Who We Are

What is Social Innovation?

Before you get in too deep, you might want to know what we mean by “social innovation.” At CSI, we define social innovation as the creation, development, adoption, and integration of new and renewed concepts, systems, organizations and practices that put people and planet first.

At their best, social innovations address root causes and change the very systems resisting change to unlock a better world for all.

Social innovators achieve change by nudging and sometimes radically redesigning markets, policies and cultures. Put simply, social innovation is about new solutions for a better world. We see them everywhere!

On This Page

Our Mission and Purpose

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.

Our Work

CSI inspires a belief that solutions are possible. We invite everyone, from all sectors and backgrounds, to be a part of the solution because we know that it’s up to us to create a better world. We believe that change happens when people decide to make a difference. We don’t sit back and wait for things to get better. We’re shaping the world now.

Sometimes people see us as an incubator and accelerator, sometimes a coworking space and community centre, sometimes a lab and an innovator. They’re all right. At our core the Centre for Social Innovation is supporting a platform and growing a community of social innovators that are building a world that puts people and planet first.

Our Values

Put People & Planet First

We are bound by one shared vision: to put people and planet first. Everything we do, every decision, exchange, system, product and offering must move us closer to impact. We are determined to make the world better.

Keep it real

We won’t pretend to be something we aren’t. Authenticity and transparency keep us grounded in truth. You may not like what you see, but at least you will know exactly who we are. We bring our values & vision to this work.

Build healthy cultures

Core to the human experience is a sense of belonging. We will be absolute in our pursuit of inclusivity, diversity and openness. We will often smile and sometimes even hug you if you let us. We really love each other. We all have a role in co-creating our amazing community.

Be Scrappy

We are a dynamic group of bootstrapping entrepreneurs who navigate chaos and embrace opportunity. We will not forget that being resourceful, nimble and humble make us who we are. We are innovators.

Make social change & have fun doing it

We’re serious about not taking ourselves too seriously. Happiness, joy and play remind us that the process and the product both matter. Changing the world is hard work. You may as well have fun doing it.

BLOW PEOPLE’S MINDS

Don’t let the blue jeans fool you. We embody excellence, experience & expertise every day. We do our homework, hone our craft and get the job done. We are both gritty and great!

Together or Die

We believe in the synergies of connection, the explosive potential of partnership, and the transformative power of movements. No one can do it all. We must work together. Collaboration is in our DNA. It isn’t just nice—it’s imperative.

Get to yes

CSI is a place for solutions. We default to optimism. We will always design our work, our systems and our world to get to yes. When we have to say no, it’s because we are saying yes to our mission.

It's Up To Us

We believe that change happens when people decide to make a difference. We don’t sit back and wait for things to get better: we shape the world in which we live. We’re ready to lead with you!

Our Next Economy Focus

Across the globe, our social, environmental and economic systems are converging into a critical tipping point for the planet’s health – and all those inhabiting it. We have a climate crisis. An economic crisis and a growing mental health crisis. Underpinning all of this is an economic system that is unsustainable, extractive and increasingly inequitable. Ultimately we have a crisis of imagination. 

It’s time for a paradigm shift. It’s time to radically redesign our economic system to be regenerative, equitable and prosperous for all. It’s time to build an economic system that puts people and planet first.

We are not alone in calling for change. This work has been emerging for decades, with inspiring examples from around the world showing us the way. The Next Economy is people-centred, sustainable, circular, just, participatory and equitable. The Next Economy values human dignity, is cooperative, conscious and caring. The Next Economy is redefining what success looks like, is reshaping markets while respecting the planet’s capacity to regenerate itself and create an economy that benefits everyone. 

This movement is not about the political left nor right. It’s about those who believe that new ways are possible and have the courage to act. The calls for this next economy are coming from communities, business, public sector and coalitions from around the world – and they are growing louder. And in every community, citizens are driving change, creating solutions, and the jobs to sustain them. 

That’s where CSI comes in. We work with people and organizations – oftentimes small, early stage, emerging and often marginalized people, nonprofits and social ventures that are working to solve a social or environmental challenge. We are working to leverage the power of collaboration, entrepreneurship and systems change to address the ‘crisis of imagination’ by proving that new models, new enterprises and new solutions can drive the Next Economy. Read more about our approach here.

Want to Help us?

There are so many ways to help build the Next Economy!

You can partner with us, become a member, sign up for an accelerator program, attend one of our many events, or join the League of Social Entrepreneurs… just to name a few.