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Operating Principles

Our principles are the springs of our actions; our actions, the springs of our happiness or misery. Too much care, therefore, cannot be taken in forming our principles.

Philip Skelton
SPEC's operating principles operationalize its core values of sustainability, progress, and equality to provide a framework for decision-making and organizational development. Each core principle starts with a core value followed by the principle or methodology through which we aim to achieve our goals. The statements are meant to encapsulate the most fundamental principles employed to serve the core values. SPEC's three operating principles are:
  1. 1.
    Sustainability Through Systems Thinking
  2. 2.
    Progress Through Open Collaboration
  3. 3.
    Equality Through Mutual Reciprocity
Each operating principle has sub-principles that clearly outline strategies and mental models that put their respective operating principle into practice. The core principles are derived from a pluralism of research methodologies and philosophies. Each principle is described in detail in the following section.

  1. 1.
    Use critical awareness when building systems, rigorously examining assumptions and evaluating the conditions which give rise to them.
  2. 2.
    Seek solutions that usher in improvement locally and globally by creating balance between economy, equity, and environment.
  3. 3.
    Apply a variety of research and development methods in a systematic manner with awareness of their strengths and weaknesses to solve complex problems.

  1. 1.
    Strive for openness in our research, communications, organizational process, finances, and data.
  2. 2.
    Seek to understand the world by trying to create transformative change through collaboration, research, and critical reflection.
  3. 3.
    Cultivate collaborative environments that facilitate deliberative conversations, provide psychological safety, and enable full and equitable participation of individuals from all social identities, backgrounds, and perspectives.

  1. 1.
    Equality is the end goal; diversity, equity, inclusion, and reciprocity are the means to get there.
  2. 2.
    Treat everyone in our communities with compassion, mutual respect, and accountability.
  3. 3.
    Prioritize health, self-care, mental wellbeing, family, and happiness.
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Sustainability Through Systems Thinking
Progress Through Open Collaboration
Equality Through Mutual Reciprocity