Adil Dhalla. Director of Culture for Centre for Social Innovation. Social Enterprise.
Adil is not only one of the coolest guys we’ve interviewed, but also has a pretty cool job to match. Adil is the Director of Culture at the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), a social enterprise with a mission to catalyze social innovation in Toronto and around the world. CSI is a coworking space and community with locations in Toronto and most recently New York City for social entrepreneurs, nonprofits and companies trying to change the world. Adil’s experience spans sectors and industries, from volunteering for the Obama campaign to running his own start-up. His career path shows that there’s no straight line to a meaningful job and that each step is important along the way.
Can you describe your job in a nutshell?
As the Director of Culture for the Centre for Social Innovation, my job is to contribute to our community’s success by elevating happiness in our spaces. This means that I do everything from improving our customer service, to creating kick-ass events, to finding ways to bring fun and play into the our spaces. Suffice to say, my job is awesome.
How did you get your current job?
I rented space at the Centre for Social Innovation while working at my previous start-up and fell in love with the organization’s values and potential to create real and large systems change. I wanted to be part of it and thankfully, they gave me an opportunity to do that.
How did your past life and work experiences help get to where you are today?
I suppose more than anything, my past experience gave me an acute understanding of what I’d love to do. I could only get this, however, by trying several different things across many industries and sectors. So if I could impart some advice here it would be to try ‘dating’ in the professional world and take some risks because that ocean is filled with plenty of (professional) fish.
What’s the most fulfilling part of your work?
The most fulfilling part of my work is seeing the success of our members and community. If you work at the Centre for Social Innovation, it means that your work is somehow making the world a better place and I’m so happy to have an opportunity to contribute, even in the tiniest ways towards our community’s meaningful missions.
What advice would you give someone looking to get a meaningful job?
Do what you love and do not relent until you find what that is. We work too much to not give ourselves that gift.
What’s one thing people wouldn’t expect to find on your resume that makes you stand out?
Truthfully, I haven’t created a resume in many years but if I were to do one today it would be the diverse range of experiences I’ve had. Everything from honey farming in Tanzania, to volunteering for the Obama campaign in Brooklyn to starting a local video start-up that spanned 250 countries. The only consistency with what I’ve done in the past is the similar purpose to do good in the world.
What’s one trend you are seeing that will impact your sector in the next 5 years?
The social entrepreneurship sector is rapidly growing so I believe we’re going to keep seeing more and more opportunities in it and growth is in itself, a massive change.
If you could have one super hero power that would help you do your job better what would it be-and why?
Time travel, hands down, so I can meet the people in the past who have paved the way for us today and learn what I can from them. Also taking the opportunity travel forward to see what problems we’re going to be faced with in the future so we can start working on them now.
Like what Adil has to say? Follow him on twitter @dildhalla
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