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Process for a New Future: Summary of the Integrated Plan

Contents

Purpose of this Document

Our Hope

The Process for a New Future

Plan Overview

Additional Information

 

Purpose of this Document

This document summarizes key aspects of the Integrated Plan, which is the result of the first three phases (two years) of CNVC’s Process for a New Future. While it can’t offer the fullness of the 200-page Integrated Plan, we hope this summary contributes to understanding, inspires interest in supporting and collaborating in the building of a new organisation, and allows for meaningful feedback, as the NVC network collectively moves towards creating a new reality.

In this document, “we” refers to the New Future Integration Council, informed by the work of the New Future Working Groups.

 

Our Hope

We want life-serving impulses toward creativity, care, service, collaboration and transformation among those inspired by Nonviolent Communication to have support and unobstructed channels for expression and blossoming. Serving the longings of the NVC network led us to design structures to support connection and synergy. Knowing that we ultimately don’t know what will want to emerge, we wanted what we collectively create to be so flexible that it could support a wide variety of outcomes, ranging from a modest variation on what is already happening in CNVC and the NVC network, to a situation where wildly ambitious dreams find the support they need to come to life and contribute to the world in powerful ways. We aimed to ensure that what actually happens will not be limited by our structures for organising, but can reflect the level of inspiration, energy, skill and commitment our shared love of NVC invites us to bring forth.

We want the organisation at the heart of the NVC movement to reflect and be a living laboratory for the full radical potential of the paradigm implicit in Nonviolent Communication.

To honor these wishes, we are choosing to create a structure that aims to embody, in full, the structural assumption of the interdependence of all things. The design is inspired by innovative practices that have worked well in other contexts. And, there are ways that what is being planned is new and untried. What is planned is fundamentally an experiment. There is a real risk of failure. To succeed, the plan will need support from passionate people aligned with the intentions of the design, who can breathe life into what has been outlined and find ways to transform our dreams into a sustainable reality.

We hope that sufficient support will emerge, so that the Integrated Plan will lead to the creation of a functional new organisation that, at the least, can serve the NVC movement a little better than what we have now. And, at the best, we dream of the Integrated Plan leading to such a powerful way of catalyzing our collective energy, and such powerful growth and learning, that what we collectively create will inspires other organisations and movements in their own efforts to find ways to powerfully contribute to the world.

 

The Process for a New Future

The Process for a New Future was initiated by the CNVC Board in the spring of 2014. At the time of this writing, the process is near the end of Phase 3.

Phase 1: Over 600 NVC enthusiasts from around the world participated in an online process, producing documents in four languages summarising how they would like to see the NVC community organise itself globally.

Phase 2: 42 people, who were ratified by the CNVC Board, served in 9 Working Groups to develop plans for how to move forward with regard to a variety of organisational topic areas.

Phase 3: 15 or so individuals, elected by the Working Groups, formed the Integration Council and worked to bring the nine individual plans together to create a coherent Integrated Plan.

Phase 4: The Implementation Council, with 5 initial members who were elected by the Integration Council, will recruit help and see that the plan is put into practice.

 

Plan Overview

Core Infrastructure

A New International NVC Organisation

The Integrated Plan calls for the formation of a new international NVC organisation. We are temporarily referring to the new organisation as NVC-O (for “NVC Organisation”) until a permanent name is decided by the Implementation Council.

NVC-O will be organized quite differently from CNVC.

As NVC-O comes into being, CNVC will be reorganized to reflect the way things work in NVC-O, and CNVC will be assimilated into NVC-O as part of the new organisation.

Organisation and Community

There has sometimes been confusion about who is “part of” CNVC. The Integrated Plan attempts to improve this situation by including a clear differentiation between the new organisation, NVC-O, and the  community of people associated with the organisation, the “NVC-O Community.”

 

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Anyone who identifies with the Vision, Purpose and Mission of the NVC-O Community will be able to register on a website to become a “Member” of the NVC-O Community.

Some Members of the NVC-O Community may take the additional step of becoming a “Partner” in NVC-O, and thus active participants in the organisation. Becoming a Partner will involve going through a careful on-boarding process to prepare the individual for full participation in the organisation.

The NVC-O Community and NVC-O (the organisation) will differ in terms of how structured they are, how easy they are to join, and what they offer.

The NVC-O Community will have minimal structure, and be inclusive and easy to join. A website will support people in finding one another. We intend that there will be a meaningful relationship between NVC-O and the NVC-O Community, to a greater extent than has been the case with CNVC and the current NVC network. Supporting the NVC-O Community will be part of the mission of NVC-O.

NVC-O, the organisation, will have a significant degree of structure, in the form of agreed ways of doing things, systems to address particular needs, and a consciously created organisational culture. We intend this structure to support effectiveness in collaborating to get things done.

To want to become a Partner in NVC-O, people will be philosophically aligned with the organisational purpose, mission and culture, and we imagine will naturally put effort into learning how to work effectively within the organisational structures. This means that becoming a Partner in NVC-O will not be as easy as becoming a Member of the NVC-O Community. However, we hope that, for some people, NVC-O will offer a satisfying and supportive context for working together to get things done that are aligned with the organisation’s vision, purpose, and mission, and that matter to the NVC-O Community and to the world.

We anticipate that there will be many more Partners in NVC-O than there currently are employees and board members in CNVC; so, in this sense, we anticipate that direct participation in NVC-O will be much more accessible than has been possible in CNVC.

Members of the NVC-O Community and Partners in NVC-O might do things that are broadly similar; for example, people in either context are likely to be using NVC to contribute to people’s lives being more wonderful. The NVC-O Community and NVC-O (the organisation) simply offer different contexts where things can get done.

The NVC-O Community will offer a setting where Members can do as they like in relation to NVC, with whatever support is willingly offered by those Partners who choose to offer support. NVC-O (the organisation) will offer a setting where people can work together within a system of agreements designed to support effectiveness, and experience significant levels of support from one another and from the ever improving systems built into the organisation.

Members in the NVC-O Community can share NVC, support each other's integration of NVC, create and work on projects, and engage in any other activity that feels meaningful. Partners in NVC-O can develop resources to support the NVC-O Community or others who could benefit from NVC, create and work on projects, care for the Virtual Home (website) or other NVC-O systems, and engage in any other form of collaboration that feels meaningful and consistent with NVC-O’s Purpose and Mission.

We don’t assume that current CNVC Certified Trainers will all necessarily become Partners in NVC-O. Nor will being the equivalent of a CNVC Certified Trainer be a requirement for becoming a Partner, though commitment to a path as an NVC “Practitioner will be an important criterion for Partnership.

Some Features of NVC-O

In thinking about how our new organisation might work, we were very inspired by the book “Reinventing Organizations,” by Frederic Laloux. (See the book’s website or this wiki for related information.) So, our design drew heavily on Laloux’s ideas, and the practices used by companies profiled in the book. In keeping with the principles offered in this book, the organisation will be:

  1. organised into self-managing teams (of 12 people or fewer),
  2. guided by an “evolutionary” purpose, and
  3. honoring of the whole humanity of those involved.

“Self-management” offers a model radically different from what is found in most traditional organisations. In this model, there is no top-down structure of “command and control.” Instead, every Partner is empowered to do what needs doing and to decide what needs to be decided.

In CNVC, only a few people (mostly the Board of Directors and Executive Director) were authorised to make significant decisions. They naturally had limited capacity for making complex decisions, and this often limited what could happen in the organisation. In NVC-O, the design is intended to remove decision-making bottlenecks, with no centralised authority that needs to give permission before a decision can be made. This has the potential to greatly increase how much can get done.

While CNVC has been primarily based in the U.S., the Integrated Plan calls for NVC-O to be a truly international organisation, with Partners distributed around the world. The plan calls for NVC-O to have no centralized main office. Much of the organisation will be “virtual,” operating via video conferencing, and using a sophisticated website called the “virtual home” as a repository for institutional knowledge and as a support for getting things done.

At the same time, we want to honor the value of in-person connections. Groups called “Community Interface Weaves” will focus on supporting the NVC-O Community, in particular geographic locales, and we anticipate that these will make good use of in-person connections. Some parts of NVC-O might choose to set up physical offices. And, the Integrated Plan calls for a global NVC-O convention to be held every other year in various places around the world.

The “Netweb”

A guiding intention for the design of the organisation and the community is that we aim for there to be a high degree of interconnectedness between groups of people.  To reflect these intentions, we have invented some new terms that are used in describing what we are creating:

A “Weave” is our term for a group of people which is interconnected with other groups of people. The organisation (NVC-O) is made up of “organisational weaves” (the self-managing teams mentioned above). Groups within the NVC-O Community may be described as “community weaves.”

The “Netweb” is our term for the interconnected whole that is formed by all the organisational and community weaves.

People belonging to more than one weave is a significant mechanism for interconnection between weaves.

Commitment to Access

With painful awareness that the world we live in systematically limits access to resources and influence of people in groups that have been historically marginalised, we’ve built into the new organisation systems to support awareness of these patterns of privilege/marginalisation and differential access. To counteract these patterns in the organisation and its sphere of influence we’ve included concrete agreements about how we can operate more in harmony with our values of interdependence, equity and inclusion. We’re also painfully aware that we’ve likely fallen short of what can be done, and hope our new organisation is set up so that it will continue to evolve in this direction.

Decision-Making

The Integration Council has modified and adopted a decision-making process described in Laloux’s Reinventing Organisations. Any Partner or organisational weave in NVC-O can make any decision affecting the organisation, provided they ask non-binding advice from those affected by the decision and those who have relevant expertise. Anyone who is consulted may make a binding request for the decision to be made collectively via a collaborative process.

Individual weaves have full autonomy to make whatever decisions they need to make that affect only their weave, and otherwise to use the modified advice process as above.

Operational Agreements

The organisation will be supported in functioning as a coherent whole through Operational Agreements. Partners and weaves are asked to operate in alignment with the Operational Agreements, unless a compelling need leads them to make another choice, and when they deviate from the Operational Agreements, they are asked to provide feedback to support the improvement of the Operational Agreements.

Operational Agreements address a variety of topics, including: governance, feedback processes, conflict transformation, on-boarding of new Partners, access, and financial management.

Coordination and Leadership

Organisational weaves will be organised into “clusters” of weaves with related purposes. Each cluster will elect a Partner to serve on a Global Council. The NVC-O Community will also elect a Partner to serve on the Global Council. The purpose of the Global Council will be to anchor a global perspective and to strengthen NVC-O’s collective ability to serve its purpose and mission. In most respects, the Global Council will have no more decision-making authority than any other weave.

An Internal Leader will be selected by the Global Council through sociocratic elections. The Internal Leader will attend to specific functions essential for successful operation of a self-managing, purpose-driven organisation. In most respects, the Internal Leader will have no more decision-making authority than any other Partner.

Evolution

The intention is for the new organisation to be continuously learning and evolving. This will be supported by a cultural value of focusing on purpose, ongoing feedback processes, and a structure that lets what is most alive be what continues and thrives.

Specific Applications

Recognised Roles

CNVC currently certifies NVC trainers. The Integrated Plan calls for this function to continue in NVC-O, with some notable changes:

  • Terminology: Instead of being “Certified,” people will step into "Recognised Roles" as part of an ongoing process of integrating NVC principles and practices into their lives and communities.
  • New Roles: CNVC has “certified” NVC Trainers. NVC-O will “recognise” people in either an “NVC Practitioner” role or various “NVC Ambassador” roles. NVC Practitioners will have integrated NVC principles and practices into their lives in substantial ways. NVC Ambassadors will have achieved an even higher level of integration, and will have specialized in applying NVC in particular ways. An “NVC-O Recognised NVC Ambassador” specializing in “Integration” would correspond to a current “CNVC Certified Trainer.” If there is energy to do so, other specializations may be created, for example, in “Conflict Transformation,” “Families,” “Healthcare,” “Facilitation,” or other areas.
  • Community Based: CNVC certification has been based on an assessment process involving the certification candidate and an Assessor, though in some parts of the world a more community-based process has been emerging. In NVC-O, stepping into a Recognised Role will consistently involve a community-based process. Readiness to move into a Recognised Role will be decided by “Recognised Role weaves,” groups of Community Members and NVC-O Partners who will act as peers and mentors for each other. Recognized Role weaves will be relationally oriented transformational living, learning, feedback communities and social labs. These weaves will focus on collaborative, 360-degree feedback for all weave participants, emphasizing support for and integrity of embodied and applied NVC. Each weave will be connected with Weave Coaches (support for system set-up, maintenance and conflict transformation) and also with an NVC Integration Trustee (support for quality, feedback and integrity of embodying and applying NVC).
  • Renewal: To support ongoing learning, the process for renewal will include annual reflection and participation in a 360-degree feedback process.
  • Awareness about Access: To support our commitment to counteracting patterns of domination embedded in mainstream cultures, a curriculum on power, privilege, and social location will be developed and integrated into what those wanting to step into Recognised Roles will be asked to learn about and receive feedback about.
  • Alternate Role Names: Terms like “NVC-O Recognised NVC Ambassador focusing in Integration” might not support clarity in all contexts. The plan calls for NVC-O to develop a list of approved alternate names for each role, which can be used where this would be helpful. For example “Sevak” might be a title that represents a person in a role of sacred service to the community in India. In a corporate setting, “Certified Trainer” might be an alternative title for an NVC Ambassador focusing in Integration.

Those in Recognised Roles will be Members of the NVC-O Community, and may or may not also be Partners in NVC-O.

We anticipate that there will be a process for current CNVC Certified Trainers to transition into serving as NVC-O Recognised NVC Ambassadors or Practitioners. We hope that this transition process will be able to address acknowledgement, meaning, ease and choice for existing Certified Trainers while also caring for the integrity of the new “recognition” model, which includes aspects that were not present in the old “certification” model. Details will be worked out by the Implementation Council and those who support their work. 

Learning Events

International Intensive Trainings (IITs) will continue to be offered, organised by one or more self-managing weaves and sponsored by CNVC acting as an integral part of NVC-O. NVC-O will also encourage other types of learning events, including facilitated gatherings that support mutual learning and self-organized NVC gatherings founded on co-creation and shared leadership. NVC-O will sponsor a Global Convention every two years, focusing on mutual learning, to be held on rotating continents.

Community

Input from the NVC network celebrated the special experience of being in a group of people, where we feel accepted, heard and feel a shared sense of purpose and approach. Being in community with other NVC enthusiasts was compared to being around a "warm campfire.”

There were longings for more time around the campfire; mournings for the places where those campfires didn't exist, or where it had "burnt out", through conflict, or loss of leaders/energy.

The Integrated Plan means to honor these longings, and calls for NVC-O to support more opportunities for people to experience being in community with other NVC enthusiasts, via these strategies:

  • building a “Virtual Home” (website) that includes features to support NVC community;
  • creating a “living guidebook” for NVC communities: an evolving repository of suggestions, stories, tools, and practices, for NVC communities and groups
  • keeping open the Network Empowerment Forum, currently offered by CNVC, to allow community-initiated video conference gatherings;
  • inviting Partners in NVC-O to take on a role of being “Community Weavers” focused on stewarding the NVC-O Community, and bringing aliveness and warmth to NVC communities.

Social Change and Peacebuilding

The Integrated Plan names an aspiration to develop a system that supports empowerment and self organization by sprouting the collective intelligence of the NVC community in relation to social change and peacebuilding.  The following strategies are intended to bring together projects, people and resources, and offer platforms for collaboration:

  • NVC-O will be invited to develop an infrastructure to support the effective functioning of projects within it to advance social change and peacebuilding;
  • A Social Change and Peacebuilding Hub will be built into the Virtual Home (website) to support people in connecting in relation to social change and peacebuilding topics.

 

Additional Information

Vision

NVC-O and the NVC-O Community will share the same Vision:

We envision a world where systems, cultures and individuals support the wellbeing and empowerment of all people, with care for past, present, and future life.

NVC-O Community

Purpose and Mission of NVC-O Community

The NVC-O Community will be guided by this Purpose:

To live and radiate interdependence and compassion.

The NVC‐O Community will have this mission:

We are an informal community spread across the world, dedicated to supporting Members of our Community and individuals and organisations beyond that Community in creating a world that works for all. We:

  1. CONNECT: by actively reaching out to individuals and organisations and supporting them to learn and integrate NVC principles and practices.

  2. SUPPORT: each other through empathic and authentic presence and connection

  3. DEVELOP: principles and invent practices through hands‐on work in different contexts and cultures that contribute to the creation of a world that works for all.

  4. MODEL: Nonviolent Communication principles and practices as individuals, in our interactions with others, and in the groups and organisations that we work in and with;

  5. INSPIRE: others to consider looking at NVC principles and practices as a tool that could enrich their lives.

  6. INITIATE: and organise events that nourish, celebrate and expand our Community;

  7. PROVIDE: input for the Organisation by harvesting the wisdom and knowledge generated within the Community.

Organisations within the Community

Existing NVC organisations will be able to continue operating without changes. An organisation (e.g., ACNV, D-A-CH or BayNVC) or group that wishes to be associated with the NVC-O Community will be able register as a “Community Weave” and provide a profile that can be found by those searching the Virtual Home (website).

The plan does not envision existing NVC organisations (other than CNVC) integrating into the structure of NVC-O in the near future, because the emergence of a cohesive organisational culture of self-management will be essential to the success of the new organisation.

Connection between Community and Organisation

“Community Weaves” in the NVC-O Community will be encouraged to have at least 1/12 of their members serve as Partners in NVC-O, to support a strong bidirectional connection between the NVC-O Community and NVC-O, the organisation.

The NVC-O Community at-large will be invited to elect one Partner to serve on the NVC-O Global Council.

 

NVC-O (the Organisation)

Basic Cultural Elements for NVC-O

NVC-O (the organisation) will be guided by this Purpose:

We dedicate ourselves to the well being and empowerment of all by applying and sharing Nonviolent Communication principles and practices with individuals and within systems and cultures.

NVC-O will have this Mission:

As a global organisation, we seek to actively serve and support our Community and to reach out to the world to advocate for the transformative power of NVC principles and practices. We:

  1. MODEL: NVC and collaborative principles and practices as individuals and throughout the organisation.

  2. CONNECT:  all who are inspired to learn, integrate, share, and apply Nonviolent Communication.

  3. ACTIVATE: conditions that enable knowledge and activities throughout the Community to become of service to the whole.

  4. SUPPORT: the transition to collaborative systems and practices at all levels of society.

  5. INITIATE: and implement collaborative and mutually supportive projects in partnership with members of the Community and the world at large.

  6. INSPIRE: and link with other communities and organizations who share a compatible vision.

  7. PROVIDE: platforms, resources and materials.

  8. EVOLVE:  our capabilities and understanding of NVC through research and experimentation.

NVC-O Operational Values

The Integrated Plan specifies these “operational values” to guide how the organisation functions: Connection to Purpose, Effectiveness, Aliveness/Wholeness, and Learning/Growing Capacity.

Other NVC-O Basic Cultural Elements

The plan also defines a number of other “basic cultural elementsthat will guide NVC-O. For example, the “nature of the organisation” is described as:

Our organisation lives and evolves the art of collaboration. We function as a living laboratory for discovering, practicing and refining what works to support people in coming together to serve a common purpose. We integrate the principles of Nonviolent Communication with other insights into what supports collaboration.

One guiding principle will be that things only will get done if someone is willing to do them. It is intended that nothing be done from “should” energy, although this might result in some things not happening that might otherwise be expected.

Money and Partners

The Integrated Plan invites the organisation to live into Marshall’s dream of nobody working for money and everybody having the resources they need to do their work. We expect this to mean that among the Partners who contribute labor, some will receive no financial support (or might contribute money), and some will receive financial support to allow them to do their work -- with support attuned to meeting needs rather than to fixed notions of “exchange”, “compensation,” or “market value.”

Finances

We anticipate that major sources of funding for the new organisation will include IIT revenues (which have been the primary funding source for CNVC) and individual contributions. We anticipate that Weaves within NVC-O will emerge that give attention to raising funds for the organisation.

There will be mechanisms to support financial resources flowing between different parts of the organisation. In particular, a periodic “budgeting marketplace” will be held to support distributed decision-making about how to allocate available funding. A high degree of transparency is planned, with regard to both finances and decision-making.

Some Weaves within NVC-O may be financially self-sufficient, either because they do not need funding or because they have ways of funding themselves.

Organisational Weave Clusters

The 9 initial clusters of organisational weaves will focus on these topic areas: Community Interface,  Maintenance, Resources, Organisational Process, Creating Access, External Communications, Applications, Projects, and NVC Evolution and Innovation.

Transition of CNVC and NVC-O

The Integrated Plan calls for CNVC to be smoothly transitioned so that it becomes a part of the new organisational structure as it emerges. CNVC funds will be made available for use by NVC-O as a whole. Functions of CNVC that will be continuing, such as IIT support, will be transitioned to operate using self-management in keeping with NVC-O’s Operational Agreements. CNVC staff will be invited to become NVC-O Transitional Partners. A new CNVC Board will be selected, including representatives from the existing CNVC and selections by the New Future Implementation Council. We anticipate that, for the time being, CNVC will continue to exist as a legal entity forming a constituent part of the new organisation.

The Implementation Council members will be the first Transitional Partners in NVC-O. They will recruit other Transitional Partners to help implement the Integrated Plan. Once the full process for becoming a Partner and other key processes have been implemented, Transitional Partners and others will go through the Partnership process and NVC-O will become operational.

We currently project that it will take around two years to transition to NVC-O and the NVC-O Community being fully operational. During the early part of the transition, the plan calls for prototyping, or trying out, the designs included in the Integrated Plan, to ensure that they are workable and to identify possible improvements.

 

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