As the Chief Experience Officer and co-founder of CivicActions, Aaron Pava is dedicated to creating and supporting a culture of excellence, compassion, and authenticity. A longtime friend of mine, Aaron and I have intersected throughout many different points of our lives and careers. In this episode, we talk about how he blended his experience in the worlds of personal growth, tech, politics, and business to create CivicActions with Henry Poole. We also discuss the differences he witnessed in going from partnering with client in the nonprofit world to government. And, we talk about his time working in the White House with the U.S. Digital Service. Aaron sees the importance of organizational culture as a transformative agent and knows that the more we work together, the stronger we become.
[6:18] Aaron has had a deep interest in personal growth for quite some time. He is passionate about using his skills in communication to foster healthy relationships and help others realize and accomplish their goals.
[7:13] San Francisco has been a part of Aaron’s family for many years and also a large part of his background in tech and ability to see what’s on the forefront of the modern digital era.
[8:12] Aaron co-founded CivicActions in 2004, with technologist Henry Poole whom he appreciates for his brilliant tech and business acumen. As the Chief Experience Officer, he is responsible for company culture and professional development.
[10:14] Just a few of CivicActions clients include Departments of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice & Veterans Affairs, Executive Office of the President, Federal Communications Commission, House of Representatives, Smithsonian National Museum, and California DMV. They had two tracks: to build a public infrastructure with content management systems that fostered openness and to empower the constituents in a network.
[16:41] Aaron and I both saw Barack Obama speak, and wondered if one day he could possibly run for President.
[17:31] Great leaders recognize that the people we meet can be helpful to us and we can be helpful to them, at many stages along our careers. As you transition through your career and grow, it’s important to build a network of others that you respect and admire.
[20:43] Aaron and Henry took a look at what they thought was the most needed and it was clear — to raise the consciousness of the world and connect us with the impact our actions have on our earth and each other. They chose the vehicle to be the government and took a strong interest in modernizing the government and creating a more open and transparent space.
[27:13] CivicActions is a fully distributed team, and everyone works out of their home office. Aaron and his family live in Costa Rica and he is able to make a great living while working remotely.
[33:20] Aaron gives us the inside look at working in the White House during the Obama administration. He was brought on to work in the United States Digital Team and worked to help them spread the word and principles for creating a culture of inclusiveness and productivity.
[45:38] Despite the craziness in the White House today, Aaron sees firsthand the amount of talented and dedicated public servants still there.
“I love helping people realize their authentic passions and live their values.” — @pavaClick to tweet
“I am committed to people living their authentic passions and doing work that matches their values.” — @pavaClick to tweet