CivicActions Retreat 2017 in Sacramento

CivicActions' distributed team converged on Sacramento to accomplish a month’s worth of in-person growing, learning, planning, (and playing!) in just three days.

2017-10-12T09:45:29+00:00 Categories: Culture, Events|

A Day Without a Woman at CivicActions

On March 8th, International Women’s Day, we’re standing together with the women at CivicActions who choose to take the day off in support of women’s equality for “A Day Without a Woman”. The Women’s March movement was an amazing display of solidarity and support for women -- and it’s important [...]

2017-03-31T06:19:52+00:00 Categories: Culture, Events|

Give Government Permission to Speak Freely

By Robert L. Read and Fen Labalme These ideas were generated at a CivicActions retreat, during an Open Space brainstorming session. As CivicActions is fiercely open, we are releasing these ideas to the public for anyone to use as they see fit. Transparent government requires open and frequent communication. Ideally, [...]

2017-03-31T06:19:53+00:00 Categories: Culture, Government|

CivicActions Values Diversity

We're hiring at CivicActions. For the past few years we've been focused on bringing more diversity to our unique and talented company.

2017-03-31T06:19:53+00:00 Categories: Culture|

Introducing CivicActions Labs

We’re pleased to announce the launch of CivicActions Labs, an initiative to provide our team with sanctioned time outside of project work to innovate and design products that will streamline our workflow and improve our practices.

2017-03-31T06:19:56+00:00 Categories: Culture, Design, Development|Tags: |

How to Use Balance Scores to Improve Velocity in Scrum

Over the last 2 years, we have found that sharing balance scores on a call only takes 5 seconds cumulatively for an entire team. We've also found that this simple one number check-in reduces anxiety for the person who shares, and for others on the team.

2017-03-31T06:19:57+00:00 Categories: Agile, Balance, Culture|

Working in a Distributed Team Environment

At CivicActions we are a completely distributed team with clients all around the globe. When I first tell people that I work in this environment, they think one of two things: 1) I can slack off all day lounging in my PJs or 2) that it must be awfully lonely working at home. I am sure that both of those instances can be true in some companies, but not in our case.

2017-03-31T06:19:57+00:00 Categories: Culture, How-To|

CivicActions is Hiring!

We're looking to add new team members who also value quality, diversity, flexibility, healthy work/life balance, humor and supporting one another. Working for CivicActions is more than just a job - it's working with a team of people who are committed to transforming the world.

2016-06-24T23:00:59+00:00 Categories: Culture|

Lifehacks for Focus and Mindfulness

On our all-hands scrum this week, we talked about some lifehacks that help us to be more mindful or help us with focus. Here are some highlights.

2017-03-31T06:19:58+00:00 Categories: Culture, How-To|

Video: Office Optional Presentation on Building a Healthy Organizational Culture

Last week, Sadie and I had the honor of presenting at Office Optional, a new conference for distributed teams. The event brought together leaders and coworkers to examine tools and techniques used by successful organizations where the team members aren’t in the same place. Our presentation was on the subject [...]

2017-03-31T06:19:58+00:00 Categories: Culture|

The Balanced Workplace: Treadmill Desk, Laptop Edition

This is a picture of the laptop desk I created for my treadmill.  It involved a rectangle of 3/8" plywood (you can often get scrap odd cuts wherever they sell plywood), and several feet of 1x2 trim cut to create a hinged bar that props the desktop using the treadmil [...]

2017-03-31T06:19:59+00:00 Categories: Balance, Culture|

Process Vs Knowledge

I recently saw the wonderful documentary, Eames: The Architect & The Painter, and if you are a fan of the furniture, films or other design of Ray and Charles Eames like I am, you have to see this film when it comes to your town, or becomes available via DVD [...]

2017-03-31T06:20:01+00:00 Categories: Culture, Design|

Ken Wilber And The Big Three Value Systems

In a recent post I outlined Ken Wilber’s quadrant theory, which I think is an incredibly helpful way of gaining a full picture of organizations and issue areas. While the quadrants describe the internal and external, individual and social frameworks we encounter in the world, Wilber also spends a lot [...]

2017-03-31T06:20:03+00:00 Categories: Balance, Culture|

Technology and Social Movements

Last Thursday I attended a taping of the Al Jazeera English show, "Empire" at the Columbia University Journalism School. The discussion featured Amy Goodman, Carl Bernstein, Emily Bell, and rivals Clay Shirky and Evgeny Morozov. While the role of technology was the launching point of the discussion; it was not [...]

2017-03-31T06:20:09+00:00 Categories: Culture|

Effective Interactive Engagement: A Quick Look at Columbia Sportswear

I was taking my dinner break tonight, catching up on the latest episodes of The Office on Hulu (as a longtime webhead, it's incredibly gratifying and still a little magical to me to see streaming media so widely adopted) when a "limited commercial interruption" occurred. It was an ad for [...]

2017-03-31T06:20:11+00:00 Categories: Culture, Nonprofit|

What’s Your Theory of Change?

So my head and heart are still spinning from my experience at Web of Change.  So many incredible ideas, and perhaps more importantly, a really deep, integrated sense of the network of good people doing amazing things in the world.  Our focus on generating "alignment" inside CivicActions has already taught [...]

2017-03-31T06:20:11+00:00 Categories: Culture, Events|

Questions from Web of Change

I'm at the 10th annual Web of Change conference in British Columbia.  About a hundred leaders from organizations working on environmental, immigration, and other policy issues (as well as a number of vendors) are gathered to weave the Web of Change.  We had an opening session last night, where we [...]

2017-03-31T06:20:12+00:00 Categories: Culture, Events|

Happy Birthday Maze for Jerry Michalski

After receiving invitations since Jerry's first retreat, I finally attended Jerry's weekend this year at the Marconi Center just north of San Francisco. I met some truly amazing folks there, and I drew this maze for Jerry in my 'off-time'. I began drawing mazes like this one for my two [...]

2016-03-22T07:44:22+00:00 Categories: Culture|

Carrotmob Flash Mob Activism is a Success

Earlier this week I met Brent Schulkin at EcoTuesday who shared about his Carrotmob vision: organizing consumers (via Flash Mobs) to make massive group purchases at companies who make environmentally friendly choices. After a bidding war between local businesses, K & D offered to use 22% of the day's gross [...]

2016-03-21T19:30:52+00:00 Categories: Culture|

This is how we roll – working remote – Costa Rica

I'll be traveling for a bit, and I thought it may be interesting to explain how to work remotely without having to carry your laptop. I have a 4gig USB drive loaded with This is familiar FOSS compiled to run as standalone applications. Any application could be run this [...]

2017-03-31T06:20:54+00:00 Categories: Culture|