The notion of “transformation” has moved from academic discussion and is now part of the discourse of public and private organizations. Here, we offer a systematic examination of how combining transformation and transdisciplinary approaches can support the transformation to sustainability.

In recent years, the notion of “transformation” has moved from academia to the strategic agendas of public and private organizations. Within this discourse, both transdisciplinarity and co-production are often mentioned as means to enable transformation, particularly in debates about risks and opportunities in transformative science and problem-solving. However, there has been little systematic examination of the potential in combining these approaches to contribute more effectively in the transformation to sustainability. Building on an autoethnographic analysis of two projects in transformation and transdisciplinarity, we identify pathways to strengthen collaboration between these approaches: 1. moving from transdisciplinarity “for” transformation to transdisciplinarity “as” transformation and 2. identifying concrete spaces for conceptual and methodological cross-fertilization between these approaches. We discuss the challenges and elaborate recommendations for these pathways and conclude by offering a few insights on how communities can together foster effective sustainability solutions to societal challenges.

Authors: Carla Alvial Palavicino; Olivier Ejderyan; Bianca Vienni-Baptista

Publication date: May 2023

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