9 Needs, radio and TV

Two weeks ago I was privileged to be at an amazing international event on the island of Gozo where I was fortunate to spend some time in workshops with Marshall Rosenberg, the developer of Nonviolent Communication. One of the things that Marshall said that stuck in my mind — and, you know, I’ve been studying NVC for about a year now — was that there were “about nine” basic human needs. I’ve seen various needs lists, including the one at CNVC.org, and none of them had given me such a compact view of needs. I imagined them laid out on a noughts and crosses (tic-tac-toe) board and made a note in my journal to find out what those nine high-level categories were.
Nine Needs

It seemed like a little, insignificant thing; I’ve been back a fortnight and only got round to it this morning because I’m feeling a little unwell and spent some time taking care of my own needs. But man, what a significant morning that one to-do list item has lead to!

First of all, I discovered PeaceTalksRadio.com, and this show about Marshall Rosenberg and NVC. There is a 75 minute radio show here as MP3,

It is an excellent explanation of NVC, very well produced with two interviewers, tow actors and a live audience interacting with Marshall, this makes it more fun, in my experience, than some of CNVC’s own CDs and audio shows with Marshall. Marshall talks about the nine needs and attributes them to the research work of Chilean economist Manfred Max-Neef. Max-Neef and his followers map the nine fundamental human needs onto a grid where each is examined from four perspectives: being, doing, having and interacting. The resulting grid is well explained on this page at rainforestinfo.org.

Then I discovered BigPictureTV who have terrific interviews with both Manfred Max-Neef and Marshall Rosenberg. Too much cool stuff for one day!


  1. pauline wakasiakah Says:

    Hello, i see that you are still travelling, it is good. keep it up.

  2. Alan Says:


    I’m not real well-read on this subject, but I usually think of Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs when I break down needs in my head. I first heard about them in a marketing class while doing my business minor back in university.

    Anyways, I just finished Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux (a book which I imagine is similar to Maren’s Road To Hell, which you recommended to me but I have not yet read). It was a very interesting account of Paul’s travels through East Africa and his recounting of his years of aid work forty years ago. He is very critical of international aid as well as Maren.

    I will just have to find out for myself, as I have my plane tickets and visa ready, and I will be in Kenya in 8 or 9 days.


    Take care, dude…


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