Journal Article

Transdisciplinary global change research: the co-creation of knowledge for sustainability


  • Mauser
  • W.
  • Klepper
  • G.
  • Rice
  • M.
  • Schmalzbauer
  • B.S.
  • Hackmann
  • H.
  • Leemans
  • R.
  • Moore
  • H.

The challenges formulated within the Future Earth framework set the orientation for research programmes in sustainability science for the next ten years. Scientific disciplines from natural and social science will collaborate both among each other and with relevant societal groups in order to define the important integrated research questions, and to explore together successful pathways towards global sustainability. Such collaboration will be based on transdisciplinarity and integrated research concepts. This paper analyses the relationship between scientific integration and transdisciplinarity, discusses the dimensions of integration of different knowledge and proposes a platform and a paradigm for research towards global sustainability that will be both designed and conducted in partnership between science and society. We argue that integration is an iterative process that involves reflection among all stakeholders. It consists of three stages: co-design, co-production and co-dissemination.