Mediating Conflict across Power Differences

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Event Series Event Series: NGL Introductions

Mediating Conflict across Power Differences

May 21, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm UTC

2:00 – 5:00 am PT  (local time here)

We invite you to register HERE or read on for more details and register further down below.

The times of these events rotate on a four-month cycle to make them available in support of the Nonviolent Global Liberation community across the globe.

One of the foundations of our work within the Nonviolent Global Liberation community (NGL) is an unwavering trust that a different way of living is entirely possible. Instead of living in scarcity, separation, and powerlessness, we see the possibility of living in flow, togetherness, and choice. Not in the sky, not in an afterlife, and not somewhere else: here, now, with each other, in ever-widening circles.

The gap between almost all human societies and this vision has only been growing in the last several centuries, leaving us, as a species, with lower capacity than we used to have for working out differences between us. This means that we end up having more and more conflict and less and less capacity to engage with it in ways that rebuild trust and integrate the feedback that is usually hidden within it.

This is the general picture that we encounter when we take on the sacred work of supporting others when they are in the grip of conflict. This work is very often nourishing. Seeing the transformation of mistrust into solutions that work for everyone has sometimes felt to me like sheer magic. It is also demanding work under the best of circumstances, which we rarely have given that conflict includes mistrust within it. This gets exacerbated because of a dimension of conflict that is regularly left out: almost every relationship includes within it power differences, both those that are rooted in specific structures (such as landlord-tenant or boss-employee relationships) and those that have to do with our social location in its many dimensions. Because of this, some of the basic premises of mediation need to be stretched in order to make it possible for the needs, perspectives, concerns, and ideas of all parties to the conflict to be known and engaged with. My deep conviction is that any time we are able to support people to work out conflicts across power differences, we heal a tiny portion of our collective trauma.

What is planned for our time together?

In preparation for this session, I invite you to read “Elephant in the Room – Attending to Power Differences in Mediation” which you can find on page 17 of this document.

Here are some of the questions I want us to explore together, along with whatever you bring to this event:

  • What does it mean to shift from being impartial to being multipartial? How do we advocate for everyone instead of no one?
  • Why do power differences make such a big difference in conflicts?
  • What can we do to reduce the risk of reaching agreements that don’t serve everyone?
  • What makes it important to accept many different forms of expression?
  • How can we persist with the less powerful even when they are ready to give up?
  • How do we not give up on or alienate those with more power even while caring for those with less power?

This is one of the many areas we focus on and experiment with within NGL. This one is far from being “done” as the larger questions of dealing with power, privilege, and liberation continue to unfold and present a major stumbling block on the path of restoring choice, togetherness, and flow individually and collectively.

What NGL is about

NGL’s purpose is “to integrate nonviolence into the fabric of human life through ongoing live experiments with truth focused on individual and collective liberation.” (Strange words? Read the detailed explanation here.) Since May 2022, nearly five years since we began our work, we are ready to share the fruits of our work and what we have learned. The key question we are grappling with is how to liberate ourselves from patriarchal conditioning and rediscover what it might take for humanity to realign with life.

We are also ready to ask, as widely as possible, for resources to flow towards us in support of the work. We are ready for bolder and deeper experimentation. For example, as BayNVC, our mother organization, is closing, we are passionately experimenting with how far we need to move from mainstream ways of functioning in order to align with our dreams of a full gift economy when the rest of society continues to function as it is.

And we are under-resourced.

We are confident that people exist who would be enthusiastic about what we are doing and will want to support it. Are you one of them? Here are the different ways that we can envision support coming our way.

Bring the vision to where it’s needed

Are you aware of individuals, communities, or organizations that are aiming to function in practical, visionary ways and who might want one or more of our experienced practitioners to offer them concentrated ongoing support, beyond a 3-hour introduction?

Do you have friends you could imagine inviting to this and other events? As individuals alone, we are very limited in our capacity to move effectively towards vision. When we come together with others, our capacity increases significantly, especially if we want to live in visionary ways. Who would you want to do this within your neighborhood, family, community of interest, or anywhere else in your life? What would keep you from inviting them to come with you?

Engage with us in support of the vision

Are you yourself ready to join us and offer your passion, skill, and energy by taking on tasks (always within capacity!) and participating in projects that could use support? If you are unsure, come check us out by joining our growing community of NGL Friends here.

A radical approach to funding the vision:

This event is offered entirely on a gift basis. We are hoping that many people will participate and not give us anything, because they can’t. SO MANY events are not available to people who need them because they require money to participate. We are longing to remove barriers to access, as many as we know-how.

Simultaneously, we could imagine someone giving us $20,000 instead of anything resembling “market value.” This is a big step on the way to the vision of a world where resources flow to where the need is, without any money being involved: given the world we live in, we start with asking those who can to give us what would be seen as outrageous amounts of money, so that the people who want to do the work that we are doing can do so without having to earn money somewhere else.

Do you have access to financial resources, directly or indirectly, that you could flow our way in support of what we are doing?

So far, we have not received much when offering these events, and we are very much hoping that more people choose to give higher amounts as this is crucial for our sustainability.

What happens within NGL?

We are longing to make available to anyone, anywhere, the exciting discoveries we are making about what we can do together as humans when we restore, even in small measure, our trust in life. We also want to share what we are learning about the challenges that turning the tide entails.

We are experimenting in many areas, including in particular:

  • What supports the increase of individual and collective capacity to move towards our vision of a world that works for all?
  • What are practical ways of living within the flow of maternal gifting?
  • How do we make integrative decisions that support choice within togetherness?
  • What makes humility and vulnerability in the sharing of information possible?
  • What makes it possible to liberate ourselves from conflict aversion so that feedback and learning can flow?
  • What is the relationship between collective capacity and the presence of conflicts?
  • What is a path of liberation for all when it comes to the tough topics of power and privilege?
  • What does it mean to distribute leadership within a field held by a visionary leader?

Yes, we have been experimenting in all these areas at once.

We started with many principles and practices that Miki had already uncovered through her research, teaching, consulting, and writing. Now many of us are active participants even as Miki is still the main person articulating what we are learning together. This shift to a larger number of committed people increases our collective wisdom. For each of the events in the series, several people are planning to offer similar events afterward to increase capacity for themselves and for NGL as a whole. As more of us are able to share foundational and emerging NGL content as their own, with authenticity, responsiveness, and rigorous accuracy, we are deepening into a flow of modeling, coaching, and mentoring – leaders to apprentices, peer-to-peer, and apprentices to leaders. One of our goals is for Miki’s work to outlive her.

Please support us as, both individually and as a community, we step closer to allowing that to happen.

Registration & Contribution

We invite you to register and/or make a contribution HERE.

Previous Intros: Link to the recordings of all previous NGL Intros are available to NGL Members, Apprentices, Friends, and registered participants by email.

May 2022: “Aligning Means with Ends: Nonviolence for Everyday Living”

June 2022: “Reclaiming Full Choice in Responding to Life”

July 2022: “From Scarcity to Generosity: Discovering the Power of Gifting”

Aug 2022: “Living in Integrity to Support Transparency”

Oct 2022: “From Avoidance or Judgement to Giving Feedback that Supports Learning”

Nov 2022: “Transforming Judgments as Liberation from Suffering”

Dec 2022: “Liberation for All: Bringing Tenderness to Conversations about Power and Privilege”

Feb 2023: “Needs, Impacts, and Resources: Making Decisions that Care for More of Us”

Mar 2023: “De-accumulation as a Path of Liberation”

Apr 2023: “Behavioral Anchoring: Building Systems as a Tool for Liberation”

Details

Date:
May 21, 2023
Time:
9:00 am - 12:00 pm UTC
Series:
Event Categories:
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Event Tags:
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Website:
https://sites.google.com/nglcommunity.org/nglintrocalls/home

Venue

Online Course
CA

Organizer

Miki Kashtan
Email
events@nglcommunity.org
Nonviolent Global Liberation Community