Shorter message about the conflict in CNVC

[The following Op-Ed letter is from Bob Wentworth, who has had a close-up view of CNVC’s organisational change efforts since 2012, having served as a CNVC Board member and co-architect of Process for a New Future, a facilitator of much of the process, and a volunteer supporting the Implementation Phase. This letter reflects his personal views of recent events.]

Dear friends and colleagues,

I posted a detailed message this week about my concerns with the CNVC Board. It was long. This is a shorter message on the same topic. I address just a few main points.

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The main point I would like understood is that I experience there as being an extraordinarily painful disconnection being present between the current CNVC Board and myself, the Implementation Council, and likely most people who invested in CNVC’s New Future Process. I am asking for partnership in finding a way to transform this situation. If you would consider the possibility of being involved in some way, you could fill out the form at or write to me.

If you are concerned about the situation but choose not to be involved, or are not concerned about the situation, I would also be curious about your reasons for those responses, if you would like to share them with me.

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As to the content of the conflict…

I’d like to offer the context that I have been in a state of shock and intense emotional pain for 8 months, since the CNVC Board sent its April 25, 2018 letter to the CNVC New Future Implementation Council. I interpret that letter as announcing the Board’s rejection of the decisions of the New Future Process. That seemed to me to be implied by the Board’s suggestion to implement CNVC’s New Future Plan “independently and… separate from CNVC.” Although that letter also announced the Board cancelling funding for implementation of the Plan, to me that was only a detail. My pain arises from a sense that a large number of values precious to me have not been honored.

I ask people to read what I write with compassionate (“giraffe”) eyes, ears and hearts, with tenderness for me, the Board members, and all people affected.

I feel extremely disturbed by both the Board’s enormously impactful decision, and by the way the Board members made it. As I understand it, the Board’s choice:

  1. Has not involved the Board having any open dialog about their decision. To date, I have not seen any indication of willingness to dialog with those affected, or with those with expertise on the subject matter involved — not before making their decision, and not since. I interpret their decision as having emerged entirely from disconnection, without openness to connection.
  2. Has been explained with reasoning incompatible with a shared reality. I believe this reasoning would inevitably be transformed by open dialog. 
  3. Showed no evidence, that I can perceive, of care for the needs of people who have served CNVC through the New Future Process. Those people contributed over six thousand hours of labor to the Board-initiated New Future Process.
  4. Has involved breaking what I regard as a moral contract with people who made significant personal sacrifices in service to CNVC. They offered their work in return for the Board’s unconditional commitment to honoring the authority of the decisions that emerged from the New Future Process. This contract is one which the Board had affirmed time and time again, right up until the moment when they broke the contract without acknowledging its existence.
  5. Has involved disregarding a large number of agreements that the Board had made. I understand many of those agreements to have had purposes of offering protection from abuses of power, and protection from the tragic consequences of the loss of institutional knowledge. A consequence of the Board disregarding multiple agreements about how CNVC is to be governed is that I understand the Board to no longer be operating as a legitimate Board.

For details and observations grounding these interpretations, please reference my longer January 12, 2019, letter (subject “About the conflict in CNVC”), and my September 19, 2018, letter (subject “Continuing concern about commitments not honored by the CNVC Board”).

I want to be clear that I see the Board members as dedicated people with innocent intentions who are doing a difficult job, and trying to care for the organization and meet needs to the best of their abilities. I believe that Board members and I have had access to different information, and this has lead to our very different perspectives.

I understand all of us associated with CNVC to be committed to practicing and sharing NVC. I invite us to collectively apply the conflict transformation principles that we teach. I long for an integration of the information available to each of us, and care for all the needs that we hold dear. I want support for healing and reconciliation, and the emergence of strategies to make life more wonderful.

From my broken heart,
Bob Wentworth