GCC Discussion area
We feel hopeful that this discussion area will contribute to mutual information and clarity. Feel free to ask questions here and make comments as we continue the planning process for the Global Coordinating Council.
Warmly, Jim and Jori
Letter from Alison, April 3, 2007
Dear Jim, I understood from the last GCC telelconference that you circulate inputs for the calls to the members of the GCC and the people who have participated in the GCC teleconferences - I hope I understood this correctly. Please would you circulate this, as input for tomorrow's call? Thank you so much. Kind regards, Alison
Dear Jori, Jim, Eva, Isabelle, Pierre, Louise, Shantigarba, Kirsten, Chris, Meta, Linda, Ann, Jeff, Jan, Jerry, Laura, Dominic, Ron, Kumarjeev, Aniruddha, Torv,
Concerns about language-based representative structure
Following the telelconference on 7th March 2007, we agreed to "all sit with our needs around this and come with proposals to the next meeting."
When I remembered the requests during the call for a clearer understanding of what specific action was being proposed by Fabiola, Jenny and me in our letter, I felt frustrated about how to make it clearer. I decided to try out the early steps of the process described in the letter, as a pilot to see what I might learn (i) about what a person is already doing and what issues he/she is encountering in using and spreading NVC, and (ii) about this process of "first connect".
I went on the CNVC website "find a trainer" page, and picked the name of a supporter in Asia, someone I had never met. I telephoned him, explaining how I had found his name, and introducing myself as an NVC supporter in the UK. He was thrilled to talk, and we had a conversation which I found inspiring, and which gave me joy and hope.
What has come out of this
I would like to feed back to you what I have learned as a result of this.
NVC is essentially about connecting. Connecting is about relationship, not about using a connection just to get information. (I spoke to the person I phoned for about 1.5 hours. We arrived naturally at my concern, after nearly an hour. I would like to stay in touch with the person, and he requested this too.)
I have had the message from several directions during this time, that it is critically important for trainers/supporters/others who are involved, to understand the context in which they offer their contribution, especially the political and cultural context. The person I phoned described how his mother-tongue is spoken only in his home valley, then there is his nation's language, and then he also speaks English (he speaks all three fluently). He told me that he needs different examples (to illustrate NVC) for the contexts of each of those three languages. He said that Western examples cannot be used, the examples need contextualising to his local culture. He sees it as crucial for us all to "add value" and innovate with our own examples, and feed our experiences back to CNVC/ Marshall.
He has such passion about this gift called NVC, and great enthusiasm for sharing NVC as widely as possible. He may not know the official Aim of the GCC (or even know about the GCC itself), but he is in tune with its desire to share NVC around the world, to make it available to meet people's needs and reduce the suffering in the world. He is doing this by constantly communicating about NVC, by encouraging people to at least read the CNVC website, by working in Development organisations and in schools, running practice groups, and planning talks to clubs, and to the prison authorities; and by contacting his contacts in neighbouring countries, sharing his enthusiasm, and requesting them to bring together a group for training, with some success. (All this since discovering NVC in late 2006).
The person I phoned was already sensitive to how stretched he guessed Marshall must be. He sees the need for some kind of structure so that learning and innovations can be shared back and forth, and around the network. He said he believed that learning and development would be facilitated by CNVC creating Regional Nodes: for example for South Asia, South East Asia, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Southern Africa, Northern Africa, Middle East, South America, Central America, North America, etc. He saw these as platforms for comments, advice, ideas from within the region, and for discussions. And when ideas are crystallised, then they can be sent to Marshall, and Marshall can give feedback through this channel too. In this way people from all over the world can be contributing.
He saw that Regional Nodes would be very helpful in bringing about social change (one of Marshall's priorities). He sees that when people start interacting in their local context it leads to restructuring their society. Especially he sees schools having a very important place in this.
Another person I spoke to separately placed great emphasis on having their needs for care met, for real interest and concern for their project and their safety in their country. They wanted the structure of the network to emerge from being in connection with each other, not the other way around.
What I took from what I heard was that people are longing to use and spread NVC, and their primary need is for support in the initiatives/ projects they are working on. The important first step is to find out what kind of support individuals are needing as they try to spread NVC, and then to set up a structure that is most likely to be able to provide that.
I hope that this small pilot study may make a useful contribution to helping members of the GCC see what steps they could take to "first connect, then strategy".
Subject: Fresh information, weary topic
We expect you are weary of this topic, but language issues are so critical in India that we needed to respond.
We appreciate the enormity of the task that GCC faces and the time and commitment GCC members have devoted to tackle it. We understand that GCC needs to proceed with â€œgood-enoughâ€ strategies and not wait for â€œperfectâ€ ones. We also realize that to move forward, GCC members cannot wait until they have a complete understanding of realities in every country. Even so, we reacted strongly when we read the following statement made at the Jan. 26th GCC meeting:
â€œThese languages are spoken in virtually every country of the world either as a primary or secondary language. The example is India, where there are many languages, united by common language of English. â€¦â€
Our jackals started howling.
We are deeply concerned that if GCC uses this information as a basis for future decisions about India, our need for inclusion of all will not be met. From resources we have about English and literacy in India and our own experiences, the above statement does not reflect reality for the majority of people in India. We would like to share this information and experience with you.
INFORMATION ABOUT INDIA
Quote: â€œThe government has recognized 22 languages as official; Hindi is the most widely spoken. India also has the second largest number of English speakers in the world with over 150 million people speaking English in India.â€
Quote: â€œâ€¦ imprecision exists with regard to the percentage of Indians who â€˜speak English.â€™ The figure of 5% (approximately 50 million) is commonly accepted. But one commentator recently argued that only 2% â€˜reallyâ€™ speak good English, while others have claimed that the percentage is as high as 10%.â€
Quote: â€œâ€¦most Indians still live in rural areas and in small towns with different linguistic practices, and with scanty knowledge of English.â€
Quote: â€œFor an outside world that harbours an image of a system churning out hard-working, numerate, techno-savvy and English-speaking graduates in their millions, the crisis in the countryâ€™s education system and the dire quality of the graduates that emerge from it should come as something of a shock. A focus on the successes of a small number of elite schools, especially the Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management, has left an exaggerated impression of the depth of the talent pool created by the countryâ€™s education system.â€ http://www.ft.com/cms/s/cd516aa8-749a-11db-bc76-0000779e2340.html
Comment: 50 to 150 million English speakers may seem like a large number; however, it is only 5% to 15% of the population. English is not a common language - even less so when one considers lack of fluency and its concentration in certain populations and areas. English is the language of the elite: the highly educated, the business community, and the moneyed. Most English speakers are concentrated in certain areas of cities, such as high-tech industrial centers, universities, financial districts, call centers, and tourist areas.
Quote: â€œThe population in India as at 0:00 hours on 1st March 2001 stood at 1,027,015,247 persons.â€
Quote: â€œThe literacy rates for the country as a whole increased â€¦ to 65.38 per cent in 2001 with literacy rate for males at 75.85 per cent and that for females at 54.16 per cent. â€¦ literacy in urban areas was 80.3 per cent and that in rural areas 59.4 per cent.â€
Quote: â€œIndia hosts the single largest illiterate population in the world. According to Census 2001, there are 302 million Indians above the age of six-years who are illiterate.â€
Quote: â€œLiteracy rates â€“ currently 70 per cent â€“ are misleading. A recent study found that 38 per cent of children who have completed four years of schooling cannot read a small paragraph with short sentences and that 55 per cent canâ€™t divide a three-digit number by a single-digit one. A big reason why India has the worldâ€™s largest child labour force â€“ 55m â€“ is that schools serving the poor are of such low quality that the expected return on education is not equal to the sacrifice of income made in school years.â€
Comment: Written material in ANY language will not reach over 300 million people - more than the population of the US and more than double the most optimistic number of English speakers. Most illiterate people are women and villagers. These statistics are painful enough. Living amongst the population they describe is even more painful.
SEVERAL Examples from Our Experience
A Meeting with Marshall in Nagpur
When meetings are conducted in English, we notice that participants uncomfortable with English do not say anything when they do not understand. Not knowing the elite language is considered a sign of ignorance, so admitting it brings shame and embarrassment, we are told. At Nagpur, Marshall called a meeting to organize the NVC project in India. Regrettably, we forgot about translation into Hindi/Marathi. At the end of the meeting, Dilip asked one leader, a Buddhist priest, what he thought. He shrugged his shoulders and said that he did not understand anything since it was in English.
The Bangalore IIT and the Pune IIT were held in English. At both, Aniruddha and Kumarjeev offered some sessions in Hindi so that those struggling with English could understand. All other trainings which we have attended (including those taught by Aniruddha and Kumarjeev) and trainings we have organized have been either conducted in Gujarati, Hindi, or Marathi or translated into these languages. Participants could not have understood NVC concepts otherwise. Even with Hindi translation (as noted above, a language more widely spoken in India than English), Marathi speaking participants could not understand and needed some Marathi translations. Unfortunately, none of the four of us have the language skills to translate into any of the other Indian languages, effectively excluding other language speakers.
Local Populations and Language
While exploring cities to live in, we visited Bangalore where many IT professionals told us that we did not need to learn Kannada, the local language. This was true if all we wanted was to request the local population to serve us, e.g., order a taxi or food. Beyond this, however, it wasnâ€™t true. The guard of the building we were staying in could not understand us when we asked whether we needed to close windows to keep the monkeys out â€“ in English or in Hindi. We quickly realized that if we wanted to have a heart-to-heart conversation with him or others of the local population, we needed to learn Kannada. This was the main reason we chose to live in Gujarat, where Dilip knows the local language.
On the one hand, Beth would love English to be a common language because it would add considerable ease to her life. On the other hand, if it were a common language, it would strip identity, richness, cultural heritage, autonomy, and respect related to language from the entire Indian subcontinent since, being elite, English is valued more than the local languages. All of these values are important to her, and so she is willing to continue to struggle with learning the local language (Gujarati) instead of moving to a place where the elite language is widely spoken.
We hope that by providing you this information, you can understand why our jackals were howling. Basing decisions on the assumption that English is a unifying language means that most Indians - primarily those who are not wealthy or highly educated or have access to resources - will not have a forum to express their needs and hear the needs of others. It means that only the elite Indians will be represented in regional or global CCs.
We trust that GCC members, in their hearts, deeply desire to include all people. We trust that they share our concern for accurate information so that decisions over the long run can be inclusive, not exclusive.
REQUEST: Would you be willing to convey this information about India to GCC?
We appreciate the vulnerability of GCC in being transparent and also celebrate that that transparency allows us to contribute. We hope that the GCC continues this policy of transparency to allow others to contribute from their first-hand experiences in creating a broader, richer, and deeper understanding of issues of specific regions and the world.
Please contact us or post a question on NVC-India-Info yahoo group if you would like more information or a discussion about this or any other topic related to NVC in India.
Beth and Dilip
How do we create the circles outward from the GCC all the way to the community base?
Jerry Koch-Gonzalez, Amherst, Massacusetts USA , 8th March 2007:
An English West person has not been elected yet. I am guessing some names have been brainstormed. Jim or Jori: Brainstorm a few more perhaps. Then call the people on the brainstorm list and ask who who should be on the list. Some convergence may emerge. Pick 10 people from that list. Call them and ask them if they would be willing to be on an English West sociocracy implementation circle. If some say no call a few more. Have two conference calls with those folks and discuss the organization of the English West Circle. In the second call ask them to nominate a leader for English West. That person now serves on GCC if GCC accepts their nomination. That person now gathers more names if needed and initiates implementation circles for each region represented in their circle. Basically the description above repeats itself until it reaches the community base. And this can be done for all the language cirlces down to the geographic cirlces and on down to the lowest circles. At that point that lowest circle can elect their delegate up to next circle and so on all the way back up to the GCC. To me, supporting a process like this (and yes, it will be a unique process in each region) is the initial task of the GCC and its first members. Reactions? - Jerry
6th March 2007
Dear Jori, Jim, Eva, Isabelle, Pierre, Louise, Shantigarba, Kirsten, Chris, Meta, Linda, Ann, Jeff, Jan, Jerry, Laura, Dominic, Ron, Kumarjeev, Aniruddha,
We were pleased by the GCC "Invitation" (see CNVC wiki), and have some heartfelt responses we would like to be known and considered by the GCC. We have expressed these in the attached letter (also shown below, in case of any problems with the attachment).
Please would you read the letter, and bring the issues we raise and our proposal to the GCC teleconference on Wednesday?
We look forward to your response.
Warmly, Alison, Fabiola, Jenny
6th March 2007
Dear Members of GCC, and members of the worldwide NVC community,
We are three members of the NVC community living and working in the UK. We are pleased by the GCC's invitation to consider how we would like to be linked to others practicing NVC both locally and beyond, and the welcome they have extended to having feedback. We would like to respond. We are Jenny Edwards, Fabiola Fuentes and Alison Harper.
The three of us are passionately committed to the vision and mission of CNVC. We were delighted to read Jori's description of the part that she and Jim intend to play: "working together to support the connectivity that could fuel global social transformation through the growth of NVC consciousness." Yes!
We understand the intention of the GCC is to have "NVC Project Teams operating in every country of the world by 2017. Resources are developed to enable NVC teams to begin and sustain their projects. Teams will be organized sociocratically with double-linking." We also understand that the GCC see their role as including "to explore the structures and strategies that will provide representation and mutual connection that will support us all in fulfilling our shared vision of the growth of compassionate giving, joy, and nonviolence in the world."
In order to achieve this, we understand, from the GCC Minutes of the November, December and January teleconferences, that what has been proposed and agreed is a structure of language-based circles: English-speaking (Western), English-speaking (non-Western), French-speaking, Spanish/Portuguese/(Italian?)-speaking, and German/ (Dutch?)-speaking. We appreciate that the intention behind this proposal is to enable more active participation by members of the worldwide network who do not speak English, and we share the desire to facilitate their participation in collaborating in realizing the vision of CNVC.
When we saw that a structure has been agreed based on these languages, the three of us felt devastated, alarmed, and angry, because our need for understanding and respect of the different contributions, contexts and cultures of members of the worldwide network is not met by this proposal. We trust that the members of the GCC share this need. But we are concerned that the strategies they have chosen will not meet this need, and we would like to be clear about why.
1. From the Minutes it appears to us as if the proposal has been generated and adopted without consultation with the network members native to South America, Africa and Asia. We would like to be sure that you have talked to all of the certified trainers, supporters and other NVC practitioners in those continents to find out from them how they would like to be included.
Fabiola is a certified trainer who is Colombian living in the UK. She would like to have been consulted, and so far has not. When she read about what had been proposed, her response was:
"I want to be included from the beginning - before any decisions are made about what the GCC thinks is meeting our (people from South America, Africa and Asia) need for inclusion. I would like to be consulted about any ideas or strategy that the GCC thinks will meet our need for inclusion, even if the ideas and strategies are temporary. I want to acknowledge that the GCC's intention is one of inclusion. AND I need confirmation right from the beginning that they are trying to CONNECT with us in order to meet the need I have for inclusion. I would like people in the GCC to take time to talk with those of us who are part of the CNVC community and come from Africa, South America and Asia. And for this to have happened before any election of functional leaders took place. I am asking the GCC to reconsider their strategy and to widen the process of consultation so that the functional leaders that are elected really and truly represent who we are. I trust that those the GCC have elected would care about us. What I am finding hard to trust is the process because of a lack of quality of connection that gives me the confidence that my needs will truly be heard. I want to have a voice from the beginning."
2. We believe that language-based circles will run the risk of exacerbating conflict. It appears from the Minutes of the GCC teleconferences that Chris Rajendram from Sri Lanka shares this concern and would like to see a different basis for the circles. He said:
"I understand now what was blocking me from the conversation - we are killing each other (in Sri Lanka) because of the language. I'd like another way of uniting us and getting a central circle functioning".
3. The four language groups (English, French, German/Dutch and non-French Romance (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian)) on which the circles are based are the languages of the countries ("colonial powers") that made choices to go to other geographic areas of the world from the 17th to the 20th centuries and, through punitive use of force as well as other means, implement national, international and corporate structures that did not recognize, value or support the inherent worth of the native people of those areas, their languages or their cultures, and which thus did not meet their needs for inclusion, respect and recognition. The impact of these actions on, for example the native people of Africa, has been a deep legacy of pain, and a deep suspicion of the intentions of people from the "colonial" areas of the world and who speak those languages.
We mourn and empathise for that pain and for that suspicion, and want to be part of organizations that may help to heal those wounds and repair those relationships by visibly demonstrating that they value the unique gifts and insights of each person, each culture and each language. So we are very concerned when we see an organisation that has emerged from white Western roots suggesting a form of representation based on the "colonial" languages, even if that is only a first step in the process. It does not meet our needs for awareness and caring for the pain of people from these other areas of the world, nor for inclusion of their voices right from the beginning.
4. As a strategy for meeting these needs for inclusion, recognition and care we would like to have presence and visibility of people of all races right at the heart of CNVC and right from the beginning of an organization - the GCC - that is aiming to "support the connectivity that could fuel global social transformation". We feel concerned when we see that the people selected so far as the functional leaders in the GCC it seems to us do not represent a diversity of races and cultures.
When people of one race and culture attempt to represent people of other races and cultures quite a lot of important information can unwittingly be left out because of differences of cultural perspectives that inadvertently filter the meaning of what is expressed to them by people of other races and cultures.
Those are the reasons why we are so concerned about the strategy being followed by the GCC. We deeply trust that the members of the GCC have the intention to find ways to connect with network members worldwide in ways that meet everybody's needs. And we believe that sociocratic processes exist to support the intention to meet everybody's needs.
Request & Proposal - for an amended approach
We request the GCC to reconsider their strategy for moving forward, and to amend it. We propose:
1. First connect. Contact, by phone or email, all the certified trainers and supporters listed on the CNVC website, to make personal connections with them, particularly those in Africa, Asia and South America.
2. Then listen. Find out and appreciate what is already going on. Seek to understand how we can build on what has already been created in each area in pursuing the aim of Project Teams in every country by 2017. We believe this can help to provide the recognition, celebration and support we would want, especially for those who are working to bring NVC to non-white countries, cultures and languages.
3. Identify needs not yet met through what already exists in support of global social transformation. What do the people who are actually seeking to bring about global social transformation in their part of the world see is needed there to achieve that objective?
4. Consult. Find out how practitioners worldwide would like to be connected, represented and involved in pursuing that vision - so that they have a voice from the beginning. The current survey of NVC practitioners in Australia and New Zealand appears to be a step in this direction. Inclusion is the process, not the outcome.
5. Share and communicate the different ideas and input that have been offered.
6. Explore possible strategies to address those unmet needs. Ensure everyone has an opportunity to understand each strategy under consideration (e.g., sociocracy) before inviting them to select those strategies that will meet their needs.
7. Select a strategy, processes and structure with the opportunity for inclusion by anyone who wishes. (This comes at the end of the process, rather than going out with a structure and trying to fit people into it).
We long to see an integration of the gifts of all cultures, including those that bring the clarity of individuality and those that bring the capacity to feel the interconnectedness of the whole. We look forward to collaborating with you and people in the network throughout the world in creating an interconnected global organisation that will support and inspire all of us to be fully effective in bringing the gifts of NVC to creating a world in which everyone's needs are met.
Jenny Edwards, Fabiola Fuentes, Alison Harper
NVC-UK SOCIOCRACY CIRCLE SELECTS OBSERVERS TO GCC
On the recent UK Sociocracy teleconference (11th January 2007) we selected three people to act as observers between them on the next three GCC meetings. Below is the extract from our minutes.
Proposal 2a: To elect someone to act as an observer at the next three GCC meetings and who would report back to us in an agreed manner. CONSENT GIVEN.
Proposal 2b: To draw up a role and person specification for the observer
CONSENT GIVEN to the following parts of the role description Â· Listening in to GCC meetings and making notes Â· Reporting back to NVC-UK Network phone meeting for four minutes, plus writing 200 word summary and emailing it to the network for next three calls.
CONSENT NOT GIVEN to mandating the observer to ask questions on our behalf nor to speak about issues on our behalf. CONSENT GIVEN to Shantigarbha, Gina and Jo to consider these possibilities (asking questions and raising issues) and to bring proposal to our next telephone conference call.
CONSENT GIVEN to including the following requirements of the observer: Â· accuracy Â· impartiality Â· ability to report back succinctly Â· has appropriate technology.
Proposal 3: To elect three observers to observe the GCC meetings between now and our next conference call (this is likely to involve observing three meetings) CONSENT GIVEN to Shantigarbha, Laura and Daren. Shantigarbha will contact Laura and Daren, invite them to accept the nomination and then arrange coverage of the three meetings.
April 14, 2007
Doug Johnson alias Windseye:
The following image suggests that all those who are interested in furthering NVC in the world be included in the collection of people in the large circle, be it the governing council, the coordinating council, the international members of NVC or whatever, and that these folks, as suggested in the image, organize themselves within countries and send two reps to a virtual or real GCC leadership meeting for the purpose of selecting ten candidate reps to the GCC Leaders council. It's been suggested that no more than ten people can comfortable teleconference and while this is a desirable and necessary organ of development than this provides a way to get en people selected without excluding anyone whether in an interest or theme circle or not, whether a certified trainer or not.