June 27, 2024

Aspire Institute hosted its annual staff strategy retreat this year in the first week of May, welcoming our team from around the U.S. and across the globe to Cambridge, Massachusetts. The retreat was held at The Foundry — a collaborative workspace that provides spaces and programs for the arts, business, education, and technology. It allowed our staff to step away from our offices and into a creative mindset in order to reflect on our work, our goals, and the future of the Aspire Leaders Program.

“Our annual retreat is a chance for the Aspire team to get together and explore at the highest level,” Jenny Mooney, Aspire’s Program Manager stated. “As a start-up, it is essential that our retreat enables an open mindset so the team can unlock insights related to the organization’s future. The Foundry proved the perfect space for us to come together to explore, imagine, and plan for the years ahead!”

The retreat’s theme this year was “scaling agency.” This allowed the team to focus on the strategic capabilities of our staff and deepen our understanding of Aspire Institute and the Aspire Leaders Program as a system. Our team looked at this overall system as an ecosystem with parts that all need each other to function. Staff participated in a mix of workshops, group discussions, and team-building activities – each designed to think creatively while exploring opportunities for enhancing personal agency within our program. 

Over the course of four days, we practiced breaking systems down into their simplest elements using drawing techniques, analyzing common objects to map out their own complex systems, translating stories from our staff into narrative maps to identify internal and external factors that empower agency, and then finally combined everything we learned into a complete visual representation of the Aspire Institute ecosystem. 

Breaking down our organization and program in this way was invaluable for our team and helped us to visualize not only the obstacles we face, but identify key areas of opportunity for the Aspire Institute, the Aspire Leaders Program, and all of our stakeholders from program participants to faculty delivering masterclasses to partners across the globe.

The retreat was an incredible experience that set new ideas in motion to help us elevate the Aspire Leaders Program and future programs. Our team enjoyed this time to plan the future of Aspire and make it the best it can be for our past, present, and future Aspire Leaders.


Coming Soon!

Join Our Newsletter

Check Boxes that Apply:(Required)