Paladino’s Seattle headquarters welcomed some special guests to the office last week for Take Your Child to Work Day, a national program designed to expose young people to the working world and encourage them to achieve their future dreams.
Children join their parents, family members or mentors for a day to get a first-hand understanding of career possibilities. More than 37 million youth and adults participate in the program at over 3.5 million workplaces each year.
As part of our mission to lead and inspire others to create a sustainable future, Paladino believes in fostering the development of sustainability leaders, both current and future. Take Your Child to Work Day was the perfect opportunity to help our employees’ children understand the options for a career in sustainability. They also learned how a small business operates, as well as discovered what their parents do all day while they are at school.
Our pint-sized consulting team had a packed day planned for them. The group began their day by making Abundance Posters with company CEO and founder Tom Paladino. All Paladino employees are asked to create an Abundance Poster when they start at the firm to help them connect their personal values to Paladino’s mission. Before working on their posters, Tom explained what Paladino does and the concept of abundance as one of our core values.
The Business of Sustainability
What do marshmallows and green building have in common? They are terrific teaching tools when it comes to explaining engineering and sustainability strategies.
Our Portfolio Services and Signature Buildings teams both spent some time discussing the organization’s projects, consulting roles and what sort of background and education you need to become a sustainability consultant. Then, they led demonstrations of building design and sustainability strategies using everyone’s favorite campfire snack.
Susan, Todd and Alex with the Portfolio Services team explained the concept of solar energy using tinfoil, a pizza box and a UV grow lamp to roast s’mores (unfortunately some typical Seattle spring weather prevented us from using actual sunlight). Lexy with the Signature Buildings practice had the group think about building design through the construction of marshmallow and dried spaghetti towers.
The Business of Running a Business
Consulting might be the most visible aspect of what Paladino does, but the functional areas of the company also support and enable the continued success of the firm. Thai and Robin, our accounting team, discussed how a company earns money and how that money is turned into paychecks for employees. The children created some goods for sale (origami) and then learned how to invoice their parents for their product.
Hank and David from Technology Services led a discussion on another important aspect of running a business: technology and connectivity. Their activities focused on how technology helps Paladino reduce its environmental impact. They demonstrated video conferencing with cameras that allowed the kids to communicate with each other and explained the importance of using technology that allows us to collaborate with less travel, reducing the associated carbon footprint. The kids also toured our server room, which is fresh air cooled and uses less power than a traditional installation. They saw how data travels from there to the rest of the office. Finally, the children got to see CAD software that reduces the amount of paper we use.
Finally, as the marketing representative I explained the many different ways Paladino reaches its potential clients, partners and peers through storytelling and how the firm wins work through proposals.
The children helped come up with the “workplace of the future” for a fictional client seeking a proposal for their new headquarters building. Some of the proposed concepts included a trampoline testing facility; an office that was all collaboration space and no desks; a manufacturing facility with a solar powered assembly line; and a solar powered internet service provider that promised cheaper and faster service (and lots of plants in the office).
At Paladino we believe you should have fun while working at a job you love – so between their activities, our guests had plenty of time to have lunch with their parents, try out the Paladino treadmill desk, discover the many benefits of balance ball chairs as both a seat and a toy, and enjoy some afternoon treats in the kitchen. At the end of the day, our mini-consultants understood a bit more about what it takes to run a business, what they need to study in school to do different types of work and how we help companies create a sustainable future.. We hope they returned to their classrooms with stories about their experiences that planted the seed to help them grow into the next generation of sustainability leaders.