Scope of the NGL Approach
The program is designed to incorporate, in some fashion, the following aspects:
- Specific articulation of vision in all areas of life, including prioritizing working towards vision
- A framework for internal work based 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), which includes:
- Understanding the role that money plays within our consciousness and structures
- Engaging with specific consciousness transformation milestones
- Choosing inner freedom
- Identifying the “no brainer”, strategic discomfort, and “no way” zones across each area of development towards liberation
- Integrating mind, heart, body, and soul
- Willingness to risk consequences
- Purpose-driven and values-guided living
- A method for engaging in dialogue based on the following principles:
- Allowing dialogue to emerge from purpose
- Speaking the deepest truth possible with the most care possible
- Asking questions that support connection and move towards purpose
- Listening empathically before responding
- A framework for understanding and living collaborative leadership, including detailed perspectives on the meaning and conscious use of power
- Power as the capacity to mobilize resources to attend to needs
- Distinguishing between having power and using power
- Shifting from power-over to power-with ways of using power, such that autonomous participation in decision-making is more and more the norm, including in particular encouraging dissent, especially when having power
- An approach to money that includes:
- Understanding the role that money plays within our consciousness and structures
- Practices for finding ways of living with integrity in the systems that currently exist
- An unfolding experiment with creating gift-economy islands within the existing global capitalism context
- An approach to understanding and engaging with power and privilege internally, in relationships, within organizations, and in society
- A method for organizational development and consulting based on:
- Collaboration at the internal, interpersonal, team, and systemic levels
- A clear articulation of the foundations of organizational function: vision, purpose, mission, values, and theory of change
- Making explicit the systems necessary for organization function: decision-making, resource allocation, information flow, feedback loops, and conflict resolution.
- A needs-assessment method for purpose and values alignment, including ways of identifying which systems would be the priority
- Supporting a shift in all systems from implicit to explicit; from imposed to voluntary; and from authority-based to collaboration-based, including specific tools for supporting these shifts
- Decision-making processes: internal discernment; advice process; interpersonal collaboration; group decision-making (Convergent Facilitation)
- Resource allocation frames: supporting a shift from merit to need and from competition to collaborative use of resources
- Information flow enhancement: increasing integrity and reducing fear as key to effectiveness in relevant information being shared transparently and easily accessible
- Feedback processes: shifting from criticism and reward/punishment to collaborative learning about how to improve function
- Conflict resolution: transcending conflict avoidance and implicit retribution to establish conditions for restorative processes; bringing systemic awareness to any mediated conflict
- Specialized training modules (e.g. collaborative decision-making, feedback giving and receiving, mediation, meeting facilitation, difficult conversations, etc.)
- Trust-building events
- An approach to individual coaching
- A detailed approach for supporting nonviolent social change incorporating both Nonviolent Communication and nonviolence more generally with a fairly robust curriculum and syllabus focusing on the following:
- The inner work of nonviolence (overlapping with other elements within the overall body of work)
- Interpersonal skills for social change agents (dialogue capacities, especially across differences)
- Working within groups (including much of what’s in the organizational work and more)
- Engaging with systemic change from an integrated nonviolent approach (including focusing on and working towards vision; strategic approaches to campaign design; constructive program; and more)
- Convergent Facilitation as a unique method for collaborative group decision-making
- An overall approach to facilitating groups based on years of self-observation and feedback from groups facilitated
- An approach to understanding, living, and sharing Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
- Understanding: NVC as a theoretical framework for making sense of the world; a methodology for inner liberation; an approach for interpersonal relationships; a set of tools for a variety of specific applications (e.g. mediation, organizational development, personal healing); and practice methods for consciousness integration and beyond
- Living: focus on the purpose at hand using NVC principles and practices that align with the purpose; detailed and specific methods for naturalizing the language used in speech
- Sharing: Explicitly or implicitly sharing a principle-based path to identifying the application, the challenges, and from there the principles and practices most suited for bringing NVC forward most effectively and with least potential resistance
- A detailed approach to making sense of how the world operates based on decades of reading, study, conversations, and writing
Even as this program is not yet public, it has already started, and will continue to unfold without ever being fully “ready”: ongoing design and learning is built into its core concept.
- NGL is available wherever people are, anywhere in the world.
- Distance learning is the main form that NGL takes and is available year-round to all members.
- In-person learning and community building happens either when providers offer it, or when members self-organize, locally or regionally.
- NGL is in an going transition to becoming a platform for its unique framework, beyond the association with Miki. This is work in progress.
- NGL activities are divided into three types: core offerings, self-organized options, and design and maintenance. In addition, since all NGL members are welcome to observe all NGL meetings, learning about systems, facilitation, and collaboration is readily available to all in vivo.
Core offerings are given by providers.
- The core learning element is case-study, which is designed to be offered in at least two formats:
- Regularly scheduled coaching calls for people in the program/community. Within these calls, anyone can bring a situation in which they are applying the NGL framework for coaching and support from a provider or other participant.
- Opportunities to join specific coaching calls scheduled whenever a provider agrees to engage with someone in an in-depth way exploring a particular situation and/or piece of theory.
- From time to time, providers may schedule specific offerings on a topic (e.g. a session on the principle of willingness; a conversation on a particular topic; an interview with a guest; etc.)
- Annual “Mobilizing for Nonviolent Global Liberation: a Retreat to Co-create Personal and Collective Capacity” with providers offered in different places (currently in Europe and in the US).
- Open to all, not only members
- Co-designed with community members to allow maximal opportunities for them to learn and contribute while others are newly exposed to the NGL framework and experience
- Ongoing refinement of NGL systems as applied to the particular context of a transient physical community which is different from the flow sustaining the ongoing online community
- NGL members have access to all of NGL’s materials, currently consisting of many hundreds of pages, videos, and audio created by Miki (much with her late sister Inbal), as well as a bibliography of other materials which keeps being updated. (Note: considering the volume of materials, initially new members are given access to a basic packet to be expanded gradually over time based on interest and connection between existing and new members. Also: the entirety of the set is not yet ready, and a project is underway to create digestible packets of information/materials based on the scope of work themes.)
- NGL members have access to a growing library of recordings of NGL design, maintenance, and project meetings, NGL conversations, and NGL coaching calls
- NGL provides infrastructural support for self-organized activities.
The activities described below are based on ideas that emerged during the design phase of the program. For any of these ideas, or any new ones that will be added as the program unfolds, to become a reality would require one or more members to take initiative to make them happen.
- Online interaction with other learners and opportunities to expand and consolidate learning with other people while discussing and exploring self-paced learning elements
- Robust and sophisticated peer support elements for empathy, feedback, coaching, sharing of tips, learning and work opportunities, and co-creation beyond what can now be imagined
- Attention to identifying potential projects to focus collective energy
- A new project will need at least one participant who is passionate about it and has sufficient support within the community/program to be able to take the lead in making it happen
- See initial list of possible projects below.
- Member-only self-organized and self-led retreat on each continent where there are enough people who want to do it
Design and maintenance activities
As part of its foundational design, NGL includes a number of teams that support its ongoing evolving design and maintenance. This approach aims to make NGL operate in integrity with the NGL framework and to exist as a lab for the approach itself. The currently existing design and maintenance teams are listed below. Information about which teams are available to be joined and what support may be needed is designed to be available to members after joining and becoming ready to commit.
- Community and team building: ongoing attention to how to create sense of community in online environment
- Conflict resolution: ongoing iterative design of the conflict resolution system within NGL
- Decision-making: ongoing iterative design of the decision-making system within NGL
- External communications: ongoing attention to communicating about NGL to people who are not part of NGL
- Feedback loops: ongoing iterative design of the feedback loops within NGL
- Information flow: ongoing attention to how information travels within NGL and what infrastructure will support it best
- Learning design: ongoing iterative design of the structure of NGL learning activities
- Onboarding: ongoing design and attention to how new members join NGL and become integrated into it
- Providers circle: ongoing attention to the role of providers, how people become providers, how providers engage with each other and coordinate activities, and more
- Purpose and values: ongoing attention to the way that NGL functions and how its purpose and values would affect all other systems and activities
- Resource allocation: ongoing design and attention to how resources come into NGL and how they flow within NGL (including people, money, materials, connections, etc.)
- Scheduling and administration
- A requested minimum commitment following up to one month of exploration with ongoing system feedback to see if this approach to commitment works:
- Overall calendar time, currently set for at least 6 months
- Active participation based on decided criteria (still being developed)
- A consistent monthly contribution of money and/or work from each member
- A self-assessment of own access to material/financial resources as well as engaging with information about what financial resources are needed to sustain the operations of the program and the sustainability of those who need resources in order to contribute to NGL. Ultimately, each person is invited into voluntary choice about an amount to contribute, including zero in cases where even a small amount of money per month would compromise the person’s ability to attend to their own and their family’s ongoing basic needs.
- A self-assessment of available talents/skills/labor that can be helpful to the program (direct support) or to those who request it in order to be able to contribute to NGL (indirect support by reducing the reliance on paid staff) as well as engaging with available information about what tasks and possible contributions are currently needed. Ultimately, each person is invited into voluntary choice about an amount of work to contribute, including zero amount in cases where the person’s work in the world would make it impossible or where material/financial resources are easier than work.
- Attention to the ongoing sustainability of those whose livelihood is tied up with NGL because of how much work they are putting into NGL
- A willingness to engage with all NGL systems in support of the community’s capacity and resources to attend fully to the needs of all involved, as well as the fluid integration of gifts and capacities from incoming members. In particular, this means participating in feedback about where the systems might not work and engaging with the systems when in intense conflict with someone or in intense disagreement with a decision, when, in the moment, there may not be an active openness to engage with the systems.
- A commitment to engage with learning by reading material or audio/video, daily practices, peer video conference calls, applying learning outside NGL, and optional design calls.
- A commitment to engage with a bibliography of reading materials that can support education about systems, history of patriarchy and capitalism, and anything else that can enhance the commitment to and capacity for working towards nonviolent global liberation. This bibliography started from what has been inspiring or instructive for Miki and may continue to expand with what NGL as a community continues to build together.
- Co-creating and building together a database of materials to build on the bibliography.
- Engaging local learning communities in collaborative offline learning (co-creating meetups, practices etc.) and creating online movement for changemakers, open for all the people who’d like to know more or potentially join the community down the line.
- One ongoing learning journey that involves all members of the community to create better connections and opportunity to truly learn about each other (+ motivation boost)
- Converting materials to curriculum in different areas
Current Status (Nov 2018)
At present, the program is still in its design phase and operating a pilot launch. A design team of 20+ people has been working consistently since September 2017, comprising about 12 different teams working on different aspects of NGL design and maintenance.
The design team has been using principles and practices that emerge from the work that NGL brings to the world in how it’s been operating, most especially the principle of willingness. Everyone has been encouraged to do only what they have wholehearted willingness, availability, and know-how to do. Everyone has been encouraged to seek support when getting to the edge of capacity. Many of us have faced challenges and have learned and grown in the process.
The following list includes all who have been involved in the design at some point leading to initial launch:
Ann Osborne, USA
Ascaldeia Catwall, Czechia and Brazil
Cleona Lira, UK
Agnieszka Hyla, Poland
Davide Nuzzolo, Spain and Italy
Emma Quayle, UK
Eva Malířová, Czechia
Gunther Mild, Germany
Heather Austin, USA
Jacquie Duncan, USA
Jakub Lanc, Czechia
Joanna Berendt, Poland
Kacper Lemiesz, Poland
Kaliya Hamlin, USA
Leonie Smith, USA
Magdalena Baranska, Poland
Margo Dunlap, USA
Mary Goyer, USA
Miki Kashtan, USA
Pedro Rubio-Accendo, Spain
Tereza Cajkova, Czechia
Verene Nicolas, UK and France
Uma Lo, USA