February 19, 2016
In this newsletter:

As this newsletter reaches your inbox, we are about to have our largest training ever since Marshall Rosenberg stopped coming to the Bay Area. Convergent Facilitation - the free workshop I am teaching Feb 20-21 in Oakland, has been beyond full, with a long waiting list of over 300 names that we are managing.
protestSome people who hear about this and also know about the Fearless Heart's budget shortfall for this year, have almost chastised me for offering it free under these circumstances. With so much interest, they argue, if we asked people to pay for it, it might have been the way to close the budget gap.

Why, then, am I not doing it?
  • Living the vision: I want to create a world where giving and receiving are uncoupled. (See the blog post I wrote about it this week). Growing the Circle of Support and offering unconditionally free workshops is one of my ways of inviting people to join me. Most especially, I want to "train" people to receive without the immediate sense that they are now expected to give. A moment of intense challenge isn't the time to set aside this vision; knowing that the means shape the ends, I want to seek financial sustainability through deeper commitment to the principles underlying my work.
  • Accessibility: Especially with the people we are trying to reach this time around with this training, making it unconditionally free is the only way I know to overcome the barriers that exist within people. For all the years that I have offered workshops, it's always been possible for people to come even if they didn't have the financial means. And few took me up on that offer. It could be shame about not having resources; confusion about what conditions and circumstances would "earn" the right to free entry; or just the logistical barrier of one more step beyond simply registering: whatever it is, the reality is that people without means almost never came.
  • Trust and Goodwill: I just heard today about a project in an economically poor country that is finally taking off with the support of a handful of individuals, mostly from Europe. This is happening after years and years of large and well-funded organizations trying and failing to make anything happen. Why? The outsiders working on the project now are being told by the local people: we trust what you want to give us because you are the first ones who aren't paid to come here.
    Similarly, for this amazing outpouring of interest in our free workshop to have happened, we relied on the goodwill of many, many people telling others about it. Why did people who don't even know me tell others who don't know me? Not only is it unusual to give away a two-day training, it also conveys that my prime motive is to give something that's useful. It will only bring us money indirectly, if people appreciate the gift and it builds our relationship with them. Knowing that it's not "for pay" makes it more trustworthy, at least in some circles.
The Fearless Heart team is now planning another FREE Convergent Facilitation workshop for Oct 1-2. We are doing this on faith! We want to trust that the level of interest in the workshop will translate into strategies that will bring in revenue, allowing us to close the budget gap and to continue and expand the free offerings.
Here's what I envision and hope for:
  • Work within organizations: This is our biggest hope for how to both contribute to the world and sustain ourselves in the process. Facilitation, training in Convergent Facilitation, consulting, values alignment, and all the different services that we offer organizations through the Center for Efficient Collaboration. We are hoping that people attending the workshop - and you - will get inspired to bring us into their organizations.
  • Working with multi-stakeholder groups: With more projects like the Minnesota child custody dialogues, we could have more case studies showing the power of Convergent Facilitation to create breakthrough solutions. We are hoping that you and others will connect us with complex projects happening all around.
  • Circle of Support: This is where we're drawing funds from to sustain the next free training. Right now, the Circle is composed of over 70 people contributing a total of $2,100 per month. Life would be significantly easier if these numbers were doubled by the end of the year. Can you join? Can you inspire friends and colleagues to join? It's the most direct way to support free workshops. 
I plan to keep stepping into leadership and offering myself fully as long as I live and have the energy to do so. I cannot do this alone.
If you want more of the recent celebrations, click here. I just returned from an amazing teaching tour in Costa Rica and Mexico, for example.  
I want to end by expressing, as always, my gratitude. This time it goes to the people all over the world who, against so many odds, continue to have faith in the possibility of a nonviolent world. Having met some such people, it is deeply alive within me. May we all find a way to stretch towards that vision together.
In hope and peace,
Miki Kashtan

Image credits from top, all Flickr: Money on the table by One Way Stock (CC BY-ND 2.0). Market Free by David Belden (CC BY-SA 2.0). Free Zone by Christopher Dombres (CC BY 2.0). 
Miki on KPFA Radio Monday 22nd Feb: 

Miki's on the radio next week! Catch her Monday Feb 22, 1-2pm on the show "Women's Magazine" on our local station KPFA. KPFA is a listener-funded progressive talk radio and music radio station located in Berkeley, California. Miki will be talking about her book Reweaving Our Human Fabric, which KPFA is also giving away as a thank-you gift in their pledge drive. Tune to 94.1 or listen live online at https://kpfa.org/.
In North Carolina, Chicago, Poland and the UK

Mar 25-27 in Asheville, North Carolina: Convergent Facilitation, 3 day training. Register
June 23-30 in Chicago: Leveraging Your Influence, week-long intensive. Register
Aug 5-11 in Poland: Leveraging Your Influence, week-long intensive in Poland. Register
Aug 19-21 in the UK: 3 day training in Convergent Facilitation. Register.
Creating and Sustaining Strong Teams
At the NVC Academy
3 out of 4 remaining Fridays, 12-2 Pacific Time: 26, Mar 4 & 11
Register at NVCA and please direct all queries there. 
Supporting a Culture of Collaboration
At the NVC Academy
4 Fridays, 12-2 Pacific Time: Apr 15 & 29 (not 22), May 6 & 13
Register by April 5 to get $25 off. Register at NVCA and please direct all queries there. 
Free Calls 
Miki's Facing Privilege Calls and  Fearless Heart teleseminars are ongoing. See links for dates and details.
 Read Miki's Books
Reweaving Our Human Fabric  


Imagine: a future world in which we value all people and life and participate in a flow of generosity. 

In Reweaving Our Human FabricMiki weaves together vivid "social science fiction" stories that bring that world to life and compelling nonfiction about how to get there. 


Read three of the stories for free, starting here.


Start a book reading group and give copies to the group. OK, you do have to buy them first, but at 40% off for 5 or more from us