Agents of Change: City Builders

The Centre for Social Innovation is teaming up with 14 outstanding partners to support ten great ideas for a better New York City.

Great cities are the product of engaged and active citizens. The types of people who insist on rolling up their sleeves to make their city a better place.  We need your help to find the very best!

The Agents of Change: City Builders program was created to give these dreamers, doers and innovators a helping hand. We’re running a one month contest to find and support ten great ideas. The Agents of Change winners will be connected to the people, places and resources they need to unlock their potential and transform our city.

Applications closed December 1, 2014.

Benefits of Being an Agent of Change

  • Beginning in January 2015, you will receive one Hot Desk 100 package for one year, providing you with 100 hours of free monthly workspace + four hours of meeting room space for up to two people in your organization to work on your city-building project.
  • Opportunity to leverage our promotional channels to help you get the word out including our newsletter, intranet, email listserve, social media channels, magazine and websites.
  • Get your foot in the door and attend an exclusive session with each of our partners to learn from their experiences and to discuss the opportunities, challenges and obstacles to city building.
  • Participation in an exclusive bimonthly peer circle with your fellow Agents facilitated by CSI’s Executive Director.
  • Free consultations with experts in law, design, accounting, fundraising, and financing.
  • Receive priority access to apply for a 0% interest loan for up to $5,000 that's crowdfunded on Kiva Zip.
  • Complimentary Urbanist Professional Membership in the Municipal Art Society of New York.
  • Expand your personal network by connecting to New York City's most dynamic social innovation community.

Agents of Change Partners



Who should apply?

Are you addressing issues of income inequality in your community? Are you working on a new mode of transportation? Is your technology going to change how we connect to local officials?

We’re looking for any individual or emerging organization that is working to build a better New York City. You must be past the ‘idea stage’ but, beyond that, we want to hear from you!

How will you Decide the Winners?

We’ll be selecting Agents based on the potential of their idea, our confidence in their ability, and our sense of whether this program will accelerate their success.

We’re thrilled to be joined by many of our partners in making the final decisions and we expect our final 10 will represent a diversity of ideas, innovations and stages.


Previous Agents of Change

Drive Change

Drive Change is a food truck social enterprise that hires, trains and empowers formerly incarcerated youth so that they can live crime free, productive lives.

Shore Soup Project

The Shore Soup Project is a grassroots community group that formed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and established a community feeding program.


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2014 Agents of Change

A look at 2014 Agent of Change winner Drive Change

Tired of seeing young men circulating back into the prison system, CSI member Jordyn Lexton decided to do something about it. We look at her organization Drive Change, which builds and operates locally sourced food trucks that hire, teach and empower formerly incarcerated youth. We also meet Andre Ward of the Osborne Association, which offers opportunities for individuals who have been in conflict with the law to transform their lives through innovative, effective, and replicable programs.


Photo credit: leeaison via Flickr