International Transdisciplinarity Conference 2019
Joining Forces for Change
Integrating communities, universities, cities and research for societal transformation
Gothenburg, September 10–13, 2019
Co-organised by the Network for Transdisciplinary Research, Mistra Urban Futures and Gothenburg University
Our societies are facing critical points in their development, where large challenges are becoming increasingly difficult to handle. Numerous conflicts and complexities are surfacing – to which we can see societies responding with fragmentation, intolerance and exclusion. One way to address such developments is through societal transformation processes that implicitly include a variety of interest groups, stakeholders and organizations. Transdisciplinary (TD) research is one approach that focuses specifically on co-producing and integrating knowledge and expertise from a variety of sources, including communities, research, cities and businesses. It is an approach that is driven by the need to create processes where values and transformations towards a more just and sustainable society are openly debated.
The aim of this conference, Joining Forces for Change, is to bring together actors from different professional mandates, disciplines and sectors to engage and discuss practical examples and case studies that approach societal transformation through boundary breaking collaboration. The conference invites practitioners and researchers from government and administrative organizations and agencies, interest groups from community and business, and researchers and students from across the university. The overall focus is on what we can learn from our collaborative experiences, case studies and practices regarding wider societal transformation, methodological innovations and theoretical development. We will specifically search for “sites for change” in terms of spaces, practices and learnings where TD-research and co-production play a crucial role.
Since the first International TD-Conference we organised 11 years ago, the field has developed considerably as well as broadened to include a number of different areas such as urban development, health, pedagogy, indigenous studies, natural resource management, art, etc. It has also attracted researchers from a variety of related approaches, for example action research, participatory social science and sustainability science. An additional goal of this conference is therefore to bring together this growing body of practitioners and researchers who are working in different types of collaborative research and change processes, to gauge the state of the art in both research and practice from across sectors and disciplines, and to create an international forum where diverse groups can exchange experiences and learn from each other.