TRED conference 2023: Co-creating space for collaborative research and learning to inspire, interact and integrate

Organised by Wageningen Institute for Environment and Climate Research (WIMEK)

Mon 12 June 2023 until Wed 14 June 2023

Venue Omnia, building number 105
Hoge Steeg 2
6708 PH Wageningen
+31 (0) 317 - 484500
Room Podium
TRED2023 banner8.jpg

Looking back at the TRED 2023 conference

For three days, people gathered online and/or in person to inspire, interact, and integrate on topics related to transdisciplinary collaborations. Here is a short overview of moments we co-created together.

Inspire Monday:

We started the event online, which gave the opportunity for speakers and participants around the world to share ideas. Moderated by Simone Ritzer (Wageningen Dialogues), this online day opened up a discussion about the current hot topic issues identified by speakers Gabriele Bammer (ANU), Arjen Wals (WUR), and Fréjus Thoto (ACED)- questions arose about how and whether to institutionalize transdisciplinarity in universities while deinstitutionalizing learning and how to make transdisciplinary collaborations real instead of a thing that only exists on paper. Afterwards, participants discussed in breakout rooms what inspired them to collaborate and how they interpreted the hot topics. During three streams, participants could go deeper into the themes 1) repoliticizing collaborations and how to consider equity, justice, and fair practices, 2) important considerations for setting the scene and continuing hybrid research collaborations (e.g. different types of icebreakers, design-led approaches, and agenda-setting), and 3) opportunities for collaborative learning.

Interact Tuesday:

Interaction was truly the theme of the day. The day started in an unusual way with the co-hosts Jillian Student (WIMEK) and Corinne Lamain (CUCo) leading a dance that the participants joined in and would further be co-created throughout the rest of the conference. Then dual keynotes Anita Hardon (WUR) and Caroline Nevejan (Chief Science Officer, City of Amsterdam) shared experiences of the messiness of collaborations, sometimes simple things have to be discussed multiple times (such as not mowing over important nature areas), while other interactions can develop rapidly (a website that enables people and researchers to find each other to work on urban challenges City Deal Kennis Maken -

Then, participants took the lead during interactive discussion sessions, which took multiple forms such as human spectrograms, drawing activities, and world cafes. The interactive discussions prompted participants to reflect on different collaborative dilemmas, consider how to facilitate diversity and inclusion, review a co-designed transdisciplinary course, and look at different virtue roles among other topics.

In the afternoon, participants explored their co-creative rhythm. After making Haikus on interaction during the plenary, participants tried out different approaches in the hands-on explorations, which included looking at creating trust, storying telling, tdToolbox, liberating structures, serious games, and research question design card game among others.

Integrate Wednesday:

On this day, society and the collaboration between society and research was central. Katie Minderhoud (PBL) encouraged participants during her keynote to reflect on the different roles they can have in collaborative processes. This was followed by an activity where participants drew their stories of being part of a process of integrating knowledge (i.e. collaboration), which they shared with each other in small groups.

The main activity of the day was the mini-hackathons. Through mini-hackathons, the participants got the opportunity to experience some of the realities of transdisciplinary collaborations. They did this by working together on one of the four caregiver’s challenges and trying out different tools for collaborative processes. The topic included: alternative approaches to tackle participation fatigue; developing an app in which people from society are linked to researchers; investigating opportunities for SMEs to use AI; and making a dental practice circular. The mini-hackathons illustrated the differences between realities and idealized notions of col collaborative processes. The messy experiences of integrating people, knowledge, and perspectives gave participants the opportunity to not only talk about transdisciplinary collaborations, but to do and reflect on them.

What’s next?

Creative outputs
We will be sharing more of the co-created output on the website at a later moment.

Upcoming special issue
Do you have research you want to have published? We will be developing a special issue in the Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences based on the themes of the conference and be sending out a call to submit soon.

Upcoming events and courses
This event was one of the many opportunities hosted by WIMEK and others for exchanging knowledge and community building, please keep an eye on the website for future transdisciplinary events, workshops, and courses.

Additional info on transdisciplinarity:

WIMEK puts its vision into practice by initiating and participating in some large transdisciplinary initiatives, such as:

  • INREF programmes, a WUR fund to tackle the world's pressing development-related social problems by developing innovative interdisciplinary and participatory approaches

  • The Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions AMS, a collaboration of WUR, TUD, MIT, local government and business partners

  • Water Nexus, an NWO-STW research programme of 6 Million Euro, that ran from January 2015 to 2020, and was supported by 25 partners from multinational and small/middle sized companies, consultancy firms, research institutes, water boards, and two Ministries.

    In 2021 WIMEK hired a postdoc, Jillian Student, for a two-years position to strengthen Wageningen University's position as a globally leading knowledge hub on inter- and transdisciplinary theory and methods in the field of climate and environment.

We are happy to announce this first TRED conference that will take place on June 12-14th, 2023 in Wageningen (the 12th is online).

In this interactive conference, we will not just discuss inter- and transdisciplinarity, we will also dig deeper into the fundamentals of inter- and transdisciplinary science, create a safe space for dialogue, make time for hands-on explorations of different approaches, and experiment with transdisciplinary processes through mini-hackathons.


Climate change, the transition to a circular economy, and issues concerning human health, are examples of challenges we need to address in our society these days. These issues are both urgent and complex and require the integration of different (scientific) knowledge. However, for many challenges, scientific perspectives alone are not enough. Societal knowledge is needed to understand and define problems, identify alternatives, evaluate strategies, and design and implement processes.

But when, how, with whom, and even why we should integrate knowledge are not always clear. Moreover, although transdisciplinarity requires (new forms of) collaboration, many researchers and societal members feel alone in their endeavours.

The Transdisciplinary Research, Education and Dialogue initiative (TRED) seeks to further transdisciplinary science through creating a safe space for dialogue, unpacking theories, practices and essentials of knowledge integrations.

We look forward to co-creating space for collaborative research and learning with you.


Inspire Monday, June 12th, 14:00-16:30, online
For researchers and educators

What: inspiring, collaboration in a virtual world
How: online afternoon event, plenary, interactive moments, breakout rooms
Who: for anyone who has connection to the internet on the basics and tools of transdisciplinarity and the role of virtual tools for (international) cooperation
Why: providing opportunities and lowering the threshold for international participation by easing accessibility

Interact Tuesday, June 13th, in-person
For researchers and educators

What: Opportunities to interact with others working on transdisciplinary research
How: plenary keynotes, interactive parallel discussion sessions on core theories, concepts, and afternoon workshops on transdisciplinary approaches
Who: for researchers engaging with or wanting to engage with inter- and transdisciplinary research
Why: mix to gain common ground, opportunity to try out different approaches

Integrate Wednesday, June 14th, in-person
For societal actors, researchers and educators

What: including science in societal challenges. What is societal learning about? Experiencing and reflecting on the process of integrating knowledge.
How: societal perspective on science talk, training on integrating knowledge in a fair and inclusive manner, facilitated hackathons tackling real-life research challenges, group and plenary reflections.
Who: society members who are or would like to work with researchers, and researchers who are or would like to work with society.
Why: this provides the opportunity to not just discuss the opportunities, best practices and challenges of integrating societal and scientific knowledge, but experience it.

Inviting societal partners

Researchers are welcome to advertise Integrate Wednesday among their network of societal partners.


On Monday and Tuesday (June 12-13th), the main lanaguage will be English, as these days are aimed at the academic community.

On Wednesday (June 14th), participation will be enabled for both Dutch and English speakers to improve accessibility to societal actors.

Call for contributions and proposals for workshops and hackathon topics

We will co-create this interactive conference together with participants. We invite you to organise and lead an interactive discussion, hands-on approach workshops and/of contribute to a hackathon topic. We have three different calls for which you can now register. The deadline for submission is 24 April, 12:00

Interactive discussions, 13 June, morning

Interactive discussions


We are looking for session guides to lead the interactive discussions (e.g. world cafes, debates, human spectrograms, braindates). We ask that you propose a topic that you think is important and an interactive format to engage participants. Key is that it is not a presentation with a Q&A, but that there is space for participants to interact with each other and the topic. These sessions are made to promote peer-sharing and peer-learning around different inter- and transdisciplinary concepts and challenges and cover topics that are of importance to the research community. Do you have a topic, but are not sure how to make it interactive, please get in contact with

Why lead a discussion? Community building, finding others interested in the same topic, getting input on the challenges and opportunities you are interested in pursuing.

Duration: 50 minutes

Who: Anyone willing to lead (and facilitate) a session, or put a question forward on challenges, theories and opportunities that TRED offers. If you need help facilitating this session please let us know.

What: Current dilemmas, useful frameworks, novel and/or creative ways of engaging different forms of knowledge, translating approaches from one region to another. We are open to creative ideas around inter- and transdisciplinary discussion topics, but you can use the potential topic areas for inspiration for your session.

Potential topic areas:

  • Theories: What theories and conceptual frameworks can take us further with inter- and transdisciplinary? What are guidelines for inter- and transdisciplinary research or learning? What to do about mismatch?
  • Practice: What are lessons learned from transdisciplinary projects? What are the challenges or possibilities with inter- and transdisciplinary processes (setting up, implementation, evaluation, reflection, continuation)? What is the relationship between ID, TD and transformation? How to open research and education to multiple paradigms? Designing with different materialities? Ethical implications of transdisciplinary research on technologies?
  • Interact: Inclusivity reality vs ideal interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity? How to create and maintain an inter- transdisciplinary network and/or research team? How to deal with conflict? How to develop a common language?
  • Evaluate: Who and/or how can we evaluate ID and TD research problems?
  • Learn: Different ways of promoting inter and transdisciplinary learning (e.g. challenged-based classroom, mixed-classroom education)? How can we take learnings from individual cases wider?
  • Inspire us: What is missing in terms of theory, dialogue, learning, research in inter- and transdisciplinarity?

How: Open; could range from facilitating discussions, getting input from others on questions and insights, to other creative forms of having interactive conversations (for 50 minutes). Some inspiration: 20 Interactive Conference Ideas and Formats | Eventbrite UK, 18 Creative Conference and Liberating Structures - interactive discussions

Hands-on explorations, 13 June, afternoon

Hands-on explorations


Doing and reflecting. Whereas the morning focuses more on dialogue and sharing experiences, the afternoon focuses more on active explorations of different transdisciplinary approaches. These workshops give participants the opportunity to try out different approaches and ways of furthering their research and learning.

Why lead a session? This is an opportunity for conveners to share or test out their approaches and get feedback.

Duration: Short (1 hour) and long sessions (1.5 hours)

Who: Anyone who wants to open up their research to others, show a different way of approaching research challenges, and/or test out their own approaches or ideas.

What can we explore: A range collaborative research, learning, and dialogue approaches

Potential themes:

  • Games
  • Artistic practices and science/arts-based research methods (e.g. storytelling, drawing-telling)
  • Participatory mapping (e.g. landscape that people could be familiar with)
  • Participatory futures methods (e.g. visioning)
  • Imaginary futures
  • Participatory design
  • Role playing workshops
  • Working together in inter- and transdisciplinary teams
  • Integrated analysis
  • Approaches to create a common language or perspective taking
  • Testing out ideas/ methods
  • ID and TD competency training
  • Living labs
  • Citizen science
  • Transformative science approaches
  • Scientific/societal communication
  • Reflection processes
  • Ethical approaches to technology, environmental and/or health topics

How: Open; a taster for all creative forms that let participants experience aspects of transdisciplinary science. These workshops provide space for people to try out elements of different approaches and discuss.

Mini hackathons or idea sprints, 14 June

Mini hackathons or idea sprints


How can we learn by doing, not just talking about transdisciplinary research? The transdisciplinary mini hackathons provide space to experience a collaborative environment, work on real society-science cases, and reflect on the process. Participants can get inspiration for their own cases.

Why submit a case? For case owners, it is an opportunity to get insights from a group of people on their topic or process in a facilitated space. If it is a past case, the session gives you the opportunity to reflect on how it could have been approached differently.

We are looking for case owners to share a challenge you are working on or a case that you have worked on. Key for a case are

  1. that next to scientist(s), there needs to be at least two societal partners present and part of the case
  2. the need to integrate different knowledge and perspectives is clear.

Duration: 3 hours

Who is in the sessions:

  • Case owners: Mix of societal actors and researchers, minimum two people from outside of the university wanting to integrate different knowledge
  • Participants:
    Societal actors
    interested in working with researchers (e.g., civil society, policy makers, NGOs, business actors, citizens groups)
    interested in transdisciplinary approaches (not necessarily experts on the case study topic)


There are many potential types of outputs for the mini-hackathons. The participants will work towards providing insights and reflections based on identified problems and the case owners' envisioned output. Examples of potential types of output for the case owners are insights to questions such as:

  • For completed cases: How could we have approached this differently? What insights or processes are case specific? What insights or processes could we use for a different context?
  • For current cases: How to define the problem? How to engage different perspectives? How to assess the current societal-science collaborative process? How do we engage with different expectations? What are potential unexpected dilemmas or consequences of the project and/or the approaches used? What are potential ways to redesign the transdisciplinary approach?

Inspiration for topic areas

  • Biodiversity
  • Climate adaptation
  • Health
  • Inclusion and diversity
  • Technology and society
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Energy transition
  • Managing our current and future biosphere
  • Addressing issues of water scarcity and quality
  • Circularity
  • Transformative change
  • Urban and/or rural futures

How: Plenary pre-training session and some facilitation activities during the process. Three hours of activity. Output sharing moment. Ends with a reflection.

For more information about the sessions, please contact or sign up for our updates (see under Registration).


Participation on in-person days on June 13th and 14th
Academics from Eindhoven University, Wageningen University, Utrecht University, UMC Utrecht €100
WIMEK PhD candidates €50
All other academics €125
Societal actors (June 14th only) €50

Included in the fee are lunches on both 13 and 14 June, a dinner on June 13th, and drinks and bites on June 14th.

Participation in the online session on June 12th is free.

Accommodation for overnight stay

Accommodation is not included in the fee, but there are several possibilities in Wageningen. For information on B&B’s and hotels in Wageningen please visit Another option is Short Stay Wageningen. Furthermore Airbnb offers several rooms in the area.

Venue and travel information

The Dialogue Centre of Wageningen University & Research, Omnia, is the perfect venue for scientists, students, society and partners to meet. Here, there is room for a good conversation and the sharing of ideas in a relaxed atmosphere.


You can register for the conference here.
The registration deadline is 2 June 2023.

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