Summary: In this letter we share the news that the CNVC Board has decided to suspend its support of the New Future implementation; our response to these decisions (both our concerns and our commitment to the underlying needs); and the steps we are planning to take now, including additional efforts at dialogue and collaboration, serious engagement with feedback; and an invitation for all those in the NVC network to be holding each other with great care.
To all our colleagues in the NVC network across the world,
The Implementation Council received a letter from the CNVC Board on April 25th stating that they will not fund the New Future Process as of December 31, 2017; that they intend to work with others to integrate input from the early stages of the New Future Process into CNVC; and that they want the Implementation Council to implement the NF Plan as an independent project (NVC-O) instead of as a transition of CNVC. [See the Board’s letter here – https://docs.google.com/
We have decided to write this letter and to share the letter from the Board, as opposed to responding directly and privately to the Board, because we are wanting to infuse this process with as much transparency as we are able. Despite our best efforts, we haven’t lived up to our value of transparency and timely information flow as much as we aspired to, and we are working to change that.
First and foremost, we want to express care for the concerns, loss of trust and disappointment that we imagine has led members of the Board to write this letter. While our attempts over several months to be in dialogue did not yield collective agreement amongst the Board members to engage with us, we feel some relief and gratitude for engagement now.
In addition, the fact that these decisions were made without dialogue with the Implementation Council or the community at-large, and without (that we know of) actively seeking/receiving support to regain the willingness to dialogue, is yet another indicator that the Board is experiencing a significant degree of pain and/or mistrust. Knowing the individual Board members’ shared commitment to conflict transformation and dialogue, we trust that if they believed those strategies would have supported them in being heard and caring for the needs they’re personally and structurally committed to caring for, they would have chosen them.
As we take in this message, we’re also taking in what it means on a deeper level; that is, that we have not shared enough information and/or that we have not heard and integrated feedback effectively enough. We also know that this goes beyond the Board, and that there are a number of people who have been dedicated to NVC for many years who continue to be confused, discontented and/or alarmed about Implementation.
While we think some of the disconnections may be based on some misunderstandings of the NF Plan or things that happened in previous phases of the New Future Process, we also want to take responsibility for anything we have done or not done to contribute to distress. We are committed to listening and exploring the gaps between what has happened and what was intended, expected, and agreed to. We want to start sharing our work-in-progress more frequently, and do a better job clarifying how the wider network and emergent Community can influence Implementation. We also aspire to share our learning, as individuals practicing (and changed by) power sharing in an organisation and participating in an emergent process.
With all of this said, we do not consider the Board’s decisions — to retroactively discontinue funding the NF Process, to rescind commitment to the NF Plan, and to suggest that the New Future Process continue without the partnership of the CNVC Board — as legitimate or actionable. There are several reasons for this, which include (but are not limited to):
The primary premise of the NF Plan that emerged from the New Future Process which the CNVC Board initiated is transition. NVC-O is a placeholder name for the organisation CNVC is to become, and not a separate organisation. Our commitment is to implement an evolution of CNVC.
We have understood that not all Board members are in alignment with these decisions;
Board member selections made after the ratification of the NF Plan, including their latest letter on May 4th proposing Board criteria, do not align with process agreements ratified in the NF Plan;
The Board did not bring in Dominic Barter as a voting member for these decisions, which is an agreed upon stipulation for any significant changes to the New Future Process.
We share this with great care, respect and humility, and are putting this forward in our best effort to support a shared reality with the Board and wider network, and to act in alignment with the integrity of the New Future Process, as we understand it. Our sincere hope is to focus on supporting our collective capacity to collaborate, and to shift the ways that the NF Plan is being implemented, together.
Currently, the Implementation Council is strategizing as to how we can “hold the whole,” which to us means caring for the Board, the CNVC Staff, the wider network, CNVC as an organization, and the New Future Process. We do not pretend to have all the answers as to “what next”, and in fact hope that whatever happens next emerges from a place of connection and dialogue with all of the above.
In the immediate future, an in-person mediation has been scheduled with Elkie Deadman, Jeyanthy Siva, and Jan Carel van Dorp, all in the Netherlands, within the next 2 weeks. We hope some restorative process with additional stakeholders can be initiated soon thereafter.
There are several other strategies that we’re exploring and hope to have more updates to share about these very soon. At this point, our main priority was informing the community because many more people than the Implementation Council are impacted by the Board’s decisions.In receiving this letter, we imagine some may be deeply upset, some may be deeply relieved, and some may be experiencing a mixture of both. We ask all of us to support each other using our cherished NVC practice. Let’s help each other stay connected to needs, hear each other’s frustrations, disappointments, or celebrations and hopes. Especially now, let’s help each other see and translate judgments and enemy images of ourselves and others. Help name the needs that are important to all of us. Create a field of commitment to everyone’s needs being held and cared for (rather than any particular position or strategy), and allow that to draw us closer together in community.
As we all orient to this current situation, if you have feedback/thoughts/concerns/
We ask your patience as we navigate our new circumstances.
Lastly, we mourn that this message is being shared now only in an English version. We ask anyone who is able/willing to translate this into your language and re-post/share with your networks, to please do so and contact email@example.com. (For a Google doc version of this letter, please go to this link – https://docs.google.com/
The Implementation Council
Aimee Ryan, Elkie Deadman, Jeyanthy Siva, and Roxy Manning, in collaboration with Uma Lo and Leonie Smith (our non-decision-making team members who contribute so much more than the tasks officially allotted to them)