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Leveraging Your Influence, week-long intensive in Chicago

June 24, 2016 - June 30, 2016

Free – $650.00


Facilitator Track
June 24, 9:00 am- June 30, 3:00pm

Regular Track
June 24, 3:00pm – June 29, 3:00pm


Miki Kashtan’s Leveraging Your Influence program is designed to integrate the three dimensions of nonviolence – love, truth, and courage – and weave them deeply into the fabric of our daily lives and beyond. It’s about sharing a radical vision and using practical tools to move toward it.

Miki has offered LYI both locally and internationally since 2012, and this is the last cycle she plans to lead before passing the torch to her co-facilitators. The vision and practices we explore in 2016 will draw from everything Miki has learned over the years.

The Vision: Power + Love = A New World

The vision of Leveraging Your Influence is to accelerate the transition to a nonviolent world where people collaborate to attend to everyone’s needs and to create social systems that work for all. This course is an invitation to commit to love, truth, and courage as the foundation and organizing principles of our relationships and work in the world.

When we make this commitment, we follow in the footsteps of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., becoming channels for nonviolent social transformation. And we start to lose our fear of being powerful, because we see how we can steward power with fierce love for all – starting with our own individual lives.

The Practice: Embodying NVC Principles Everywhere

To “leverage your influence” is to increase your capacity to apply this commitment in any context: home, work, organizations, institutions, and communities. The LYI program focuses on practical ways to narrow the gap between where we are and where we want to be, both individually and beyond, so we can begin to take steps towards the world of our dreams.

  • We practice speaking and acting on NVC principles – combining truth with care and aiming for solutions that work for all involved – in ways that feel spontaneous, authentic, and effective, using natural language and keeping an eye on our context.
  • Our meetings together become learning labs, where we use challenges emerging there in the room as opportunities to stretch beyond our ‘comfort zone’ and put principles into practice.
  • We aim to broaden and deepen our influence, asking, “How can we live nonviolence so fully that all the people we meet each day are affected by its profound gifts?”
  • We are invited to take heart, lean on each other, step into greater trust of self and others, and join together in what Joanna Macy calls “The Great Turning.”


Do you want to be a part of that?

Our Key Questions

This course explores questions that define a historic crossroads:

  • How can we bring compassion to the immense challenges now facing the world and all of us?
  • What happened to each of us that reinforces separation, scarcity, and powerlessness?
  • What can we each do, where we are, to move in the direction of our vision?
  • How do we reintegrate love with power?
  • How can we train ourselves to stretch enough to make changes without stretching so far that we snap?
  • What support will sustain us as we move away from business as usual?
  • How can we care fully and passionately for others’ needs alongside our own?
  • How do we learn about the power differences that divide our societies so as to respond to them with love, courage, and truth?


If you have years of experience with Nonviolent Communication, you are likely to find surprising new ways of looking at the meaning of the work. If you are entirely new, this is your opportunity to immerse yourself in principles and practices that can make all the difference to you and to life on this planet.

Facilitation Track

Individuals with special interest in leading groups and organizations collaboratively – as well as those who simply want to experience an additional dimension of this course – are invited to register for the Facilitation Track. During lunchtime meetings, and for an hour afterwards, Miki shares insights about the visionary leadership that she models. This is a chance to get coaching, tips, and advice on how to balance the commitment to holding everyone’s needs with the commitment to efficient, effective, and purposeful engagement.

Facilitation Track participants often have opportunities to apply what they are learning by facilitating activities during the main sessions, leading small groups, offering support to others in the course during and in between sessions, and participating in designing the sessions. This level of involvement and service offers a way to deepen the co-creative learning experience and to practice the living interdependence of NVC.


The requested tuition contributions for the retreat (separate from room-and-board) are $950 for the regular retreat or $1200 for the Facilitation Track (an additional 1.5 days and daily working-lunch sessions).


This retreat takes place at the Institute for Cultural Affairs in Chicago, IL. See their website for more details.


Room and board costs are in addition to the tuition amount. These are non-negotiable and required by our host venue.
Cost: $25-35/day for a single or shared room and shared bathroom. Linens provided.


$50/day for 3 catered meals daily. Vegetarian options will be provided, and organic and local ingredients will be used where possible.

Course Manual

An electronic version of the Program Booklet (~ 220+ pages) will be emailed in advance. Some participants elect to save paper and the cost of printing by bringing the booklet with them on an electronic device (wireless internet service is available at The Abode).

Requested NVC Experience

This program is open all, at any level of experience with Nonviolent Communication. We ask that you self-select to attend based on your resonance with (1) the belief that the vision described above can transform your life and the world and (2) a desire within you to play an active role in that transformation.

How to Register

1. Go to the “Register” section at the bottom of the page. To reserve your space with a $300 deposit, select the LYI-midwest-deposit option. A course organizer will contact you later about paying the balance.

If you want to pay full tuition, select LYI-midwest-tuition (see Price section above)

2. Once you have made your payment, please fill out the Accommodations and Meal Options form found HERE. A course organizer will contact you to finalize or offer support re: travel, payment logistics or any other questions you may have.

See BayNVC’s policy re: cancellations and refunds here.

If you have questions, please contact the LYI Midwest Organizing Team at


WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT Leveraging Your Influence

“Through BayNVC’s Leveraging Your Influence program, I have become clearer about what I want and have stepped into my power to move towards my vision. I have connected with others and acquired many of the skills/resources needed.” – A.M.

“I am so inspired and surprised to learn so many fine points of distinction of leadership and facilitation so unique to cultivating a nonviolent culture!” -H.H.

“I feel and see the benefits of participating in LYI and learning with Miki every single day, in the way that I relate to myself, and in the ways that I’m more empowered, loving, and a little more brave in the world. The way that Miki teaches and models visionary leadership, love and power in action, is a profound gift.” – U. L.

“I found tremendous support in this workshop for my struggle to own my power and learn possibilities for using NVC consciousness. The activities offered for movement both emotional and physical complimented the lecture material and the demonstrations that Miki gave when offering that material of how to hold everyone’s needs” -A.H.

“This project taps into me continuing to be me!” – G. S.

“Pushed my comfort zone and altered my consciousness for the better! So grateful for such an enriching experience and all the profound wisdom Miki was able to convey to us. Mad some amazing new connections and looking forward to reentering the world with new tools, more love and new inspirations!” -S.M.

“I love being in a community where everyone’s gifts are celebrated, where we have a chance to stretch in ways that fully bring us to life.” -R.W.

“This retreat contributed enormously to my personal growth but in a way that did not inadvertently emphasize a sense of separateness from the whole in the process. It modeled a collaborative power dynamic in its structure, ethos and teaching. And has given me great hope for the future, closure with the past – and greater ease in the present” -G.Q.

“There were things offered here on this retreat that I have found nowhere else and that may enable me to do things and have healing in myself, healing I have sought fruitlessly in other contexts for the better part of forty years.” – S.S.

“Miki’s teaching and example of what’s possible for humanity offers beyond the expected, beyond the obvious to a world undiscovered that beckons us to reach for the moon.” – S.P




June 24, 2016
June 30, 2016
Free – $650.00
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The Institute of Cultural Affairs
5750 N. Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 12125 United States
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