Centre for Social Innovation
|Focus||social innovation, social enterprise, social entrepreneurship|
|Tonya Surman, CEO|
The Centre for Social Innovation is a social enterprise based in Toronto, Canada, that specializes in the creation of shared workspaces for people or organizations with a social mission. It has three locations in Toronto, and one in New York City, that serve as shared workspaces, innovation labs and community centers, and where it rents private offices, private desks or shared desks, and meeting and event space, to social innovators and entrepreneurs.
The Centre's mission is to catalyze social innovation and to foster collaboration by connecting social innovators and entrepreneurs working across sectors, and providing them with programming such as workshops, seminars, competitions and mentorship opportunities to accelerate their success. CSI also incubates a limited number of social innovations, providing them with programmatic, strategic, administrative and or financial services.
The Centre for Social Innovation, was founded in 2004 by Tonya Surman of the Commons Group, Margie Zeidler of Urbanspace Property Group, Mary Rowe of Ideas That Matter, Pat Tobin of Canadian Heritage and Eric Meerkamper of DECODE. Its first location, CSI Spadina, opened in the Robertson Building owned and operated by the Urbanspace Property Group.
In 2012, the Centre for Social Innovation opened CSI Regent Park in the Regent Park neighbourhood, Canada's largest public housing community, currently undergoing Canada’s largest community revitalization.
In 2012, the Centre announced it would open a location in New York City in Manhattan’s Starrett-Lehigh Building. CSI Starrett-Lehigh opened in 2013.
In October 2014, the Centre bought the 64,000 sq. ft. Murray Building, located right across the street from CSI Spadina. The Centre purchased the building with 'community bonds,' which are low-interest loans made by private citizens who agree with the centre’s mission and want to help it expand.
CSI Spadina opened in 2004 in the Robertson Building at 215 Spadina Ave. in Toronto, Ontario, a historic warehouse building in Toronto's Chinatown district, owned and operated by the Urbanspace Property Group.
CSI Annex is located at 720 Bathurst Street in Toronto, Ontario. CSI Annex is the Centre's second location and was financed with the help of community bonds. The Annex location is home to many not-for-profit organizations including Spacing, Cycle Toronto and the Toronto Fringe Festival.
CSI Regent Park
On July 19, 2012, CSI announced that it would take over 24,000 square feet in the Starrett-Lehigh Building to bring its model to New York City’s social innovators and entrepreneurs. CSI Starrett-Lehigh opened in 2013.
- Free the Children
- Amnesty International
- Médecins Sans Frontières
- Amref Health Africa
- J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
- The Ontario Non-Profit Network
- TechSoup Global
- Toronto Fringe Festival
- Adam Vaughan
- Jane's Walk
- Cycle Toronto
- Chinese Canadian National Council
- Taste Real
- The Green Majority
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- Yogaretnam, Grace. "Community Bonds and the Rise of Local Power". Corporate Knights. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- Dagostino, Scott (February 1, 2012). "The city's next talent incubator starts putting down its Regent Park roots". Yonge Street Media. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- Geiger, Daniel (2012-07-19). "CSI Takes 24K S/F At Starrett-Lehigh For Business Incubator". Commercial Observer. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- Lu, Vanessa (May 9, 2010). "Social innovation centre pins hopes on expansion". Toronto Star. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- Hume, Christopher (17 September 2012). "New cultural centre breathes life and colour into Regent Park". Toronto Star. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- Porter, Catherine (October 28, 2014). "A New Model of Community Centre Building". Toronto Star.