher and Facilities Manager, Matt Gutherie, put it this way: 

“When the Toronto Tool Library was forced to close their doors back in March, true to form, they sprang into action. Using the many tools at their disposal a small group of determined staff and members began 3D printing face shields and splitting valves for ventilators to distribute to hospitals. Since these intrepid makers couldn’t be together in the maker space, their team brought the work home with them, 3D printing life-saving equipment day and night in their own homes. Executive Director Tim Willison biked the city to pick up these vital parts, sanitized them in their workspace, and biked them out to the hospitals for delivery. To date they have made over 800 face shields, protecting health care workers here at home and in hospitals as far away as Ukraine.

Two makers stand behind a plexiglass shield at the Toronto Tool Library.

Seeing a need, the team pivoted again to produce affordable shields for businesses across Toronto. In the CSI spaces, every plexiglass shield you see was built on one of their CNC machines by maker Marc Shu-Lutman.

This was not an easy year for the resilient Tool Library team. They made the tough decision to permanently close their location on St. Clair and were forced to consolidate their operations solely to their CSI Spadina location. But they didn’t let these setbacks slow them down for long. By the summer, the Tool Library reopened both their makerspace and the lending library. And Makerspace Manager, Jeniffer Cote once again began offering classes to aspiring woodworkers. 

With the most recent shut down they are showing their ingenuity again! Their team of experts moved online offering instructional videos on their Youtube channel helping to keep our hands busy and our minds healthier while still lending out tools via curbside pick up.

So, in recognition of your commitment to the power of community. And for everything you’ve done for this community, health care workers, and people all over the city of Toronto, we are honoured to present CSI’s 2020 BowTie award to the Toronto Tool Library!


Thank you Tim Willison, Marc Shu-Lutman, Jennifer Cote and the whole TTL team. We couldn’t be prouder.” 

You threw a virtual party for over 250 people?

Well, yeah. We did. And you know what? It was pretty great! We used a new conferencing software called Gather.town that gamifies the online party experience, letting us create a virtual CSI world, and giving guests the ability to pop in and out of video chats as they moved around the space. Goodbye Zoom fatigue! 

Party-goers gathered with colleagues across a virtual CSI Annex space filled with the familiar and fantastic. Member organizations like Cycle Toronto and Ontario Council for International Cooperation (OCIC) hosted their own volunteer and staff gatherings in private, custom-built spaces. Guests found artwork created during our Art and Art History Club sessions displayed in the Annex vault. And old friends ran into one another searching the starry skies for cookies on our soon-to-be-legendary Cookie Quest (a nod to our annual member cookie competition). 

Gather.town platform

Some innovators settled into the Moon Room for individual coaching sessions with our mysterious Tarot Reader Lady V while others pulled up a virtual stool to learn how to make the perfect Holiday Drink with Chief Technology officer Jane Zhang and Temperance Cocktails in our workshop studio. Then we honoured the Toronto Tool Library and opened up the dance floor for a killer set with the incredible DJ Ameel. 

It was a blast and we were so glad to have you all back together here in our (online) space. 

We’ll be exploring more with our virtual convening in the months to come. Get in touch to learn about CSI programming and everything it means to be a CSI Member!  

Dwelly.ca makes buying and renting a home simple and more affordable for every Canadian

The decision to buy, sell or rent a home is an overwhelming one. Dwelly‘s mission is to make buying and renting a home simple and affordable for every Canadian. We talked to Broker of Record (and CSI member!) Karim Elbarbary about how he has simplified this complex, thorny experience and dramatically lowered the cost of buying a home.

What is your biggest hope for Dwelly? What does the world look like if those hopes come true?
Our biggest hope at Dwelly is to create an end-to-end product that empowers any person thinking of or planning to own a home. We hope to alter the world’s perception of a Realtor from that of pressure, redundancy and rushed processes, to one of genuine support, complete transparency, informed advice, and technological advancement. The world would have more people feeling confident to eventually own a home, with no ambiguity throughout the home-buying process.

How has being a CSI member impacted Dwelly’s work so far?
Being a member of CSI has been absolutely incredible so far! We’ve had the opportunity to receive lots of insightful feedback from the community regarding their personal experiences when purchasing/renting homes in the past. We have also already helped a fellow CSI member purchase a home and are currently in the process of helping another. Joining CSI was a goal of ours, partly to have office space, but mainly so Dwelly can continue to be a people-focused and feedback-driven company. Being able to directly communicate with such an inspiring community has helped us meet that goal far more than we could have asked for.

How can CSI members (or anyone!) get involved in Dwelly?
The best part about being in the business of helping individuals move homes is that it is a universal process – almost every single person experiences it in some shape or form, whether it’s renting or buying. With that in mind, we are always looking to learn more about people’s experiences with moving homes so we can improve our own ways of addressing pain points throughout the process. In addition, our ears are always ready for feedback on our platform if you have a minute to browse through the site, drop us an email with any feedback you may have.

Aside from that, Dwelly is a growing company and we are always thinking on our feet. We’re open to collaborate on projects with fellow CSI members – some of the fields we constantly need help in are legal, financing and fund-raising, web development, design, and marketing. So if you’re a fellow member with expertise in those fields and are open to project based work please feel free to reach out to us at hello@dwelly.ca

How is Dwelly pivoting and surviving through COVID?
To preface, we’d like to acknowledge how hard this time has been for everyone. At Dwelly, we were fortunate enough that the business was built digital and remote from day one. Our whole team works remotely and we do most of our team meetings online so, in that sense, we weren’t affected much in terms of internal operations. However, on the flip side, real estate is one of the few areas of business that really require entering peoples’ homes to do showings. The entire real estate industry has had to pivot and adapt to new requirements, like COVID-19 screening forms and limitations around in-person showings.

Although we’ve always offered our users the ability to request remote video showings via FaceTime and Zoom, we’ve now pushed that forward even more. However, we’ve made sure to adhere to safety precautions when it comes to in person showings. Nevertheless, like the majority of businesses, we’ve experienced a slow down – especially during the lockdown. The pandemic has affected the typical influx of students, new immigrants as well as travel in general – all these factors have played a visible role. At the end of the day we’re happy that we were able to push through some hard times, stay afloat and continue to push the envelope in our industry. I’m lucky to have an incredible team to weather the storm with (thanks Dwelly family!).

What social/political/health/other issues is Dwelly working on?
I would say, at Dwelly, we aim to be socially innovative by solving a market inefficiency. We all hear about how real estate agents get overpaid and tend to under-deliver. We want to bring more fairness and higher value-for-money to our clients – one way we accomplish that is by offering half of our commission fees we receive as a buyer’s rebate to clients. We built our platform (with many filters and automated alerts) in a way that gives clients the power to browse and search for homes on their own time and from the comfort of their own home, rather than relying completely on us to send them options.

We consider ourselves to have a large social responsibility, since we assist people in making life-changing decisions. When you look at how many complaints go to real estate councils regarding fraud, misrepresentation, and just lack of understanding of what’s in the paperwork, it’s extremely important to us to lead with integrity. We focus on simplifying things as much as possible and being ultra transparent so that our clients can truly understand how the process works and be directly involved in their home purchase.

What impact does Dwelly have, as in, who do you serve?
Currently we serve home buyers & renters in the Greater Toronto Area. Our goal is to expand to helping Canadians across the country find their next home as seamlessly as possible. We look forward to taking our mission nationwide in the future.

Is Dwelly creating jobs at the moment?
At the moment, we have a number of fairly new team members who joined the team this year so we are not actively looking right now. However, we’re always excited to meet like-minded agents who share our values and drive. If you are or someone you know is a licensed real estate agent and would like to join us on our journey in changing real estate, please do reach out.

If CSI could be of greatest help to you, what could we do?
As mentioned, CSI has been a great help so far – the space is welcoming and inspiring, and the community is game-changing. In terms of additional features, it would be great if CSI added a specific section in the members portal where people can share new product features, designs, code, etc. where others, especially specialists in the field, can share their feedback and give tips on improvements. That way we can all build products with direct input from the community – which might end up being the end user as well. Other than that nice-to-have, this community is really more than what I could have asked for.

Are you looking for a community where you can grow? Learn how you can make change at CSI!

Inspiring growth and impact

Backpacker looking up at trees while on a hike in the forest. Photo by Oziel Gomez via Pexels.

A Spotlight on Agent of Change Devesh Tilokani

Today’s youth are the leaders of tomorrow. They’re filled with passion, drive, and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty to create a more sustainable, prosperous, and equitable world for all.

We’re profiling five participants from Agents of Change: Sustainable Development Goals — an 8-week, impact-driven course that taught 100 youth how to use the tools and tactics of social entrepreneurship to work towards the achievement of the SDGs. Devesh’s work touches on a number of Sustainable Development Goals, namely SDG 3: Good Health & Well-being and SDG 4: Quality Education.

Devesh Tilokani, Founder of Progressholic

The Devesh Tilokani you see today is outgoing, friendly, and well-spoken.

He has come a long way in the past five years. In high school, he struggled with social anxiety and self-image, sending him into a spiral of depression.

“The way things were going, [I felt like] whether I was 16 or 60, I might as well not be around,” he explained. “When those sorts of thoughts come into your head, you realize you’ve hit rock bottom. And there was only one way for me: up.”

For Devesh, that meant challenging himself to speak to new people constantly. There’s no harm in trying something out, he thought. If worse comes to worst, I’ll just fail.

Soon enough, saying “hello” to new people became a habit. Devesh’s fear evolved into excitement and genuine curiosity.

“You come across a wide range of people, so you come across a range of responses: some good, some bad,” he explained. “It’s kind of a move into the unknown, which is uncomfortable, but can be really rewarding.”

In 2019, Devesh blended his new love for people with his longtime passion for personal growth into the first iteration of Progressholic: a self-development podcast.

When he joined CSI’s Agents of Change: Sustainable Development Goals program in 2020, Devesh learned about Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. It’s a tool for identifying your “why” — and how you can achieve it.

“I looked back on my own life. My ‘why’ is to constantly develop myself while reducing human suffering. How can I align Progressholic to that personal vision?”

Reducing human suffering, to Devesh, meant creating a balance of the internal — the self — and the external — society. So during the course of the Agents of Change program, he began to experiment and launch this new iteration of the podcast: one focused on progress of self and society.

Progressholic: dedicated to the progress of self and society

The timing was perfect. As COVID-19 threw our world into chaos, individuals and groups alike developed community responses. Progressholic offered a platform for these folks to share what they’re doing and garner support.

As he was planning for upcoming episodes, Devesh ended up in a breakout room with one of the other Agents of Change participants, Kathy Huang. He told her about his vision, and she ended up connecting him to two or three different COVID-19 response initiatives — who ended up on the podcast!

Devesh described this pivot as existential flexibility: the ability of a leader to initiate a disruption in business strategy to advance a just cause.

“Right now, COVID-19 is happening. [If we bring] on similar guests to speak about a topic that I’m sure would be great, but wouldn’t be relevant to the times we’re in right now, are we really advancing the cause?”

Over the summer, Progressholic highlighted the work of organizations like the neighbourgood and the Caring and Connecting Pen Pal Initiative. The episode with The Home Front doubled as a fundraiser:

“We decided to donate $1 for each listen, and we wanted to hit 100 plays [in 5 days]. We’d never hit 100 plays before, so there was always that doubt, whether we’d be able to hit it or not, but we hit it just two hours before the deadline, and we were able to donate the money. I know it’s a small amount, but more than that, it was raising awareness for an incredible Canadian initiative.”

Since then, Devesh has continued to bring on guests that inspire growth and encourage taking action for impact. If you want to hear tips for self-development and stories about the leaders working hard to change our world, check out Progressholic, streaming anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Our Agents of Change: Sustainable Development Goals program is designed to equip the next generation of changemakers with the skills, resources, and coaching they need to make an impact. Check out other stories from program participants here!

Agents of Change: Sustainable Development Goals is made possible with the support of the Government of Canada

Creating opportunities for youth in Regent Park

Man in white shirt tending to outdoor vegetable garden. Photo by Priscilla du Preez via Unsplash.

A spotlight on Agent of Change Nayeon Kim

Today’s youth are the leaders of tomorrow. They’re filled with passion, drive, and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty to create a more sustainable, prosperous, and equitable world for all.

We’re profiling five participants from Agents of Change: Sustainable Development Goals — an 8-week, impact-driven course that taught 100 youth how to use the tools and tactics of social entrepreneurship to work towards the achievement of the SDGs. Nayeon’s work touches on a number of Sustainable Development Goals, namely SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth, and SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities.

Nayeon Kim’s voice is measured as she describes the systems that have caused (and perpetuate) poverty, how it has affected our neighbourhoods, and the gaps that need to be closed to truly address this issue. She speaks with confidence and clarity, her wit and determination to make a difference shining through.

Three years ago, Nayeon moved to Regent Park and became more and more involved in the community. The youth in the neighbourhood have always been top-of-mind for her, and she saw a gap in the work happening as part of the Regent Park Revitalization Plan: “While this billion-dollar revitalization has been going on, we haven’t been able to see a lot of jobs coming out, lives changed.”

An idea began to take root in her mind when she identified gaps that could turn into a sustainable economic opportunity in her neighbourhood: youth are struggling to find meaningful jobs in the neighbourhood, and condo buildings have struggled to find reliable and timely landscaping services in Regent Park.

“There is a huge gap, and this is an amazing opportunity, because a lot of young people get into landscaping in summer jobs,” she said.

Nayeon envisions an employment social enterprise (ESE) that would train and hire young people to provide landscaping services for buildings right in their neighbourhood in Regent Park.

For the youth who are facing barriers to employment and currently only being offered precarious employment (like fast food and retail), Nayeon’s ESE would offer more than a summer job: it’s a pathway to a long-term career.

“Landscaping is an area where you can upskill,” explained Nayeon, “which is a really important thing when you think about the future of work. Upskilling through education and experience opens doors for a lot of other opportunities.”

And their responsibilities won’t be limited to trimming trees and cutting grass: Nayeon also sees them getting involved with murals and urban agriculture.

“Food security is a huge issue across the city, especially in neighbourhoods with lower income families,” she said. “So in areas like this, through landscaping, we can think about creating more vegetation, creating community gardens, creating vertical gardens.”

The youth hired through Nayeon’s ESE will be trained and will get to shape and maintain their neighbourhood with their own hands — something that can be massively rewarding.

Community-based solutions like Nayeon’s are powerful. At the end of the day, her ESE won’t be dependent on government funding or a grant: it will actually be a sustainable business that helps create a sustainable economy within the neighbourhood it serves.

Nayeon believes that community solutions must come from residents who have lived expertise and sees the pandemic as an impetus to create systems change.

“I think [the government and social service sector] have come to a place where we recognize the importance of lived experience, but sometimes we stop at the arms-length committee level. We need to go beyond that and put residents in positions of power as partners so we can drive change that will directly impact our neighbourhoods.”

Right now, governments and social service organizations tend to see folks who live in poverty and BIPOC as service recipients. However, it’s important to acknowledge these individuals’ power, resilience, and strength. We must shift our mindset to think of them as leaders and champions who can actively create change in their own neighbourhoods.

“That’s how we create opportunities where we’re enabling residents to contribute in a way that’s going to support their own lives and also support our city.”

Nayeon joined CSI’s Agents of Change: Sustainable Development Goals program in 2020 to improve her entrepreneurial skills and turn her vision into reality. As Nayeon continues to build her ESE, she’s looking for connections with other entrepreneurs who have built ESEs, and folks who work in housing and development within Regent Park, and a mentor who can help her strengthen her business plan. (Get in touch here!)

And as we inch closer to a post-COVID-19 world, Nayeon reflects on the changes she hopes to see.

“I want our world to be a little bit more equitable and just: a fair place for everyone. So that things you can’t control, like what you look like when you’re born, the family you’re born into — whether that is race, class, gender — don’t become a determinant for how your life is going to turn out,” she said. “Who you are is a barrier in itself, and so many people are falling behind because of it. If that continues, it comes at a cost of people’s lives being lost. […] We can’t afford to do that anymore. […] So I would love our city to be a fair place, a just place, an equitable place, where everyone gets a decent chance at a good life.”

Our Agents of Change: Sustainable Development Goals program is designed to equip the next generation of changemakers with the skills, resources, and coaching they need to make an impact. Check out other stories from program participants here!

Agents of Change: Sustainable Development Goals is made possible with the support of the Government of Canada.

Member Moment: Venture for Canada

small portraits as fridge magnets

For many members of our community, the best thing about CSI is Salad Club. For years, this weekly potluck offered participants a chance to connect, inspire, and of course eat. As COVID-19 forced us to find ways keep social closeness while maintaining physical distance, the logistics of Salad Club had to change a little as it moved online. But even though we can no longer share food, we are still able to share strategies and encouragement!

We are also still able to shine a light on the incredible work of our members, through ten minute “Member Moments” where they are invited to share a bit about their vision.

First up is Juanita Lee Garcia, from Venture for Canada.

Entrepreneurial grads want to excel at dynamic startups, and startups want energized contributors ready to hit the ground running. CSI member Venture for Canada connects these two groups, giving keen Canadian students and recent grads immersive entrepreneurship training and real-world job experience at innovative startups and small businesses.

Hear a bit about what that looks like:

Our favourite quote: “We have a vision of a Canada where young people can really explore their entrepreneurial potential, to build the most inclusive and prosperous place in the world.”

Do you have an idea of how to make Canada more inclusive and prosperous? Become a CSI member today!

Fitec Environmental Technologies is transforming organic waste into renewable energy

Abstract image of vines

CSI member Fitec Environmental Technologies recovers organic waste from a variety of sources and transforms it into renewable fuels. They strive to provide robust and reliable solutions for farmers, municipalities, project developers, waste management companies, and more. We talked to CEO Tom Ferencevic about how COVID is impacting those efforts, and how what made him decide he wanted to be part of CSI.

What is your biggest hope for Fitec Environmental Technologies? What does the world look like if those hopes come true?
I’m aiming to become a market leader in designing and building organic waste recovery and biogas production facilities. This will allow me to be more influential in my push for organics recovery and reuse policies. It will also show potential clients — like municipalities and waste management firms — that there are off the shelf options today that can improve plant performance, keep opex low and improve investment returns.

How has being a CSI member impacted Fitec Environmental Technologies?
I joined CSI because I wanted to surround myself with more like minded people and businesses. People who don’t just talk about action, but actually take it. I’m a small business right now and it’s so important to be involved with positive and outside the box thinkers and doers.

How is Fitec Environmental Technologies pivoting and surviving through COVID?
So far I’ve not been greatly impacted because all three of my projects this year started before COVID hit. They all fall into the category of  “essential” because they are renewable energy related. But some of clients that collect commercial organics from restaurants, schools et cetera have seen their businesses cut in half.  Many of those businesses aren’t producing even half the waste they used to, and some have gone out of business entirely. It’s not that we are necessarily producing less organic waste, but it has shifted to being generated at the household level.

What issues is Fitec Environmental Technologies working on?
My company is pretty new, going on three years old. So far it’s just been about getting a solid base and getting the business to a sustainable steady state. However, I need to do more than just sell organics recovery and biogas production systems. My goal is to be carbon neutral and to give back by joining a sustainable corporate movement like 1% For The Planet. I just don’t know which one(s) yet.

What impact does Fitec Environmental Technologies have, as in, who do you serve?
I serve municipalities, waste management companies, farmers. My systems make it easier for any potential client to recovery and beneficially reuse and recover any type of organic waste. This should allow for more diversion from landfills and the replenishment of organic matter in agricultural soils.

How can CSI members (or anyone!) get involved in Fitec Environmental Technologies?
Good question! I’m not sure at the moment, as I’ve been just too busy to lift my head up. I know there is proposed legislation to look at banning organics from landfills. Once I can free up some time I’d like to develop an education and lobbying campaign outside the traditional big corporately funded organizations like ONEIA, OWMA etc would be a hugely beneficial.

Do you want to be around people who take real action? We’d love to meet you! Check out our membership options today!