Background and purpose of the meeting
The CO-ACTE project is a European initiative that looks at how citizens work alongside professionals to take co-responsibility for the health and wellbeing of the whole community and address issues of inclusion, cohesion and sustainability of the wider society.
This project is a continuation of the work initially launched by the Council of Europe, now under the direction of the international TOGETHER network. TOGETHER developed a collaborative tool and methodology for citizen consultation and participation called SPIRAL. SPIRAL is an inclusive process that brings citizens together with people from the public and private sector. It then looks at issues of health and wellbeing, finds out what is important and then asks what needs to be done and what can be done to ensure the well-being of all more information.
The CO-ACTE project takes it a step further and asks what public policy measures and changes need to be implemented to support this work from a community point of view and help citizens take co-responsibility for their own health and well-being as well as that of others in the wider society.
So far, citizens in over 20 European and African countries have taken part in SPIRAL and/or the CO-ACTE project and have added their voice to the findings. The method allows for a very free and open discussion, without preconceptions and equal speaking rights for all involved. This has resulted in a very different set of views and opinions to other similar discussions, touching on all major social issues. They highlight the fundamental elements of what could be a co-responsible and supportive society (these include views on intergenerational support, the economy, democracy, peace/non-violence, social cohesion, respect for the environment and the equitable sharing of resources). Most importantly the findings include concrete proposals and objectives. The synthesis from these discussions can be found here
The next stage of the CO-ACTE project is to build on these results and add in further experiences from civil society. Community and socially minded organisations are invited to take the proposals and objectives and discuss how they can be achieved. They are asked to bring their expertise to the discussions and look at what is needed to create the correct environment that can move us towards the shared vision of a co-responsible and supportive society. In particular they will look at what challenges and hinders the objectives and what public policy changes can be made to address this.
These discussions will happen through a series of thematic meetings across Europe and will involve a diverse range of community minded organisations and individuals. The starting point will always be directly from the results of the citizens but then each meeting will build on the findings of the previous meeting.
In this first thematic meeting in Gloucester we will focus on the socioeconomic organization. Here,the citizens emphasize the equity in income(by the introduction of a universal basic income and the revenue cap) in trade and access to resources, sharing work to ensure access to employment for all, recognition of the work including voluntary work , promotion of free trade without money or with time banks, the end of a the mass consumption and a human scale relocated economy. It appears the idea of an economy based on a principle of shared responsibility, on the well-being of all as an objective and not from the supply of goods and services. An economy giving to any personn who participates a specific function and the recognition of the role played. This converges with the principles of distributive economy and functional economy and cooperation as well as the well-being criteria developed by citizens, including trust, the right to have a place in society, the recognition within the meaning of life, equity, non-waste, environmental respect, etc.
Beyond that is the issue of time management that is raised. How to enable use of the time that ensures access to well-being of all by allocating balanced time not only to productive , family, education, leisure activities but also to trade, experimentation, creativity , meditation, etc. How to get an overall rethink on time management saving time thanks to the trust and co-responsibility relationships (eg by substituting bureaucratic control procedures by sharing control forms) and reallocating the time where it is needed (eg for healthy eating).
For more informations see the Debate space on the economic model
Objectives of the meeting
The meeting has 3 objectives:
- Co-construction of a socioeconomic model of co-responsibility for the well-being of all, meeting the citizen expectations.
- Identification of necessary policy measures for the emergence of such a model, in addition to the citizens' proposals.
- An agreement on a mode of operation of the thematic network after the meeting
The socioeconomic model to co-construct can be define as following :
- a socioeconomic model that truly reflects and acknowledges the human experience
- systems of equitable exchanges (via complementary currencies, time or even free)
- a fair distribution of responsibilities in production of goods and services, starting from the needs defined by the community
- a fair redistribution of work
- basic income for all guaranteeing fair access to goods and services based on needs;
- a productive lifelong role in society which addresses needs and capabilities and how that changes across a person’s lifetime.
These have all come directly out of the views from the citizens.
To achieve this we propose to invite the following (as well as others):
- specialists in distributive economy
- timebanks, LETs and local currencies
- experiences of workers’ cooperatives that redefine production (examples exist in Greece)
- job sharing initiatives (examples in UK councils)
- BIEN Network
- Organizations and persons who worked on the use of time life in the life course.
From now a space for debating is open to create the foundation of the model proposed and consider policy measures that implies and which will be discuss again at the meeting
Day 1 (Friday 20th, may)
Session 1 : Overview of the CO-ACT project and the objectives of the meeting
- 9:00-9:30 : Reception and presentation round
- 9:30-10:00 : Presentation of CO-ACT's objectives and first results: synthesis of proposals of citizens and foundations of the socioeconomic model emerging.
- 10:00-10:30 : Objectives and organization of the meeting - debate
- 10:30-10:45 : Coffee break
Session 2: From the field practice to the realization of the soocioeconomic model (Session organized into 5 stages: fair income, fair trade, needs distributions of the roles, co-responsibility and life cycles.)
- 10:45-12:00 : Fair income: universal basic income contribution: Presentation by the network BIEN- Debate: is an income limitation possible?
- 12h-13:00 : Fair trade:: Contribution of time banks and SELs (time banks from England, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, SEL of Waterloo and the association SEL'idaire) - Presentation and discussion: time as reference measurement for trade. Role of local currencies.(Association Mouvement SOL, and Bristol Pound from United-Kingdom).
- 13:00-14:30 : Lunch break
- 14:30-15:30 : Definition of needs and distribution of roles : contribution of distributive economy (Association AED, France), forms of partnerships between producers and consumers and experiences of redefinition of companies’ roles. (VIOME, Greece)
- 15:30 – 16:00 : Co-responsibility and life cycles : contribution of experiences of time and work opportunities sharing,(United Kingdom) contribution of intergenerational relationship.(Portugal)
- 16:00-16:15 : Coffee break
- 16:15-18:00 :Synthesis, refining the model and conditions of its feasibility- role of the equitable economic relations in a long distance and transterritoriality: Fair Trade contribution (WFTO), and emigration.
Day 2 (Saturday 21th, may)
Session 3: From model to public policy needs
- 8:00-9:00 : Extra session: comparison and complementarities of the socio-economic model with the principles of colaborative economy and functional and cooperative economy
- 9h-10:45 : Working groups on policy measures needed to progress toward the economic model discussed on the first day
- 10:45-11:00 : Coffee break
- 11:00-12:30 : Restitution and synthesis - complementarities and links with the proposal of citizens - Introduction of the session 4.
- 12:30-14h:00 : Lunch break
Session 4 - Continuation of the project and operation of thematic sub-networks
- 14.00-15.30: Operation of thematic sub-networks for the rest of the meeting: meeting by thematic subnetwork.
- 15.30-16.30: Synthesis and distribution of tasks for the meeting in Braine l'Alleud and after.
- 16:30: Conclusion and closing of the meeting.