SLU Urban Futures attended a Transdisciplinary Conference in Berlin, engaging with over 100 participants on the theme of ‘transdisciplinarity as an institutional challenge for universities’. The event presented a great opportunity to network with researchers and institutional actors working with innovation and organizational change to foster greater transdisciplinary collaboration and capacity-building.
Lisa Diedrich and Nina Vogel presented SLU Urban Futures, SLU’s strategic platform that promotes and initiates transdisciplinary research, education and collaboration for sustainable urban development. There was interest in SLU’s work with transdisciplinary research, catching the attention of Vice President for Research, Appointment Strategy, Knowledge & Technology Transfer at Technical University of Berlin (TU), Prof. Dr. Christine Ahrend. She developed TU’s Transdisciplinarity Strategy linking this to an Excellence Strategy.
The conference, hosted by TU together with ZTG - 'Center for Technology and Society' and Swiss Academies of Art and Sciences, offered exciting and relevant contacts for the SLU platform. The event also demonstrated how SLU Urban Futures is well-positioned in its efforts to establish transdisciplinary capacities, which is 'in line' with what other institutions are doing to promote transdisciplinarity. The conference emphasized that institutions share similar challenges in developing transdisciplinary capacities but by uniting forces to devise ways to approach these, we can turn challenges into opportunities.
SLU Urban Futures' participation in the event started some interesting conversations, which hopefully can lead to deeper collaboration. This conference was a ‘prequel’ for the fall ITD conference - The International Transdisciplinarity Conference (ITD) 2021, 'Creating Spaces and Cultivating Mindsets for Learning and Experimentation', where SLU will be represented.