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The First Seating: Collaborative Strategy + Facilitated Conversations + Delicious Food

We host facilitated strategy and ideation workshops and team retreats.


The First Seating helps nonprofits and businesses work through strategic conversations and decisions in a setting that is creative and thoughtful. We combine the best in social impact strategy with the best in experience design to unleash better ways of tackling an organization’s biggest challenges together.

Our process often takes shape through strategic workshops, team retreats or coalition events.

The First Seating was created in response to the growing need for not just great ideas towards social impact, but also passion and authenticity in the workplace. We believe that by bringing your team together around a table and over a delicious meal, you will be better able to work through big-picture topics like a strategic plan or the creation of a new program.

We do what you wish every planning meeting or team retreat could do — reconnect your team to the excitement of doing great, meaningful work together.

Types of Workshops We Do:

  • Meal + Discussion
  • One-Day to Multi-Day Workshop
  • Weeklong Focused Sprint
  • Ongoing Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly

Types of Discussions We Have:

  • Vision, Mission Statements

  • Team & Organizational Values

  • Theories of Change & Strategic Plans

  • Goals, Timelines

  • Program Design & Community Engagement

  • Network & Co-Design Development

  • Collaboration & Partnerships for Collective Impact

We're Isis Krause & Carolyn Sams, co-founders of The First Seating. 

Our approach of working with partners stems from our past experience leading some of the most groundbreaking social cause campaigns — from launching the Pepsi Refresh Project at GOOD to producing stories through Participant Media and Invisible Children to designing the strategy and creative for initiatives within organizations like Starbucks, Sundance Institute, Girl Scouts, Levi’s, TEDx, DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation and The Carnegie Corporation of NY.

For the last several years, we have also been moonlighting as producers of pop-up events across Los Angeles, using our creative backgrounds in culinary and art school to host meaningful experiences for the local community.

The First Seating started out of a desire to humanize the way we work. 

Our name was inspired by family meals, a tradition at restaurants where the entire staff comes together before their shift to share a meal. To address problems. To try out new ideas. To be equal parts of a well-trained machine. The family meal is always the first seating of the night. Without that time to focus together, the staff wouldn’t be able to address any challenges before their patrons walk in the door. How fitting of an idea.

The First Seating is our "family meal" for nonprofits and mission-driven businesses. Together, let's refocus on the work ahead in the best way possible.