After nearly two years without meeting in person, EIT RawMaterials staff from the Berlin headquarters and the six regional Innovation Hubs (CLCs), met in Berlin in October 2021 for a long-awaited staff team retreat.

On 27 October in Berlin, several staff members who had joined EIT RawMaterials after the beginning of the pandemic were able to meet colleagues face-to-face for the first time and exchange knowledge as well as get to know each other outside of the virtual realm. Steffen Robert, Education Manager at CLC West, led an enlightening game in which staff learned interesting facts about each other.

On 28 October the team travelled to woodland in southern Brandenburg state where, under the guidance of the Plant-My-Tree foundation, the 50 EIT RawMaterials staff members present planted 1,800 young trees in gaps in the forest. The mix of species included maple, oak and Norwegian spruce, amongst others. According to Emma Harris, HEI Initiative Project Manager at EIT RawMaterials who joined the activity, “Planting the trees was a really fun and interesting experience, it was very rewarding to do something practical that had a tangible positive impact on the world. It was also energising and exciting to do this activity with colleagues from across the organisation, while chatting and getting to know them better outside of online meetings. The whole team really connected throughout the day!”

EIT RawMaterials CEO Bernd Schäfer, who also took part in the action, said: “We were delighted with the outcomes of this team retreat, which, due to COVID-19, was my first. The team exceeded our target of 1,000 trees by 80%, while working together and getting to know each other outside of video calls. We will certainly consider further impact-driven team-building events in future.”