Back to top

Significant change at the Center for Nonviolent Communication

Some of you may have heard of and have interest in the experimental plan to enhance spread of NVC. It was called the New Future process (NFP), and the entity it was to manifest called NVC-0.

This process was started about 5 years ago. One group working on was called the Implementation Council.

In April of 2017 the CNVC Board sent a letter to the NFP Implementation Council describing a significant change in the relationship between CNVC and the NFP.

I am posting the Board's full letter below for any interested.

I personally and many others were relieved and celebrated when the CNVC Board made this decision. Others are very dissappointed and, although the Board has several times re-affirmed their decision to de-couple from that past relationship continue to express dissent and judgements concening it.

My very personal summary of the contents of the Board’s letter and background is this:

The unfolding of the NFP turned out have more bumps, be slower, and more financially costly (significantly over $100,000 distributed directly persons working on the NFP) than originally expected... and, if continued as once envisioned, very likely to consume more than $300,000 more, the bulk of CNVC's financial resources.

In short, the Board decided to no longer financially subsidize the NFP nor turn over any functions to it, but hopes it can thrive as an autonomous organization, promoting NVC.in creative and novel ways.

In addition, in deference to NFP’s advocates the CNVC Board had been suspending important forward looking activities.... so-to-speak "treading water" waiting for the NFP experiment to fully materialize… expecting those delays to be maybe two years, but taking more than five. In short, the Board in April decided to go ahead and work proactively to expand and make more inclusive CNVC activities.

In addition, despite sincere intentions and much work, persons in the NFP failed to meet certain terms of the original agreement they had with CNVC …at least technically and likely in spirit ... breaching and voiding the original understandings.

Also, it became clear that (to quote from the letter below) that when the “new organization moves from the emergent or idea stage and becomes a viable entity it will still take years to gain the necessary working culture and reputation to be effective.

For those and other reasons the Board can't continue to fund NFP/NVC-0 activities or persons without compromising its legal and ethical responsibilities, nor delay working on making CNVC itself more effective and responsive.”

(There were other reasons not mentioned in the Board's letter myself and some other older trainers for concern about how in reality the NVC-o iniative in practice might manifest. A few of this included concern that there was a movement to, perhaps unintentionally, steer NVC to becoming, or at least appearing to become, a left-leaning social/political advocacy movement, and some concern that some of the influencial persons in it may have misunderstood one of the core precepts of NVC .... the need to keep a meticulous clean separation between evaluation(judgements) and observations.)

(Note that the phrase in the letter below "the Rosenbergs' gift referred to about $310,000 dollars that was substantially a result of the income from many workshops Marshall himself conducted over the years, as well as the work of trainers and many others who supported and promoted those activities.)

Alex Censor

CNVC-trainer and Administrator of the CNVC-trainers’ email forum.

THE FULL LETTER FROM THE BOARD IS BELOW.

From: Jan Carel van Dorp on behalf of the Center for Nonviolent Communication Board of Directors

To: Implementation Council CC board@cnvc.org April 25, 2018

Dear Implementation Council (ImpC) Members,

We are writing this letter with the intention of establishing a connection between the emergent, or developing New Future Process (NFP) and the existing CNVC organization whose mission is to nurture/spread Nonviolent Communication all over the world

The stated intention of the Process for a NFP is to make changes that will serve the aspirations of the global NVC community, based on the collective wisdom of that same community. Forty two “Working Group” members, 15 Integration Council members, many Translators, Outreach Champions, the NFP-Admin Team, CNVC Board (2014-2017), Staff (2014-2017) and NFP Process Holders and many more members of the community have worked for years to pull together a plan for a totally new organization.

15 Months ago the CNVC Board agreed to pass the baton to the Implementation Council to implement the action steps of the Integrated Plan, with one of their first tasks being to invite additional global Implementation Council members. That process was expected to last 2 years.

We quote from the Announcement of the Ratification of the New Future Plan (dated 6 March, 2017), as follows:

“During this time, the transfer of power and functions from a centralized CNVC to the decentralized, self-organizing NVC-O will unfold according to the CNVC/NVC-O Transition Plan. The Implementation Council will create new organizational systems and take action steps according to the New Future Plan for NVC-O (Implementation Tasks).

Work done during this period will range from creating a balanced 2017 CNVC/NVC-O Transitional Budget to laying the foundations for the Virtual Home, to the evolution of all the systems and relationships necessary to make NVC-O thrive. *1) For more details see the note at the end of this letter.”

To date the CNVC Board experiences the emptiness that comes from the absence of shared tangible, realistic, practical and pragmatic results. The steps and actions that were expected to be implemented were based on what was referred to in the March 6, 2017 announcement and more details highlighted in its Endnote attached thereto.

Since the start of NFP the CNVC board and staff, have been cautious about making the much needed organizational changes such as engaging in fundraising, and implementing policies that would contribute to our effectiveness in accomplishing CNVC’s organizational mission. We chose to put on hold any such developments out of respect for the NFP and agreed to partner and contribute as much as we could. CNVC also contributed financially (in aggregate in excess of US$ 100,000.-) during these years starting before 2014. CNVC Board has legal responsibility to oversee how the assets of CNVC are used.

It’s now almost 5 years since the NFP effort was initiated and we are not aware of the implementation of the agreed action steps that served as a sound foundational basis for a global organization in line with the Integrated Plan and the priority actions listed in the Implementation Tasks document handed to the ImpC. It is becoming clear to us that when the “new organization” moves from the emergent or idea stage and becomes a viable entity it will still take years to gain the necessary working culture and reputation to be effective in its mission.

Meanwhile, CNVC actually exists with an international reputation and has been doing the work of offering NVC all over the world since its inception in 1984. The fact that NVC has spread as it has in a relatively short time is testimony to the effectiveness of CNVC in accomplishing its mission.

We now have about 2 NVC trainers a week becoming certified by CNVC and the International Certified Trainer Community has grown to a total of almost 600. There is a growing number of candidates enrolled in the certification process working with 33 assessors and there are 14 assessors in training.

Working with CNVC staff, CNVC Board members, IITRT members (IIT Resource Team) and CCC members (Certification Coordinator Council) all volunteers collaborate to carry out the mission of CNVC. In the post Marshall world, while the mission of CNVC is the same we now have a great opportunity to change and evolve the organizational culture to offer and support NVC around the world. In the past CNVC was focused on Marshall’s trainings and certification, we are now moving towards many aspects of community involvement.

We the CNVC Board made a decision that December 31, 2017 should be the last time payments would be made to anyone working on NFP.

We expect, when NVC-O is successful as a self-managed and self-sustainable global organization that NVC-O and CNVC will meet again, both as healthy and sustainable partners in the future.

We are no longer willing to wait to implement the desirable and much needed changes at CNVC and have laid the groundwork for making those changes. Some of the changes will reflect the values as expressed by the Synanim process. We too appreciate many of the values expressed in that process and intend to act upon them.

Our intention is to grow and enhance the presence of CNVC as an existing Global Organization and to honor the specific purposes for which CNVC was organized, such as:

A. Offer Nonviolent Communication trainings all over the world.

B. Increase the number of people capable of providing Nonviolent Communication training,

C. Distribute materials for increasing knowledge of NVC and offer trainings to advance proficiency at applying the skills.

In doing so we will also live and operate in integrity with the Rosenbergs’ Gift.

Given the current state of affairs, we suggest that the Implementation Council manage the NVC-O emergence independently and financially separate from CNVC.

It has been a painful process and took us weeks to make this decision and thus the silence and delay in responding.

It is our hope that this letter is received with the belief that we are sincerely interested in fulfilling as many of the values of the process for a new future as resources allow and look forward to working with those of you who wish to help make this happen.

With care,

CNVC Board

s h a r e