Explanation of Topic Areas

This document offers a list of proposed working group topic areas, with details and context to support understanding the significance of the list. For each topic area, a corresponding Working Group will be created.

Source and Intended Use of Topic Areas

The topic areas are inspired by the Synanim results and by historically expressed areas of concern in the NVC community.

Our hope is that within four months, each Working Group will produce a handful of concise, concrete decisions in their topic area.

How Topics Areas are to be Understood

The topic areas are deliberately broad, in order to give the working groups freedom to address what they decide are the most important things, and to offer room for innovation.

The descriptions below are intended to point to a general area of focus. The Working Group will want to identify the issues associated with this general area that it believes are most important to focus on.

Some of the questions being asked of Working Groups may be answered in the Synanim results; the task of extracting answers from the Synanim results is being left to the Working Groups.

The work of different Working Groups might overlap other groups’ topic areas. At this stage, we are comfortable with this. By the end of the process, our goal is a set of well-integrated decisions.

“Example outcomes” are offered to give concrete ideas about the types of decisions that might relate to that topic area; there is no intention to advocate for particular outcomes.


List of Detailed Topic Areas

1. Purpose

  • How many distinct – possibly distributed – organizations will there be, and what will be the purpose of each?
  • Who will be involved: who is served, who does the work, and on whose behalf is work done?
  • Examples outcomes:
    • There will be a single network of organizations addressing all purposes, under one “umbrella” purpose; or
    • One network will focus on serving the general public and another will focus on serving trainers.
  • Note: This group will offer a high level context which will likely impact decisions about things like structure and governance.

2. Structure and Governance

  • How will the organization or network be structured, and how will it be governed?
  • If the organization is geographically distributed, how will pieces be related?
  • How might organizations affiliate?
  • How will the leadership of the organization be decided, and how will major decisions be made?
  • What other systems need to be specified in relation to governance?
  • Example outcomes:
    • There will be a CNVC branch office on each continent,
    • local NVC organizations can enter an agreement to be “local affiliates” of CNVC if they meet certain criteria.
    • Branch offices will make independent decisions except with regard to certain issues where the CNVC governing council makes decisions.
    • CNVC will governed by a council that will be elected via a Sociocratic process that starts with local affiliate organizations.
  • Note: This working group may need to produce more actionable decisions than others, so there is enough specificity to allow a new governance system to be put into effect quickly.

3. Effectiveness & Alignment with Values

  • How will we support the organization in operating in ways that align with what we value?
  • What will support organization in being effective and efficient in serving what it means to serve?
  • What will support the organization and the global NVC community in living in alignment with the values/consciousness associated with NVC?
  • What will support not repeating unwanted patterns from the past?
  • Example outcomes:
    • There will be an annual community satisfaction survey to provide feedback.
    • A restorative system to prevent and address conflict within and with the organization will be set up.
    • NVC coaching will be made freely available to organizational leaders to support them.
    • CNVC governance responsibilities will be split among three groups to prevent overwhelm and non-responsiveness.

4. Resource Generation, Allocation and Management

  • What is the business model for this organization and how will it sustain itself?
  • How will money, human resources, and other resources needed to operate be obtained and/or what systems will be put in place to support this?
  • How will the principles of NVC affect the way resources are managed?
  • Example outcomes:
    • IITs will continue to be used to generate revenues to help fund other activities
    • Specified activities will be run on a “gift economy” model
    • Offices dedicated to helping secure grants to fund NVC-related activities will be set up in the U.S. and Europe.
    • Advisory information is offered describing a set of principles for pursuing sustainability in a way aligned with NVC principles.
  • Note: It is possible that much of the output of this working group might be in the form of advisory information.

5. Community

  • How will we support the presence of qualities we value in communities the global NVC community, and in local NVC communities?
  • What systems will be set up, agreements/practices encouraged, or models offered, to care for or nurture these?
  • Example outcomes:
    • A repository of ideas on the CNVC website, and a Yahoo! Group, will be set up to support people in creating NVC-based communities in their local areas.
    • A global restorative system to prevent and address conflict among NVC practitioners will be set up.
    • There will be an annual global NVC conference.

6. Certification, NVC Integrity and Individual Affiliation

  • Certification has been a strategy for supporting integrity in the way NVC is shared and for trainers to affiliate with CNVC. Going forward, how will we care for these needs?
  • How will certification evolve?
  • How will we care for the integrity of NVC?
  • How will individuals be able to affiliate with the organization or community?
  • Example outcomes:
    • Certification will be offered for NVC practitioners
    • The certification process will be changed in a particular way
    • A mechanism will be set up to receive and publish feedback about those sharing NVC
    • Individuals may become “members” of CNVC to express their support for CNVC and an intention to participate in community.

7. Supporting those Sharing NVC

  • What sort of systems, processes, and resources will be offered to support trainers or others in sharing NVC consciousness?
  • Example outcomes:
    • A multi-language repository for sharing training exercises and materials will be added to CNVC website.
    • An annual conference for people sharing NVC will be organized.
    • Website software to support training announcements and registrations will be changed to allow it to be customized for local use, while still providing a centralized resource for people to find out about events.

8. Training

  • What sort of training, mechanisms for arranging training, and in-organization learning (e.g., IITs, on-line trainings, practices to ensure those in those organization are on the same page, etc.), if any, do we want to have offered via a central organization and how do we want them to work?
  • When requests for training or other services come to the organization, how will these be handled?
  • Are additional mechanisms wanted to support learning within the organization or the community?
  • Example outcomes:
    • IITs will continue to be held as a means of sharing NVC and funding other work.
    • An IIT Council selected in a specified manner will be established to set policies regarding the organizing and operating of IITs, and to nurture their evolution.
    • A specified process will be used to respond to training requests received by CNVC.
    • A model for “How we work together within CNVC” will be developed, and those active in the organization will be invited to participate in a workshop based on this model.

9. Social Change & Peacemaking

  • What, if anything, will we do to support the world's systems in becoming more life serving, or to directly support peace and conflict resolution in the world?
  • Example outcomes:
    • A program will be set up to support connecting NVC mediators, conflict coaches, and Restorative Circle practitioners with those in need of these, and these services will be promoted to the public.

10. Media, Outreach & Networking

  • How will the organization “get the word out,” to the general public and the NVC community, about opportunities to benefit from NVC?
  • Websites, social media, other media
  • Connecting to or partnering with individuals or organizations to support synergy
  • Example outcomes:
    • A specified approach will be used to support CNVC branch websites being made available in different regions and in different languages without the need to develop each site from scratch.
    • A program will be offered to award modest grants to support projects to communicate to the public about NVC.

11. Creating Access

  • What, if anything, will we do to make the benefits of what we offer available to people:
    • with fewer economic resources
    • in areas without NVC organizations
    • with different languages and cultures
    • in different demographic groups
    • to many more people
  • Example outcomes:
    • A project will be started to identify great NVC learning resources (books, videos, etc.) and get their licensing changed to make them freely available.
    • A task force will launched to research models of viral peer-transmission of practices like NVC, for use in areas where a conventional “training” model would have limited reach.
    • A target will be set to deliver at least 10 percent of CNVC’s services to people unable to pay for those services.

12. Evolution, Innovation and Supporting Big Projects

  • How, if at all, will we support our practices in improving and make it possible for new, impactful, big things to happen?
  • How, if at all, will we support:
    • evolution of understandings, practices in sharing NVC
    • evolution and improvement of the organization and how we work together
    • innovation and beneficial diversity in how NVC consciousness is transmitted
    • readiness in the NVC community to be able to respond to large requests and implement large projects (e.g., “Teach NVC to everyone in the U.S. army”).
  • Example outcomes:
    • A journal, biannual conference, and website will be set up to support cross-pollination of ideas and “best practices” within the NVC community.
    • A task force will be initiated to study successful educational and social change initiatives, explore adapting their ideas to our context, and publish a report on promising innovative strategies for supporting NVC in being dramatically more impactful in the world.


Working Group Output

Working groups will produce two products: (1) actionable decisions and (2) advisory information.

An actionable decision needs to be do-able – able to be put into effect in one year or less -- and minimal – specifying only what is essential, so as to provide flexibility to the people who will implement the decision. Each decision should include a clear expression of its purpose.

Actionable decisions will be binding, meaning that the CNVC Board and those in the NVC community who wish to support the New Future process agree to implement these decisions. After they are implemented, what is learned may lead to new decisions.

It is suggested that each working group make 5 or 6 actionable decisions.

An Integration Council will be elected by the working groups. After the working groups have done their work, the Integration Council will ensure that the complete set of actionable decisions is coherent and collectively do-able.

Advisory information allows a working group to pass on additional information to those who will be implementing decisions. This information might further clarify the intentions of decisions, suggest strategies for implementation, offer background information, suggest implementation timeline and budget, analyze sustainability, or offer other potentially useful information.

Those who implement decisions will be free to decide if, and how, they will make use of advisory information.

Working Group Size

Our current thinking is that working groups will have 3-10 members, with the preferred size being 5 or 6. Working groups are expected to operate with a high degree of transparency and in a manner that invites public input.

Why This Many Topic Areas

The range of topic areas is intended to be broad enough to give working groups the potential to address both areas that are foundational to how an organization operates, and areas where the NVC community has expressed significant aliveness.

Making Things Do-able

It is natural to wonder if addressing 12 different topic areas might be “too much.”

One might worry that it might not be possible to populate that many working groups. If that turns out to be the case, we will simply do without any working group that cannot be populated.

One might worry that it won’t be possible to implement the number of decisions that might be made. Yet, with care, this risk can be managed:

  • Working groups, and the Integration Council (which will consider all the decisions together) will be asked to pay attention to what will be likely to be do-able as they make their decisions.
    • In some cases, to keep things do-able, an actionable decision might amount to taking a useful first step towards a more ambitious goal that might be followed up on in some subsequent process.
    • In other cases, checking with the NVC network might lead to a conclusion that it will likely be possible to bring into play enough resources to implement a more ambitious actionable decision.
  • The task of implementing the actionable decisions need not simply be dumped on the existing CNVC organization. Rather, the Integration Council will select an Implementation Council to take charge of ensuring that decisions are implemented, with the cooperation of the CNVC Board. It seems likely that the Implementation Council would organize various task forces to implement decisions that cannot be easily implemented via existing mechanisms.


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