GAIA Special Focus on International Transdisciplinarity Conference 2021 just published

Editorial introduction to the Special Focus incluidng an overview of all papers (PDF) Download

Access to all papers of the Special Focus to the ITD 2021 (Open Access) Link

The International Transdisciplinarity Conference 2021 ‘Creating spaces and cultivating mindsets for learning and experimentation’ provided an online platform to foster engagement among the communities of transdisciplinary (TD) researchers and practitioners.

This GAIA Special Focus highlights the potential of transdisciplinary research and learning to confront the complexity of the current societal challenges. By serving as a bridge between science, practice and society, transdisciplinarity can be a means to help foster collaboration between diverse actors, question existing paradigms of knowledge co-production and build pathways towards transformation.

In this Special Focus you find some of the most significant insights from ITD 2021.  It highlights the emerging potential of TD research and learning by building on original research and discussion articles inspired by the themes of the conference.

The conference streams addressed the diverse areas of transdisciplinary research and practice that have generated significant interest and that require further development:

  • Integrative TD research – advancing concepts and methodologies by bringing together multiple fields of expertise,
  • Transdisciplinarity-on-the-ground – making TD processes more tangible and explicit to practitioners and researchers,
  • Global and virtual transdisciplinarity – connecting and enabling diverse communities and practices,
  • TD learning for transformation – contributing to transformation through TD learning, and
  • Institutionalising and funding transdisciplinarity – anchoring TD in different organisational levels.

To delve deeper into these themes, three questions are raised related to the development of transdisciplinarity.

  • What is the potential of TD research and learning for contributing to effective responses to sustainability challenges?
  • What are the challenges of TD research and teaching in reaching this potential?
  • What are the most important and fruitful paths moving TD research and teaching forward?

This Special Focus provides a variety of perspectives based on different geographical locations, gender perspectives, and career paths, revealing some answers to these questions.

The ITD Conference 2021 ‘Creating spaces and cultivating mindsets for learning and experimentation’ was coorganised by the Network for Transdisciplinary Research, td-net of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences and the Transdisciplinarity Lab (TdLab) of ETH Zurich. It was an online conference that took place between 13 and 17 September 2021.