more about speakGreen

speakGreen was initiated to increase our awareness for
the magic of words and language and the choice we have:

  • speaking red to continue the same narrative or
  • speakingGreen to co-create an affirmative, generative language and future for everyone!

With the aim of building a comprehensive and inspiring speakGreen vocabulary,
this initiative presents red words or terms and offers green alternatives.

The daily posts contain words and terms of daily communication, work life, quotes and proverbs, innovative pairs of opposites and new ideas and concepts that have the power to change the world.

They are visible on our website and on our  Facebook Page.

You are kindly invited to like and subscribe to them and receive the speakGreen posts daily by email or
by Facebook notification as well as to share this initiative with your family, friends and networks.

speakGreen is strongly inspired by Appreciative Inquiry, Nonviolent Communication,
and Positive Psychology. (You can find more information about these three approaches at the end of this page.)

speakGreen daily posts advocate passionately for a new language and
provide a new vocabulary for the emerging future!



The story behind speakGreen
Claudia Gross

Dr. Claudia Gross

initiator of speakGreen

True – being highly sensitive to the power of affirmative, generative thoughts and words is transformative when working with and for persons and groups:
it positively contributes to the impact of the events I facilitate, the trainings I offer and the transformation and change processes I support (

In November 2013, I was sitting in a traffic jam for hours and noticed myself being surrounded by red statements and admonitions such as “don’t cross”, “no to…”, “don’t miss the chance”, and “don’t worry”. This turned out to be a rather disturbing and painful experience.

Inspired by approaches such as Appreciative Inquiry, Nonviolent Communication and
Positive Psychology, I have been wondering how differently the street would “speak” to us
if these signs and commercial adds would state what we desire: “cross 50m from here”,
yes to…”, “snap at the chance”, and “be optimistic”.
Can you feel the difference?

Since we create our reality by what we choose to focus upon, it always leaves me puzzled when people choose
a red standpoint instead of a green perspective. What could encourage them to give up the focus of what they don’t want and
in contrast to speak about what they want to have more of?

Aiming at contributing to a more affirmative and generative language,
the idea for this initiative was born!

I sincerely hope you enjoy the daily posts and
feel motivated to integrate its words and expressions
in your own vocabulary:



The main Concepts and Approaches inspiring speakGreen


Appreciative Inquiry (David L. Cooperrider)

“Appreciative Inquiry is about the co-evolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. In its broadest focus, it involves systematic discovery of what gives “life” to a living system when it is most alive, most effective, and most constructively capable in economic, ecological, and human terms. (…)

In AI the arduous task of intervention gives way to the speed of imagination and innovation;
instead of negation, criticism, and spiraling diagnosis, there is discovery, dream, and design.“
– David L. Cooperrider and Diana Whitney (2007) in “A Positive Revolution in Change: Appreciative Inquiry”

Principles of Appreciative Inquiry
  • Constructionist Principle: We continuously co-create and construct stories about what is happening in our lives.
    » Change your stories to change your life.
  • Simultaneity Principle: Change begins simultaneously in the moment we speak and ask a question, exchange and inquiry create change.
    » Harness the power of words and questions.
  • Poetic Principle: We are the authors of our stories, whatever we choose to notice is faithful.
    » Look for the good, the better, the possible in all the right places.
  • Anticipatory Principle: Our images of the future lead our positive actions and experience.
    » Visualize the future you dream of and act from inspiration rather than desperation.
  • Positive Principle: Focusing on the positive core creates upward spirals. Positive emotion and affirmative language create positive change.
    » Be upward trendy. Bring affirmative language into the world.

Kindly find more information about Appreciative Inquiry and tools for its practical application in the comprehensive treasure chest “AI Commons” at the Case Western Reserve University following this link:


Nonviolent Communication (Marshall B. Rosenberg)

Nonviolent Communication (NVC, or greener: A Compassionate Language of Life) contributed immensely to the awareness of the potential power of words which can easily

  • be violent and cause pain and separation OR
  • be peaceful and foster to wellbeing and unity.

NVC advocates to consciously choose a compassionate language which

  • strengthens our ability to remain human (even under trying conditions),
  • reframes how we express ourselves and hear others,
  • fosters respect, attentiveness, and empathy in our relationships, and
  • engenders a mutual desire to give from the heart

- a true language of life.

The four components of the NVC process are:

  • Observations: the concrete actions we observe that affect our well-being
  • Feelings: how we feel in relation to what we observe
  • Needs: the needs, values, desires, etc. that create our feelings, and
  • Requests: the concrete actions we request in order to enrich our lives

The two parts of NCV contain:

  • expressing honestly through the four components
  • receiving empathically through the four components

Kindly find more information and practical tools about NVC on the page of the Center for
Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) in New York following this link:


Positive Psychology (Martin Seligman)

“Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.
The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.”

Positive Psychology is concerned with three issues:

  • positive emotions concerning being content with one’s past, being happy in the present and having hope for the future,
  • positive individual traits as one’s strengths and virtues, and
  • positive institutions and its strengths to better a community of people.

As described on the page of the Positive Psychology Center (PPC),
Positive Psychology aims at building a science that supports:

  • families and schools that allow children to flourish
  • workplaces that foster satisfaction and high productivity
  • communities that encourage civic engagement
  • therapists who identify and nurture their patients’ strengths
  • the teaching of Positive Psychology and resilience skills
  • dissemination of Positive Psychology and resilience training in organizations & communities

Kindly find more information about Positive Psychology and the work of the Positive Psychology Center (PPC) at the University of Pennsylvania following this link:

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