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Report of the preparatory meeting for the CO-ACTE project (August 2015)

On 20, 21 and 22 of August, the Secretariats of Together International (Samuel Thirion and three interns: Aurélie Cerqueira, Emmanuelle Maurin and Magalie Caillault) and Together France (Julie Chabaud and Sébastien Keiff) met at C.A.R.M.E.N., a seminar centre located near the headquarters of Together in Portugal. Céline Braillon, who has been the linchpin of the connections between SPIRAL and Agendas 21 in France, also took part in this meeting. This meeting was particularly important because, besides dealing with organisational and financial aspects of the project, it specified both the methodology and the expected outputs, addressed practical issues and prepared the kick-off meeting that will be held on the 28 and 29 of September. Here are the main conclusions and the pending issues to resolve for the meeting.

Methodology of the project

Let us recall that CO-ACTE aims at building on 10 years of outputs of the SPIRAL approach in order to create a citizen dynamic that will lead to public policies proposals fostering co-responsibility for the well-being of all in Europe without discrimination nor exclusion. These proposals will be presented and discussed during Together’s 3rd International Meeting which will take place in Braine-l’Alleud and Brussels in November 2016 and to which the main national and European policy-makers will be invited.

All our reflection has focused on how to ensure that public policies proposals which will emerge in the course of the project will really be put forward by citizens and territories who will thus be responding to the limits they encounter on the field to move towards a co-responsible society for the well-being of all for today and tomorrow at the global level. The project therefore stands at the heart of the issue concerning the sharing of responsibilities between the local level and the upper ones (regional, national, European).

Several ideas have been suggested in terms of methods:

  • First of all, not to limit to the territories which have already implemented SPIRAL but extend to all territories which are part of some form of a citizen or co-responsibility approach such as territories of the Transition movement, Agenda 21, etc.
  • Invite every territory interested in having a debate within it (for example, in the multi-stakeholder platform and/or with groups of citizens) around the following questions: 1) what are our achievements and until where have we been able to move towards co-responsibility for the well-being of all for today and tomorrow in our territory? 2) What did not we succeed to do and what would be important to do? 3) What are the bottlenecks and the levers in order to do it? Question 3 (and maybe also the first two questions) should be done following the SPIRAL process with post-it notes, thus enabling to take into account the diversity of views and to prepare syntheses leading to policy proposals.
  • The synthesis of the syntheses of the territories would be finalised in February during the Council of Alliances’ meeting. It will then be sent back to the territories for a second round of reflection on question 3. Thus, every territory will be able to rework on its conclusions by taking into account the other territories’ contributions and to take part in a knowledge shared by all (we are here taking inspiration from the Delphi method). This second round will result in a second global synthesis which will possibly be subject to a third round if there is enough time left before the meeting in Braine-l’Alleud.
  • As soon as the first global synthesis is available, it would also be sent to media and political interlocutors concerned in order to get them involved in the reflection well before the Third Meeting in Braine-l’Alleud.
  • Syntheses will also be used by thematic networks so that they can enrich them with their own experiences and make them available again to the territories.

By acting as such, we will be able to promote dialogue and interaction both horizontally between the territories and between territories and networks, and vertically between territories and networks and political authorities at upper echelons (regional, national, European, and even worldwide ones).

Expected outputs

1. For the inhabitants and stakeholders of territories of co-responsibility:

    • Build a shared knowledge leading to cross-fertilisation between territories and policy proposals at the global level;
    • Be able to locate itself and its contribution within a social and territorial innovation system;
    • Co-define and seize the opportunities of a scale-up, for a society co-responsible for the well-being of all today and tomorrow.

2. For the institutions that bear public policies:

    • Have an analyse of the citizens’ expectations and societal needs resulting from the concrete experience of the territories;
    • Ease the links between public policies and citizen, societal and territorial innovations for a fairer, more inclusive and sustainable learning society;
    • From the very experiences of the territories, have pieces of evidence of the performance of co-responsibility and credible alternatives;
    • Grasp the levers of transitions and new alliances for the effectiveness, efficiency and a better performance of public policies.

3. For the networks of territories and stakeholder:

    • Capitalise on the energies
    • Take time to reflect on the paths to societal transformation outlined in our projects and the conditions for their long-lasting anchoring for a society sustainable for all.

Success indicators

To specify the expected outputs, we tried to imagine what would a successful Third International Meeting be like. It would be:

1. An expended and stronger network

    • Mobilisation of territories of co-responsibility
    • Together becomes a network in the true sense of the word, with closer ties with other similar networks (territories in Agenda 21, Transition movement, etc.): all stakeholders pool their experiences and increase their capacities to all head to the same direction together, weight more and start an ongoing dialogue with national and European policy-makers.
    • A new programme that is more inclusive of different networks is set up for 3 years. New governance, new office acting as a facilitator of the network’s life.
    • Promises from public institutions and foundations to support the Together Network which has eventually got out of precariousness.
    • Creation of a new working groups with economic stakeholders: move away from short-term profit-making rationale to more fundamental values
    • 1 year after COP21 and after the big goals: concretely, how do we get to this more respectful society?

2. Committed participants

    • Presence of media which have recognised an innovative nature
    • Presence of politicians who have recognised a new approach
    • Representatives of several political parties and unions who have thought about the revision of the position of the ones and the others
    • Presence of the European technocracy (DG)

3. Content, effects and valorisation

    • Synthesis of the contributions of the territories and thematic networks
    • Policy proposals that resulted from it
    • A great resonance which enabled to set conditions for a long-lasting dialogue between territories – researchers and politicians
    • Repositioning of the stakeholders within an ecosystem of co-responsibility for the well-being of all
    • Council of Alliances: definition of a new role of the research: call on DG for research, new research programmes

4. Organisation and atmosphere

    • Great enthusiasm
    • A lot of speaking out
    • Ludic moments
    • On-site visits
    • Meetings between stakeholders who are not in contact on a day-to-day basis

Kick-off meeting: 28-29 September


Persons who can pass on the project in territories, the heads of thematic networks and main actors of the Council of Alliances


Day 1 (28 September)

1. Sharing of the objectives of CO-ACTE

    • In one sentence, for you, what is CO-ACTE? (write it down + share)
    • Talk about the project’s objectives

2. Description the dreamed final meeting 3. Presentation of the methodology considered for the preparatory meeting (see before) 4. Revision of the proposed methodology

    • Open questions and answers: is it consistent with the dreamed final result + the participants’ abilities and temporality? Identification of pending questions which require more reflection
    • Organisation of small reflection and resolution groups on these pending questions
    • Synthesis and validation of a common methodology

5. Co-responsibility programme for Phase 1 (i.e. until the meeting in February): post-it notes “what can I do?”

(during the night: talk about abilities / dreamed programme)

Day 2 (29 September)

1. Feedbacks on the co-responsibility programme and the solutions to fill the gaps of the members of the group / expected outputs

    • Organisation of small reflection and resolution groups on raised questions / issues

2. Co-design and test the methodological kit proposed to the territories of co-responsibility

    • Presentation of the methodological kit as it will have been prepared before the meeting (including “à la carte” packages: territory of co-responsibility in line with the actions programme; territory of co-responsibility with a weakened approach (mobilisation of the facilitator); new territory of co-responsibility (co-evaluation, thematic networks) – to be specified by the meeting
    • Open debate on the interest and problems that it causes
    • Organisation of small reflection and resolution groups on raised questions / issues

3. GANTT planning of the tasks 4. Closing

Pending questions

1. Finalise the proposition of the education kit, especially work on the questions to ask and the grid of construction of syntheses (the proposal of using the sense codes still need to be tested) 2. Provide necessary tools for the entries of answers and the construction of syntheses on wikispiral.org. The implementation of the kit on the sharing of responsibilities made by the General Council of Gironde comes just in time! The CO-ACTE project will give the opportunity to test it. A videoconference during the meeting on the 22nd of August enables to talk about it in details with Jean-Marc Libs, the programmer who programmed the kit with Joël Obrecht.

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Page last modified on Wednesday 28 of October, 2015 18:04:54 UTC