USHIN for understanding and compassion

We are building a public deliberation platform for any issues of importance to users. Everyone is invited.

8 shapes for compassionate understanding

Tools to clarify our own thinking, expressing what we mean, and understanding others.

Hover over the shapes below for questions to spark deliberation.

Seven of the shapes represent kinds of information, while the eighth, merit, reminds us to consider the value of each point.

Meeting the Need for Clear Communication

In face-to-face and online communication, we often jumble feelings, concepts, facts, people, actions, topics and needs, punctuated with judgements. We get triggered. We don’t get our needs met. We speak without considering the value and effect of our utterances.

These 8 shapes help us to formulate clear, comprehensive messages and also to understand the merit in what others have to say. The way of thinking that these shapes offer is useful for understanding and resolving personal, relationship, family, group and social issues.

From face-to-face to online (and back again)

We are developing a system for sharing, finding, and deliberating information that matters based on these shapes. People will be able to use the 8 shapes on existing popular platforms, programs and websites, and by adding tags to create a digital public commons where we can meet around issues for understanding and deliberate actions in solidarity with each other.

The inspiration for ushin

Universal shared information, ushin, builds on Nonviolent Communication, NVC, a powerful method to clarify underlying human motivations and elicit compassionate connections.

NVC models 4 kinds of meaning:

  • Observations, or Facts, include what we each witness with our senses such as personal experience or journal articles we read. By owning what we observe we stand up for ourselves and in hearing others do the same we recognize assumptions and appreciate different truths in different experiences.
  • Feelings include all of the emotions such as mad, sad, glad, and scared and their infinite combinations and nuances.
  • Needs include physical, emotional, mental and spiritual conditions for human health. These are the core values of NVC, ones that all humans share, the recognition in each other being the key to compassion. Again, a list of needs is handy.
  • Requests, or Actions include what we want others, and sometimes ourselves, to do, specifically.

A list of feelings and needs is handy for finding the words to describe your personal experiences. Facts and actions are specific to your situation.

Ushin models 4 more kinds of meaning:

  • Thoughts include attitudes, judgements and recommendations, as well as methods of reasoning, knowing and judging.
  • People include individuals, tribes, groups, nationalities, classes and all of humanity, among other categories.
  • Topics include related subjects to consider and honor separately.
  • Merit is a system of ranking and filtration.

A list of thoughts is handy for finding the words to describe your reasoning and judgement. People, Merits and Topics are specific to your situation.

Example deliberations coming soon!

  • Free health information
  • Covid 19 – how to help
  • We speak compassion
  • Couple squabble resolver
  • Counseling ourselves with ushin shapes
  • Group consensus
  • Deliberation
  • Issues that matter
  • Reliable, reliably open, accountable, Information
  • Online – offline integration
  • Focus on ushin
  • U4U – leaving the prototype phase


  • Paper mockup
  • The need for USHIN (2017)