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Karl Steyaert

Language of Report: 
English
Year of Report: 
2013
Share My Report With: 
General Public (Including Certified Trainers and Certification Candidates)
A. Approximately how many training days did you have this year?: 
30
B. Briefly list the groups and organizations you worked with this year as a trainer.: 
Bioneers, Peace & Permculture University, Trainer Candidate Community Program, Ecovillage Education US, Victoria CoHousing, Possibility Alliance, Karl Cabot Catholic Worker House, Blackbelt Communication Skills Training, Monroe Correctional Facility, Freedom Project, Center for Nonviolent Communication, Vitality Pilates
C. Approximately how many people did you offer NVC training to this year?: 
500
D. What are you celebrating about your training experiences this year? What was significant for you? What touched your heart?: 
I am so glad to have offered weekly long-term NVC learning community groups at the intentional community house I co-founded in Seattle. It was so meaningful to support an on-going group from the start of their NVC exploration, and to accompany them as they have deepened in their consciousness and competency. We have a sense of extended family, and I am now collaborating with many of the members of these learning community, so it really feels like the co-creation of a new culture of interdependence and love! I am so grateful. Other celebrations relate to cultivating the residential community itself, as we include a group of adults and children consistently deepening their living of empathy, authenticity, and presence with one another and the world. I feel so grateful to be living in a community in which we support each other daily with empathy, experience deep transformation through living the process of NVC, and practice service to the wider community and world through a variety of initiatives and projects.
E. Would you share some difficult experiences you had while training this year and how you handled them?: 
My most challenging experience was offering a 2 day learning event at the Peace & Permaculture University. I chose to experiment with a more "Open Space Technology" format (which is frequently used at various NVC gatherings) and to invite the leadership of various participants, some of whom had extensive NVC backgrounds. In this particular context, however, I found there was less focus and flow of meaningful learning than I typically like to support. I adjusted as I was able by offering more focused training on the second day, and was I glad to hear of participants having meaningful insights and learning. Nonetheless, were I to be in same situation again, I would offer a more clear curriculum for the two days.
F. How do you teach the spiritual basis of Nonviolent Communication in your workshops and training programs? : 
Whenever I share NVC I always begin with a clear emphasis on the consciousness underlying the process, emphasizing how primary it is that NVC rest on a recognition of our shared humanity. I explain the nature of "interdependence" and the universality of human needs. Also, through my words, actions, and attitude, I try to embody values such as empathic presence, compassion, authenticity, respect for the sacredness of all life, transparency, celebration of life, joyful service, power-sharing, and non-attachment to outcome. My practices include offering people authentic appreciations as they arise, expressing my vulnerability when I sense it will serve connection and learning to do so, making collaborative decisions through open dialogue, and offering trainings as a gift. I also strive to create learning experiences that illuminate these values, as well as offering people a first hand experience of various understandings, including the transformational effect of empathic presence, the universality of human needs, the freedom offered by non-attachment to strategy, etc.
G. Please describe your social change goals...: 
I am excited about catalyzing cultural shifts and co-creating transformational communities within which people experience interdependence with all life, and support for their full aliveness, authenticity, and development. This passion takes many forms, including: co-creating intentional communities informed by NVC, Restorative Circles, Dynamic Governance (Sociocracy/Holacracy), and other forms of life-serving consciousness and tools; supporting existing communities and other organizations to integrate life-serving values, and the above-listed forms of consciousness and tools if they so choose; offering multi-day trainings that explicitly invite a high degree of co-creation, typically using an Open Space Technology format; offering all trainings and other services that I organize personally on a gift economy basis; supporting communities to create Restorative Systems and facilitating Restorative Circles, which integrate NVC consciousness and skills; and mentoring people to find their path of passionate contribution in the world. My long-range dream is of a world of interdependent human communities that are ecologically and socially sustainable, interwoven with thriving non-human communities of life. Specifically, I envision a world where: all people receive modeling of, and formal and informal education in, living “interdependence,” through embodied training is approaches such as NVC and Restorative Circles, as well as other forms of emotional intelligence, group process, and conflict transformation; people know their neighbors; the majority of food and goods are produced locally and organically; and energy is clean and renewable. Furthermore, in this world, local communities support all people in meeting their needs for health, nourishment, and shelter; education consists of people receiving support as they explore the gifts they are most passionate about; children are “raised by” the community; people walk or bicycle easily to work; non-human life forms thrive in protected wilderness areas; products are designed to be highly durable, non-toxic and reusable; creativity and play are woven into all life paths and forms of livelihood; mind, body and spirit are all valued as an integrated whole; and a nested holarchy of double-linked governing circles from local to global politics make consent-based decisions about ecological, political, and economic policy. I'm very glad to realize that in having co-founded an intentional community house in Seattle that we are on this path! As I review the vision, mission and aim of CNVC, I see the practices and vision I describe above as directly mirroring the larger purpose of CNVC, and I am grateful to have such companionship on this path!
J. Please describe your efforts to create, or join, an NVC circle or organization.: 
As mentioned above, I have co-created a vibrant NVC learning community based out of the intentional community house which I live in in Seattle. The learning community consists of 60 people meeting in various groups each week, both for NVC learning and practice, as well as collaboration on community building and social change projects. For example, we are launching a Spanish NVC program and a local currency system to support increased economic interdependence. I experience tremendous joy in this co-creation of community, from the many friendships I see and experience deepening, to the learning from building an organization together, to the dance parties we enjoy as work breaks. In addition, I continue to be actively engaged in TCCP (the Trainer Candidate Community Program) with fellow CT and Assessor Kathleen Macferran, as well as in the Northwest Compassionate Communication Trainer Circle.
K. Summarize participants’ evaluations, and how their feedback resulted in new learning or growth for you this past year.: 
Overall the feedback I have received has been very positive, with participants remarking on enjoying the degree of learning, embodiment, lived empathy, aliveness, inspiration, connection, and community they have enjoyed with me and in the groups I've facilitated. Feedback which resulted in learning included the above-mentioned event at the Peace & Permaculture University, which has spurred me to design more clear curriculum for all of the events I facilitate, to insure that their is a clear underlying structure for participants to gain the basics in NVC.
L. What are your current growing edges or challenges as a trainer that you will be working on in the future?: 
One of my biggest edges is self-care as my schedule continues to become busier. I see my challenge as being to organize my time even more effectively than ever, to invite more collaboration with others, to build more organizational effectiveness, and to have more discernment in terms of which opportunities I say yes to.
M. If you found opportunities to work with other trainers this year, please share the most meaningful experiences for you.: 
Please see item "I" above.
N. Is there anything else you would enjoy sharing with the CNVC network?: 
I am deeply grateful to be living this work in the world, and to be a member of such a dedicated and heart-felt community! Thank you!
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