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Thinking about societal progress in terms of ability to live together on the same planet has become, more than ever in the history of mankind, both an evidence and a necessity.

SPIRAL, which was created in response to this need, is an approach helping society to ensure the well-being of all through co-responsibility between its various stakeholders: citizens, public and private actors. Co-responsibility for the well-being of all generations without discrimination or exclusion or any form of stigma is the goal of societal progress that the SPIRAL approach aims to reach.

The approach

To promote such a progress, SPIRAL takes the form of a methodology co-built between citizens and other stakeholders of the society in the local level, linked with regional, national, European or even global levels.

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A community of experimenters is involved in its development: territories, governments and other local and regional stakeholders, businesses, hospitals, schools, associations, NGOs, researchers, etc. This community has been gradually formed to build the SPIRAL approach all together and make it available to the largest number.

The SPIRAL approach is being developed thanks to contributions of the community of territories, the collective actors and governments involved in it which form an international network of Territories of Co-responsibility: the TOGETHER Network. TOGETHER is currently composed of about 300 jurisdictions in more than 20 countries. It aims to make the progress towards co-responsibility for the welfare of all, including future generations, effective at both local and global levels.

Who is it for ?

The SPIRAL approach is for any territory, body or group of citizens that wishes to launch or complete a participatory process. Thanks to its great flexibility SPIRAL can easily integrate into and complete what already exists by strengthening and multiplying the involvement and participation of the inhabitants.

In a territory, SPIRAL helps increasing collaboration and strengthening transversality. It also helps to bring together very different actors around a project built together with its inhabitants. The territory is the best level to include all the initiatives within a transversal co-responsibility.

Within an institution, it enables to redirect public action according to its impact on the well-being or ill-being of the population; to strengthen the ties between actors and stakeholders; to develop the role as facilitator of citizens activity; and lastly, to evaluate public policies in a participatory way and by taking into account, first and foremost, their impact on the well-being of the inhabitants.

Within the framework of a firm, an association, a body in the field of social economy, the approach helps to strengthen its contacts with its interlocutors and recipients, to value its activity through its real on the well-being, to address management conflicts or issues through the empowerment of all stakeholders.

In a group of citizens, the approach can help in the launching of projects and in the broadening and valorisation of participation; it provides a free, collaborative and simple-to-use toolkit which enables the measurement of well-being and ill-being, the development of actions based on these measurements and their participatory evaluation.

More generally, SPIRAL links social and environmental issues by setting out climate and environmental challenges from the start and by providing stakeholders with the tools to think about what is essential for them today but also for the future generations.

Its goal is to put local stakeholders in contact in order to build a territory of co-responsibility from these various starting points. This territory of co-responsibility includes a platform for all the stakeholders which objective is to develop co-responsibility on the territorial level.

Lastly, at a global level, SPIRAL put in contact stakeholders sharing the same contexts and issues in several thematic networks, thus enabling the sharing of experience and solutions.

Regardless of its starting point, the approach involves the following key stages:

  • Set up a multi-stakeholder platform to facilitate the process;
  • Within this platform, discuss environmental and social issues and extend the number of participating actors;
  • Involve the inhabitants, starting with a survey on their well-being;
  • Analyse the results all together and design pilot actions;
  • Carry out the actions proposed with the support of the citizens;
  • Assess the impact of these actions on the well-being of their recipients and actors/

With what means?

The SPIRAL approach can be integrated into what already exists and does not necessarily require additional financial costs. However, it involves a certain amount of work, in particular for the organisation of meetings, data collection, delivery of statistical results and organisation of actions.

Besides, even if several tutorials are providing help for the implementation of the different stages of the approach, it can be necessary, depending on the situation, to participate in a training or to ask for the support of a dynamisor.

There are plenty of benefits:

  • Each actor of the platform contributes to the whole through his/her input in terms of working time, his/her contacts, hardware support;
  • SPIRAL greatly increase cooperation between various local stakeholders around common values;
  • Many projects can be carried out at low costs or at no cost at all: each partner as well as the inhabitants involved contribute of their expertise, equipment, working time, volunteering, etc.;
  • The production of local and participatory well-being indicators is integrated in the projects and in the consultation process as well. They are designed and validated with the inhabitants and do have no external costs.

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