Transdisciplinary Research for Sustainability Governance

Incubator Project Title

Transdisciplinary Research for Sustainability Governance

Project Brief

The governance of grand sustainability challenges demands more inclusive, participatory, iterative and future-oriented research and design. Research needs to include extrapolations of current situations in a systemic way, but also needs to consider the uncertain, unknown and imaginable in order to contribute
to more anticipatory and adaptive governance arrangements and interventions. In addition, increasing inequalities demand more inclusive, transparent, responsive, and reflexive research and design.

This type of transformative research requires the active engaging of societal partners in all research phases and not only informing them at the very end. This means crossing boundaries, between policy silos, scientific disciplines, and between scientific knowledge and other forms of knowledge. These are core principles of transdisciplinary research.

With this incubator project, we want to further sharpen the transdisciplinary profile of the Wageningen Centre of Sustainability Governance (WCSG), strengthen the transdisciplinary capacities of (early-career) colleagues, tighten connections between the different chair groups around a community of
transdisciplinary researchers, and increase the visibility of the WCSG in the international transdisciplinary research community.

With this incubator project, we therefore aim to build up a community around transdisciplinary research, channel the expertise present in the different chair groups, and to further develop the WCSG’s capacities to perform this kind of research. We will work with input from two previous incubators (see below), who we asked to endorse this incubator and participate in workshop 1 to provide the most important lessons.

Foundational incubators

1. Towards diversity and inclusivity in sustainability governance research and teaching
2.Sustainable governance talks without jargon

Activities & Outcomes

These workshops will be organized for interested staff members, postdocs, PhDs, societal research partners that have been involved in transdisciplinary research, and decision-makers from funding organizations. In these workshops, we aim to gather experiences with previous transdisciplinary projects and start the paper and proposal writing. We aim to stimulate an exchange about encountered challenges and how to deal with them. Challenges are, for example, to be inclusive and diverse in transdisciplinary research as well as to communicate about sustainable governance without jargon.

2. Paper writing

3. Writing WASS proposal for PhD Summer school / PhD course