In December 2019, CSIS hosted its first Innovation Summit: A residential program designed as both a conference and retreat, held at Sycamore Springs Mineral Resort in San Luis Obispo, California. From December 2-4, attendees worked collaboratively in sessions and reflected in the great outdoors.
The first day focused on community building. The summit kicked off with ice breakers and intention setting. Kaveh Sadeghian led a “Year in Review” audit, where participants considered the achievements, challenges, and lessons that came with 2019.
Each morning, participants had an opportunity to take advantage of the activities offered at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort, including yoga, hiking, or a dip in the natural hot springs. Tuesday saw the most time for collaborative learning, with workshops on design thinking, appreciative inquiry, and ethics in social impact. Ariel Schwartz led a diversity, equity and inclusion roundtable where participants were invited to share their own experiences and insights on identity and team dynamics.
The final day was all about turning reflection into action. Everyone had the chance to engage in an in-depth visioning and action-planning session based on the “Year in Review” activity held at the beginning of the summit. The last official session of the Innovation Summit was a luck circles activity where participants ask for resources, connections, or advice surrounding a goal or a difficult situation.
In addition to all the sessions, the team was able to experience all that San Luis Obispo had to offer, including a wine tasting and a hike to a cliffside overlooking the ocean. Participants walked away having reflected on the past year and prepared for the new decade with tools to apply to their work, lives, and communities.