The SPIRAL approach involves the application of 10 methodological principles which enable the construction of a common vision of the well-being of all. These principles also enable the development of co-responsibility in every phase of the process: co-definition of the objectives, co-construction of a shared knowledge, co-design of the actions, co-decisions, co-development and co-evaluation through the validation provided by a group (consensus). They are therefore intended to ensure a truly participatory approach.
1. Construction of a common vision
Aim at building a common vision that is collective, thus constituting a fundamental difference with individual approaches to well-being (as they are applied in firms for instance).
2. Open processes
The idea here is not to impose a point of view a priori but to prefer completely open questions, followed by a semantic analysis, and not only by a statistical one. These open processes impliy a fundamental difference with traditional surveys and statistics.
3. Debate on the “living well together”
Use the idea of “living well together” as a starting point instead of immediate problems and needs (as it is in traditional participatory approaches).
4. Equal right to speak for all
To ensure an equal right to speak for all by preventing those who can speak more easily to speak in the name of other persons or to influence them. Hence the need for a phase of individual expression before one of collective expression.
5. Direct expression by interested parties
To ensure a direct expression by interested parties without any intermediate representation, in accordance with the principles of an approach integrating the various components of society.
6. Syntheses including the diversity of points of view
To take into account all the views, contrary to the syntheses designed as something that gathers what has been the most repeated, eliminating de facto minority views.
7. Participatory and transparent drafting of the syntheses
To enable a participatory and transparent drafting of the syntheses, hence the need to draft them with the group.
8. Drafting syntheses at different levels
To enable an easier drafting of different levels of syntheses, from the groups to the territories of co-responsibility, regions and countries with the view to drafting a global synthesis according to the principles of a bottom-up approach.
9. Towards a concerted action
To produce a knowledge that is detailed enough to directly lead to a concerted action.
10. Self-reproducible and self-expanding results
To produce attractive outcomes that bring a true value to those who take part in the SPIRAL approach and that are readily disseminated and reproducible.
Compliance with and achievements of these 10 methodological principles which are at the heart of the SPIRAL approach aim at enabling dialogue between the extremes to take place thanks to both the expression and horizontal meetings of the different groups existing in society. They are important guarantors of collaborative democracy, in the very genuine and true sense of the word.