Every 3 or 4 years, the TOGETHER Network organizes an International Meeting of Territories of Co-responsibility which marks a highlight in the life of the network.
- The First International Meeting, held on September 25, 2009 in Mulhouse (France), was the starting point for the launch of TOGETHER as an informal network.
- The Second International Meeting, also held in Mulhouse on November 22 and 23, 2012, led to the expansion of the network to all the territories developing the SPIRAL1 method, resulting in the formal constitution of TOGETHER during the year 2013.
- The Third International Meeting took place in Braine-l'Alleud (Belgium) on November 2, 3 and 4, 2016. It was the culmination of the CO-ACTE project, focused on citizens' expectations in terms of public policies for promote co-responsibility for the well-being of all, future generations included, and the diversity of their initiatives in this direction.
Format change : online meeting
In the 4th quarter of 2019, the management and the secretariat of TOGETHER launched the bases for the fourth international meeting, to be held in November 2020 in Porto (Portugal) and Cape Verde (see the network letter of December 2019). In the meantime, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced a radical review of its implementation methods. Unlike the first 3 meetings which were organized in a specific location, the 4th international meeting will take place entirely « online». It will mark the start of a new process.
The organization of this online meeting is also the opportunity to experience a new format for remote dialogue, which is becoming a common practice in networks. It has advantages, including:
- great flexibility to organize workshops staggered over time, thus opening up the possibility of leading a progressive process of collective reflection and co-construction within the TOGETHER Network and with its partners;
- considerable savings in travel and subsistence costs and in CO2, which is very appreciable at a time when we must radically reduce air transport;
- a saving of time, allowing a much wider participation and adapted to the needs and availability of each one.
Eleven years after its informal launch and after 7 years of official existence, it must be noted that the TOGETHER Network is still very far from having achieved its ambitious objective of promoting co-responsibility for the well-being of all in society. Admittedly, many territories have joined the network and / or the SPIRAL approach, but most have only used SPIRAL as a participatory method of social diagnosis, particularly for target groups of social policies. Some of the rarest have made SPIRAL a tool for mobilizing citizens but encountering limits in taking action, in addition to the difficulty of taking into account the well-being of future generations.
Yet the objective of co-responsibility for the well-being of all in the long term is more relevant than ever, as the Covid-19 crisis has once again reminded us. More than ever the interdependence between humans and nature and our co-responsibility for the preservation of natural resources and living conditions on earth as a common good are essential data for the construction of the world of tomorrow.
Interdependence and the need for co-responsibility are omnipresent, from the level of the village or district to that of the planet. They are found not only in the management of health and pandemics, but also in food, the economy, the fight against poverty and increasing inequalities, the management of available resources, the fight against climate change. and all forms of pollution, preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity, etc. This interdependence means that it is no longer possible to treat individual well-being, collective well-being and the preservation of nature, biodiversity and living conditions on the planet separately, what we can call human well-being of the planet. It is no longer possible that some will be left by the wayside, in misery and disease, while others live in excess, threatening the living conditions of future generations The well-being of all, including future generations, is indivisible. The Covid-19 reminded us of this.
Since its creation, the TOGETHER Network has launched and supported several exchange and reflection projects aimed at promoting co-responsibility for the well-being of all in society. Many texts and proposals have been written and are available on the WEB, such as those of the CO-ACTE project carried out in the years 2015-2017. However, it must be noted that the impact in terms of real changes is very limited, in any case not very visible.
Faced with these limitations, it is essential to think of the activity of the network in different terms, making the link between daily practice and reflection and discussion in order to have a snowball effect. This is why it is proposed that that the 4th international meeting be organized in such a way as to be the starting point of a radically new project that one could call: : Together let's learn to make the right choices.
The right choices are those that we make or are supposed to make on a daily basis to ensure the well-being of all and the well-being of all while preserving living conditions on earth in the long term. The right choices are made at the level of citizens, families, local communities, as well as at the level of companies, public institutions and governments. Learning together to make the right choices means discussing how to do things, finding the right solutions, encouraging each other and also calling each and every level to their responsibility.
THE PROJECT IN ITS MAJOR LINES
In general terms, the project « Together let's learn to make the right choices » consists of :
- invite the actors who so wish (citizens, civil society organizations, local or regional authorities, etc.) to join the project, that is to say to think about what it means for them to make the right choices to reconcile the well-being of all now and in the future;
- propose a number of tools for this purpose, such as SPIRAL but also tools from other partner networks (see partnerships below), also inviting participants to make proposals for other tools or for improving existing tools ;
- give all participants the opportunity to have their own pages on wikispiral.org where they can freely enter the choices they make and the results obtained;
- encourage the production of qualitative or quantitative summaries, automated when possible, as is already done with the well-being criteria ;
- allow participants who wish to organize on-line discussion meetings either on specific themes (for example how to make the right choices to ensure healthy food, or for health, how to organize themselves in a village or neighborhood to make good choices together, how the question of good choices induces another conception of time, etc.), or by type of actor (for example how the question arises for schools, businesses, municipalities, etc. ) ;
- formalize the conclusions of the workshops in the form of texts that can be used to draft charters subject to the approval of all participants ;
- organize at the end of six months an initial assessment of the results obtained and the improvements to be made in terms of methods.
Such a project cannot be realized with the TOGETHER Network alone. Partnerships are essential with other networks that are already in this practice or could join.
A first contact has been established since the beginning of 2020 with the Climate Resistance Network which is developing a very concrete tool to help with good consumption choices to adjust consumption with the objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions ( see https://www.resistanceclimatique.org/invbc). This is obviously a major and urgent question of co-responsibility for the well-being of the planet and of future generations.
Other networks will be invited to participate in the project, including all those with whom TOGETHER has collaborated since its creation.
THE MEETING PROGRAM
The 4th international meeting is the kickoff of the project. The following program has been designed for this purpose, on the basis of the proposals received. To participate send an email to contact (at) wikispiral.org indicating the sessions that interest you. A link will be sent to you for each.
|Saturday October 31||10 am-11am: Opening session of the Meeting, then 11 am-1pm: "What good choices for public policies?" Workshop||FR & EN||2 pm-5pm: SPIRAL discovery workshop||FR & PT|
|Sunday November 1er.||"Co-actors for food and health"Workshop||FR & PT||4-6 p.m: "What are the possible choices for young people in precarious situations?" Workshop? puis 18h-20h: "Co-actors in the planning of spaces Workshop"?||FR & PT|
|Monday, November 2nd.||9h-12h: "Agree on the right choices through professional co-development" Workshop?||FR&EN||15h-17h: Atelier "Citizens for the climate" Workshop?||FR & PT|
|Tuesday November 3nd.||10 a.m.-12 p.m.: Atelier "The role of local authorities" Workshop||FR&EN||2 p.m.-6 p.m.: Feedback on the SPIRAL application (SPIRAL dynamisors training seminar?)||FR & EN|
|Wednesday 4 November||10 a.m.-12 p.m.: Conclusions and follow-up of the project||FR & EN||16h-19h: TOGETHER General Assembly 19h: Closing session and online friendship drink||FR,EN,PT|
The times shown are for Brussels and most European countries and West Africa. For Portugal, UK, Ireland, Gabon count one hour less. For Cape Verde 2 hours less. For Brazil 3-4h hours less, etc.