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Imagine a single building filled with hundreds of working people, from close to 200 organizations, weaving an intricate web of ideas.

This is the Centre for Social Innovation, located in Downtown Toronto, a place where the GreenHeroes Team meets weekly to map out our own ideas. The CSI is an incredible workspace for innovators of a different kind: social innovators.

What does it mean to be a social innovator? It doesn’t necessarily mean building something physical, but building a web of actions that contributes to local and global change. Find out how you can be a part of the web by visiting our Taking Flight campaign page!

The CSI was recently featured in a great Globe and Mail article that highlights the centre as a fundamental space for idea sharing.

Featured in the article is Tonya Surman, the founding executive director of the CSI, who is on a mission to support social collaborations and entrepreneurial strategies to advance our social and environmental wellbeing.

We’re lucky to have Andrea Jackson on the GreenHeroes team as our Street Team Volunteer Coordinator, who doubles as an Agent of Change at the Centre for Social Innovation. When she’s not coordinating excursions for the GreenHeroes team, she’s helping form networks and connections at the CSI. She gives us an inside peek into a day in her life at this unique workspace.

GreenHeroes: What is the CSI?

Andrea: CSI – Centre for Social Innovation, is a place where social enterprise (people trying to make a change in the world) can take advantage of the centre’s collective benefits: better equipment, meeting spaces and computer access that most non-profit and social enterprises can’t afford. Not to mention the network of 200 plus like minded businesses and sounding boards!

GreenHeroes: What is a day in the life of Andrea at the CSI like?

Andrea: I am classed as an Agent of Change; a Community Animator. I help keep the hard working tenants socializing with each other. Some are shy, some are busy, and some are there at varied hours, so our main purpose is to get to know as many tenants as we can and to introduce them to each other. Other job duties: filling coffee, changing garbage and cleaning the kitchen! It is not all glamour and wine parties!

GreenHeroes: What is the most interesting part about working at the CSI? The most challenging?

Andrea: Some of the most interesting things are our pet projects. Mine are the adopt-a-plant project and redecoration Suite 120! These projects get us involved in the nitty gritty areas one might not see as a tenant and are a lot of fun! The most challenging part of the job so far is remembering everyone I have met, a hard task with 200 businesses at 215 Spadina alone (CSI is opening up a second location). Everyone feel free to stop by and quiz me on their name and company Fridays 8:30am to 4:30pm at CSI Spadina!

GreenHeroes: Have you seen any amazing campaigns, collaborations, people or projects since you’ve been there

Andrea: There is a really interesting project called Project Wildfire, a collaboration with the new Regent Park development that promises to be an excellent outlet for local community centered endeavours in a very new and exciting stage in the development of this Toronto neighbourhood. The new building has been an amazing sight to see! If you haven’t been up to visit yet make sure you get there and witness the stages it will be going through over the next couple of months!

Are you interested in volunteering with the GreenHeroes Street Team? We are always looking for more volunteers! We are going out every weekend from now until the end of December to various speakers’ series, farmers’ markets, holiday sales and movie nights!

The events are always fun, educational and rewarding! If you are interested in volunteering with us, contact Andrea Jackson, Volunteer Coordinator at andrea@greenheroes.tv

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, let your ideas take flight: Share your story of innovation and bright ideas sparking change by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details and more information can be found here.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

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