Candidates for CNVC Board: 2021

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The following five people are candidates for two spots up for election for the CNVC Board of Directors in September 2021 (listed in reverse alphabetical order by first name).

1. Ted Rau

Ted Rau

Email Ted

Country: United States

Languages: English, German

Minority Group: LGBTQ (transgender, same-gender relationship)

Ethnicity: White

Recruitment Priorities: Fundraising, Governance, Nonviolent Communication, and Nonprofit Organizations.

Brief Summary: I'm the Executive Director of a U.S. nonprofit that teaches governance. I'm a Sociocracy coach, with a background in linguistics and communication. I've been studying and immersed in NVC since 2010. I'm transgender, queer, and a parent of 5 children under 18. I care about emergence, clarity and alignment, and social justice.

Full Introduction: Born and raised in Germany, I earned a Ph.D. in Linguistics in Tübingen and worked in academia before moving to the United States. My five children are between 8 and 17. I am transgender (FTM) and identify as queer and transitioned approximately 4 years ago. Social justice, longing for more equality, and our future affected by climate change are on my mind a lot.

I care deeply about Nonviolent Communication, awareness of NVC in the world, and regenerative, non-coercive social systems in general. I've been studying NVC since 2010 in a weekly study group that focused on core NVC concepts & practice, as well as the writings of Miki Kashtan. I live and immerse in NVC processes with my life partner, Jerry Koch-Gonzalez, a certified NVC trainer, who added to my learning of NVC in his training (and countless discussions around our dinner table!). In my teaching, needs consciousness is always embedded within governance-focused classes and facilitation.

I live in a cohousing community with 70 neighbors in Massachusetts/USA that practices NVC and restorative practices. In 2016, I co-founded Sociocracy For All, a global multi-lingual, multi-sector membership nonprofit organization based in the USA. Its governance is distributed, with approximately 25 people in paid roles (mostly part-time) and 200 volunteer members in decision-making groups. Currently, I serve as the Executive Director.

I published two books on governance, "Many Voices One Song. Sharing Power with Sociocracy" (2018) and "Who Decides Who Decides. How to start a group so everyone can have a voice" (2021). Both books explicitly draw from NVC in its interface of inner transformation, communication, and decision-making.

In my client work, my experience lies in different sectors like nonprofits, activism, business, communities, and schools. I support organizations in implementing distributed governance and decision making with accountability and feedback. I've worked in and with international for-purpose organizations that are structurally similar to CNVC.

Being of service feeds me. According to client and coworker feedback, people enjoy my warmth, clarity around processes and concepts, and my ability to balance staying on track with staying open and flexible.

I'd be excited to contribute to co-creating inclusive and transparent processes that work for members and support the operations of CNVC so that CNVC can respond to its calling to the world.

2. Samuel Odhiambo

Samuel Odhiambo

Email Samuel

Country: Kenya

Languages: English, Dholuo, and Swahili

Minority Group: Black African

Ethnicity: African/Luo

Recruitment Priorities: Governance, Nonviolent Communication, Restorative Approaches, and Nonprofit Organizations.

Brief Summary: I grew up in Mukuru, a slum in Nairobi, Kenya where I learnt survival skills as well as care for self and others. I could have not been certified were it not for the donations from the Darmstadt NVC community and willingness of my trainers and assessors coming to Kenya.

Full Introduction: Structural violence/injustice and how to address the same with care is a global dilemma, and CNVC as a global community is no exception. Coming from Kenya and having experienced post election violence in 2007 and the impact, I am reassured of the power of empathic connection as an answer to power dynamics. I have seen the impact of violent conflicts in refugee camps in Kenya, Uganda, and the pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya while bringing NVC to these communities.

In these journeys i have also experienced the joy of human beings being able to see each other as fellow humans and choosing peace over violence. This inspiration and hope is what i desire to gift to the NVC Global community. I am a board member of Tuzungumze Amani Foundation, a registered NVC community. I also serve in the boards of Peace Ambassadors Kenya, Baba Tree International, and a partner of Social Innovation Academy (SINA-Global).

I do believe in equality and in a community where the male child is considered the at the expense of the girl I chose to see my son and daughter equally starting by their names; Adrian and Adriannah. I bring my presence to the global NVC community to contribute to creating spaces for the diverse communities present to be express be heard with an intention to foster a mutual understanding and co-creation of the community we want.

3. Robyn Marie Bors Veraart

Robyn Marie Bors Veraart

Email Robyn

Country: Romania

Languages: English, French, Dutch, Romanian. Basic comprehension of Spanish and German. Learning Hungarian.

Minority Group: Peasant/small-scale farmers/homesteaders

Ethnicity: Hungarian, Gypsy/Romany

Recruitment Priorities: Nonviolent Communication, Restorative Approaches, and Nonprofit Organizations.

Brief Summary: I felt surprised and delighted to see my name listed next to the names of so many people for whom I feel love and respect who were nominated for the board of CNVC. I have a great willingness and capacity to care for life. I served the system that I was born into, living in large cities all over the USA (New York, Atlanta, Portland, Boulder/Denver) offering psychotherapy, teaching yoga and meditation, ultimately as a counsellor in a women's prison; in the belly of the domination/life-alienating system... and from there having a possibility to leap into the constructive side of life.

Full Introduction: I sense great potential in what CNVC might be able to offer our world on fire, flooding and at war. I honestly do not know if I have the experience needed to help to restore our systems in CNVC nor the larger ones, and certainly not alone. What I bring is a calm groundedness which I have been cultivating through a lifetime of yoga and meditation practices, some skill in NVC, meditation, and the ability to stay open, curious and loving. Even in quite pressured situations, I can almost always see from a multitude of perspectives.

Also, I have lived in 4 different countries for a significant amount of time: North America, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe. And I have also experienced life on a wide spectrum in terms of money; seeing and experiencing the great poverty in certain forms of financial wealth and great wealth in simplicity and having less money. I consider this a great freedom within myself.

I live now for the last 12 years in a tiny village of 100 people in Transylvania, Romania on a subsistence (peasant) farm and have learned the skills of simple living, food sovereignty and NVC. Here, with my husband and child together, we spend our energy building a living and learning center for Regenerative Living and NonViolence while living in community with the elements, seasons, plants, animals and also many and various communities of human beings. We are part of the Global Ecovillage Network and the NVC community in Romania where I serve as part of a transitional board for the last 2 years.

4. Manasi Saxena

Manasi Saxena

Email Manasi

Country: India  

Languages: English, Hindi

Ethnicity: Noida

Recruitment Priorities: Finance and Accounting, Fundraising, Governance, Nonviolent Communication, Nonprofit Organizations.

Brief Summary: I’m grateful for the possibility to contribute to CNVC in this way because I hold a deep commitment to working towards a world where everybody’s needs matter. I bring my hands-on experience as Founder-Director and Board Member of enCOMPASSion, my nonprofit committed to NVC and social change at the grassroots.

Full Introduction: I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the CNVC Board at this moment in time, particularly because of where we are as a collective – dealing with transitions within a world in flux. This speaks to me on many levels, and I’d like to share some of them with you.

I bring with me my experiences as a Founder, Director, and Board member of enCOMPASSion, a growing nonprofit grounded in NVC. Since 2016, through enCOMPASSion, I’ve been part of organizing multiple international events for the NVC India community, and offering trainings to a number of organisations, including small Indian NGOs like Mazil and Katkatha, and larger international bodies such as the U.N. Refugee Agency and more recently Peace Corps, Nepal. In 2020, owing to the violence in New Delhi and the Covid-19 migrant crisis in India, I felt a strong urgency towards contributing to people who had lost their homes and livelihoods, and reoriented enCOMPASSion as a community in service of other communities.

Since March 2020, I have been immersed in multiple relief projects: from the Delhi communal riots (which included managing volunteers and the flow of resources in a very chaotic space, contending with complex official relationships between the powers-that-be, and in one instance a hands-on mediation), to Covid relief work (where we reached 27,000+ individuals with ration relief), a smaller blanket relief project during Winter 2020-2021 (reaching 6,500 persons), and most recently, emergency empathy circles with Project Empathy, in collaboration with Connext Coaching (Ranjitha Jeurkar).

Through these experiences, enCOMPASSion has become a living, growing nonprofit, with a committed core team and many volunteers and supporters, including many of you. Some of our work (which can be found here: has included the Living Bridges project, which focuses on NVC and Social Change, and Project Asha, which focuses on NVC-based interventions in urban slums.

As the Founder-Director and Board Member, I hold many threads, including an overview of the legal-financial, governance and management, and envisioning and designing systems, processes, and projects that bring our vision and intention into action. In addition to working collaboratively within the larger system, I bring with me the capacity to hold a larger vision in balance with the immediate context in hand. I also see that it happens one step at a time.

My experiences in the field and with NVC have led me to an intuitive sense that my purpose is to serve as a “living bridge”, between people and resources, between intentions and systems, across communities. Contributing to the transition of CNVC into an organisation that can serve more globally, in service of the world where everybody’s needs matter that Marshall was pointing us to would be a deeply meaningful use of my energy, skills, and resources.

Thank you for considering me for this position - and for your time in reading this.

5. Allan Rohlfs

Allan Rohlfs

Email Allan

Country: United States

Language: English

Recruitment Priorities: Nonviolent Communication, Restorative Approaches, and Nonprofit Organizations.

Brief Summary: I took my first workshop with Marshall in 1973 was certified in 1990 with the first group. My last workshop with Marshall was in 2008. I am also one of four who signed the CNVC articles of incorporation in 1984 (the only one still remaining).

Full Introduction: It’s been at least 20 years since a First Generation trainer, first certified in 1990 or before, has been a Board member. I took my first workshop with Marshall in 1973 and it changed my life giving me a direction which has continued now for 48 years. I saw how I could transform judgments into speaking without blame or judgment, even before Marshall began calling this “from the heart.” It was a revolutionary understanding for me. My last workshop with Marshall was in 2008 with about 75 workshops in between; I am also one of four who signed the CNVC articles of incorporation in 1984 (the only one still remaining).

I want to bring to the Board my knowledge and experience of the entire span of Marshall’s teachings so that his legacy continues, and so this knowledge can be applied to the decisions and new processes for governance this present Board has been and continues to create as we develop our organization.

This continuity is especially important in my view since Marshall’s passing in 2014 when varying views about NVC have emerged, been widely taught and Marshall isn’t among us to refer to. Also since a significant and growing number of Certified Trainers have never known Marshall or directly experienced his teachings and his live demonstration of NVC. Presently we have no way to address this divergence so currently we do not present ourselves in the world with one understanding and one voice thus endangering our mission of spreading NVC. Developing a way to address this is a primary concern of mine so that we can proceed with confidence from unity.

Without attention to this, the varying interpretations have the danger of NVC being seen as a political organization and thereby dismissed as this or that political view rather than the new way of connecting to life he presented. More than ever through these times Marshall’s teaching consistent through five decades is what I hope to contribute to the innovative work already occurring with this Board.

I myself have served for many years on the staff of a not-for-profit organization where all decisions were made by consensus, a process I deeply value, an organization started by Carl Rogers who was also Marshall’s teacher.

I deeply value our NVC process of listening to each other, the kind of listening in which I and we are influenced by what we receive, a process along with honesty which moves us all, in alignment with Marshall’s teaching and vision, toward reaching a critical mass of people living NVC in the world.