The NGL framework is the foundation of how we orient to our work. At present, it is almost entirely articulated by Miki Kashtan, NGL’s original founder, as she is gradually nearing completion of a set of 49 Learning Packets. This framework touches on everything from the most intimate and internal to the most global and collective, and everything in between.
The work invites us to deep engagement that, if we take it seriously, changes everything about how we live and work. It includes theoretical, political, spiritual, and emotional elements.
Here is the short version of what the framework encompasses.
Restoring Choice: Socialization, Liberation, and Integration
Within the internal realm, the NGL framework focuses on liberation from the effects of socialization and the trauma of 7,000 years of patriarchy and its offspring systems (e.g. capitalism, slavery, white supremacy, the oppression of children, and more). This includes an ongoing commitment to transcend either/or dualities into an integrated whole (e.g. process and results; theory and practice; vision and practicality; collaboration and efficiency) as a core orientation within NGL. This section of the packets is based on an integration of the NGL approach and the Compass approach developed by Arnina Kashtan.
Purpose and Values: Vision Mobilization, Collaborative Systems, and Seeding the Future
The NGL approach recognizes purpose as a key entryway into transforming individual and collective ways of being. As it applies to groups, communities, organizations, and movements, this approach focuses on creating systems that align with purpose and values as a way to support capacity instead of slipping into patriarchal training and norms.
Restoring Togetherness: Interdependence, Dialogue, and Collaboration
Restoring togetherness goes against the basic form of functioning that patriarchy has established based on separation and control. It puts at the center needs and interdependence in establishing collaboration. Given the depth of separation, the practices of interdependence require a high degree of commitment and support structures.
Scarcity, Separation, and Powerlessness: Patriarchy, History, and Economics
This module is the most intellectually dense and provides vital anchor points in understanding why we focus on patriarchy and systems, and how to bring sufficient tenderness to this legacy that we can begin to move anywhere without recreating it all the time.
Restoring Flow: Nonviolence, Systemic Change, the Commons, and the Gift Economy
Our understanding of nonviolence spans the entire range from the most internal (seeing Nonviolent Communitcation and nonviolence more generally as a spiritual practice) to the most global (a detailed picture of a fully collaborative global governance design).
Caring for the Whole: Leadership and Facilitation
Collaborative leadership and group facilitation are based on reweaving the fabric of togetherness through an ongoing recommitment to caring for the whole, beyond self, beyond this or that specific group. Given how deeply committed to control patriarchy is, this focus requires rigorous relearning about how to use power with others instead of over others or rejecting power and leadership altogether, as many committed to transformation tend to do.
Learning, Integrating, Applying, and Sharing NVC
NVC (Nonviolent Communication) is a tool of liberation, a set of principles and practices that supports movement towards restoring individual and collective capacity to live in choice, togetherness, and flow, and a lens through which we make sense of all life. At the heart of NVC is the understanding that all actions are attempts to meet needs that are shared by all humans.
Power, Privilege, and Liberation: Embracing Unconditional, Unilateral, and Universal Solidarity
All patriarchal societies have profound divisions between people rooted in the extraction of resources from the many for the material benefit of the few. Such divisions are kept in place through systemic violence and through being internalized in all of us, regardless of our social location. Developing unconditional, unilateral, and universal solidarity from wherever we are on the power map of the world towards everyone else requires immense capacity and is pivotal to being able to come together to create the conditions for humanity to realign with life.
From the start, we have been aiming for radical pedagogy, leaning as much as possible on self-organized learning and as much as necessary on Miki’s individual capacity and experience. We are all committed to doing what we can so that this work outlives Miki, continues to nurture us, and plays as big a role as we can make it have in humanity’s effort to turn around the destruction of patriarchal living.