|A Spanish version of this post is available
How can universities more effectively address complex real-world problems, especially in sustainable development? What’s needed is not only disciplinary expertise, but also an ability to deal with systems problems involving wicked dynamic interrelations and a diversity of stakeholders, with varying levels of power to design and implement solutions. Researchers need to interact with a diversity of actors, inside and outside the academic community and to take into account diverse mental frameworks, languages, cultures and interests.
The Innovation and Technology for Development Centre at the Technical University of Madrid (itdUPM)
A growing number of faculty members at the Technical University of Madrid have sought to address this challenge, leading to the creation in March 2012 of the Innovation and Technology for Development Centre (itdUPM).
The Centre’s main characteristics are:
The Centre’s organization is represented in the figure below. The circles represent the network’s nodes:
Can we help the next generation of policy makers, business leaders and citizens to become creative, critical and independent thinkers? Can we make them aware of the nature of the problems they will be confronted with? Can we strengthen their capacity to foster and lead stakeholder processes to address these problems?
Yes. Continue reading
Community member post by Dena Fam, Tanzi Smith and Dana Cordell
What skills and dispositions are required by researchers and practitioners in transdisciplinary research and practice in crossing boundaries, sectors and paradigms?
The insights here come from interviews with 14 internationally recognized transdisciplinary researchers and practitioners, chosen from a diverse range of research and practice-based perspectives.
Here we focus on:
1) skills for specific tasks such as facilitation of a meeting, crafting a well-written report, and communicating effectively across disciplines; and,
2) dispositions, attitudes, orientations and temperaments of an effective researcher/practitioner, i.e., as a way of being.
Six categories of skills and dispositions
The core skills and dispositions of an exceptional transdisciplinary researcher/practitioner can be grouped into six categories, illustrated in the figure below. Continue reading
Community member post by Marianne Penker
Should a doctoral student specialise in transdisciplinary sustainable development research? What are the opportunities and challenges associated with undertaking a program that requires research integration and implementation?
At the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna in Austria, teams of PhD-students and academic supervisors collaborated with representatives from regions, cities, public authorities, businesses or civil society to solve pressing and often wicked sustainability problems. We learnt the following ten lessons. Continue reading
An English version of this post is available
Si ud tuviera que elegir un conjunto de textos clave sobre la interdisciplina para traducir a otro idioma y utilizarlos en un grupo de discusión, ¿cuáles serían? Esa fue la tarea que nos propusimos en el Espacio Interdisciplinario de la Universidad de la República (UdelaR) en Uruguay.
Elegimos once textos que capturan la diversidad de enfoques sobre la interdisciplina y que también constituyen un punto de referencia para la producción académica. Continue reading
Community member post by Alexis Erwin
In an earlier post on this blog, Mark Brunson posed the questions: How does an ecologist become “translational”? What training is needed to venture beyond the lab or university and to engage with the potential beneficiaries or users of research? Here I offer my own thoughts as someone who started working to “become translational” halfway through a traditional ecology Ph.D. program.
Although the focus of this blog post is on translational ecology and on specific resources for graduate students in the U.S., I suggest the ideas are more widely applicable. Continue reading