Transdisciplinarity is a new way of scientifically meeting the challenges of sustainability. Indeed, interdisciplinary collaboration and co-operation with non-academic ‘practice partners’ is at the core of this; creating contextualised, socially relevant knowledge about complex real-world problems.

Transdisciplinary Research and Sustainability breaks new ground by presenting transdisciplinary research in practice, drawing on recent advances by the vibrant transdisciplinary research communities in the German-speaking world. It describes methodological innovations developed to address wide-ranging contemporary issues including climate change adaptation, energy policy, sustainable agriculture and soil conservation. Furthermore, the authors reflect on the challenges involved in integrating non-academic actors in scientific research, on the tensions that arise in the encounter of theory and praxis, and on the inherently normative, political nature of sustainability research.

Highlighting the need for academic institutions to be transformed to reflect transdisciplinarity, this timely volume will appeal to postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers interested in fields such as Sustainability Science, Transdisciplinary Studies and Philosophy of Science.

chapter 1|32 pages


Transdisciplinarity for sustainability
ByMartina Padmanabhan

part I|50 pages

Understanding sustainability science as challenge and necessity

chapter 2|18 pages

A transdisciplinary approach to the process of socio-technical transformation

The case of German Energiewende
ByArmin Grunwald

chapter 3|13 pages

Real-world laboratories as an institutionalisation of the new social contract between science and society 1

ByMandy Singer-Brodowski, Matthias Wanner, Uwe Schneidewind

chapter 4|17 pages

Transdisciplinarity in social-ecological research

Constraints, challenges and opportunities: reflections on personal experience
BySabine Hofmeister

part II|68 pages

Cooperating with partners of practice

chapter 5|26 pages

From the plurality of transdisciplinarity to concrete transdisciplinary methods

The case of PoNa and its dialogue with practitioners on a picture discourse analysis
ByDaniela Gottschlich, Jedrzej Sulmowski

chapter 6|23 pages

Social learning videos

A method for successful collaboration between science and practice
ByPatricia Fry

chapter 7|17 pages

Developing landscape scenarios and identifying local management options

Outcomes and evaluation of a participatory approach in the Swabian Alb, Germany
ByClaudia Bieling, Holger Gerdes, Bettina Ohnesorge, Tobias Plieninger, Harald Schaich, Christian Schleyer, Kathrin Trommler, Franziska Wolff

part III|67 pages

Pursuing methodological innovations for transdisciplinarity

chapter 9|20 pages

Facilitating change

Methodologies for collaborative learning with stakeholders
ByAnja Christinck, Brigitte Kaufmann

chapter 10|27 pages

Dream team or evil twins? International tandems in transdisciplinary research

ByMartina Padmanabhan

part IV|89 pages

Policy interface

chapter 11|20 pages

Die Landforscher

Independent researchers networking for sustainable agriculture
ByAndrea Fink-Keßler, Karin Jürgens

chapter 12|26 pages

Prospective scenario planning in collaborative transdisciplinary research

ByIngo Neumann, Sonja Deppisch

chapter 13|23 pages

Challenging futures – concepts for engaging with dynamics of policy instrument design

ByCarsten Mann, Jan-Peter Voß

chapter 14|18 pages


The future of transdisciplinarity
ByMartina Padmanabhan