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Mobilizing for Nonviolent Global Liberation – Santa Cruz, CA

August 15, 2019 @ 11:00 am - August 21, 2019 @ 3:00 pm

Please Note: The retreat officially starts at 11 am, Thursday, August 15, but folks who are staying on-site are encouraged (it’s included in the cost of the meals and lodging) to arrive starting at 5 pm the night before, Wednesday, August 14.

A Retreat to Co-create Personal and Collective Capacity

Offered by a team including Miki Kashtan, other NGL trainers, and NGL apprentices

Call for Participation

      • Is the power of nonviolence – courage, truth, and love – deeply calling to your spirit?
      • Are you longing for deeper alignment with your values?
      • Are you eager for more clarity and inspiration about how you can respond to a world in crisis?
      • Would you like to expose yourself to knowledge, principles, and practices that can support you in your work?
      • Do you wish for more connection to your own power and ability as you deepen your capacity for a life of service?


This retreat is designed with the following groups of people in mind:

      • Members of the Nonviolent Global Liberation Apprenticeship Program and Learning Community (NGL) who want to be part of the annual in-person retreat
      • People who resonate with any of the questions above who would you like to be immersed in a vibrant, thriving, co-created learning community for a week
      • NVC trainers, mediators, facilitators, managers, and consultants who want to enrich their work through learning about Miki’s approach to these areas


This retreat is designed to create the conditions that would allow all of us who attend to take a next step in our understanding, capacity for interdependent living, practice, service, and contribution to support the possibility of nonviolent global liberation. This means emerging from a long and painful chapter of human history to free ourselves and engage with individuals, relationships, groups, organizations, and systems to restore freedom, dignity, and conscious interdependence within and around us.

In the short video clip below, participants at the first NGL retreat in June 2018 in Poland share what inspired them to come to the retreat and what they learned during the week spent with the NGL community.


Our time together will draw from the following elements:

      • Nonviolence: deepening understanding of the path and its implications for all aspects of life
      • Internal liberation: transcending individual socialization and collective patriarchal patterns to reclaim freedom and collaboration for the benefit of all
      • Leadership: willingly and unilaterally embracing interdependent responsibility for the whole
      • Power and privilege: engaging with their causes and effects internally, in relationships, within organizations, and in society
      • Organization development: applying a needs and collaboration perspective to all aspects of organizational function, from the internal to the systemic
      • Social change: fleshing out fully all aspects of the work, including vision, relationships, inner work, and strategic approaches to social transformation
      • Facilitation: Basic and advanced elements of group facilitation, including Convergent Facilitation
      • Principle-Based Teaching: understanding, living, and sharing NVC from the perspective of principles and practices rather than specific methods


What of these will we cover at the retreat? This is where co-creation comes in. Everyone coming is invited to become an active part of shaping what it will look like.

Each day, Miki and other NGL trainers are planning to offer teaching, practice, and coaching in one or more of the areas named above based on their experience sharing NVC, facilitating, and consulting with organizations and communities.

In parallel, others present, including NGL apprentices, are likely to present workshops, practice sessions, coaching, and empathy both within the NGL framework and in their own areas of focus (Note: You will have an opportunity to name what you may want to offer after you register.)

We specify the following five learning tracks as a way to organize offerings an offer a lens and focus:

      • Leadership and Facilitation
      • Power and Privilege
      • Projects
      • Purpose
      • Systems

There will be one slot a day for the specific tracks and offerings in all of them. Each track will have a color, and little stickers with the different colors will be placed on offerings so people can immediately see which offerings we believe are relevant to which track and choose what is of interest to them, regardless of what track they may have chosen as their primary focus for the retreat.

Together, we can create a menu for the retreat in which everyone can find their place to contribute, to learn, to grow, to weave connections, and to dip into the vision of a world that works for all.

About the Retreat Team

The retreat team consists of an international group of trainers, organizers, and core designers of the NGL community. They bring a breadth and depth of experience sharing Nonviolent Communication, facilitating groups and consulting: living and applying the NGL framework within organizations and communities.

The team for this retreat consists of Heather Austin, Mariam Z. Gafforio, Miki Kashtan, Uma Lo, Leonie Smith (Canada), and Stephanie Smith.







Mariam Z. Gafforio has been working with and within movements for social justice and ecological sustainability since 2002. She learned NVC in 2005 and has been integrating it into personal, interpersonal, and organizational work ever since. After repeatedly experiencing and witnessing toxic responses to conflict in movements, Mariam wanted to learn about ways of facing conflict that might lead to more resilience and learning. In 2013 she traveled the US interviewing radicals, activists and anarchists about how conflict was happening in their movements and communities. This led her to have a much more systemic understanding of conflict culture. Since then Mariam has been supporting communities, movements, and groups to make conscious choices about systems and infrastructure. She facilitates for groups in conflict and also uses Convergent Facilitation. Mariam is also a musician and a parent to a teenager and preschooler.


Miki Kashtan has been leading workshops and retreats around the world since 1996 and applying NVC in working with organizations since 2001. She co-founded Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) in 2002 and the Center for Efficient Collaboration in 2015. She blogs on The Fearless Heart, where she engages with topics ranging from inner freedom to global governance. The Nonviolent Global Liberation project is her latest effort to contribute decisively to supporting a growing group of people, fully committed to acting in each moment, in full power in support of the vision of a world that truly works for all life. She is from Israel and lives in Oakland, CA.




Leonie Smith (Canada)  provides support to people in organisations and movements to find ways of working in challenging cultures that often are marred with toxicity and approaches to work that are disempowering, ineffective, and demoralising.

From her own history of being among the ‘working wounded’ she designs principled approaches to working as a coach and consultant through her consultancy, The Thoughtful Workplace.  Imbuing nonviolence, nonviolent communication, and sociocracy, among other modalities, to support people to change their relationship to work and life. She works with leaders in organisations, regardless of where they are in the structure, to find ways of integrating principles of mutuality and respect.


Additional Bios for the 2019 Team TBA

How Much?

Making the retreat sustainable for all is an art form and part of the commitment to learning to create a world that works for all. We invite you to step into gift economy, where you will be asked to choose the amount you would like to contribute. In the context of a retreat, where there are some exchange and external costs built into it, the details of how we intend to apply this visionary frame to the realities of this retreat are complex. We plan to share them with registrants once we have enough data about registrations and other information, most likely in the last few weeks before the retreat.

If you are not quite ready to step into the full gift economy, we are quite confident that choosing any amount within the sliding scale of $850-1700 will work for us and will support sustainability while allowing others to attend who may not have the capacity to contribute a fully sustainable amount, sometimes nothing at all. Any tuition amount above $1050 (not including your room and board) can be tax-deductible and will support others in attending.

If this sliding scale does not work for you, you are welcome to choose any amount that works for you as part of the gift economy we are setting up. It is our intent to make this training available to anyone regardless of their financial means.

We would like to make it clear that tuition is in addition to and separate from room and board costs.

Upon registration, all participants will be asked to give a tuition deposit of USD $400 (or less if you are unable to provide the full amount at the time of registration), plus the full cost of their room and board.


The workshop will be held at Ben Lomond Quaker Center in Northern California, which is located near Santa Cruz and San Francisco in beautiful surroundings. It is an amazing place with forests to walk in, a labyrinth, and great food. It takes about an hour and a half by car from either the Oakland or San Francisco airports. There will be an opportunity to connect with other participants prior to the retreat to coordinate ridesharing to and from the retreat center when possible.

Physical address:
1000 Hubbard Gulch Road
Ben Lomond, CA 95005

Lodging and Food

Please Note: The retreat officially starts at 11 am Thursday, August 15, but folks who are staying on-site are encouraged (it’s included in the cost of the room and meals) to arrive starting at 5 pm the night before, Wednesday, August 14.

Room options – We will be staying at the Redwood Lodge and Orchard Lodge at the Ben Lomond Quaker Center.  You can see pictures of the accommodations here. There are also a few hotel options within a 5-10 minute drive, the nearest and cheapest being Quality Inn & Suites Santa Cruz Mountains.

Room and board costs are separate from the tuition amount.  All rooms are shared.  Prices below are per person.  Room assignments are subject to availability and are first-come-first-served.

Three/+$480 (Very limited)
Bed Pad in
Dorm Style Room
Commuter Rate$350

All prices are subject to change.

About the food – The food will be 95% organic and natural ingredients.  The other 5% is for random items that the chef prefers to use that he either can’t find organic or uses in small amounts. Our chef is able to accommodate omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free diets. The meat he will be using will be either organic or “natural” (no hormones). Most of the meat will be chicken and fish but he does, on occasion, serve beef, pork, lamb, seafood, etc. In addition to those main dietary categories, he always has plain food options available by request in the kitchen, e.g. plain chicken, tofu, eggs, nut butters, vegetables, salad, for every meal.

Breakfast service is always the same: toaster station, some type of egg dish, fresh fruit, yogurt, hot and cold cereal, coffee and tea. Lunch and dinner menus are organized according to the basic categories of carb, protein, veg, salad, drink. Dinner will also include some kind of dessert.

If you have any dietary restrictions above that go beyond what is specified above, please email Heather.

How to Register

Registration for this event is full. Please add your name and contact information to the waitlist.

See BayNVC’s policy about cancellations and refunds here. Please see below how it works in detail for this retreat:

      • If you cancel by July 4, 2019, we will gladly refund what you have given minus $100 to cover our administrative costs.
      • If you cancel after July 4, 2019, but before July 18, 2019, we will refund what you have given minus $400 to cover venue costs in addition to administrative costs.
      • If you cancel after July 18, 2019, we can offer no refund; however, you may transfer your registration to someone else.


Questions? Please email Heather Austin, BayNVC Event Coordinator and NGL Liaison



August 15, 2019 @ 11:00 am
August 21, 2019 @ 3:00 pm
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Miki Kashtan


Ben Lomond Quaker Center
1000 Hubbard Gulch Road
Ben Lomond, CA 95005 United States
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