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Mobilizing for Nonviolent Global Liberation – California (Santa Cruz)

August 20, 2020 @ 11:00 am - August 26, 2020 @ 3:00 pm

Thank you so much for holding out in the uncertainty of what would happen with our previously scheduled in-person retreat in California, August 20-26.

We want to let you know that we have taken the very painful decision to cancel this event altogether.

We are moving forward with a vision for what a new online event could be – global, co-created, adapted to the challenges and opportunities of an online format, flexible, simple – while at the same time operating within our capacity, and have not yet determined a date for our online event.  

We mourn that your interest cannot find an outlet at present, and we invite you to join us, if you want, as an NGL Friend, which is an entryway into the NGL online environment. You can find out here how to do so if you want.

If you want to be up to date with what happens in NGL Community, please follow us on FB.  

An Intensive Experiential Training to Co-create Personal and Collective Capacity

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

This is a full description of an intensive experiential training to collaboratively build personal and collective capacity to transform a world in crisis, by taking actions that align means with ends.

Call for Participation

  • Are you longing for more clarity and inspiration about responding to a world in crisis?
  • Do you want more tools to support your work for change?
  • Are you longing for more alignment with your values, even within systems that constrain your options?
  • Do you feel called to act in service of life?
  • Are you wanting framing and tools around power and privilege that affirm the humanity of all?
  • Are you inspired by the principles of nonviolence – courage, truth, and love?

The Training

This week-long, intensive training is designed to immerse participants in principles and practices that can support each of us in responding to the global crises of our time, and allow each of us to take the next step to work toward nonviolent global liberation.

A major learning pathway during the intensive is learning-by-doing, by joining a team that attends to a critical aspect of our temporary community’s functioning (like how we make decisions or ensure effective flow of information and resources). Deep learning happens when principles are anchored in action. For this reason, you are encouraged to join a team at the beginning of the training, which will be one of the first things you will be invited to do.

Even before the event starts, you can begin this learning by joining the logistics team. Logistics cares for the material infrastructure that makes it possible for us to move through our days – and is directly related to transforming the world. Unless it is consciously held and shared, this work and the people who do it are often unseen. If changing these patterns excites you, lookout for more information within your registration confirmation letter.

In addition to this hands-on learning, facilitators plan to lead sessions on NGL Core Content (see below) as well as other topics. Participants will also be able to offer workshops, practice sessions, coaching, empathy in response to requests from other participants.

We anticipate 50-80 participants at each NGL intensive training.

What do you mean by “NGL core content”?

“NGL Core Content” includes specific framing, principles, and practices developed by Miki Kashtan, that are inspired by a variety of modalities and schools of thought, and that have been evolving and developing within an ongoing learning community called Nonviolent Global Liberation (NGL). NGL exists online and includes members worldwide, some of whom are likely to be at each training, both within the team and among participants. During the intensive training there will be an opportunity to learn about NGL and ways to engage with the community.

Our time together will draw from many elements of content, including:

Nonviolence: deepening understanding of the path and how to live it

Internal liberation: transcending individual socialization and collective patriarchal patterns to reclaim inner freedom and our ability to collaborate for the benefit of all

Systems Awareness: understanding ourselves as existing within, and participating in, both implicit and explicit collective agreements, to support conscious choice in creating or changing systems rather than unconsciously perpetuating whatever we have inherited

Leadership: willingly and unilaterally embracing interdependent responsibility for the whole, and differentiating leadership as a position from leadership as an an orientation that anyone can have

Power and privilege: understanding uses of power and influence; and attending to the causes and effects of power differences internally, in relationships, within organizations, and in society

Organizational function: applying a needs-based and collaborative perspective to all aspects of group functioning, from internal shifts in perspective to specific skills to systemic interventions

Social change: fleshing out strategic approaches to social transformation, including vision, relationships, inner work, and power analysis

Facilitation: Basic and advanced elements of group facilitation, including attending to power differences and applications of Convergent Facilitation or elements of it in various contexts

Principle-Based Teaching and Applications of NVC: understanding, living, and sharing Nonviolent Communication (NVC) from the perspective of principles and practices rather than specific ways of speaking

About the Team

The training team is still being decided.  It will consist of an international group of trainers and organisers, many will be active members and core designers of the NGL Online community. They will bring a breadth and depth of experience sharing Nonviolent Communication, facilitating groups and consulting: living and applying the NGL framework within organizations and communities. This team will be collectively responsible for delivering NGL Content.

The team that has been confirmed for the NGL California Training 2020 are Miki Kashtan and Heather Austin. The rest of the team is still being decided.

Is the NGL intensive experiential training a fit for me?

Self-selection criteria

If you’re energized by what you have read above and want to join us at the training, please ask yourself the following questions. The more clear your “yes” is to each of them, the more we believe, based on learning from the 2018 and 2019 seasons, that the training will work for us all, achieve its purpose, and have reach beyond itself. This is our attempt to care for each of us and maximize our collective capacity as we enter into this intensive training together:

  1. Have I read the full description of the training and NGL values? Does delving for a whole week into what it means to put that into practice individually and collectively excite me?
  2. Do I already have clear ideas about how I want to apply what I anticipate learning at this training within a particular context or an existing project?
  3. Do I have confidence that I can remain self-connected and compassionate towards others when under stress, and to engage with support systems when the level of stress exceeds this capacity?
  4. Have I read the statement about power and access? Am I open to the assumption that my social location has a large impact on my worldview, actions, and experience? Do I have full willingness to explore what this means when issues of privilege or internalized oppression arise? Am I open to hearing about the impacts of my actions on others? Am I open to sharing with others the impacts of their actions on me without blame? Am I open to investigating my own judgments or assumptions? Am I open to receiving coaching about any of the above?
  5. Am I excited about participating in the experimental nature of NGL, knowing full well that some things won’t work out to my satisfaction and that what is being attempted here has rarely been done and no one fully knows how to liberate us from 7,000 years of patriarchy, which means that the holding team will not necessarily know how to respond in all occasions?  Do I have confidence that I have the capacity to stay focused on a shared purpose even if my personal needs are not met?
  6. After reading all that is written here, do I sense deeply that there’s a clear fit between what I want and what I am being invited to co-create at this training?

If after you consider the above, your answer is ‘no’, you are not sure it is a good fit for you, and you still believe it’s important for you to come, you are invited to contact us. If you decide it is not a good fit for you and you would like to stay connected with NGL Online Community, we invite you to become an NGL Friend, where you can access a variety of resources for developing clarity about purpose/vision, more personal resilience, and more understanding of our content and commitments.

You will also be asked whether you have considered these questions as part of the registration form.

Care and Capacity Questionnaire

During registration, you will be asked to review our questionnaire about care and capacity. The purpose of this questionnaire is to assess our collective capacity to attend to needs for care and support at the training. We want to know if you may need some specific or additional care/support; or if you are a person with skills and training that can offer this support as service during the training. This would be a much appreciated contribution to the community and our overall purpose – and is an area where we are trying to build capacity as a community. If you would like to review these questions before going to registration please do so here.



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 20, 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 19

The room and board costs are handled separately from contributions towards the sustainability of the training. These are non-negotiable.

Double$650 (limited)
Commuter Rate$350


All options include all meals and tea/coffee/snacks. The Double & Triple room options are shared rooms.

All prices are subject to change.

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. All rooms are shared at the Quaker Center.  Room assignments and camping sites are subject to availability and are first-come-first-served.

There are also a few hotel options within a 5-10 minute drive, the nearest and least expensive being Quality Inn & Suites Santa Cruz Mountains.

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.


The training will be held in English. We mourn the fact that at this time we are not choosing to put resources toward providing translation, as our capacity is very limited.


The program is designed for adult participants and we mourn that we do not currently have the capacity to either provide child care, nor hold a training that integrates both children and adults. There may, however, be children present at the training. We recommend that if you want to come with your children, if possible, please bring with you a companion who is willing to take on caring for them so you can engage as you wish. We may at times ask to limit access to spaces if it impacts other participants or presenters.

Tuition (contribution towards the sustainability of the training)

In a needs-based gift economy, resources flow from where they are to where they are needed for no other reason than they are needed and there is a willingness to attend to the need. As part of NGL’s learning about how to create a world that works for all, we operate this training partially on a gift economy.

We ask all participants to pay for their own food and lodging. These are non-negotiable fees set by the venue to attend to its needs. (See Lodging and Food above.)

For all other financial impacts related to doing the training, we invite you to step into the gift economy with us. Rather than being asked to give a certain amount in order to attend, we will make our costs and sustainability needs transparent and invite you to support the sustainability of the training (attending to our needs) and to give only what you can and are willing (attending to your needs). In this way, we aim to make the training as accessible as possible. If the training purpose is a fit for you, we encourage you to attend even if you can give $0 beyond your own food and lodging. At past trainings, individual people have contributed amounts ranging from $5 to $4400 USD. (There are usually also participants who contribute $0.)

Because we value choice, participating in our gift economy experiment is optional. If after learning more about the process before or at the training, you prefer to give a set amount that we choose, we ask that you give between US$700-US$1700. It is not a “market value” price for a 7-day, 6-night training. It is a rough estimation of what is needed on average to make the training sustainable. If less than US$700 is a better match for what you are whole-heartedly willing and able to give, we still prefer that.

We hope you are intrigued and will participate with us, because we think liberation in relation to money is critical for a world that works for all. To read some extra information about the gift economy, please go here.

Registration Details

Please complete our registration form to begin your registration process.

At the end of the registration process, you will be asked to secure your place by sending a payment for the full cost of your room and board and a $400 deposit toward the tuition.  If you are unable to provide the tuition deposit amount of $400, please choose a smaller amount. 

When making your deposit, please pay any applicable transfer or foreign transaction fees. For foreign transfers we recommend using https://transferwise.com or paying via Revolut if you are a cardholder of this service. Credit cards are accepted.

Please contact us if you have any questions or doubts concerning registration or contributions.

Registration will remain open until August 12th: To confirm your place at the training please complete your registration and payment by August 11th. This allows us time to coordinate between the venue, caterer, and supporting participants with the registration process. After this time, we cannot guarantee our capacity to respond to your request to register as late registrations are substantially more difficult to handle.


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 10, 2020, we will gladly refund what you have given minus $100 to cover our administrative costs.
  • If you cancel after July 10, 2020, but before August 1, 2020, we will refund what you have given, less up to $400 to cover venue and administrative costs.
  • If you cancel after August 1, 2020, we offer no refund; however you may transfer your registration to someone else.


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




August 20, 2020 @ 11:00 am
August 26, 2020 @ 3:00 pm
Event Category:




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