CivicActions Summit - Portland 2019

Welcome to the 2019 CivicActions Summit. Find information here on our organizing context and purpose, basic logistics, the main Summit schedule, and who to go to for questions about planning.



Find out who you can ask about various aspects of the Summit: 2019 Summit Planning Leads

What is the CivicActions Annual Summit?

Once a year CivicActions gathers all members of our remote team together for a week of visioning, coworking and bonding. The annual summit is an opportunity to get to know one another more deeply, and to organize around a larger common purpose.

Past Summit locations

  • 2018 Boulder, CO
  • 2017 Sacramento, CA
  • 2016 Las Vegas, NV
  • 2015 New Orleans, LA

Context, Purpose, and Results (CPR)

We use the CPR framework to collaboratively shape the time we spend together at the Summit. The team starts by brainstorming the results we want to see, which we use to articulate the purpose that drives our activities. Finally, we come up with one word that sets the context for our conversations together.

Watch the All Hands Call recording on using CPR to set context for the Summit


The context for the 2019 Summit is Alignment.


The purpose of the 2019 CivicActions Summit is to deepen our alignment, strengthen our practices, generate new ideas, expand our knowledge, and joyously celebrate our experience of being together.


Check out the outcome of the results brainstorming session: Summit 2019: CPR Results Trello board Finalized list of CPR results


Below is a general schedule for the Summit. You can view the itemized schedule here.

Monday 9/31

Delivery teams work to maintain billable hours.

Tuesday 10/1

Travel day for team members arriving in Portland. 4pm check-in time at Hampton Inn Pearl District Hotel.

Wednesday 10/2

  • 8:30 - 8:45 Arrive at event space
  • 9:00 - 10:00 Welcome and context
  • 10:00 - 12:30 Whole group sessions
  • 12:30 - 1:30 Lunch (catered sandwiches / salads)
  • 1:30 - 2:45 Whole group sessions
  • 2:45 - 5:15 Open Space sessions and reports
  • 5:15 - 7:00 Closing / personal time
  • 7:00 - 9:00 Group dinner at Pine Street Market

Thursday 10/3

  • 8:30 - 8:45 Arrive at event space
  • 9:00 - 11:15 Whole group sessions
  • 11:15 - 1:15 Open Space sessions and reports
  • 1:15 - 1:45 Lunch (pizza comes to us in hotel lobby!)
  • 1:45 - 5:00 Afternoon activities (small groups)
  • 5:00 - 6:30 Personal time
  • 6:30 - 8:00 Group dinner at Portland Food Hall

Friday 10/4

  • 8:30 - 8:45 Arrive at event space
  • 9:00 - 10:30 Whole group sessions
  • 10:30 - 12:00 Coin Ceremony Part 1
  • 12:00 - 1:00 Lunch (taco bar comes to us in hotel lobby!)
  • 1:00 - 2:30 Coin Ceremony Part 2
  • 2:45 - 4:45 Co-working on action items from Open Spaces
  • 4:45 - 5:30 Closing
  • 5:30 - 7:00 Personal time
  • 7:00 - 8:30 Dinner at The Big Legrowlski (catered)
  • 9:00 - 11:30pm HOOTENANNY! (same place as dinner)

Saturday 10/5

  • 12:00pm check-out of hotel for team members departing Portland
  • Travel day
  • Co-working day for people who elect to stay
  • Info on post-summit co-working

Planning Your Trip

Prepare for your flight

  • Download offline copies of Google docs for working without Wi-Fi
  • If you plan to get Wi-Fi on your flight, purchase it before you board because it's cheaper
  • Have printed copies of your backup codes for accessing Google Apps
  • Begin taking some Emergen-C or Airborne to prep your immune system
  • A number of folks use the Thieves Oil as it kills germs & boosts immunity
  • Get lots of rest and drink plenty of water before travels so you can be your sharpest, healthiest self on the first day of the Summit.
  • Get a ride to the airport so you don't have to expense the cost of parking your car for the duration of the Summit.

Reduce your footprint

  • At the hotel, reuse your towels and turn off your lights
  • Bring your travel mugs and bottles
  • Take a shared Lyft or public transit

Packing list

  • Your CivicActions t-shirt and/or jacket
  • Check the weather and bring layers (especially if venturing to mountains)
  • Reusable water bottle & coffee mug
  • Your laptop (for open space note taking, etc.)
  • Possibly a multi-plug extension cord as plugs may get limited
  • Any laptop adaptors or dongles you may need
  • TFA such as YubiKeys and RSA Tokens
  • Phone chargers *  Whatever you need for your Tuesday outing activity (eg cash, hiking shoes, etc.)

Travel and Logistics


Please do your part to help CivicActions reduce our expenses and carbon footprint by sharing rides with others going to and from the airport at similar times.



Check out the Summit food tracker for information on:

  • Per diem allowances (Generally: $25/travel days, $50/Saturday coworking day)
  • Meals covered by CivicActions
  • Team dietary preferences and restrictions
  • Team lunch and snack planning

Tracking Expenses and Hours

Which hours to log

  • You do not need to log hours on travel days.
  • If you stay after the Summit to cowork, log to appropriate categories depending on your work or project tasks.
  • If at any point you do work or check slack/email for your project, please log your time accordingly to the project.

Logging Summit hours in Harvest

  • Log hours in Harvest using the [CA Summit] category. Select your area, such as [DR, DV, PM, OD, ES] as a subcategory.
  • You do not need to provide a description for hours logged during the Summit
  • Log 8 hour days for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Expense reimbursement

Follow the standard process for tracking expenses for travel, food, and other approved incidentals using the Expenses Trello Board.

Reimbursable expenses
  • Flights
  • Food up to $25/day travel days
  • Food up to $50 for Saturday coworking
  • Travel to/from airports (please consider public transportation)
  • Materials you've been asked to purchase by the Summit planning team
Already covered by CivicActions
  • Breakfast provided by hotel on W, Th, F, S
  • Lunches catered on W, Th, F
  • Dinners with the team on W, Th, F
Non-reimbursable expenses
  • Food on days that CivicActions has already covered meal expenses (see above)
  • Bar tabs beyond what is already covered during team dinners

More information on our expenses policy


Follow the code of conduct

Everyone who attends the Summit is expected to read and follow our Code of Conduct.

Keep the Summit a safe place for everyone

The Summit is a harassment-free event. More on the Policy Against Proscribed Harassment and Discrimination.

Don't do drugs at the Summit

No illegal drugs are permitted in the workplace. Reminder that marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

Be mindful of your alcohol consumption

It is not tolerated to be under the influence in the workplace. The exception is that moderate drinking at company dinners is permitted.

Dress how you're most comfortable

Dress however you are comfortable. For example, some folks are most comfortable in a button-up with khakis; others prefer casual jeans and t-shirts.

We are planning to take coworking photos throughout the Summit that may show up on the internet (with your consent of course), so consider that with your attire choices. Remember to bring your CivicActions T-Shirt for the team photo.

Ask before hugging

Be mindful of personal space -- note that not all of your coworkers are comfortable with hugs. You can always ask them with a smile, "Are you a hugger?" and offer your hand as your greeting.


Sharing photos

You can share photos from the Summit in our Google Photos album.

Taking photos for personal use

If you're taking photos that you intend to post on your personal online accounts, it's polite to get consent from the people in the photo (usually easiest to do this when you take it).

Your privacy preferences

If you've already let CivicActions know that you don't want your photo posted on CivicActions accounts in certain circumstances (or all circumstances), that policy will continue to apply to all the photos we take at the Summit — so don't worry. We've got you covered.

Social Activities

Afternoon outings in small groups

We go out with small groups on the second day of the Summit to connect more closely and have some fun doing things like hiking, museums, and other local activities. To get the most out of your chosen activity:

  • Sign up ahead of time for the outing you want! Space is limited for some. Sign up here.
  • Connect with the point person for your activity to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Volunteer to lead a group! The point person is responsible for getting the group where it needs to go and taking care of any logistics ahead of time.

Optional evening activities

There are lots of opportunities for hanging out with peers if you crave more social time after dinner. Some folks will want to sample the local libations, but there are plenty of things to do that don't involve drinking!

Coin Ceremony

The Coin Ceremony tradition is one of the most meaningful parts of the Summit. We gather as a team on the last day to honor and appreciate each individual for who they are as a person and the unique value they bring to CivicActions.

What to expect

When it's your turn to be appreciated (names are drawn randomly), you'll go to the front. You may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but think of it like an awards ceremony or graduation -- you are among friends who wish to congratulate you!

People who want to give an appreciation will raise their hand, and you can pick two that you want to hear from. You will also receive a specially designed commemorative coin. We are so grateful to have you as part of our team!

How to participate

To help make the Coin Ceremony successful:

  • Be attentive and present. Mute devices so you can be a meaningful part of the celebration.
  • Try to give one or two appreciations, even if you don't usually speak up in large gatherings.
  • If you've given several appreciations, make sure to let others have a chance to talk.
  • It's okay to appreciate your teammates for the work they do, but it's even better to appreciate them for who they are as a person.

How You Can Help

Each one of us can help make the Summit better for everyone by doing the following:

  • Help keep the event space clean and tidy
  • Reach out to folks who are attending the retreat for the first time
  • Engage and participate in the conversations in which you're involved
  • Look for opportunities to help create a platform for your quieter co-workers to be heard
  • Help smoothly transition the team between sessions
  • Be punctual (be early!) each day
  • Volunteer to be an open space session facilitator, note taker, reporter
  • Mingle with coworkers that you don't frequently get to work with

Volunteer to lead an afternoon outing

Anyone can volunteer to help facilitate one of our fun group outings. Sign up to lead, or take a look at who's in charge of what: Team outing leaders

Thank an organizer

A lot of planning goes into making sure our time together is joyous, meaningful, and efficient. Remember to thank the folks who've taken time away from their regular work and projects to make the Summit happen.