2024 Team Retreat

March 8, 2024| by Dan Moriarty

In late February, the whole Electric Citizen team gathered in person for our second annual team retreat!

As a fully remote team, we rarely get the opportunity to spend time together in person, so scheduling an in-person gathering now a company tradition. This year we decided to gather in beautiful San Diego, CA, for 3 days of team building, workshops, and fun in the sun.

team lined up outside, in front of boats in the bay
Whales and Dolphins
team members posing on a sunset cruise off the coast of San Diego

We make sure to devote as much time at our retreat for fun and team building as we do for work.

Every day had unscheduled time, where our team members were able to split off to do their own thing. People did everything from hikes along the beach, taking bike rides, finding the best breakfast burrito, exploring tide pools, and hanging outside by the resort pool and restaurant.

In the evenings, we had some great group dinners in San Diego, from fresh seafood to Mexican cuisine served along the shore.

Friday afternoon was a special team outing, where we all took in a whale and dolphin sightseeing tour off the coast. It was really special to travel alongside pods of dolphins and spy a grey whale along the way.

Workshops and Strategy
workshops in the conference room

While the overall purpose of our retreat is team building and having fun, we like to include some time for important business and team-related conversations.

Retreats are a rare opportunity where we can put our full attention and focus on what matters to us as a team, discuss the topics that matter most to our happiness and effectiveness as an organization, and dream about big ideas about our future.

With that in mind, we dedicated time over two days to our "retreat workshops." Held in a beautiful conference room on the resort grounds (with views of the bay), we had a relaxed but intensive series of conversations and strategy sessions on a variety of topics.

Team Values

We kicked off the workshops with an annual keynote by yours truly, where I talked a lot about purpose and team values, and why Electric Citizen matters as an agency.

I cofounded this agency around 5 core values:

  1. Be Human
  2. Work Smart
  3. Keep Getting Better
  4. Stay Confident and Humble
  5. Value and Respect Others

These all grew out of my own personal and professional experiences in the workplace prior to founding Electric Citizen, and in the keynote, I told the personal story of those experiences, how they led to our current values, and what it looks like to live these values as an agency.

Having these these values on paper is one thing, but living them in our daily lives is where it matters most. 


The other scheduled talk was a highly animated presentation by Technical Director (and cofounder) Tim Broeker around AI, and the ways we could impact our client work (now and in the near future).

All of us are using AI to some degree now, but primarily in the coding space. We looked at some of the most cutting edge tools available, and had an engaging conversation around what we should be pursuing next.

Every employee is encouraged to pursue AI learning, and provided with professional development funds and time to help accelerate their learning. 

I hope to see more of these translate over to tools for clients, content, media and improved user experience over the next 12 months. Stay tuned for future blog posts and new site features!

Unconference Talks

After the schedule presentations, the rest of our conversations were held in a looser, "unconference" style format, where we voted on the most important topics to discuss, and invited the whole team to bring their ideas, passions, and concerns to the group. 

We value everyone's thoughts and contributions to the team, and the team retreat was an opportunity for anyone to suggest a topic, present materials, and speak their mind. 

One of the most animated conversations was around the desire for innovation in projects versus a need to stay within a given budget. It's a tension that is often felt in our desire to do great work, and explore new and better ways to do our work, while keeping in mind that we often have a limited amount of hours to spend on any given task.

photo of Dan Moriarty wearing a dark blue dress shirt

About the Author:

Dan has been serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul area as a UX designer, developer and online strategist since 2000. More about Dan »