About the European
NVC Summer Festival
The European NVC Summer Festival is organised every year in a different country and gathers enthusiasts of Nonviolent Communication from all around the world. For seven days we live together, share our knowledge and experience NVC in practice. Below you can find some details that will give you the taste of what the Festival is and what to expect.
What will happen
This is the preliminary Festival programme. We encourage initiatives and activities that are not part of the official Festival schedule.
Key words and concepts
During the morning and evening gatherings, which are the occasions during the day when we all meet, there is a chance to present information concerning all or many of the Festival participants.
Emergency empathy signal
Waving the hand like giving your head a breeze of air from above. You can use this signal during community gatherings (or other times) and an Empathy Angel will hurry to you and offer whispering empathy, so that you can stay in the group and still care for intense inner emotions. You can also use them if you would like to make a request, but are not clear how.
Morning activity is something we do before breakfast together with others (or ourselves). It can be, for example, meditation, yoga or a run.
"No Need for Talent" Show
A show at the end of the week where we celebrate together. Anyone can make an act for the No Need for Talent Show. It may be singing a song, reading a poem, presenting a sketch or some other performance. It is often something related to the Festival.
The morning community gathering starts with a remembering. Often someone reads a poem, plays a song or reads a text that reminds us why we devote ourselves to NVC. It can be anything that really helps you to connect with your inner truth and deep values.
Meetings of the whole community. The morning gathering starts with remembering and announcements, then participants present their workshops offers for this day. The evening gathering is a time for mourning and celebration – we share the learning from the passing day as well as grief and joy. As a community we hold the space for each other, witness each other, letting ourselves and others to be seen and heard. Community gatherings are not meant to solve conflicts or do decision making processes.
People can go to an Empathy Angel for emotional support and/or to get help in formulating clear requests. If somebody uses the Emergency empathy signal during a community gathering (or other times), an Empathy Angel approaches them quickly and quietly and offers whispering support. Anyone can be an Empathy Angel for a day or more. This can be a day when you are abundant in wanting to care for others.
NVC, Nonviolent Communication
The reason why we meet. NVC can be described in many ways: a communication method, a tool for conflict resolution, an approach, a lifestyle or a life philosophy. What is your favourite description?
There is the possibility for all participants to share their knowledge or invite others for joint exploration, mainly around NVC but also other subjects. You can prepare it properly before the Festival, make it on the spot, or co-create with other Festival participants. You can also just participate. Workshop offers are announced during the morning gathering.
Conflict Management Team
The Conflict Management team consists of Festival participants with the mandate to take decisions on behalf of the Festival group based on a set of guidelines. It is a group of experienced people who will often be available for dealing with inner or outer conflicts.
Facilitator of the community gathering
As facilitator you facilitate the needs of a large group, making the group relax into a safe, held structure of time, clarity, progression. This means that you make sure the space is ready on time, you start the meeting on time in a clear caring way (even if some people are still coming in). You know the structure of the meeting and can facilitate it. If people take more time for something or the group suddenly drifts off into discussion or other, invite for a closure and an alternative plan for those where the energy is urgent so that they get support without the whole community stretching too far. You can sign up alone or with another person. If you are not experienced, sign up with an experienced mentor. You are very welcome to facilitate more than one gathering.
A sharing group (empathy group, home group) is a group of people that is created at the beginning of the Festival. It often consists of 4-7 people. You meet daily with the focus on connecting with each other and listening to each other with care and empathy or exploring authentic honesty. Sharing groups serve many purposes. Maybe the biggest one is to create sort of a home base. It can often feel safe to know that you will meet the same people every day. Talking about what has been going on for you is also a great way to reflect on your day and learning, as well as hear and reap from other’s learning of the day. For you who are new to NVC or empathy groups, there will be support to get into it and you can also watch this Youtube video explaining the difference between sympathy and empathy.
What measures are you taking to make the festival safe from covid-19?
From an organizer perspective
We, the organizers, take the covid-19 situation seriously. We will, either ourself or by proxy, assume responsibility to actively effectuate the Swedish authorities’ recommendations, which will be current at the time of the festival. This may include requesting safe distances towards one another, a maximum amount of people in a room, assigned entrances and exits to common areas, encouraging activities to take place outdoor if possible, separate time-slots for eating, etc.
By coming to the festival, you are agreeing to cooperate with the festival organizers in taking the presented precautions.
Despite following the recommendations, we cannot gurarantee that the festival will not lead to contagion, even with precautions. Contagion can occur even when following recommendations, and with that, an increased risk of loss of life. By attending, we also want you to be aware that you are taking a risk for yourself and others, similar to – or possibly higher than – when you go to the gym, see friends outside of your inner circle, do grocery shopping, etc.
How can we claim to take corona seriously, yet host a festival knowing about the risk?
We do this because we believe a rules-based approach – which stops at minimizing contagion – is best accompanied by an integrated analysis, taking multiple factors in consideration. We believe more needs can be met at once, while still honoring safety. We are taking into account that the actual and projected contagion level shows a declining trend, the amount of vaccines administered to the elderly, and that the majority of participants will have been required to present a negative covid-19 test to be allowed to enter Sweden. With this said, the pandemic isn’t over, and we will all need to do our best to take appropriate precautions.
In the end, the recommendations are what we rely on. We will follow them as they change, including, and in worst case scenario, by cancelling the festival altogether if needed. If you have more questions regarding our view on how to handle the pandemic, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
From the perspective of the venue Backagården
The venue has sent us their statement on their take on covid-19. It follows below:
“We are doing this in accordance with the directives that exist at the moment and it also means that we will also ease the restrictions when, according to the authorities, they can be eased. For instance, we are now allowed to serve food at a buffet, thus we will be doing so.
In our restaurant, the tables are at the distance allowed, a maximum of 4 people can sit at each table. This includes outdoor seating. We have three hand sanitizer stations between the main entrance and up to where the meals are taken which we require to use. We have markings on the floor with the right dimensions in between where we announce where you can stand.
Regarding the NVC festival, we have agreed that we will not enter individual rooms during the stay but that the participants take out their garbage bags once in the middle of the stay. We have plexiglass at the reception. All hygiene in the kitchen etc. is complied with 100% regardless of pandemic or not, and our protocols from environment & health are impeccable.
In short, we are following the current rules and guidelines. But these will not help unless our guests participate in following them – ALL of them. It is of the utmost importance that everyone knows what rules apply and that you take personal responsibility for informing yourself about the current situation.
We are all still in a vulnerable situation – both staff, guests, and fellow human beings so we urge the participants to respect each other by following our covid-19 guidelines. We will respectfully ask for compliance if we see that the recommendations are not followed. With that said, we cannot possibly be everywhere. We therefore need participants help and expect that if you sign up for events in these times – which we of course think is fantastic – you have informed yourself and take full responsibility for minimizing contagion.”
Do I need to have experience in NVC in order to attend the Festival?
No, there are no requirements at all. Just come as you are, there are often many people completely new to NVC.
What can I share during mourning and celebration time?
You can share deep learnings of the day; something that you mourn and would like to do differently another time; something you did that was on your edge, or whatever might be bursting in you. This space invites slowness, humour, vulnerability, spaciousness, connection. We don’t go into fixing mode, but if it comes natural you can add a request to your sharing.
Can I come just for a few days?
You can attend the whole week. Traditionally, the festival offers a so called “visitors’ day”, during which one can attend the festival for a day. This year, the festival organizers have decided not to offer a visitors’ day in order to minimize the risk associated with covid-19.
Guidelines for participation in the Festival
After experience from previous NVC festivals, all participants are asked to read and give their consent to the following guidelines.
As a participant at the European NVC Summer Festival, I intend to follow the following guidelines to my best abilities:
- I cooperate with the festival organizers in taking presented measures to minimize the risks associated with the spread of covid-19.
- I take responsibility for my actions, my feelings and my needs.
- I am aware that others are responsible for their actions, their feelings and their needs.
- I am aware that all participation in various activities during the Festival is completely voluntary.
- I am fully responsible for my own mental and physical health.
- I am aware that the NVC Festival is not a therapeutic forum; if I have psychological difficulties, I am encouraged to seek support in my circle of acquaintances or seek professional help.
- I avoid actions and statements that risk hurting others.
- If someone acts or makes statements that risk harming others, then:
- I address this to the person concerned. If this is not possible,
- I seek support from another participant and address this to the person concerned. If this is not possible,
- I contact the Festival’s conflict management group.
- I am aware that if someone has contacted me regarding my actions and/or my statements and I do not stop them, the Festival’s conflict management group may ask me to leave the Festival and the course facility area. This should be done as soon as practically possible and I will not be compensated for financial costs.