The mesh prize is awarded annually to a project or a group of projects that seek to collectively improve the Canadian Digital Media Industry. The prize, which is sponsored by Teehan + Lax, seeks to fund projects that create new understanding, capabilities or tools that the digital media community can benefit from. The prize recipient will receive $40,000 towards the successful completion of their project.
The winner for 2011 is The Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), which was founded in 2004 with the mission to catalyze social innovation in Toronto and around the world. By providing high quality shared workspace for over 300 nonprofits and businesses CSI has created a dynamic community of professionals that have an appetite for social change.
Bring women together in a creative, hands-on project where they can showcase talent, build skills and establish ongoing mentorship opportunities. Working with an advisory group, the activities include:
- Launch a competition in the fall that will invite teams of women in technology to design and develop digital game projects.
- Following the competition launch, participants will have 10 weeks to develop their digital game with access to hands-on advice and mentorship.
- At the end of the 10 weeks the projects will be judged and the winner will receive $10,000 and a permanent desk at a CSI workspace facility to further develop their project.
The launch and judging event will be open to the public. This year’s project will be piloted in Toronto with hopes of rolling out to other cities in Canada next year.
The mesh prize is a founding partner for this project and there is opportunity for more partners to be involved in this pilot year and growth to expand, both financially and with advisory support roles. If you are interested in this helping this project email Jessica Hazen, Director, Stakeholder Engagement a the Centre for Social Innovation.
Background on the Social Innovation Project:
Information and communications technology (ICT) has a lot to offer in terms of exciting new developments in digital media, creative communications tools, finding solutions to challenges in society and strengthening businesses. It’s easy to assume that this ever-growing industry would also have a lot to offer in terms of careers for Canadians. Sure, except for only half of our demographic. Women represent a very small percentage of the ICT workforce, and this number has been declining over the past two decades.
Across the ICT industry there is agreement that 1) women are underrepresented; 2) an increase of women in this field can bring a positive effect for their business; and 3) it would be nice to hire more women but finding candidates has been a challenge. In addition, there is great potential for more women to lead their own ICT businesses.
The Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) sees the gap between men and women benefiting from growth in the ICT industry, paired with the industry appetite to narrow this gap, as a perfect opportunity to make a positive change in the digital community. As such, the process of strengthening the technology community at CSI will include strategies to showcase talent and build opportunities for women in this field.
To compound the issue even further, the data currently being collected reflects only the larger organizations, while ignoring the small to medium-sized businesses, who are the primary drivers of our economy.