Transdisciplinary research and practice for sustainable outcomes: introduction

Edited book (chapter)


Palmer, Jane, Riedy, Chris, Fam, Dena and Mitchell, Cynthia. 2017. "Transdisciplinary research and practice for sustainable outcomes: introduction." Fam, Dena, Palmer, Jane, Riedy, Chris and Mitchell, Cynthia (ed.) Transdisciplinary research and practice for sustainability outcomes. Oxford, UK. Routledge. pp. 1-6
Chapter Title

Transdisciplinary research and practice for sustainable outcomes: introduction

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID3137
Book TitleTransdisciplinary research and practice for sustainability outcomes
AuthorsPalmer, Jane (Author), Riedy, Chris (Author), Fam, Dena (Author) and Mitchell, Cynthia (Author)
EditorsFam, Dena, Palmer, Jane, Riedy, Chris and Mitchell, Cynthia
Page Range1-6
SeriesRoutledge Studies in Sustainability
Chapter Number1
Number of Pages6
Year2017
PublisherRoutledge
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
ISBN9781138119703
9781315652184
Web Address (URL)https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781315652184-8/transdisciplinary-research-practice-sustainable-outcomes-introduction-jane-palmer-chris-riedy-dena-fam-cynthia-mitchell
Abstract

Why has transdisciplinarity, in its various forms, emerged as a different way of doing research? What makes it relevant, and arguably essential, for research and associated practice that contributes to social, economic and environmental sustainability? Alongside these questions is another that is even more fundamental: What motivates an engagement with the world that crosses traditional academic and professional boundaries? Such engagement is certainly not easy to achieve. It can be complex to imagine, difficult to practice, intellectually and emotionally testing, and often risky. Yet many researchers are turning to a transdisciplinary research practice because of its potential to deliver transformative and groundbreaking responses to the sustainability challenges of our time.

The idea for this book arose as a result of the editors’ experience of working in an organisation that has been built upon a motivation for transdisciplinary engagement: the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney. It is an organisation whose mission is to create change towards sustainable futures. In pursuing this mission, the Institute has not only permitted, but supported and conceptually advanced, transdisciplinary research and practice. Researchers and practitioners at the Institute realized early in the life of the organisation that creating change that made a real difference to local and global sustainability required more than cross-disciplinary collaboration. It required a willingness on the part of each team member to challenge their own worldview and intellectual assumptions, in order to see the potential contribution of others to resolving complex issues. This in turn required systems that: supported experimentation; used training and shared learning to foster an open and reflexive way of working; and gave researchers and practitioners the skills and materials with which to convince others that a transdisciplinary approach would lead to better outcomes. It also required new conceptualisations of collaborator and stakeholder relationships. Within the Institute, understandings of transdisciplinarity vary and continue to evolve. The development of systems that support transdisciplinary work is ongoing, as new projects and new team members bring with them different challenges and ways of thinking.

Keywordstransdisciplinarity; research methods; higher degree supervision; international development studies; research outcomes
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020449999. Other human society not elsewhere classified
470104. International and development communication
390402. Education assessment and evaluation
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsInstitute for Resilient Regions
University of Technology Sydney
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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