From May 25 to 27, Carbon Five team members gathered virtually for the first ever remote Summit, the company’s annual internal conference. Named “Summit In Place,” the three-day event saw employees log in from New York, California, Tennessee, Washington, and other locations around the U.S. to participate in workshops focused on diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging; learn more from their coworkers about new topics in the fields of design, software engineering, and product management; and catch up with each other and meet new people.
The main goal of Summit is to bring everyone from Carbon Five together in one place to get to know each other better, said Erik Ingenito, a partner at Carbon Five.
“The opportunity to get together and spend time with each other is really good for building relationships, which helps to make the project work that we do more fun, and it allows us to have a more unified voice when we’re talking with our clients,” Ingenito said.
Between breakfast/lunch in Gather.town each day, a 5K run/walk, and daily “funtivities,” there was no shortage of fun to be had at Summit. Employees in the Chattanooga, New York City, and San Francisco offices got together to participate in the “C5k,” a Summit tradition. For some employees, it was the first time they had seen their coworkers in over a year after working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. A limited number of Carbon Fivers were also able to go in to work in their respective offices for Summit while following COVID-19 protocols.
Members of the Carbon Five New York office take a break during the C5K.
A workshop on allyship and an employee “fishbowl” discussion around tricky situations involving bias in the workplace were highlights of the conference for many Carbon Fivers.
“During those sessions, hard questions were asked and answered truthfully by my coworkers. They really forced me to think about my opinions and why I feel the way I do, and whether my beliefs could be changed based on the opinions of others,” said Darri Resch, office manager in Chattanooga. “I learned so much about myself, and new ways of thinking.”
The Carbon Five team participates in an allyship workshop facilitated by Dereca Blackmon, CEO of Inclusion Design Group.
The majority of the time during Summit was dedicated to discipline-specific talks in three tracks: software engineering, product management, and design. The discipline tracks spanned topics ranging from client case studies, to quantum computing, to differing leadership and communication styles and their areas of overlap.
At the end of the three day conference, many Carbon Fivers left feeling closer to their coworkers and more knowledgeable in their respective fields.
For a deeper look into Summit 2021, check out our recap video from the event: