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 – hours might be changed. We also encourage initiatives and activities that are not part of the official Festival schedule.
See the explanation of all keywords and concepts further down.
Keywords 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?
We, the organisers, take the COVID-19 situation seriously. We will, either ourselves or by proxy, assume responsibility to actively implement the Polish authorities’ recommendations, which will be current at the time of the Festival. This may include requesting safe distances towards one another, a maximum number of people in a room, assigned entrances and exits to common areas, encouraging activities to take place outdoors if possible, separate time-slots for eating, etc.
By coming to the Festival, you are agreeing to cooperate with the Festival organisers in taking the presented precautions.
Despite following the recommendations, we cannot guarantee 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.
The recommendations are what we rely on. We will follow them as they change, including, and in the 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.
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 bring my dog?
According to the venue’s rules, dogs are allowed only in the huts. It costs 10 PLN for the whole stay. Owners are responsible for bringing all the things for their dog.
It is forbidden for dogs to enter the bathing area and the beach. Owners are obliged by the venue to take dogs out on a leash and clean after them. Dogs also have to wear a muzzle and have a current vaccination certificate.
The owner is solely responsible for the behaviour of the dog, and covers the costs of any damage caused by his pet.
Besides, dogs are not allowed in the seminar rooms and cannot participate in the workshops.
Can I come just for a few days?
You can attend the whole week. Traditionally, the Festival offered a so-called “visitors’ day”, during which people could attend the Festival for a day. This year, the Festival organisers have decided not to offer a visitors’ day in order to minimise the risk associated with COVID-19. If the situation changes, we will let you know.
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 minimise 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.