Startups, Innovation, Technology and Me.

The Pivot That Changed The World

Ben Rattray’s Change.org has been credited with everything from convincing a bank to drop its ATM fees to influencing the South African government to crack down on “corrective” rape. First, the company had to overcome failure.

(Source: Fast Company)

A portion of the blank canvas that will soon be CSI Starrett-Lehigh. Full demolition and construction will be starting very soon. This is getting exciting!!!

A portion of the blank canvas that will soon be CSI Starrett-Lehigh. Full demolition and construction will be starting very soon. This is getting exciting!!!

Turning NYC’s Iconic MetroCard Into A Massive Urban Game

Last week, New York’s beleaguered Metropolitan Transit Authority announced plans to sell advertising on the front of the MetroCard. Soon, for prices ranging from 18¢ to 51¢ per card, advertisers will have free reign to replace the MTA’s ubiquitous blue-and-yellow swoosh (which hasn’t changed since 1997!) with a design of their choice.

How did New Yorkers react to the news? Much in the same way New Yorkers react to any news relating to the city: by fighting with each other about it. Pragmatists pointed to the cash-strapped MTA’s desperate need of funds. Nostalgists—among them, the New York Times—called the ads a “defacement” of a classic piece of New York ephemera. Cynics saw the decision as another step towards the city’s total corporate sponsorship.

Continue reading on Fast Company Co.Exist

Read More about the project here>

The 6 People You Need in Your Corner

Nothing incredible is accomplished alone. You need others to help you, and you need to help others. With the right team, you can form a web of connections to make the seemingly impossible practically inevitable.

The Instigator:

Someone who pushes you, who makes you think. Who motivates you to get up and go, and try, and make things happen. You want to keep this person energized, and enthusiastic. This is the voice of inspiration.

See The Other 5 Here 

The Centre for Social Innovation to open dynamic shared space for social entrepreneurs in RXR’s Starrett-Lehigh Building (NYC)


We can finally announce what we’ve been working on for the last 7 months. Press release is below:

Toronto-based enterprise brings its successful model for catalyzing social innovation and business growth to NYC to help social entrepreneurs, innovators and non-profits to flourish 

July 18, 2012 – (New York)The Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), a global leader in the creation of shared spaces for social innovation, will open its first U.S location in New York City’s iconic Starrett-Lehigh building this winter.

The Toronto-based organization, known for pioneering a unique approach to business incubation that blends shared workspace, community animation and social enterprise acceleration programs, will lease 24,000 square feet of space in the building, as part of a strategic alliance with the building’s owner, RXR Realty.

CSI is coming to New York to support the city’s fast-growing community of innovators, entrepreneurs, enterprises and non-profits working to make the world a better place. The new CSI Starrett-Lehigh will be a shared workspace, dynamic community, learning hub and catalyst to accelerate the success of New York’s social ventures. 

“We’re ready to work with New York’s best and brightest world-changers,” said Tonya Surman, CSI’s CEO. “Expanding to New York presents CSI with the opportunity to harness greater resources, talent and partnerships to push forward social innovation in North America and around the world.”

This emphasis on partnerships is fundamental to the CSI model, said Eli Malinsky, Director of Strategy and Partnerships. “Collaboration is in our DNA,” he said. “We know that the key to our success will be connecting with dozens of organizations already doing incredible work in the city. It’s these partnerships that will allow us to do something truly exceptional.”

CSI is expected to open this winter, amid high-profile tenants that include Tommy Hilfiger, Martha Stewart-Omnimedia, advertising firm Dentsu McGarry Bowen, Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren/Polo. 

The 19-story, 2.3 million square foot Starrett-Lehigh building is one of Manhattan’s 10 largest office buildings and occupies the entire square block bounded by West 26th and West 27th Streets between 11th and 12th Avenues.  RXR purchased the property in August 2011 and is in the midst of a $50 million repositioning of the property.

 “We are thrilled that CSI chose Starrett-Lehigh as their first location outside of Canada.  Their focus on social innovation and helping creative entrepreneurs grow is completely consistent with our vision for Starrett” said RXR CEO Scott Rechler.  “We are also excited for them to play a key role in providing programming and a sense of community to the 5,000 ‘creative class’ people who work at Starrett-Lehigh.”

“Part of what we are trying to do is create a sense of community among the 5,000 ‘creative class’ people who work at Starrett-Lehigh,” said RXR CEO Scott Rechler.  “We also wanted to give back to the community by helping small businesses and entrepreneurs get their businesses started in this challenging economy.  We looked into a number of organizations to help us accomplish this and felt CSI had the track record and unique approach that would fit perfectly here.”

Going far beyond physical space, CSI is a platform for its members to connect over real and virtual networks, tapping into a pool of highly skilled, creative, entrepreneurial and experienced professionals. It offers educational, peer-to-peer and mentoring opportunities. It will host hundreds of workshops, conferences and other events, fostering collaboration among its members and the community. In addition CSI will provide financial support to promising social ventures. Since its creation in 2004, CSI has helped more than 1,500 entrepreneurs grow their businesses.   

For further information about the CSI Starrett-Lehigh, including membership details or partnership opportunities, please visit www.socialinnovation.org or email: info@socialinnovation.org.

About the Centre for Social Innovation
The Centre for Social Innovation is a social enterprise with a mission to catalyze social innovation around the world. CSI currently operates three locations in Toronto, supporting more than 800 members working in a diversity of sectors from finance to farming and everything in between. 

Created in 2004, the Centre for Social Innovation anticipated a surge of interest in social innovation and new forms of working and collaboration. Pioneering a unique approach that blends shared workspace, community animation and social enterprise acceleration programs, CSI remains an innovator in its own right, leading the field at home and around the world. 

About RXR Realty
RXR Realty LLC (“RXR”) is a vertically integrated, private real estate company with expertise in investment management, property management, development, design, construction, leasing and financing. 

RXR’s core growth strategy is focused on New York City and the surrounding tri-state area markets.  RXR is one of the largest owners, managers, and developers in the New York tri-state area, with interests in approximately $4.7 billion of assets, comprised of 106 operating properties containing approximately 18.0 million square feet. For information about RXR, visit www.rxrrealty.com.

This is pretty awesome! Mr. Rogers get auto-tuned- The Garden of your mind.

Mister Rogers gets auto-tuned and remixed by Symphony of Science’s John Boswell for PBS Digital Studios.

Howard Stern played it this morning on his show. 

(Source: tvshark.com)

smarterplanet:

IBM launches augmented reality app for grocery stores | VentureBeat
Attention, shoppers. IBM has unveiled an augmented reality mobile app that lets you pan store shelves with your smartphones to receive personalized product tips, recommendations, and coupons.
The app is one more example of a creative use of augmented reality, which blends digital data with real-world imagery. The app brings the benefits of digital commerce to traditional brick-and-mortar stores, where 92 percent of retail still takes place, according to market researcher Forrester Research.

smarterplanet:

IBM launches augmented reality app for grocery stores | VentureBeat

Attention, shoppers. IBM has unveiled an augmented reality mobile app that lets you pan store shelves with your smartphones to receive personalized product tips, recommendations, and coupons.

The app is one more example of a creative use of augmented reality, which blends digital data with real-world imagery. The app brings the benefits of digital commerce to traditional brick-and-mortar stores, where 92 percent of retail still takes place, according to market researcher Forrester Research.

Jobs Climate Encouraging Social Entrepreneurship

A Washington Post article suggests that the current jobs climate may be spurring a new crop of social entrepreneurs. Struggling with either job loss or increased hours in the wake of permanent layoffs at their company, a greater number of people are trying to bring their work and social community life together, according to David Hodgson of the private equity outfit General Atlantic and Echoing Green, one of many foundations offering fellowships to new social entrepreneurs trying to launch new hybrid ventures.

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