April 20, 2016

I am writing this newsletter sitting in my sister Arnina's living room in Ramat Gan, Israel. Prior to being here, I was in Seattle for four days as part of a group called the Integration Council, finalizing a plan to completely revamp the global NVC community and organization.
globalA hierarchy-free global organization
The Integration Council in Seattle
For many months, about 45 of us have been working on this plan. Nine working groups have grappled with everything from the largest vision to the specifics of how we will attempt to transcend separation based on power and privilege in the new version of our global we. 

Last week, for the first time, I shared the story and the outcome with a small group of people here in Israel with no prior connection to the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), the worldwide organization founded by Marshall Rosenberg in 1984. The level of joy and almost shock that I witnessed was my biggest affirmation so far that we are on the verge of creating something extraordinary: a global, multi-lingual, flexible, passionate, visionary, and fully self-managing organization.
Yes, this is a template for a global organization that has no command and control - instead relying on clear agreements with built-in mechanisms for change, adaptation, and feedback for learning. The template also focuses on how to apply all that's known throughout the global NVC network about efficient collaboration, so that meetings don't turn into endless discussion or personal growth events.
Along the way, we wrestled with how to collaborate ourselves. This was not a conflict-free process by any means. For months we had ongoing challenge about whether operational agreements are actually consistent with self-management, and if so, how many make sense. In the end, we were able to reach the finish line with all of our major tasks finished (a few items are still being completed) because we stayed united and committed even when serious dissent arose, repeatedly.
I am planning a videoconference in June about this process and its results (details to come in a future newsletter). Until then, if you want to see what we've done, you can look at the table of contents of the draft plan, or go directly to the folder  that has it.
Money, gifts, and the Circle of Support
In December, I wrote about the financial challenges that the Fearless Heart team is experiencing. In response, there was a surge of people joining the Circle of Support that almost made up for the loss of the previous few months. Since then, the small trickle of people joining and people exiting has been almost stable, with a tiny decline again.
Meanwhile, as the year is progressing, it is becoming clearer and clearer that I have been offering more of my time in gifted calls and workshops than I can sustain without growing the Circle further. The imbalance is partly by design; every year I commit to give away more than I receive in order to prime the pump and encourage a free flow of generosity. At the same time, The Fearless Heart still faces a budget gap, and our team is mobilizing to seek out more paid work - especially with organizations, through the Center for Efficient Collaboration  - while also continuing to support the free offerings.
It's demanding on all of us, and my time in particular is a bottleneck. Still, I just can't see myself offering fewer gifted events, because making the work so accessible to people is one of the most reliable sources of joy in my life. So I fall back on wanting to find a way to widen the Circle, alongside all our other efforts. I continue to hope that more and more people will be moved by this vision of having so much of my work available to all regardless of means and will want to support it.
It's not only this work that I am giving away. My entire involvement with the CNVC New Future Process (including the Integration Council work described above) was done as a volunteer. It's been about 10 months of many hours every week fueled only by my passion to see a different world. It continues to be challenging on many levels that not enough is coming towards us to make all this possible. I know myself well enough to know that I cannot stop, because the vision is too powerful, and the mysterious energy that calls me to give is strong. I am still hoping for more support in making it easier on all of us to give so much away. As always, if you're moved to contribute, you can join the Circle of Support here, or point others to it.
CelebrationsCelebrations and mournings
Click here to read about recent celebrations and mournings - including partnering with other organizations and sharing Convergent Facilitation in Israel.
As I close this letter, I am noticing the exquisite experience of sitting here in Arnina's apartment in Israel. I am soaking in a lovely bath of belonging and home. Inbal, our third sister, has now been gone for 19 months, and her absence isn't getting easier at all. Our mother is aging, and the finitude and mystery of life are palpable in this context. I am immensely grateful for the circle of friends that sustains me through thick and thin.
In hope and peace,

Miki Kashtan

Image credits: Integration Council by Robert Krzisnik by his permission. "Stop following me" by screen punk, Flickr, (CC BY-NC 2.0).
movieNVC Movie in production needs funds!
Miki writes: 
A very passionate team of French NVC trainers and supporters has begun filming the work that NVC practitioners are doing in many parts of the world. They have filmed work done inside an Oregon prison, and are now in other parts of the world, documenting some of the remarkable effects and legacy of Marshall Rosenberg's work. I am eagerly awaiting my visit to France in the winter, during which they also plan on interviewing me. I watched the trailer and I have chosen to participate in the crowdfunding campaign to support this project. I have an inkling that this movie might just be one of the keys to open the doors to NVC being even more recognized in the world as a key aspect of making life work for humans. Will you join me in supporting this project?

This just in! A new clip for the movie features Zack, who is formerly incarcerated and currently doing the BayNVC Leadership Program. 

An Instruction Manual for and about Dissenters
Miki writes:  This month my blog post, once again, is dedicated to outliers. It's both about how to engage with outliers, as well as how to be an outlier who operates in service of the whole. Being an outlier myself, even within the CNVC New Future Process, has taught me that the commitment to speak truth and bring forth what we have to offer cannot be based on how it's received. We are not always going to be received, and I want to be prepared for that outcome. Sometimes we can only lean on inner resources and outside support, on life itself, so to speak, in order to offer something we trust is needed even when it's not received. This is the task of visionaries, always. I want to remember that the commitment to nonviolence and to integrity means I willingly take on these risks.
Interview with Miki
If you want to know why Miki loved Lynda Smith's idea of "The Fearless Heart" as the name for her website, check out the first question Brad Powell asks her in this interview. There's lots more after that! He interviewed Miki at the Empathy Summit associated with the annual New York Intensive in Nonviolent Communication.

In-Person Workshops
Convergent Facilitation 
Upcoming CF workshops:
France, Dec 5-7 (translated into French)

Leveraging Your Influence 
The last two LYI events with Miki will be in Chicago, Jun 23-29 and  Poland, Aug 5-11.

Feedback without Blame: The Fast Track to Improved Performance
Berkeley, CA, May 14, 10am - 5pmLearn concrete strategies to provide feedback that improves performance, expands capacity, and strengthens working relationships.

Working for Transformation - Without Recreating the Past 

A NEW FULL course at NVC Academy. "This is not an NVC course. You won't be learning communication techniques. Instead, Miki is offering a fascinating overview of how the principles behind NVC can be applied to every single step along the road to transformative social change."
Free Preview 
Friday, June 3, 12-1:15 PM Pacific Time
Register for free here for a 75 minute call with Miki to discover what she will do with her new course, below.
Fridays, 12-2 PM Pacific Time: 
Part 1 - June 17 - July 22 (excluding June 24 and July 8)
Part 2 - September 9 - 30
Part 3 - October 14 - November 11 (excluding October 21)
All registrants will receive access to all course recordings.
Register here. Please direct all queries to NVCA.

Free Calls 
Miki's  Facing Privilege Calls and  Fearless Heart teleseminars are ongoing. 
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