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Transdisciplinary Summer School

Science for Sustainability with Society

18 - 23 January 2016


Aim of Summer School

Complex global sustainability challenges relating, for example, to problems of increasing poverty; natural resource depletion; energy, water and food (in)security; waste and pollution; climate change; biodiversity loss; rapid urbanisation etc. cannot be understood and addressed using mono-disciplinary approaches only. Sustainability is a transdisciplinary challenge. Participants will be introduced to the principles and practices of narrative-based transdisciplinary approaches of co-producing knowledge with society / communities in search of integrated solutions to the sustainability challenges facing the African continent today.

What you will learn

Responding to this challenge, participants will be introduced to the key principles and practices of narrative-based transdisciplinary approaches of co-producing knowledge with society / communities. You will, amongst others, learn and reflect upon:

• how to develop and pursue narrative-based transdisciplinary research approaches
• the accountability of science in society and the role it plays in addressing sustainability problems
• how to define and deal with complex research problems
• how to formulate theoretical problem statements and research questions in order to contribute to the transition of complex real-world problems and produce new scientific knowledge at the same time
• how to integrate knowledge from different disciplines and from science and society

Who should attend

The Summer School is aimed at prospective postgraduate students and supervisors interested in pursuing transdisciplinarity as an appropriate research methodology for their research projects; in particular those who want to learn more about how to design and follow narrative-based knowledge co-production approaches when dealing with complex societal problems in the African context.

Learning approach

Class room work, role plays, case studies, personal reflection and participation are combined to provide participants with a unique learning experience. This will equip them with the knowledge of the theory and practice of narrative-based transdisciplinary research approaches, necessary for preparing individual or group case study-oriented research projects. A recommended reading list is provided below.

Additional information

Dates: 18 - 23 January 2016
Venue: Sustainability Institute
Cost: R5,500.00 (incl. VAT; excl. meals and accommodation)
Registration: For further information please contact John van Breda,email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

View the Summer School reading list here.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 January 2016 11:39

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