Network for Transdisciplinary Research

Our contribution to address complex societal challenges: We link scientific communities, support transdisciplinary careers and promote the development of competencies and methods.

Community news

Here you will find all the news of the last four months from the transdisciplinary community. The website is constantly updated. If you have any messages you would like to share, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Visit the archive site of the Bridge 47 project


Bridge 47 was a project by the EU to achive the SDG-Goal 4.7 and mobilise, network and strengthen civil society worldwide in order to contribute to a local-global transformation through Global Citizenship Education (GCE). Visit the archive site now.


The projects continues with UNESCO's Futures of Education and Transformative Education ideas and projects.


Die saguf startet mit neuer Strategie und neuer Co-Präsidentin!

saguf - Schweizerische Akademische Gesellschaft für Umweltforschung und Ökologie


Die saguf hat eine neue Strategie für 2024-2028 erarbeitet. Diese wird am 11. März 2024, 17:30-18:30 Uhr auf einer außerordentlichen Mitgliederversammlung (online) vorgestellt und leitet die Arbeit der saguf in den nächsten fünf Jahren.


Der Vorstand der Schweizerischen Akademischen Gesellschaft für Umweltforschung und Ökologie (saguf) hat an seiner Sitzung vom 20. Dezember 2023 einstimmig Dr. Claudia Zingerli als neue Co-Präsidentin gewählt. Wir gratulieren herzlich! Mit ihrer umfangreichen Erfahrung und ihrem langjährigen Engagement für die saguf wird Claudia eine Schlüsselrolle in der Umsetzung unserer neuen Strategie spielen.


Designing a rapid participatory scenario planning process



How can transdisciplinary researchers efficiently and effectively support diverse and time-poor actors in participatory scenario planning processes?Scenario planning is a useful tool for policy development, especially for contexts with high uncertainty and complexity as described by Bonnie McBain in her i2Insights contribution, Designing scenarios to guide robust decisions. However, participatory scenario planning takes time, as pointed out by Maike Hamann and colleagues in their i2Insights contribution, Participatory scenario planning.


Learning to use Appreciative Inquiry



Appreciative Inquiry is a collaborative and energizing process that enables people to connect emotionally with their situation, consider others’ perspectives and change how they see their situation. It has the potential for transformational change as people start to see compelling images of what could be – and are inspired to act. It has been used in business, the armed services, health settings and social work.


Website on sustainability transformations now online

td-net and scnat


The Swiss Academy of Sciences, where the td-net is an important member,  is working since two years now on a project around the topic of sustainability transformations. The first goal of the project has been reached by publishing an informing and detailed website in three languages.

In spring the second outcome of the project will be published, a short number of guidelines for researchers on reflections of their role in sustainability transformations. This publication will as well include useful tools for exactly this purpose. 


MRD Talk #06 | How can knowledge support restoration and conservation of mountain ecosystems for the benefit of people and nature? | Insights and recording available online

Mountain Research and Development (MRD)


Conserving and restoring mountain landscape functions is an important focus of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021–2030. MRD Talk #06, held on 6 December, contributed to this global effort and to this year’s International Mountain Day by presenting experiences of how different types of knowledge can support evidence-informed restoration of mountain landscapes for resilient mountain communities. Panelists and participants then discussed how knowledge can best be leveraged. A recording of the event and a summary of key insights with links to resources mentioned are now available online.


MRD Talks are organized jointly by Mountain Research and Development (MRD) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) as part of the PRIMA project funded by Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC).


Review: Balzan Prizewinners Interdisciplinary Forum 2023

Swiss Academy of Arts and Sciences


On 16 November, the Balzan Prizewinners Interdisciplinary Forum 2023 took place in Bern. Numerous guests were present as the four prizewinners presented the scientific work for which they were awarded the Balzan Prize 2023. In the morning, Eske Willerslev and Jean-Jacques Hublin spoke on the evolution of humankind, Willerslev on ancient DNA and humam evolution and Hublin on paleoanthropology. In the afternoon, the topics were world literature - for which David Damrosch was honoured - and high-resolution images: from planetary to cosmic objects, presented by Heino Falcke. A recording of the entire event can be viewed online.


Bekanntmachung Transformationscluster Soziale Innovationen für nachhaltige Städte und erster Förderaufruf

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt


Mit dem neuen Förderformat „Transformationscluster Soziale Innovationen für nachhaltige Städte“ fördert das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) ab Ende 2024 sozial-ökologische Forschungsprojekte zu Sozialen Innovationen. In den Transformationsclustern wird erforscht und erprobt, welches Potenzial Soziale Innovationen für eine nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung konkret haben, wie dieses Potenzial erschlossen werden kann und wie sozial-innovative Lösungsansätze in eine breite Anwendung gebracht werden können. Die Förderrichtlinie ist als eine Rahmenbekanntmachung konzipiert, die Veröffentlichungen von Förderaufrufen – in der Regel alle zwei Jahre – vorsieht. Die Bewerbungsphase für den ersten Förderaufruf zum Thema „Nachhaltige und klimafreundliche Gebäudebestandserneuerung und effiziente und suffiziente Flächennutzung in bestehenden Stadtquartieren und Siedlungsbereichen“ ist eröffnet. Projektskizzen können bis zum 23. Februar 2024 eingereicht werden. Eine Online-Informationsveranstaltung zu dem ersten Förderaufruf findet am 15. Dezember 2023 statt. Weitere Informationen sind auf der FONA-Website der Fördermaßnahme zu finden.



Panel 083 on Boundary Workes at the EASST Conference 2024

Bianca Vienni Baptista, Ulirke Kuchner, Isabel Fletcher, Maria Goñi


Interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity (ITD) are seen as important means of producing knowledge for transformation, e.g through addressing societies’ grand challenges. However, disconnects between different communities who undertake collaborative research are evident in the literature and in practice. This disconnect is particularly puzzling in the case of STS and ITD scholars. Yet, with some notable exceptions, there is little articulation between these communities. We see this as problematic as knowledge and recognised good practice on how to better foster inter- and transdisciplinary research are rendered invisible, causing unnecessarily fragmented approaches to shared knowledge domains.


This panel explores the many conceptual and methodological intersections between STS and ITD scholarship. We seek to discuss their mutual enrichment and their contributions to the advancement of transformative research. The following questions will be explored:


- What are the ways and means by which STS and ITD research enrich each other?

- How can ITD and STS unite to contribute to the making and doing of transformations?

- What are the roles researchers and practitioners perform when working in the intersections of STS and ITD? How are these roles transformed?

- How can problem spaces be methodologically and conceptually defined when combining STS and ITD perspectives?

- How does the emergence of new techniques of producing, distributing, evaluating and experiencing knowledge contribute to transformative ways of ITD and STS?

- How can science-society interfaces be more inclusive when STS and ITD work together?


Confidentiality and anonymity in teams



Do confidentiality and anonymity have a place in teamwork? What are the risks and how might they be mitigated? Can teams move past the need for confidentiality and anonymity? It takes time and intentional effort to create an environment within a team that is safe for interpersonal risk-taking (ie., a psychologically safe environment). As a team works to develop a psychologically safe environment, teammates will likely be more and more willing to speak openly about challenges.


Achieving change by transforming engagement



How can civil society organisations, which rely on volunteer efforts, contribute more effectively to societal change? How can they position engagement with volunteers in a forward-looking way, so as to unleash the potential of committed people? What lessons does this have for researchers interested in social change efforts and in stakeholder engagement?


Collaboration Planning

The Team Science Lab


Spending time up-front to discuss your team’s approach to work together can preempt conflict and increase your team’s ability to do high-impact science. Betsy Rolland has delivered Collaboration Planning to more than 40 teams and trained nearly 200 Collaboration Planning facilitators across the US, making this intervention one of the most widely adopted and implemented team science interventions available.


CIPRA-Podcast - new Episodes

CIPRA - Leben in den Alpen


CIPRA has produced two new podcast episodes, one of them in cooperation with the YOALIN project:


Nudging in Alpine toursim | speciAlps podcast

How can visitors to sensitive natural areas in the Alps be encouraged to behave responsibly without either prohibitions or financial incentives? The role of behavioural psychology in this field was discussed by some 150 participants in the webinar entitled “Nudging in Alpine Tourism”, held in September 2023. 


"Jump into the unknown" - Climate friendly travelling with YOALIN 
Hundreds of young people have spent the past summer exploring the Alps in a climate-friendly way with a ticket from the CIPRA YOALIN project. They show that spontaneous travelling and sustainability can be combined - without having to bend over backwards.


Registration for the Daylight Awareness Week events is now open

Daylight Academy


The Daylight Awareness Week 2023 is around the corner. From 13 to 17 November 2023, the Daylight Academy wants to make daylight related research more visible and accessible. Each day, a different aspect of daylight will be highlighted through the sharing of information and materials, and an intensive communication. In addition to blog posts, articles, and videos, three online events will mark the week and celebrate the overall topic: “Daylight and us: learning from the past?”.

Registration for these events is now open and is free:

  • Webinar “The Sun and us: ancient times and traditional knowledge”
    Monday, 13 November 2023, 17:00-18:30 CET
    Register now
  • 6th edition of the deLIGHTed Talks
    Wednesday, 15 November 2023, 15:00-16:00 CET
    Register now
  • Online film evening “Solar energy: the test of time and politics” (viewing of the documentary “A Road Not Taken”, followed by a discussion)
    Thursday, 16 November 2023, 18:00-19:45 CET
    Register now


New Research Initiative at the UZH: RE-TRANS

UZH Foundation


Although research into the impacts of environmental and climate-related disasters has increased in recent years, broader research approaches are still lacking. In order to fully understand the issues and provide sustainable responses, research projects – in addition to investigating the climate change aspect – need to include other aspects such as ecological degradation and social, economic, political and legal frameworks. This is precisely the gap that the University of Zurich’s new research project RE-TRANS aims to bridge.


Generating evidence using the Delphi method



What is Delphi? How has the Delphi method stood up over time? How can the best of Delphi be adapted to new circumstances and problems?

The Delphi method is a group-based process for eliciting and aggregating opinion on a topic with a goal of exploring the existence of consensus among a diverse group of handpicked experts. The Delphi method was developed at the RAND Corporation in the early 1950s to obtain a reliable expert consensus, which is often used as a substitute for empirical evidence when it does not exist.

The four key characteristics of the Delphi method are:

  1. anonymity, 
  2. iterative data collection,
  3. participant feedback, and
  4. statistical determination of group response.


Arts and Design for Sustainable Transformation



Discover the Zurich University of the Arts' (ZHdK) brand new web platfrom "Growing Sustainability in the Arts", which creates a unique connection between the arts, design and the pressing issues of time.

"Growing Sustainability in the Arts" is more than just a database - it is a dynamic window on the world of the arts and design's potential for sustainable transformation, as well as a tool for inspiration and innovation. Here you will find groundbreaking projects from teaching, research and outreach at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). In addition, you will find a selection of over 100 funding institutions from various areas uf sustainability.


Out and About Sustainably in Bern

University of Bern


This booklet invites you, as a student at the University of Bern, to think about what you need for a good, satisfying life. It follows the sufficiency approach, which emphasizes wealth in time and space over wealth in goods and money. In chapters titled Sustainable development, Getting around, Eating & drinking, At home, Conscious consumption, and Culture & events the authors have gathered together useful facts, ideas, and tips.


Integration and Implementation - Webinar Video now online



The video of the webinar “Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) as “the arrow”” with a pre-recording by Gabriele Bammer and great panelist discussions by Christine Hendren and Bethany Laursen is now on the Integration and Implementation Sciences Youtube channel. This video is the second webinar in the new series ““I want to be a professional Arrow when I grow up”: Pathways and opportunities for a new workforce.”


Mountain Research and Development Vol43, No2 available online and open access



Articles show how newcomers help preserve the cultural landscape in the European Alps, discuss the implications of a post-pandemic increase in visitors to the Swiss National Park, investigate Italian mountain farmers' attitudes to herd protection, propose an agenda for integrated, transdisciplinary monitoring to improve the managment on Andean social-ecological systems, and present a transformative citizen science project in a Swiss mountain valley.


MRD Talk #05 | How can monitoring support action and policies for sustainable futures in mountains? | Insights and recording available online

MRD Journal


Systematic observation of the social-ecological dimensions of mountain areas can help us understand dynamics and trends affecting mountain communities and ecosystems. This MRD Talk brought together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to explore how best to set up monitoring systems and share the information generated to enable effective policies and action for sustainable futures in mountains. Key insights and a recording of the event are now available online.

Newsletter td-info

House of Academies

Laupenstrasse 7

P.O. Box

3001 Bern


Contact directly our team