Overview of Process and Plan
This is a first installment in a series of short essays offering orientation to the changes planned in the New Future Plan (NF Plan). The purpose is to support everyone knowing the basics.
In this installment, we’ll describe a few bits of the big picture.
Why was the New Future Process initiated? This was partly described in a 2014 letter to the network from the CNVC Board. Historically, the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) had had a strong focus on supporting Marshall Rosenberg in getting his work out to the world. After Marshall retired, this focus no longer applied in the same way. It seemed to make sense to open up the question of how CNVC could best serve life moving forward. A choice was made by the Board to invite the worldwide NVC community into a process of deciding what would happen next. The purpose of the process would be to “make changes that will serve the aspirations of the global NVC community, based on the collective wisdom of that same community.”
The process produced the New Future Plan:
- The process began with an online collaborative writing exercise (using “Synanim” software). Over 600 people from over 40 countries participated, in 4 languages. Four statements of what the community wanted were produced.
- In the next stage the community was asked to nominate people to serve in Working Groups. Their job would be to translate the dreams of the community into concrete decisions. Eventually 42 members of the community were identified, agreed to serve, and were approved by the CNVC Board. They served in 9 Working Groups.
- The Working Groups made concrete decisions, after sharing their initial ideas and incorporating feedback from the NVC community. The decisions of the different groups were then brought together and reviewed for consistency by an Integration Council elected by the Working Groups. Feedback from the NVC community was once again sought, and adjustments were made to reflect the results of that feedback.
- The end result was ratified and published as the New Future Plan. (Although there are many documents that offer details, the heart of the NF Plan is in a single 29-page document titled New Future Plan Actionable Decisions.)
What is the New Future Plan about?
The New Future Plan is about what will be done in the context of a global NVC organization.
It doesn’t try to change what individual NVC practitioners or trainers do, or how independent NVC organizations around the world operate.
The Plan mostly focuses on changing certain aspects of how the organisation does what it does. It calls for relatively few immediate changes to what the global NVC organisation (CNVC) does. A major aim is to create conditions to make it easier for more to get done, with more responsiveness to the needs of the community.
New organisational capabilities
The plan calls for things to be organized in ways that replace the traditional top-down organisational structure with a flatter structure involving more distributed decision-making. It is anticipated that this will allow more people to get involved in the organisation, in more meaningful ways, increasing the capacity of the organization to get things done. How this will work will be described in more detail in another installment.
To support functioning in a way that is different than what has been done before, and to support more possibility of being truly international, the Plan calls for the creation of a new international NVC organisation. The name of the new international NVC organisation has not yet been chosen. For now, it is being referred to as NVC-O, for “NVC organisation.”
What will happen to CNVC?
Although we talk about NVC-O as being a “new organisation,” in some ways NVC-O is simply an evolution and expansion of CNVC.
The NF Plan includes a CNVC transition plan, which the board and staff of CNVC participated in creating. This transition plan says that CNVC will continue to exist, and that CNVC will become a part of NVC-O. There is no intention to close the CNVC office. How things are done in CNVC will evolve to be consistent with the ways that things are done in NVC-O. What is done now by CNVC will generally continue to be done.
As CNVC becomes fully integrated into NVC-O, it is likely that people will come to think of NVC-O and CNVC as different faces of the same organisation, rather than being two separate organisations.
Evolution of Certification
Another way that the NF Plan also calls for “how” things are done to change is in the area of Certification. The assessment process will shift to being more fundamentally
community-oriented. Candidates will participate in groups in which people “live NVC” together. There will be feedback from the group, and a group decision about readiness to proceed. Groups will include other candidates, trainers who wish to be involved, someone to support awareness related to issues of accessibility, and people who, like today’s Assessors, are trusted to embody NVC in an integrated fashion. This move towards a more community-oriented assessment process reflects trends in how assessment is already being done in some parts of the world.
Although some terminology may change, trainers who go through the process will still be able to call themselves “Certified Trainers.”
The process will eventually be expanded to apply to NVC practitioners, as well as NVC trainers.
What new focuses are planned?
Some areas where the NF Plan calls for new things to be done are:
- Offering more support for people to experience “community” in the NVC world.
- Providing support for more people, from diverse backgrounds, to have access to the benefits of NVC, and to be included in the life of the international NVC organisation.
- Adding regular global conventions, evolving the way IITs are offered, and supporting other types of trainings in addition to IITs.
- Adding internet capabilities (a “Virtual Home”) to better support the NVC community, including support for exchanging information and developing projects related to social change and peacebuilding.
More details later
This installment has offered a high level view of what is in the NF Plan. Future installments will take a closer look at specific topics.