Do you know that feeling you get when you are surrounded by your squad? That group of people who get your hustle, sees life the way you do, and are equipped to support you on your journey? Wouldn't it be great to come to work together everyday, supporting each other and collaborating as you all collectively work to change the world? Well it's high time you do something about it and Center for Social Innovation is providing just that. So we sat down with Community Animator, Allegra Gilfenbaum to learn more about their coworking space for social impact businesses in New York City. Check it out.
1 | What is Center for Social Innovation?
Center for Social Innovation is a coworking space for social impact businesses. We started in Toronto, Canada about 10 years ago and have since expanded to other locations in Canada. We finally expanded to New York City in 2013 based on a need to provide great non-profits with office space that had been displaced after Hurricane Sandy. We work closely with RXR, the reality company with Starrett Lehigh (our building) to support this mission and have since grown into what we are today... a great group of social impact businesses working together everyday to change the world.
2 | What kind of companies are your members?
Our members are for-profits, non-profits, and b-corps that all have some social impact leaning mission. Any cause you can think of across social, environmental and political realms you will find here. We see real value in being interdisciplinary because all of these causes will take a lot of angles to solve them and we want people to be able to work across sectors to accomplish these goals.
3 | What's your favorite thing about CSI?
I love the progressive idea of our wholistic nature. We are community focused, and work hard to foster an environment where innovation can emerge. It's what we believe true coworking is. Having a hive mentality where everyone is connected.
4 | Do you offer anything beyond just a coworking desk?
Yes! We offer programming for our members such as professional development opportunities and space for them to highlight their work. We seek to be a center for thought leadership so we bring in external partnerships to create space for people to meet organically and make professional connections. Entrepreneurs are spread so thin, we want to provide daily opportunities for them to step away from their desk, network, and gain high value, thought leadership, and good energy.
5 | Where are you looking to grow in the future?
There's a lot happening in that arena. The scope of social entrepreneurship and coworking spaces have both changed dramatically in the past 5 years. We are currently recalibrating where we are now and where this field is going, to focus on human centered design and provide the best resources for the new direction of our workforce.
We also just launched the Women's Lab, a section of CSI for any businesses focused on empowering women and girls. We also feature women leaders every month at our Women's Lab Breakfast and provide programming to highlight larger themes going on across the city and the world.
6 | Anything exciting coming up for fashion brands?
We are exciting to be planning a sustainable fashion collective in partnership with Helpsy and Fabscrap. We will be developing workshops to help those in the fashion industry adapt and be more sustainable, share resources, and more. It's still very much in the works, but more to come soon so stay tuned!
Want to try CSI?
If this sounds like the space you've been searching for, come try coworking at the Center for Social Innovation for free for a week! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org, tell them you heard about them from THR3EFOLD and would like to try their Innovator For a Week pass, and they will hook you up.
Want to find more ways to get connected and build your business? THR3EFOLD has a lot of announcements to do just that in the next couple of months so sign up for our emails today to not miss out on any great new opportunities for your business. Our email subscribers and Deadstock District members always hear the news first!