October 2, International Day of Nonviolence & Empathic Action (Tele-empathy meeting)

by Milla — she=he

[For the previous meeting: Click here] Below you can read the subjective, and fairly long notes taken from a meeting that occurred on August 14:

Note: For more up to date and precise information (links to web forms etc) please go to International Day of Nonviolence and Empathic Action (facebook)

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There were about 10 persons present at the beginning of the second tele-conference for organizing a 50 hour global tele-empathy line on October 2nd, the International Day of Nonviolence & Empathic Action.

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I thought the facilitation of this call was very clear and connecting. We were informed that we could press 6 to mute our microphone, and 7 to unmute. We were also told that we could sign up to a text chat, that was going on simultaneously with the call, where we could ask questions, comment, or ask for assistance. And then we started off by having a check in round where people were saying what was going on for them in the moment, and if they had anything to say about IDEA (The International Day of Empathic Action) and tele-empathy. Someone expressed excitement about the project and wanted to know how things had progressed since the last call. Someone was interested and curious about the technical aspect of the empathy-call. — Conscious evolution and large system changes were mentioned. As well as wishes to find compelling ways to engage people who would not at all relate to things like this. — Someone was working on an ‘intention tree’, and shared that checking interest within the french speaking nvc-community to organize a parallel empathy-line seemed to be challenging, and was guessing that it might take a year to get things going on the french side.
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An agenda for the call was presented:
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– Updates about the global 50 hour tele-empathy call for Oct 2.
– Updates on other, local, events for Oct 2.
– General updates
– How to work together as a team/ which groups.
– Publicity – How to reach out and get participants/facilitators/hosts/people who help organize from now until then
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TELE-EMPATHY
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Since the last call in July, there had been discussions about how many hours the empathy-line would be open. Two years ago it was 24h. Last year it was 36h. The intention for all the years, has been to have it as a 24 hour event all over the world. Someone had checked, and said that 50 hours would cover October 2, in its entirety across the world.
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There was surprise expressed to this amount, and it was explained that this number comes from the existence of a virtual time zone adding 2 hours to the 48 that it apparently takes to complete an entire day all over the world. [Added info: Prior to 1995, International Date Line split the country of Kiribati. The result was that the eastern part of Kiribati was a whole day and two hours behind the western part of the country where its capital is located. In 1995 Kiribati decided to move the International Date Line far to the east- which placed the entire country into the same day.]  After this curious fact was shared, it was decided to invite people in Kiribati to the empathy-call.
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It was said that 50 hours is a lot, but that people were hoping to cover Oct 2nd globally, and if need be it’s always possible to scale back to less hours.
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A part of the dilemma with finding facilitators, has been to find people who are certified trainers or something equivalent to that, so the strategy this year, is for people to self-identify that they would be capable of being an empathetic presence, and that 2 or 3 persons could do it together. [Example sentence given of what self-selection might look like during the conference: “I’ve only had three empathy classes, but I have confidence not to give judgement, advice, criticism, and suggestions. I can just be with them.”] The time slots would be peer lead. The sign up sheet is designed for many facilitators to sign up for the same time slot, and it’s also possible to list the languages each person would be comfortable offering during their shift.
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Someone asked if the facilitators would have a choice in whether they want a co-facilitator. Wishes for peer supported facilitation was expressed, since last year, some persons who signed up, did not show up on their shift. So it was viewed as important to have back-up.
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Someone thought it might be worth to first see how many sign up for facilitation, and then work out the issue about co-facilitation.
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It was said that there are people who would sign up if they knew that they would have support. Co-facilitation was mentioned as optional, as a possibility, that it could happen, not that it would happen. Before it had been suggested that the first person signing up would be primary facilitator, second person a back-up. Now it was mentioned as something for the people facilitating to work out by evaluating themselves.
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There’s been a test version of the facilitator invitation-mail with limited circulation, sent around for signing up and feedback. Attached to this invitation, is a link to a web form to register as a facilitator where you can fill in your preferences and what experience you have. For the actual time slots there’s a link to a doodle which spans the 50 hours – and by selecting the time zone, you can see the slots in your local time. To get event info and updates there’s another web form.
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It was said that the facilitators can contact one another after receiving an email with the final info, containing contact-email so they can connect and co-ordinate. The message with the final info would probably also contain information on a line open for facilitators where they can call in and have togetherness, in the same way as last year.
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The blessed facilitator chose at this point to invite, especially, new people to ask questions, or add something, and also asking if anybody was lost and wanted clarity.
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Someone asked if the calls were limited to the local area of the person facilitating or if people could call in from anywhere in the world. The answer was: From anywhere in the world. It was said that the same system that was used for this conference call would be used for the tele-empathy line, and that people can access it through hundreds of local numbers, and also through skype.
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People need to find the number on a drop down menu, showing the closest call for you. If they want to know the price of the call they can get this information by calling their service provider – i.e. the company providing service for their phone.
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Someone commented on the length of the numbers, and that it was difficult to know what number to call. The response to this was that the numbers are in the international format, including the national numbers. If you’re inside the country, you don’t dial the international code.
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Someone asked if there’s a FAQ (frequently asked questions) for people wanting to participate. The response was that at the moment the system is still being built, and that there will be calls/tele-conferences for all of the facilitators’ technical and other questions, to support people who sign up. The person who asked for a FAQ, said that from her personal experience, there are many things that would fall into subcategories, and if they are put in a FAQ both for participants organizing and people who want to facilitate, and if encouraged to read this before getting on the call, it can cut back the time clarifying things, and would make for a lean meeting with unnecessary explanations.
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The same person continued to say that she was deeply moved and excited and impressed by the work done so far by the three persons taking initiative. She found the expertise, the attention, and the use of social media very inspiring.
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Another thing asked for was to put dashes between every three numbers to make it easier when phoning in. The person expressed a passion to make things as user friendly as possible, visually as simple as possible.
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Information about the text chat planned to run parallel and separate from the tele-empathy line was asked for.
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Facilitators signing up for the tele-empathy can choose to sign up for either a call or text or both. A text chat was asked for to include people for whom skype or a call would not be a functional option. A person was looking at the technical possibilities for this, with a main concern of not wanting too many people chatting at the same time for the sake of clarity in the communication.
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After this there was a short update from a person who had been looking on the web for different nvc organisations in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada, and as well had sent emails to individuals practicing nvc, with not much feedback. She was a bit disappointed with the low response, but waiting to see if maybe more people would get in touch later. She was suggesting that it might be helpful adding a link about IDEA from the cnvc site, when getting in touch with people you don’t know, since they might not be familiar with the trainers in the u.s, and in her experience, people might be more open to answering this way.
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Someone took on the task of reaching out to more language groups.
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Wishes to reach out to cnvc was expressed, – to contact office people, for contact information to key people in different languages, to distribute information, and so on – and someone offered to do this.
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OTHER EVENTS
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People can register to a website alerting about local events, around the world, all year round. It’s possible to receive alerts only on events that happen in the area where you live. It’s also possible to share events.
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There was talk about worldempathy.org. The people having the site were no longer interested in paying the expenses, and were looking for someone interested in taking over. The current costs were said to be around 137 dollar per year. The site was said to have about two-thousand hits per month. There was a talk of whether it’s useful taking over the site or using another option, which would be to have the resources (needs cards etc) hosted on another site, and linking to that space. Some decision was wanted on what website to use, and who will host, and who will pay. It was said that there are other useful aspects with the site – videos, articles – and that migrating the information would be time consuming. There was some talk about technical issues and then a request and decision to discuss this and what strategy to go along with outside this meeting.
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HOW THE TEAM WILL COMMUNICATE, WORK TOGETHER, AND ARRANGE THE NEXT CALL
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This part was not very clear to me.
The things mentioned was to create an email list, sending updates to people, with the intention to minimize the email flow. And also to create a group on google for people who want to communicate in between – a separate group for supporters and facilitators.
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After this there was a check out where there was gratitude expressed for the people joining and staying for 90 minutes, catching up, and giving feedback.
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Then there was space for an “After Party” 🙂
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A handful persons stayed on, asking questions, and sorting out some practical things.
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Someone asked if there had been any Palestinians participating last year – the answer was no – and some contact information was exchanged to enable a possible connection.