Sociocracy

Dear NVC Community,

The purpose of this letter is to communicate to the NVC community a description of how the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), based on feedback from a number of certified trainers and board members, is now organizing itself to increase connection and mutual support among all people who want to further the practice of Nonviolent Communication (NVC). It is my objective as Board president to encourage participation with CNVC and with deliberation acknowledge value for everyone’s needs in the NVC community.
As you view the following documents, especially the diagram depicting the circles, you will see elements of sociocracy. We would like to clarify CNVC’s relationship to sociocracy. We utilize some sociocratic techniques as well as other tools that support NVC consciousness, such as open space technology at IIT's. We do not want to stimulate confusion and want to be seen accurately as an organization that is fundamentally NVC.
This structure will continue to evolve. We are thinking carefully about such questions as how best to develop and train a cadre of experienced and reliable trainers to take NVC out into the world, how to make the CNVC Board accountable to the NVC community and to society, and how to support relationships among all NVC groups as well as individual participants,
The letter has several hyperlinks to more detail. The link to the chart at the end of the letter shows this information in picture form.

  • CNVC Board of Directors: The Board guides the CNVC organization. It is the circle of people with responsibility for CNVC’s overall financial and legal integrity, policies, and strategies, including regular evaluation of the organizational structure I describe in this letter. A valued quality of members is deep appreciation of NVC as well as skills or expertise in finances (budgeting, investing), legal environment (international), running international non-profits, fund raising, social change, media and public relations, international NGOs, marketing, technology, art and writing, and other skills that can contribute to the successful spread and application of NVC.
  • Administrative Team: The Admin Team guides the day-to-day operations of CNVC in accordance with Board policies and guidance. The Admin Team members are: Marshall Rosenberg, Valentina Rosenberg, and Margo Pair. The Admin Team guides several team coordinators whose circles are responsible for the various aspects of CNVC operations.
  • Leadership Team: The Admin Team and team coordinators are collectively called the Leadership Team (LT).

The LT now meets every two weeks for the purpose of exchanging information. Also, at least every three months it will meet as an extended forum to think about how it is operating and adjust its operating policies as needed. In this special circle meeting, the LT coordinators will be joined by representatives selected by their teams. These representatives will help bring everyone’s voices into the process of guiding the NVC community in accomplishing its urgently needed workThe first such meeting will occur before the end of April, 2008. Circles are groups of people with a common aim to provide an NVC service to themselves or others. The LT circles are:

  • CNVC Office and Bookstore in Albuquerque, New Mexico: The Office provides administrative support for CNVC’s operations. As of December 2007, the move to the new permanent location (some pictures?) is complete. The bookstore now has its own loading dock!(picture?) Margo Pair is also still serving in the role of office manager, and is looking for a new person to take over a number of those responsibilities.
  • CNVC Information Technology: The Information Technology Circle, coordinated by William Poehner (*Update: New IT Coordinator as per July, 2008 is Pan Vera*), administers CNVC’s computer system. They expect to launch a new and enhanced CNVC website by February 29, 2008. Their work this past year has been invisible as they strengthened the back end of the website, including a new, robust database. Soon there will be a new look, more languages, and new tools that will greatly help our community find and connect with each other.
  • Educational Services: Coordinated by Marshall Rosenberg, Educational Services has three main activities: trainer certification, the IIT programs, and non-IIT training. The certification program will restart in the next few weeks, and seven IITs are planned in 2008 as well as special session(s). In the 2008 budget we plan to hire two full-time staff trainers to take over most non-IIT workshops from Marshall.
  • Global Community Circle (GCC): CNVC’s link to the global NVC community is through the Global Community Circle (GCC). The GCC functions include contributing to support and connection throughout the NVC community, sustaining existing circles, including project-focused circles, and helping to cultivate new circles. The GCC has a goal of having an NVC team in every country of the world by 2017. The coordinator is Glenda Mattinson (*Updated July, 2008*). Language region coordinators support certified trainers, practitioners, and all others interested in NVC, in organizing to bring NVC to all parts of society.
  • Synergy: The Synergy coordinator will be responsible for developing relationships with other organizations whose goals and values are compatible with the NVC mission. This program potentially large and complex and will move forward as priorities permit.
  • Fundraising: The fundraising and grant writing coordinator will be responsible for acquiring funds through donations and grants. CNVC is actively looking for someone to fill this role.
    Media: The media coordinator will be responsible for promoting the spread of NVC through all forms of communication such as television and print media, except for in-person presentations. CNVC is also actively looking for someone to fill this role.

The hyperlinked chart gives a picture of the relationships between all these circles. The picture shows, first, a flow of information and guidance from the Board to Admin Team to LT Coordinators to their team members. This flow helps meet the need for efficiency in day-to-day operations. Second, the chart shows a flow of information and guidance from team members to LT Coordinators to Admin Team to Board. Representatives selected by the circles are the point persons for this second flow, which occurs during the special extended forum meetings. The representatives participate as full members and provide an independent set of eyes and ears. This second flow or “double-link” meets the need to keep everyone on a fully human, equivalent basis. By following the links on the chart you can find a description of duties and decision-making authority for each circle.
During its in-person meeting in November, the Board adopted a communications policy. Per that policy, any time a group or individual makes a decision that significantly affects others, they will document the observations and needs met by that decision and invite a flow of communication between them and those affected by the decision. To the extent that it is relevant, I encourage other circles in the NVC community to use this policy as a model as well.

In care and community,

Robert Gonzales
CNVC Board President and NVC Aficionado

Margo A. Pair
Administrative Director
The Center for Nonviolent Communication
5600 San Francisco Rd. NE Ste. A
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Phone: +1.505.244.4041
Fax: +1.505.247.0414

Previous Announcement, November 16, 2007

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The Center for Nonviolent Communication
9301 Indian School Rd NE Suite 204
Albuquerque, NM 87112-2861 USA
Tel: +1.505.244.4041 | Fax: +1.505.247.0414 | US Only: 800 255 7696

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