Purpose, Mission, Vision, Values and Theory of Change

Purpose

To nurture a group of practitioners and leaders as active co-learners committed to nonviolent global liberation (which means nonviolence, the liberation of all life, and collaborative leadership), who are ready to engage with a body of work about it that includes a framework, applications, and related readings and to carry it into the world through living it, modeling it, collaboratively refining and adding to it, applying it in organizational settings, training, facilitation, mediation, and in other ways.

A note on the use of “apprenticeship” to describe this program: all of us, including providers, consider ourselves lifelong apprentices, emerging from a long and painful chapter of human history to free ourselves and engage with individuals, relationships, groups, organizations, and systems to restore freedom, dignity, and conscious interdependence within and around us.

Rather than a finite set of competencies, we hold the NGL approach to be at once a compass and a framework that supports us in living and doing our work simultaneously within and outside normative patriarchal societies. The knowledge we focus on uncovering and codifying, the skills we continually deepen our understanding and practice of, and the relationships that we weave within NGL are the core elements of what being apprentices in this community on this path means.

Vision

A large and thriving globally interconnected group of people seeding the path towards a world that works for all as described in Reweaving Our Human Fabric:

“A world in which we all value people and life and participate in a flow of generosity. A world where sharing our gifts and the mundane tasks of life are both done with wholehearted willingness, free of coercion. A world where attending to everyone’s needs is the organizing principle.”

Mission

To take the actions necessary for all of us to support each other in learning, co-creating, living, applying, and sharing the principles and practices that emerge from this body of work. These include, in particular:

  • Co-creating an infrastructure and systems that optimally support learning communities around the world, emboldened to live and act towards a post-patriarchal, nonviolent future
  • Co-creating and maintaining a learning community that in itself is a collaborative organization, including in particular experimenting with gift economy systems for sustainability
  • Supporting both distance and in-person learning, community-building, and projects across all continents (offering and co-creating online & offline learning opportunities)
  • Building on everyone’s wisdom, experience, and specific situations to collectively generate and articulate ever more principles and methods in support of everyone’s efforts
  • Supporting the completion of developing curricula, practicing ideas, and more to complete the initial articulation and curation by Miki Kashtan
  • Exchanging ideas and challenges that we can work on together to increase our effectiveness and reach
  • Providing tools for self-reflection

Values

Overall, the core value guiding this approach is to infuse the learning community with the values, principles, and practices that community members bring to the world in their lives and work. Most especially, this means a profound commitment to nonviolence in thought, word, and deed and, as part of that, to deep loving engagement with any aspect of separation, scarcity, and powerlessness as they are identified to realign with the clearest understanding of nonviolence in existence within the community when the exploration takes place. In particular:

  • An integration of inner and outer transformation
  • Maintaining the generative tension inherent in focusing on both radical vision and practical applicability
  • Conscious choice about leadership and use of power
  • Vigilance in noticing, taking ownership of, and lovingly transforming patterns of dominance and submission, power and privilege, inherited from thousands of years of patriarchy
  • Full collaboration in design and decision-making within the parameters of resource availability
  • A gift-economy approach to resource generation and allocation
  • Complete transparency about the functioning of the community
  • Ongoing feedback built into every aspect of the learning and functioning of the community
  • A commitment to engage productively with conflict at all levels of learning and operation independently of any habits of avoidance or separation
  • Distributed responsibility for sensing and attending to needs as they emerge without “waiting for permission” from anyone
  • Only that happens for which there is wholehearted willingness and availability, independent of “pleasing” anyone
  • Integrating task orientation with relationship orientation; offering care to self and other as an ongoing part of the functioning of the community
  • Noticing own needs and limitations and commitment to asking for support as needed

Theory of Change

This program is based on the belief that a group of committed people working together with the assistance of a coherent purpose, clear and collaborative systems, conscious leadership, and a practical visionary approach can be a catalyst for change in the world as each and all integrate, model, and engage with others and larger systems based on progressive refinement of purpose, values, and methods.