Coming Together Like Never Before
We’ve long been gathered under a common mission, but for the first time ever — we gathered under one roof. Worldreader’s 2022 staff retreat set the tone for our year and the trajectory of our organization.
In May 2022, Worldreader history was made. The pandemic put a screeching halt to international travel, days at the office, and face-to-face hangouts. But working at an international non-profit meant that even pre-pandemic, much of our staff had only interacted through a computer screen. It’s why bringing the organization together in Barcelona was so exceptional.
The first-ever Worldreader retreat was coined Coming Together. It reflected both the joy of meeting our team in the flesh and tangibly aligning around where we’re headed in 2022 and beyond. Via plane, train, and automobiles, our Worldreader family traveled from Kenya, Ghana, India, Peru, the UK, the US, and Europe, assembling under one roof for the first time in our organization’s history. And it was epic.
We walked into the week with three core objectives:
- To meet and get to know each person and team, building staff camaraderie while working hard and having fun
- To align on the vision and direction of the organization and how we are going to get children reading worldwide so they can reach their potential
- To spark a culture of creativity and experimentation for the enhancement of our user/partner journey
Spoiler alert – mission accomplished.
The week was packed with cross-functional team retreats, engaging sessions, design challenges, collaboration workshops, and plenty of team meals. We wrestled with big questions.
How might we align our services to learning outcomes that drive greater impact? What is the current service journey we offer to our readers and how might we adapt it to be more effective? How can we strengthen the staff experience and our virtual collaboration?
Together, we brainstormed solutions that not only improved the quality of our jobs but the scale of our impact.
Before ending the retreat with a picnic by the sea, we reflected on key takeaways from a transformational week. A fireside chat with our CEO David Risher and Board Member Kami Dar unpacked the power of reading and the ways we build a resilient organization from the inside out.
Throughout the week, we learned the technicalities of our BookSmart platform. We gained a deeper understanding of the unique focus of each region. We set focuses for ourselves and left energized about the clear organizational focuses set in place. Most excitingly, when we arrived back home in our respective regions, we felt closer than ever to our colleagues, even from thousands of miles away.