Transdisciplinarity for transformation

The Transdisciplinary (TD) approach to research is a cornerstone of the University of Pretoria’s (UP) current strategy. Championing and supporting TD are explicit and bold steps towards accelerating and amplifying the impact of UP research and scholarship. It positions UP at the forefront of contemporary efforts to ensure that universities contribute actionable knowledge that can inform and support societies in addressing a multitude of complex local and global challenges. Whilst not a new approach to research, TD remains a challenge for both scientists and the institutions they work for, and thus requires appropriate educational and institutional support. To support researchers and research managers at UP, Future Africa initiated a programme to build a common understanding of Transdisciplinary research.

"The transdisciplinary ethic rejects any attitude which refuses dialogue and discussion, no matter whether the origin of this attitude is ideological, scientistic, religious, economic, political or philosophical. Shared knowledge should lead to a shared understanding based on an absolute respect for the collective and individual diversities united by our common life on one and the same Earth"

(Transdisciplinarity Charter adopted at the First World Congress of Transdisciplinarity, Convento da Arrábida, Portugal, November 1994).

Programmes for 2024

Programme 1: UP Interactive TD Workshops

Future Africa will host two interactive TD workshops, earmarked for the academic and research leadership at the University of Pretoria from the 5th to the 7th of June 2024. The two workshops will be hosted by international facilitators who are members of the Transdisciplinary Training Collaboratory: Building Common Ground, an international project supported by a US National Science Foundation grant.

The project brings together pioneering researchers and trainers from regional centers across the globe who have been working within their regions to: Synthesize existing knowledge on the key concepts, competencies, common language, and accepted phases of different types of transdisciplinary research; and create a design guide for trainers, accompanied by resources cataloged by the framework developed from the synthesis work.

To access comprehensive details about the scheduled workshops, please click here.

Programme 2: TD Webinar series

Future Africa, in collaboration with the International Science Council’s Centre for Science Futures, will host a TD Webinar series during 2024.

Upcoming webinar dates will be announced soon.