October 2, International Day of Non-Violence & Empathic Action

by Milla — she=he

Yesterday I participated in a tele-conference with about 20 persons. I was there mostly as someone listening in, trying to understand what the intent and the purpose was of the people involved in the call.

The main idea seemed to be to enable a 36 hour worldwide tele-empathy call, covering October 2, across the globe.

October 2 is Gandhi‘s birthday, and has been picked by the UN as the International Day of Non-Violence, and has also been chosen to be the International Day for Empathic Action (IDEA) by the NVC community.

Local events taking place during IDEA have been picnics, town meetings, speeches, gatherings, fun parades. On the website – worldempathy.org – you can read some more suggestions for action and get access to useful resources.

The 36 hour tele-empathy-line is an experience that is wished to be repeated by the ones who have been touched by this event. Someone described it as being scattered around the globe, and yet having the sensation of sitting on the floor of someone’s living room – a very intimate feeling, like sharing a hug. A person expressed the enjoyment when the teams facilitating were overlapping, as – hands connected over the world.

After sharing experiences from previous years, the conversation was moved on to the logistics of this year.

One way to create ease around the co-ordination of facilitators, would be to create a document, where people could ‘book’, or fill in the time slots, when they would be willing to facilitate empathic connection. It was suggested to have segments of 2 hours, with 2-3 persons. The first person signing up, would be the one taking primary responsibility for the call, the second person would co-facilitate, and a third person would be there as a back-up. It was said that one column could be for the languages people would be willing to offer during their shift.

This suggestion continued in to a discussion on languages, and that it would be wished for to check whether some of the larger language groups would be interested in organizing parallel tele-empathy lines in for instance French, German and Spanish. One person expressed willingness to offer technical support to make this happen. One possibility would be to send out four versions of the ‘time slot’ or ‘booking’ document, for the volunteers, covering facilitation in English, French, German and Spanish.

Another obstacle for participation mentioned, was internet connection which would not allow skype calls, and that this could be replaced with a text-chat instead. Someone expressed willingness to facilitate text-chat, and wished for a form that would enable 5 or so to speak at one time, while the rest listen, wanting to keep the number of people speaking at a constant, while at the same time rotating the persons participating in the talk, hoping for more clarity and inclusion this way.

Someone suggested that the co-facilitators could have a separate chat-room to offer in case there would be a need for a separate talk (for instance if using a language that other participants don’t understand or speak).

I was a bit confused during the call. I haven’t participated in that many phone-meetings with multiple participants, and I hadn’t any clear knowledge of what the project was about before entering the meeting.

I didn’t really understand what was decided during the talk, or who would do what, at what time. It was said that there would be two more conference calls (August, September) for the organizing of this event. And that any official decisions and results would be posted in the Nvc Link facebook group. It was also said that other discussions will take place in the International Day of NonViolence and Empathic Action google group. The group would be used for organizing the tele-empathy line, as well as for informing and allowing for participation in any other activity related to IDEA 2011. There was a request to mark the subject lines according to some system. I don’t remember what the categories mentioned were. I hope that this information will be easily found in the info of the google group itself, and/or sent as a request to anyone who joins the group, by the admin.

I will now take the information I managed to gather, to the local nvc groups, and see if anyone gets inspired to take action. And I hope that anyone reading this, will do the same 🙂


Addition, July 30:

The google group mentioned above, has now been scrapped as a means of communication. Currently there is this Facebook group International day of NonViolence and Empathic Action 2nd Oct. 2011, mainly for reading announcements of what has already been decided, and for people who enjoy group chats. There might be some other means of communicating presented later.

The next tele-conference planning the 36-hour-empathy line will take place on Sunday, August 14. 8:00pm (20:00) GMT.


3 Responses

  1. As one of the people who is doing this for the third time this year, I invite you to trust that clarity will emerge. After all, if everything were clear right now, there would be no need for two more teleconferences. I never expect NVC activities to hit the ground running; we’re too much into visioning for that!

    • hello susan,

      i think envisioning is a thing of beauty, it’s a chance for curiosity, change, and learning. clarity is a powerful additive. once a thought has come up and is shared, the nurturing environment for it to grow would for me include

      1) what? — a) that people have a similar understanding of the idea/vision. b) what are the concrete actions/tasks to be done.
      2) who? — people know who is taking on what task
      3) when? — people know (by) when it will be done

      when what/who/when is not answered/clearly stated, it’s very easy for me to get confused, and drop interest/motivation. if i want to contribute but i’m not really sure what the idea/vision is, and i’m not really sure who is doing what (who to contact?), and i’m not really sure of when it’s supposed to be done, it’s more comfortable to stay passive than to insist on getting involved – it’s hard somehow to ask for attention and clarity, it’s easy for me to feel like a ‘child’ who is asking ‘unimportant’ ‘annoying’ questions to the ‘grown-ups’ who are ‘busy’ ‘getting things done’.

  2. […] the previous meeting: Click here] Below you can read the subjective, and fairly long notes taken from a meeting that occurred on […]

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