Our Story

Who We Are

Ahimsagram trusts the infinite power of all humans and want it to be expressed fully as we create sustainable and regenerative businesses, with self management practices and healthy interpersonal connections. Ahimsagram was founded by Shammi Nanda, who imagines a world of individual empowerment with collective abundance and wanted to bring together people who had a similar search to to build a collaborative organisation. The place is also a community of sorts where people share their work and lives while they work for a shared purpose.

Ahimsagram is inspired by principles of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Self Management, Holacracy and sustainable living practices! We work with Holacracy as a Governance method, and as we also hold NVC dear to us, we try our best to look for solutions where everyone’s needs are seen of matter and have a space to be heard.

We are offering healthy and sustainable food through our cafe, cloud kitchen and online shop.

We also practice and offer various programs on integral living with sustainable food practices, self-management, compassionate communications, family constellations, and other life enriching processes.

Different from most organizations in the world, our team works on self
management principles where everyone in the team takes responsibility of their role (s) while enjoying autonomy and freedom. Team members are allowed to say no, encouraged to make mistakes and appreciated for their creative ideas.

Genesis Story

Ahimsagram trusts the infinite power of all humans and wants it to be expressed fully as we create sustainable and regenerative businesses, with self management practices and healthy interpersonal connections.

 

The organisation is founded by Shammi Nanda, who has had a desire for building a more egalitarian world since childhood and where each one can be heard and humans can collaborate for a shared purpose. He saw potential of cinema to bring social change and gravitated towards it to take it up as a career as well as passion. While working as a cinematographer/filmmaker in Mumbai, he experienced downfall in his health, which encouraged him to look at natural ways of healing and he got into healthy and wellness inspiring ways of living and food and found many mentors on the way and also learnt from The Health Awareness Center through their short course or Vinita Mansata has been a great influence in his healing journey.

 

He began to cook in more mindful ways where the attempt is to retain the nutrients in the food and have it in a form that is closer to how nature gave it to us. He also began to visit different farms and got inspired by organic ways of growing foods while being in harmony with nature. All this brought him closer to Shikshantar, Udaipur, with whom he worked on building sustainable living community networks. While working with different community networks he realised that we need to also work on alternate ways of nurturing our interspersonal communication and deal with our conflicts. This got hom into Nonviolent Communication(NVC) as it helped him see that we can have more ease in building connections and even having difficult conversations and integrate our varied perspectives with ease. He then began to learn and share NVC and was doing it for the last eight years or so. He also came across self managed governance systems like Sociocracy and Holacracy and is now deeply into them and has chosen to work on holacracy and to practice self management and created Ahimsagram for practicing it around four years ago and began to offer trainings in NVC and self management.

 

Now for the last one year, Ahimsagram has moved to offering sustainable food in more and varied and intense ways, where their food is largely organic, vegan and gluten free, like, the wellness meals, organic cafe, catering of healthy food for homes and organisation, organic store. As we make these offerings we are governing the organisation with Holacracy where each one works with a sense of autonomy and interdependently and collaboratively as a team. This builds a team where people are more inspired while working for a purpose led organisation. It’s ok to make mistakes and learn from them, and practices working collaboratively.

 

Presently Ahimsagram is an inspiration for those who want to develop sustainable businesses as well as for those wanting to learn about self management.

 

The team is also offering trainings in self management which will give tools to other organisations or entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses with more ease and effectiveness, while working collaboratively and creating engaging and inspired teams. Its also a place to come and see how we can be mindful with our foods and move towards a life of wellness by living in ways that nature has designed for us.

In Shammi’s words

Like most of us, I have experienced conflicts in painful ways. In moments of disconnection I would get into defense or attack and things would get worse.

I would then leave or make others leave the community. In my family itself we are going through a conflict which is in the court now. It pains me to see near and dear ones behaving like enemies and I realize that we end up in this situation not because we are bad but we do not have enough systems of listening and working with conflict in our society. The incident in my family and other spaces made me look for caring ways of dealing with conflict and I came across three powerful gifts that exist in the world. They are – NVC, Self Management Systems and Restorative Circles. Experiencing them gave me hope that we can create a world where we can manifest the care in our actions and words even in difficult and disconnecting times. I feel hopeful that we can create a world where each person’s voice matters and they are valued and are able to contribute meaningfully in co-creating our world together.

Having experienced this beauty I can see that so much of the suffering that comes from conflicts is avoidable and we can lead nourishing lives where we move towards more and more peaceful and harmonious world.

I began sharing these modalities for last few years as I travelled across the country, met so many people who are keen to receive these gifts and transform the world. I realized the need for a space which is a living example of these practices, where we can ourselves explore and live this life and support others to learn it by joining us in the space. Thus, I decided to create the space AhimsaGram to manifest the dream I have shared above.”

We began our journey by using Sociocracy as our governance system, as we wanted to create a world where each person has a voice. Soon we ended up in a consensus based system where we could not integrate having a voice with effective delivery for the purpose and even sustenance of the organization.

On this journey we came across ways of self organizing or sharing authority which allows individual creativity to flourish while they work towards meeting the shared purpose of the organization while being inter dependant. . It’s called Holacracy, which has come from the works of Brian Robertson and Holacracy One. Even though it has some of its roots in Sociocracy it is a significant leap from it as it resolves the tension of holding a purpose of the organization and also be collaborative and the members having ownership of their roles and are able to express their creative potential.