NF Plan Bulletin #4

The Relationship Between CNVC and NVC-O

This bulletin describes the relationship between the Center for Nonviolent Communication, CNVC, and NVC-O, the (not yet named) organisation being created now, in keeping with the New Future Plan (NF Plan).

An ambitious design

If the ambitions for supporting the dreams of the NVC community were small, it would have been possible to design things with a simple relationship between what exists now, and what is planned for the future. However, those involved with the New Future Process were listening to big dreams. To support those big dreams, the plan is for the global NVC organisation to evolve in ways that follow a trajectory which is simple enough in practice, but is not so simple to explain.

The details likely won’t matter to most people, especially on a day-to-day basis. But, if you would like a detailed sense of how things will fit together over time, you can read on.

Are NVC-O and CNVC different names for the same thing?

We have said (in NF Plan Bulletin #3) that NVC-O represents an evolution of CNVC, and that CNVC will be built upon, altered, and expanded to create NVC-O. One might reasonably ask if that means that CNVC and NVC-O will be, ultimately, simply different names for the same organisation? This will almost be the case, particularly if you look a time period starting from a year or so from now to a couple of years from now.

Here are some ways that NVC-O and CNVC will be, very nearly, the same thing:

  • People: There will generally be no difference between who is in CNVC vs. who is in NVC-O.

    • Everyone who is in CNVC (doing work on behalf of CNVC) will also be in NVC-O, generally as a Partner in NVC-O.

    • Everyone who is a Partner in NVC-O will also be a “member” of CNVC (as will be described in a subsequent bulletin).

  • Legal: For the next few years, CNVC will be the only legal entity underlying all the work that happens in NVC-O. (This doesn’t preclude the possibility of NVC-O partnering with other NVC organisations, e.g., to support fundraising. But, NVC-O will be operating within the CNVC legal entity.)

  • Work: For a while, there will be no differentiation between what work that happens “in CNVC” versus what work happens “in NVC-O” — all work that gets done can be said to be happening both in CNVC and in NVC-O. (The preceding statement will be accurate during a period of time referred to as the “medium term”, as will be described in the next section.)

    • All organisational Weaves will (always) be part of NVC-O.

    • All organisational Weaves will (at least through the medium term) be part of CNVC.

    • Similarly, there will be no difference between work being done on behalf of CNVC vs. it being done on behalf of NVC-O (at least in the medium term).

In these senses, for a while, there will be only one organisation, and CNVC and NVC-O will be simply two different labels for referring to the same organisation.

How things will change over time

The accuracy of the above statement (about there being two labels for the same organisation) depends on when, in the evolution of NVC-O, we are talking about. In the medium term (see figure below), it is true that CNVC and NVC-O will be essentially the same thing. However, this statement is less accurate in the near term, and in the long term.

In the near and medium terms (both are pictured in the figure above), there is only one organisation, in the sense that there is only one legal entity, CNVC. However, in the near term (see figure above), it is useful to distinguish CNVC and NVC-O, because not everyone in CNVC has yet converted to the NVC-O way of doing things. Having two labels helps to differentiate what is happening under the old paradigm for organising and operating (or at least partly in the old paradigm), and what is happening under the new paradigm.

In the long term (see figure above), there is an intention to make NVC-O more truly international. One of the ways that the Plan invites this to happen is through NVC-O being supported by more than one underlying legal entity, with different legal entities potentially being registered in different parts of the world.

So, in addition to being supported by the U.S.-based CNVC legal entity, NVC-O might also be supported, for example, by specially created legal entities in Europe and/or in other parts of the world. This could make it easier for NVC-O to conduct some types of business (e.g., receive grants, or have employees) in various parts of the world. When this happens, it will be important to be able to refer separately to NVC-O, the global organisation, and to CNVC, one of the underlying legal entities.

It is envisioned that NVC-O will relate to the underlying legal entities in such a way that NVC-O will continue to function, for most purposes, like a single, unified organisation.

(This might be compared to what happens in the computer world with “cloud computing.” With cloud computing, one can run programs on a “virtual machine” that seems, to the user, like a regular computer. But, behind the scenes, the program might be running on any one of a number of different physical machines. So, in the future, NVC-O might be thought of as a “virtual organisation.” CNVC, as a legal entity, might be thought of being analogous to one of the “physical machines” that is behind the scenes supporting a “virtual machine.” CNVC will be supporting a “virtual organisation.”)


Based on current plans, the timing of transitions between “terms” might be:

  • The transition from the current “Near term” to the subsequent “Medium term” might happen about 9-15 months from now (April 2018) — when all those involved in CNVC have been onboarded as Transitional Partners in NVC-O, and everything happening in CNVC is being done in alignment with the NVC-O way of doing things.

  • The transition from the “Medium term” to the “Long term” might happen perhaps 2-3 years from now — when the first legal entity outside the U.S. is established and added as an underlying support for NVC-O. (This transition could happen sooner if energy emerges to work on implementing this.)


The significance of distinguishing the labels CNVC and NVC-O will shift over time:

  1. In the near term, there is really only one organisation, yet it is is useful to think of:

    1. CNVC as referring to the parts of the organisation that have not fully converted to using the new organisational paradigm; and

    2. NVC-O as referring to the parts of the organisation that are fully focused on applying the new paradigm.

  1. In the medium term, CNVC and NVC-O will be essentially different names for the same organisation.

  1. In the long term:

    1. NVC-O will refer to a global virtual organisation that is supported by a number of underlying legal entities;

    2. CNVC will be an underlying legal entity.