Vision Mobilisation

NGL’s Vision Mobilization Structure

We have lots of acronyms within NGL (itself an acronym!). One of them is that we refer to the Vision Mobilization framework, as well as the Vision Mobilization structure as “VM.” At this time, our own VM (structure) is incomplete even as our knowledge and learning about the VM (framework and application) has been growing and deepening since it became fully articulated in 2020, and many of us see the entire NGL framework as hanging from within the VM itself.

Here are the parts that we currently have. Below, more about where we are and what comes next.

Vision

A large and thriving globally interconnected group of people seeding the path towards 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

A large and thriving globally interconnected group of people seeding the path towards 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

In order to close the gap between current global crises and a fully interdependent way of living we start with having the clearest, most radical and far-reaching picture of where we want to go.

Within NGL, our vision has remained the same as it was when we started, though many of us feel the need to update it after all the learning we’ve had and the new capacities we have developed.

NGL Values

The gap we see around us is also within us, internalized in each of us. When any of us, as individuals or groups, want to increase capacity to do our work, we lean on our values to pull us towards vision internally.

The gap we see around us is also within us, internalized in each of us. When any of us, as individuals or groups, want to increase capacity to do our work, we lean on our values to pull us towards vision internally.

Within NGL, we went through an Advice Process (explained here) to discern these values which was completed in November 2021.

Each of the values contains within it several principles which you can see by clicking on the ‘+’ sign.

Trust in life as moving toward flow, togetherness, and choice with all we have and know to do and entrusting the outcome to the mystery of how life unfolds
      1. When we notice ourselves slipping into patterns of scarcity, separation, and powerlessness, we use practices that support us to realign with trust in life to increase our capacity to function in line with our vision. 
      2. We only do what is within wholehearted willingness and capacity and we leave voids instead of forcing anything to happen, to support us in opening to the mystery of life’s unfolding and realigning with flow.
      3. We anchor our work in ongoing celebrations related to purpose, values, and relationships, even and especially when we are in the midst of challenging circumstances or conflict to deepen our capacity to relate to mystery.
      4. We integrate reverence and play into our work and draw on our vision so we can infuse mundane tasks with a sense of purpose and care for life.  
      5. We embrace a gift-economy approach to resource generation and distribution as a fast track to liberation from scarcity, the deepest root of patriarchy, by stretching both our willingness to give unilaterally and our willingness to receive unilaterally.
      6. We orient to releasing attachment to outcome in order to soften constriction within us and to increase our capacity to trust mystery and to function beyond predict and control mechanisms.
      7. We establish teams with sufficient trust within them that they can focus on purpose without needing to put significant energy into attending to conflict to support us in creating optimal conditions for experimenting outside the patriarchal field.
      8. We prioritize the flow of material resources to maintaining vital functions as steps towards consciously restoring interdependence and the maternal gift economy.
      9. We rigorously put our needs on the table, make impacts on us visible, and offer what resources we have while honoring capacity limits, in order to strengthen our field of interdependence. 
Humility as surrendering to the limitations of our individual and collective capacity, opening to the unknown without forcing anything
      1. We acknowledge and tenderly hold together our individual and collective strengths, limitations, and capacity limits to bring us closer together, to reduce the amount of energy that goes into hiding or fighting our limitations, and to accelerate our liberation.
      2. We mourn the gaps we find between our capacity and the commitments that arise from our vision in order to release energy and to increase our capacity to move softly towards closing the gaps in all ways we know.
      3. We engage consciously and tenderly in capacity-building when challenges arise in order to move from survival mode and putting out fires into preparing for the long haul of our work.
      4. We focus on collective capacity when individual capacity is strained to allow creativity to emerge and to subvert ingrained patterns of self-sufficiency.
      5. We actively seek feedback from and offer feedback to people with different viewpoints to support us in shifting our attachment to thinking that we know and in being able to accurately assess collective capacity. 
      6. We share our wisdom and work with humility, caring for the integrity of our vision without implying that others are wrong or should agree with us, to support us in connecting across differences and in increasing our own learning and our capacity to reach others.
Courage as choosing to take action that risks our significance, in alignment with purpose and within care for the whole, even when we are in the grip of patriarchal conditioning
      1. We distribute responsibility for sensing and attending to needs as they emerge, without waiting for permission or request from anyone, in order to increase empowerment, entrustment, and collective capacity.
      2. We ask for support whenever we notice a self-sufficiency or separation pattern in relation to our needs, limitations, or liberation edges as a path to actively challenge and shift internalized patriarchy. 
      3. We make transparent all information about the actions we take and the decisions we make that are relevant to our values and purpose to nurture collective awareness of how we are continually aligning with our vision.
      4. We draw from vision and togetherness to untether from patriarchal norms and structures, release our attachment to comfort and safety, and forge new pathways for living in flow, togetherness, and choice.
      5. To strengthen our capacity to risk our significance with nonreactive discernment, we ground all our actions in purpose, liberation, and tenderness towards our own and each other’s capacity limitations.
Truth as rigorously integrating new information about needs, impacts, and resources, embracing every bit of experimentation, even when it brings discomfort, as a pathway of liberation that realigns us with life at all levels
      1. We anchor purpose and values behaviorally to support our focus on experiments with truth that bridge gaps between our vision and present reality.
      2. We engage in integrating internal and systemic transformation to make our work congruent, to anchor our teaching in practice, and to ground our understanding of systems within our experience.
      3. We maintain the generative tension inherent in focusing on both radical vision and practical applicability to make our work relevant rather than simply idealistic.
      4. We take steps to assess our capacity as accurately as possible, without overstretching, to support us in working out solutions and taking bold action based on optimizing how to move available resources to known needs with the fewest known unwanted impacts.
      5. We speak truth with care for self and others to build the foundation necessary for the rigorous practices of individual and collective liberation.
      6. We orient to building ongoing usable feedback into every aspect of our learning and functioning to support progressive iteration towards more alignment with purpose and values.
      7. We engage with conflict in full, within capacity, and with support, to make visible the gaps in capacity in ourselves and in others and create pathways to learning and liberation.  
      8. We focus on creating the material conditions for collective untethering from patriarchy, to support us in gaining insight into the patriarchal field that can feed our experimenting with and discovering new pathways to liberation.
Love as opening our hearts to everyone’s mattering, leaning into togetherness, orienting to full giving and receiving, and drawing from shared purpose in times of conflict
      1. We rely on trust in the power of shared purpose and on deep alignment with purpose and values as the ground from which togetherness and belonging emerge. 
      2. We orient to taking in the care that others have for us and giving to others with full abandon as a path to increasing our collective capacity to restore the web of interdependence that binds us together with all of life. 
      3. We approach conflict as information for learning about individual and collective limitations and about closing systemic gaps, in order to turn it into a pathway for liberation that is fully consistent with attending to purpose.
      4. We orient with curiosity to divergences in the field and to co-holding dilemmas in times of challenge to create sufficient togetherness for activating collective wisdom and finding integrative solutions.
      5. We focus on collective capacity rather than individual capacity, especially in times of conflict, to counter harsh judgments and to bring us closer to each other in compassion for our limits. 
      6. We integrate task orientation with relationship orientation rather than prioritizing either doing or connecting to increase collective capacity to maintain togetherness while attending to purpose. 
      7. We co-hold the discernment about how to apply principles that are within areas of divergence to soften the field and bring us closer to embodying the principles together.
      8. We collaborate in design and decision-making in ways that care for resource availability and capacity to keep our work sustainable while expanding the field of wisdom.
      9. We attend to the relational field before and while giving feedback to care for the collective gap in capacity to ground in our mattering and to support people to take in feedback as information about our collective field and capacity.
      10. We ground ourselves in reverence for our own life, self-love, and trust in our own mattering, to more easily find the courage necessary to walk towards togetherness and full giving even when others are oriented differently.
Leadership as an orientation of serving life, bringing tenderness to engaging with power differences, and coalescing our collective capacity

1. We accept with reverence the depth of unknownness about turning around the patriarchal field and what leadership is needed to meet that challenge in order to grow capacity to hold tenderness and care for us and others as leaders. 

2. We integrate the paradox of collaborative leadership (neither telling others what to do nor shying away from taking a stand as leaders) to grow our muscles for conscious choice about leadership and use of power.

3. We shift our orientation to see it as part of our leadership service to pull fields together and catch others’ patterns of disempowerment (such as saying yes when it’s not a full yes), to support our own and others’ capacity for acting from non-reactive discernment.

4. We engage in creating rigorous, visionary, and gentle systemic agreements for how to offer support and orient to leadership in the following three overlapping areas to bring to the table everyone’s power regardless of their social location, structural position, and internalized patriarchal conditioning.

a. Having sufficient support in place for those who have stepped into holding responsibility for something so they can stay within capacity and keep growing in their capacity to care for the whole, including attending to the impacts of their own power

b. Having sufficient support in place for everyone to be able to orient towards leaders, especially emerging leaders, in ways that encourage and challenge leaders with infinite tenderness so as to make leadership sustainable

c. Having sufficient support for those who haven’t yet stepped into leadership – overall or in a specific area – to antidote the depth of internalization we all carry and to find capacity and willingness to take active steps towards initiative and responsibility 

5. We orient to maintaining as much flexibility as possible to support flow and creativity and as much structure as necessary to attend to purpose and stay within capacity, to give us room for experimentation with sufficient support and anchoring to increase capacity over time.

6. We connect the what and the why to give us strength to take initiative without waiting for others to figure it out and give us tasks.

7. We lean into shared responsibility for the whole and attend to vital functions as part of our participation in any project to reframe leadership so it includes the material plane which reintegrates the mind/body split and reweaves interdependence. 

8. We include ourselves as part of the whole that we care for to help us bring our full humanity into our leadership and to eliminate the either/or between caring for others and caring for ourselves.

9. We orient to and seek feedback about how we are caring for needs, impacts, and shared purpose instead of focusing on goals and outcomes as a way to ground our leadership in care for life.

10. As leaders, we rely on decision-making practices that aim to hold all needs and to integrate dissent within capacity and purpose, to increase trust, creativity, and togetherness within the whole.

NGL Purpose

To integrate nonviolence into the fabric of human life through ongoing live experiments with truth focused on individual and collective liberation

To integrate nonviolence into the fabric of human life through ongoing live experiments with truth focused on individual and collective liberation

For any of us, individually or within groups, our purpose is what is ours to do in relation to the huge gap that we are perceiving; our own way of contributing to the possibility of a vision coming into reality. We aim to do no more than is ours to do, so we stay within capacity and mourn the rest. We aim to do no less, so that we are fully engaged and mobilized within capacity.

Some of us have found solace through remembering these words by poet and Vietnam veteran Ted Sexauer:

I am not responsible for the movement of the Earth
       only what I can handle
       what I can take in
       is the right amount

Within NGL, we went through an Advice Process (explained here) to discern our purpose, which was completed in June 2020.

We have significant documentation about what each part of the purpose means and what we learned from the process. You can find it here.

The Rest of Our VM

Whatever else exists within our VM is out of date, and some parts of it are very incomplete.

If you want to see what we have, in its incompleteness, click here

And this isn’t a case of the shoemaker’s children going barefoot…

Within our overall evolution, we only began to articulate the VM as one whole framework at the start of 2020. Adopting and adapting it to our own circumstances is a significant change. For a community of several dozen active people and about 200 more at varying levels of engagement aiming to function in a distributed way, such change is slow. It becomes even more complex when we are functioning with a few significant conflicts and divergences, valiantly aiming to find our way through them and continue to attend to our purpose with the most amount of togetherness we can co-create. We’ve simply not yet been able to fully integrate the VM into our own functioning.

When we complete the current process of working on our principles and practices, we have a few options for where to go next. At present, we are engaging in a process of creating a Leadership Council for NGL, and we anticipate the council that emerges through this process to steward these priorities along with many other tasks it will likely have, such as attending to voids and divergences within NGL that we haven’t so far known how to attend to.

Nonviolent Global Liberation Community