by Jeremy Cormican, Head of People and Culture
First of all, let me explain some internal FNA slang.
“FNAcathon” is an amalgamation of our company name, “FNA”, plus the word “hackathon”, = FNAcathon.
“FNAer” is how we affectionately refer to team members of FNA.
Great, that was easy. Now we can move on to answering, “What is a FNAcathon?”
FNAcathon, is our spin on a destination-style company retreat where FNAers assemble over multiple days to intensively collaborate on work and build rapport with one another.
Since 2014, FNA has operated 100% remotely and these retreats have proven to be an instrumental compliment and value-add to our distributed model of working.
FNAcathon is certainly not a Redbull and pepperoni pizza- infused, no shower for several days type of sprint. It’s also not an ayahuasca-induced psychedelic team bonding session.
The overall objectives of a FNAcathon are to align ourselves and accelerate the execution of business plans for optimal outcomes for our investors, clients and of course FNA, whilst simultaneously enriching the personal connections amongst fellow FNAers.
Our most recent FNAcathon was held during the week of October 3rd, 2021, when 37 FNAers from across 16 different countries converged in Barcelona. Unfortunately, not everyone from our FNAmily was able to attend in-person, due to covid’s lingering impact. Nonetheless, remote participants were able to join and interact via Zoom.
It had been exactly 700 days since our last FNAcathon, which was held November 4th, 2019. At that time we were 31 FNAers, from 12 different countries, gathered in Barcelona for some work, fun and sun.
The importance of having a spacious, yet comfortable and unique venue was a focal point when planning our recent event, considering covid is still a looming factor. Historically we’ve tried to avoid the typical hotel conference room. So, we opted for a 4-story commercial art studio as our primary place to work from each day. The location helped ensure our week together was full of creativity, innovation, productivity and happy FNAers who had plenty of space to move about freely.
The week’s agenda was thoughtfully put together with plenary presentations, break-out sessions, time to catch up on client calls or emails and eat some good food. Extracurricular activities included yoga, poker tournament, trivia night and catamaran cruise.
Transparency and the sharing of information is important to us. In tradition with past events, we once again invited our investors and clients to participate in-person and remotely to exchange the valuable experiences and knowledge they bring to the table.
It was obvious this particular FNAcathon was especially important to help us reconnect as a team after 20-plus months of adjusting to covid’s impacts. It was encouraging to hear feedback during and after the event was overwhelmingly positive from everyone. Our CEO, Kimmo Soramaki had this to say, “This was the best FNAcathon yet. And I’ve been to them all.”
Personally, I found the week spent with fellow FNAers to be not only refreshing with new and familiar faces, it reassured me the vaccines are working, groups can assemble, and although none of us will ever forget covid, we should remain optimistic for our future. That said, we must keep looking ahead to brighter days as a community that thrives when we collectively unite.
In closing, there’s hardly a week that goes by where someone doesn’t ask, when and where our next FNAcathon will be? In fact, I hadn’t even unpacked my suitcase when I was asked when the next event would be? All I can say for now, is that there are some interesting geographic locations being floated and we’ll keep you posted. However, if you’d like to get on the VIP list for the next FNAcathon, apply and join our team of brilliant FNAers!
Now, if you’re curious about the benefits of joining our FNAmily, here are just a few highlights.
- Own and deliver meaningful work with a global impact
- Rapidly advance your career, thinking and skills in a high growth tech company
- Collaborate with an international team of innovative and high-achieving colleagues
- Annual stipend for personal and professional growth
- Flexible, remote working since 2014
- International team off-sites
- We reward curiosity, initiative, execution and reliability with opportunity
- Company share options