Category: Uncategorized

Posted on / by Emily / in Uncategorized

We’re Hiring! IRBE Executive Director

The Institute for a Resource Based Economy is growing, and we’re looking for a leader to help shape and implement our vision!

The Institute for a Resource Based Economy (IRBE) is an environmental and social economy organization with a makerspace with an educational focus in teaching hands-on skills for both youth and adults. The Makerspace offers a wide range of workshops and courses designed to teach practical skills to facilitate creativity, building and design such as Laser Cutting, Woodshop, Lathe and 3D Printing. IRBE works closely with our partner organizations, the Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot, to provide radical access to the tools and community needed to build a more sustainable, equitable future.

The ideal candidate is self motivated, with a head for complexity and strategic thinking. We are looking for a progressive leader with excellent communication skills and keen business sense.

The Executive Director reports to the IRBE Board of Directors and manages its staff team. Core responsibilities include:

  • Strategic development and implementation of the IRBE vision  
  • Financial reporting and management
  • Staff management  
  • Operations management
  • Business development
  • Partnership development

We are looking for candidates that match the following requirements:

  • 5+ years of business management and or managerial experience
  • Proven experience leading organizational growth and complexity
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively in team dynamics and partnerships
  • Accounting and/or bookkeeping experience an asset

Terms of Employment

  • Full time, permanent role
  • $40,000 initial salary with room for growth
  • Start time: September 2019

Please send your cover letter, resume and three professional references to Molly Fremes (she/her) at molly@irbe.org by August 6, 2019. Please package your application in a single PDF attachment with the subject line “Last Name_IRBE ED Application”.

IRBE is committed to employment equity and actively encourages applications from self-identified members of racialized groups, Indigenous peoples, LGTBQ2 youth, people with disabilities and women in STEM. We prioritize consideration of those applicants who ask to be considered for employment equity.

Thank you for your interest and best of luck in your application!

Institute for a Resource Based Economy, Board of Directors

You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

– Buckminster Fuller
Posted on / by Emily / in Uncategorized

Join our Team! Canada Summer Jobs Applications

Interested in the circular economy and building strong, resilient communities through sharing? Join our team for the summer! Thanks to the Canada Summer Jobs program, we’re hiring for three positions, please see below and please share with anyone you know who might be interested in working with us! Candidates must be 30 and under to apply. Each contract is for $16/hour, 33.5 hours a week for the duration of the summer.

The Institute for a Resource Based Economy (IRBE) is an environmental and social economy organization with a makerspace with an educational focus in teaching hands-on skills for both youth and adults. The Makerspace offers a wide range of workshops and courses designed to teach practical skills to facilitate creativity, building and design such as Laser Cutting, Woodshop, Lathe and 3D Printing. IRBE works closely with our partner organizations, the Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot, to provide radical access to the tools and community needed to build a more sustainable, equitable future.

Communications & Content Creator

We are seeking a creative Communications and Content Developer to help IRBE showcase our mission and engage our active community over the summer. You will support our Social Media and Marketing Manager in the creation of graphic design material, promotional material for marketing campaigns and some video content for social media engagement. Our content will require an interest in the circular economy, maker culture, and waste reduction, complemented by stories and projects captured from our community.

The successful candidate will have experience with graphic design and video creation. Preference will be given to those with an efficient understanding of narrative-based storytelling and communicating mission and values through social media.

You must possess superb written and verbal communication skills, and be interested in socially engaged work. To be successful in this role, you will need to have excellent visual design skills and be proficient in graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.

This job requires flexibility to work between three locations, and some remote.

Responsibilities

  • Creating engaging multimedia content
  • Building graphic design content for our service offerings, promotions and communications
  • Establishing design guidelines, standards, and best practices.
  • Aligning work to our communications strategy
  • Shooting and editing video content

Requirements

  1. Demonstrate strong visual design portfolio
  2. Proficient in Adobe suites
  3. Must be able to shoot and edit video content
  4. Must have excellent writing and editing skills
  5. Be able to communicate clearly and effectively
  6. Strong time-management and organizational skills
  7. Proven experience working independently
  8. Fabrication skills an asset (laser cutting, 3D printing, woodworking)

IRBE is a small team with a collaborative work environment. We prioritize personal and professional development for staff, interns and research assistants, and use our vast network and connections to open opportunities for career success.  

We actively encourage applications from members of racialized groups, Indigenous peoples, LGTBQ2 youth, people with disabilities and women in STEM. We prioritize consideration of those applicants who self-identity to be considered for employment equity.

The Communications Coordinator has the opportunity to learn the safe use of hand & power tools available in our Makerspace, as well as programming & operation of 3D printers, the laser cutter, & CNC machine. Extensive training can be conducted if the candidate is interested.

Applications are due by 5:00pm on Friday, June 21. Please send a cover letter and resume/portfolio to tim@irbe.org with the subject line “Last Name_IRBE Communications and Content Developer Application”. This is a summer contract from beginning of July to the end of August.

Web Developer

We are seeking a savvy and detail-oriented Web Developer to support of website development over the summer. The ideal candidate will translate wireframes into a clear, user-friendly website that captures our service offerings and values. This includes improving our web design so that it is more effective and iterative for users, and working with our Social Media Manager and Executive Director to support content updates and client queries.

IRBE’s first line of communication with our clients and community is through our website. The web developer is an integral part of ensuring that our messaging, mission, hours, location, events, workshops and other communications points are clearly and logically presented on our site. The successful candidate will be proficient in JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and have solid knowledge and experience in React or similar JS library. You must also have clear communication skills, and be able to work with both technical and non-technical members of our team.

This job requires flexibility to work between three downtown locations, and some remote work.

Responsibilities

  • Translate wireframes into a user-friendly site
  • Collaborate with designers to create a beautiful product.
  • Maintain ongoing communication with team
  • Meet regular deadlines and check ins

Requirements

  • Training in Web development or related field, or relevant experience
  • Proficient in JavaScript, HTML, CSS
  • Excellent written and verbal communication.
  • Able to translate ideas to non-technical people
  • A mind for complexity and problem solving
  • Gatsby, or any static-site generation tool. Require knowledge of React or similar JS library
  • Good understanding of search engine optimization principles
  • Proficient understanding of cross-browser compatibility issues

The Web Developer will report directly to the General Manager and will work closely with the Social Media Manager.

We actively encourage applications from members of racialized groups, Indigenous peoples, LGTBQ2 youth, people with disabilities and women in STEM. We prioritize consideration of those applicants who self-identity to be considered for employment equity

The Developer has the opportunity to learn the safe use of hand & power tools available to our members, and programming & operation of 3D printers, the laser cutter, & CNC machine. Extensive training can be conducted if the developer is interested in the Makerspace facilities.

Applications are due by 5:00pm on Friday, June 21. Please send a cover letter and resume/portfolio to tim@irbe.org with the subject line “Last Name_IRBE Web Developer Application”. This is a summer contract from beginning of July to the end of August.

Operations and Administrative Assistant

We are seeking a detail-oriented and organized Operations and Administrative Assistant for the summer to help establish more robust administrative pipelines and roll out key programs. You will support our Executive Director in managing the organizational workflow, automating tasks, administrative needs, and day-to-day operations.

The successful candidate will be interested in learning about not-for-profit management and working in a dynamic grass-roots community. You must possess superb written and verbal communication skills, and be interested in socially organizing and environmental work. To be successful in this role, you will need to be thoughtful, organized and comfortable with self directed work.

This job requires flexibility to work between three locations, and some remote work.

Responsibilities

  • Support programs and initiatives happening in the organization through administrative or operational assistance
  • Implementing outlined policies and procedures
  • Maintain ongoing communication with team
  • Meet regular deadlines and check ins
  • Assist with organizing meetings, workshops and events to engage the community
  • Lead day-of activities including but not limited to set-up, take down, volunteers

Requirements

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent computer literacy skills.
  • Ability to prioritize tasks.
  • Able to solve complex problems
  • Handling basic bookkeeping tasks.
  • Helping prepare for meetings.
  • Prior administrative experience.
  • Must be able to meet deadlines in a fast-paced quickly changing environment.

We actively encourage applications from members of racialized groups, Indigenous peoples, LGTBQ2 youth, people with disabilities and women in STEM. We prioritize consideration of those applicants who self-identity to be considered for employment equity.

The Operations and Administrative Assistant has the opportunity to learn the safe use of hand & power tools available to our members, and programming & operation of 3D printers, the laser cutter, & CNC machine. Extensive training can be conducted if the EA is interested in the Makerspace facilities to create project materials.

Applications are due by 5:00pm on Friday, June 21. Please send a cover letter and resume/portfolio to tim@irbe.org with the subject line “Last Name_IRBE Operations & Admin Assistant Application”. This is a summer contract from beginning of July to the end of August.

Institute for a Resource Based Economy, Board of Directors

You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

– Buckminster Fuller
Posted on / by Emily / in Uncategorized

Marie Kondo Came for Your Clutter, Mottainai is Coming for Your Consumption Habits

JUMP TO A SECTION:

  1. Respect
  2. Reuse
  3. Recirculate
  4. Repair
  5. Repurpose

It’s 2019. A war has been declared on single-use plastic. Upcycling and repurposing are suddenly in vogue (recycling is dead, long-live the reuse revolution!). People are fleeing their three story mansions in droves, downsizing their living rooms and their lives to squeeze what’s left into tiny off-grid homes. High priestess of the zero waste movement Bea Johnson has taught her minions to refill glass jars at bulk stores across the planet and arrange them in aesthetically pleasing ways in pantries, drawers and cupboards. Meanwhile, sergeant general of decluttering Marie Kondo has triggered the great purge of the 21st century (she’s also triggered a lot of white people).

If it isn’t clear by now, it soon will be. Several niche lifestyle movements that have been bubbling under the service for years have suddenly hit the mainstream like a climate change-enhanced hurricane and it’s giving consumer culture an identity crisis. You can blame millennials – so that’s what happens when you rig an economy and screw an entire generation! Fun experiment *insert side eye emoji* – but you can also look at it as a natural response akin to overstuffing your face at an all you can eat restaurant. After decades of the most extensive (and expensive) accidental research study in history, the people have concluded that the answer is yes, you can indeed have too much stuff.

Our overflowing closets tell tales of sales past, tags glaring at us from shirts in seasonal colours that never suited us. Our junk drawers give lectures on the evolution of cell phone technology and act as graveyards for dried up pens with missing lids and conference swag we never wanted but never thought to refuse. Our garages contain exactly everything except for our cars (yes, of course you need all that gear for your annual camping trip – psyche! No you don’t). Our storage units are mausoleums dedicated to china sets, puke green couches with puke orange floral patterns and extensive useless trinket collections. It all sparks anxiety but you feel bad for grandma so into storage they go.

But what comes after the decluttering? It’s not enough to go on a spark joy purging trip through your home once a year and then dump the rejects onto the doorsteps of unwitting thrift shops to absolve yourself of consumer guilt. No. It’s time that decluttering go the way of recycling and we adopt practices that avoid the creation of clutter in the first place.

Say Hello to Mottainai – Your New Lifestyle Practice

Mottainai is a state of mind rooted in Japanese culture expressing regret at wasting resources and reflecting an awareness of the interdependence and impermanence of all things. Naturally, this mindset favours and upholds things like reusing, repairing and repurposing materials that already exist so as to minimize waste and to put respect for the planet at the centre of our relationship to resources.

As we make the shift from a linear economic model of resource use to a circular economy where waste is designed out, I would like to suggest that we apply Mottainai as the underpinning philosophical framework for a new way of relating to our things.

Respect

The first thing we can do is acknowledge deep respect for the planet we live on and use that as a guiding principle for all our actions. This involves understanding that each time we consume something, we are using Earth’s resources which are not infinite and take time to regenerate. The Earth itself is an organism and if we take too much at one time OR use items that the planet can’t digest, we risk disrupting its natural systems. We need to acknowledge this and be mindful of the interconnected nature of our actions and the well-being of all life on earth.

Makes it pretty hard to pump the air full of carbon, decimate essential-for-life-on-earth forests, pollute global waterways and force species extinctions with that as a guiding principle, doesn’t it? It follows naturally from this that one of the first steps we should take in implementing respect is awarding personhood to the entire planet.

From respect flows practices for accessing the stuff we need in ways that reflect the above: reuse, recirculate, repurpose, repair. And lucky for us, in Toronto each of these is becoming increasingly more available.

Reuse

Reuse involves taking materials that already exist and using them again – wooooh, what a concept *insert mind blown emoji*. For example, this could involve taking a jar that once contained pickles and, rather than chucking it, reusing it to store bulk food items in. Reuse could also include bringing a reusable cup, container, bag, cutlery, etc when on the go, such as carrying a zero waste kit. Or it could involve using a reuse service, such as Dream Zero who bring reusable cups to events and pick them up when the event is over to be washed and readied for another event.

Reuse in Toronto: places to fill your own containers or get quality reusable items

Recirculate

Recirculating goods involves reimagining our perceptions of ownership while creating the infrastructure that makes it possible to share, borrow and exchange things as a community rather than buying new. For example, you likely don’t really need to own a drill – what you need is a hole in the wall. Why have a garage packed with tools you use occasionally when you can have a community hub that makes things available and accessible for everyone to use when they need to?

Recirculate in Toronto: places to swap, trade and borrow things you need rather than purchasing new

Repair

Repair involves taking an item that is broken and fixing it so you don’t have to throw it out and can therefore avoid replacing it with a new item. For example, your handheld steamer stops working, you open it up, discover calcium build-up in the tube, remove it and it starts working again (true story – Repair Cafe Toronto is a stuff-saver).

Repair in Toronto: places where you can access the knowledge and tools you need to get your treasures fixed

No need to reinvent the wheel – Repair Cafe Toronto has an extensive list on their website of all different types of repair shops in Toronto, sorted by category. View the list here.

Repurpose

Repurposing could also be called upcycling. This involves taking materials that used to be one thing and turning them into something else. This keeps the materials in circulation longer and avoids using new resources to create the thing you need. For example, turning an old t-shirt into a reusable bag.

Repurpose in Toronto: places where you can learn to make your own upcycled things or purchase things that have been made with upcycled materials  

Know a shop or service that isn’t on the list but should be? Let me know and I’ll add it in!

In all seriousness, we have a real opportunity here. The foundation for a new way of accessing what we need in more environmentally and socially responsible ways is already being laid. Waste is nothing more than a cultural mindset rooted in the notion that we can take whatever we want, whenever we want and dispose of it however we want. Cultural mindsets change and we’re already in the midst of a shift. Changing our relationship with the earth and its resources has the potential to spiral out, transforming how we relate to each other, to money, our concepts of work, and so much more.

Imagine libraries of things in every single community and every condo. Imagine reuse centres all over the city that have all the tools and knowledge in one place to create, repair and innovate with upcycled materials. Imagine malls but instead of new junky products, they are filled with reused, repaired and repurposed things.

You don’t have to imagine all that hard, because the pieces needed to get to that future have already been put in place. We have very nearly arrived, it’s up to us to keep up the momentum. Get rich or try sharing ✌️ and stay wasteless.


This is a guest blog from @itsahashtaglife – blogger, social media manager and content creator for non-profits and charities in Toronto. She takes the tools and techniques of traditional digital media marketing and applies them to organizations working hard to shift our world into a new story – one that is more sustainable and supportive of people and the planet. #LetsGetWasteless

The Sharing Depot Blog

Posted on / by Emily / in Uncategorized

Now There’s a Better Way to Give Memberships as Gifts

For the maker, the DIYer, the tinkerer. For the lover of outdoor adventures and nights under the stars. For the party animal and the event planner. For the board gamer. For the little people who love toys but love novelty even more. For the minimalist who likes stuff but hates clutter. For the environmentalist who wants to live lighter on the planet.

THERE’S A CARD FOR ALL THAT AND MORE – give your loved ones the gift of access to thousands of items with a membership to the Toronto Tool Library & Sharing Depot this Holiday season! The gift that gives all year long, a membership to a library of things provides infinite experiences without the price tag, clutter or environmental damage.

And now there’s an even better way to give memberships as gifts! We are excited to be partnering with UnWrapIt to make your gift of access that much more meaningful to the person who receives it. With UnWrapIt, you can create a memorable gift opening experience for intangible and experiential gifts by “wrapping” any kind of gift with multiple choice questions, a scavenger hunt and personal photos.

So how do you wrap thousands of tools and other items available to borrow through our library of things to make the experience of opening a membership card exciting for the recipient? Choose from a variety of different wrap experiences when you purchase the membership online through UnWrapIt

Check out the pre-made wrap experiences UnWrapIt put together for gifted Toronto Tool Library & Sharing Depot memberships. Decide which level of membership is right for your loved one, add it to the gift builder and follow the steps! You can select the ‘preview’ section at the bottom of each bundle to see an example of what the unwrapping experience will be like for the person you are sending it to.

Why UnWrapIt?

Fewer Parcels, Better Gifts 

Every year, tens of millions of parcels are ordered online, wrapped with wrapping paper, and delivered as gifts. 

Meanwhile, independent research has shown that more than 50% of gift recipients in North America prefer intangible gifts like experiences to physical gifts.

The Big Idea  

If there was an easy way to create exciting and joyful gift opening experiences when giving intangible gifts, then more people would give intangible gifts. And with more intangible gifts given, there would be:

  • More satisfied gift recipients
  • More shared experiences
  • Fewer trees cut down
  • Less CO2 emissions from manufacturing & shipping
  • Less gift waste overall