Td Summer School 2016

Between the  28th of August and the 6th of  September, researchers and members of scientific and civil society organisations from all over the world had the opportunity to deepen their experiences in transdisciplinary research and develop transdisciplinary Case Study Designs for their working fields.

For this year's Td Summer School, 16 participants from eight different countries arrived: Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Latvia, Russia, Uganda and Costa Rica. The diverse origins of the participants enabled intercultural cooperation, that is an essential learning condition in the context of transdisciplinary research. This was once again proven by the Td Summer School 2016 and gives a promising outlook for the International Td Conference  at Leuphana University in September 2017.

This year’s special training module was realised in cooperation with the Paulo Freire Center for Transdisciplinary Development Research and Dialogical Education, Vienna  and ipsum  and dealt with the topic of Photographic Research Practice in Transdisciplinary Projects. Trainers were Vera Brandner and Rebecca Freeth.

Folder Td Summer School 2016


The Training Modules

  • The Training Module (Aug 29 - Sep 02)

The Training Modules

The Training Module (Aug 29 - Sep 02)


August 29 - September 2, 2016

During the Td Training Module we will provide both, theoretical foundations of transdisciplinary research and practical experiences in designing transdisciplinary research processes. You will gain insights in different methodologies and frameworks, principles and design elements of transdisciplinary research and get an overview on methods applied in transdisciplinary research. During two days, we will elaborate transdisciplinary case study designs in small groups. The case study designs will be developed in 20 steps that will guide you from the framing of a problem to the development of implementation strategies of results.

Training Objectives

It is our overall objective to create strong links to your fields of activities. Therefore we will jointly select the cases based on suggestions from the participants. A case can be a problem field your current research or professional activity is related to and which you want to further develop towards a transdisciplinary approach, or an issue that you are planning to work on in the future. By jointly developing the transdisciplinary case study design, you will have the chance to apply principles, design elements and methods which will be introduced during the first days of the Td Training Module. Working together in groups with scientists and practicioners will allow you to experience the different perspectives on cases in transdisciplinary research processes and to discuss diverse roles, tasks and responsibilities of involved persons in transdisciplinary research.


Photographic Research Practice in Transdisciplinary Projects: Generative Picturing

In Paulo Freire’s concept, dialogue is based on the complementary elements of action and reflection that constitute praxis as transformation. In the Special Training this concept will be transferred to the impact of visual research methods in transdisciplinary projects. Working with photography and the different roles that can be taken in that context, allows for a reflection of images of Self and Other. This reflection can spark off critical discussions of apparently clear answers. Especially in situations of cultural difference, such as development and sustainability research or projects in the field of intercultural communication, photographic practice with all its interaction levels – acting, perceiving, reading and communicating – can be used to approach questions, topics and knowledges that are relevant to the people involved. Exploring the inbetween through photographic research practice in situations of cultural difference allows for critically reflecting on societal conditions, taking action and experiencing alternative forms of knowledge generation.

Training Objectives

  • Experiencing photography as a means of expression, dialogue and research.
  • Learning about divers visual approaches in the field of social science that can be useful in transdisciplinary projects.
  • Focusing on research elements such as process-orientation, iteration, participation and performativity in order to open up a research space in which the interpretative authority does not remain within the realms of scientists alone.
  • Experiencing Generative Picturing as an approach for research and mutual learning that goes beyond procedures of pure depiction and production of evidence.

The Special Training Modul ist realized in cooperation with the Paulo Freire Center for Transdisciplinary Development Research and Dialogical Education, Vienna and ipsum

Trainers & Partners

Prof. Dr. Ulli Vilsmaier, Leuphana University Lüneburg
Junior Professor for Transdisciplinary Methods and member of the Center for Methods and Institute of Ethics and Transdisciplinary Sustainability Science.

Prof. Dr. Daniel J. Lang, Leuphana University Lüneburg
Professor for Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research and Dean of the Faculty of Sustainability.

Dr. Guido Caniglia, Arizona State University
Post-doctoral researcher at the  Institute of Ethics and Transdiscplinary Sustainability Research. Leuphana University Lüneburg

Dr. Bianca Vienni Baptista, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg/Universidad de la República, Uruguay
Assistant professor for interdisciplinary methods and Postdoctoral researcher in Inter and Transdisciplinary studies related to institutions and intercultutal perspective.

Vera Brandner, ipsum
Research on photographic practice in situations of cultural difference; lecturer at the University of Vienna and Leuphana University Lüneburg; photographer; head of the NGO ipsum implementing intercultural projects through photography

Rebecca Freeth, Leuphana University Lüneburg
PhD project on epistemic living spaces in Sustainability Science // Member of the Center for Methods and researcher with the Leverage Points Project for Sustainable Transitions; Facilitator in South Africa.

Esther Meyer, Leuphana University Lüneburg
PhD project on discourses of transdisciplinary Sustainability Science; Member of the Center of Methods and Institute of Ethics and Transdisciplinary Sustainability Science.

The Td Summer School 2016 is realized in cooperation with:

Paulo Freire Center Vienna
The Paulo Freire Center for Transdisciplinary Development Research and Dialogical Education in Vienna was founded in 2004. The Paulo Freire Center offers space for the reflection of political practice. It considers practice (action and reflection) in research, in education and in politics as part of a process, which ultimately aims at the abolition of oppression. The Paulo Freire Center advocates knowledge as public property.

ipsum is an association that works on an international level in the field of intercultural dialogue, art and education. ipsum-projects mainly focus on  exchange through pictures, images, views and stories within and beyond cultural boundaries, thus providing a polylogic platform to learn about and from each other. ipsum was founded in 2003 and realized projects in several countries in Asia, Africa and Europe.

Registration and Contact

Participation fee for the Td Training Module is 300 €, for the Special Training 150 €. Participants combining both modules are charged 400 €. The fees include:

Opening evening event
Snacks and coffee during the sessions
Dinner at a local brewery
City Tour in Lueneburg

Due to limitation of participants to 25, we ask you to send us your CV, motivation and an outline of your current activities/research until June 14, 2016 to

We offer scholarships for participants with low economic resources. If interested, please contact us.

The confirmations will be sent to you until June 21, 2016.


We prebooked rooms in several hotels and hostels in three different price categories (30,00-130,00 € per night) until June, 30, 2016.  When booking the room please use the code "Td Summer School".

Category I <130€

Hotel Altes Kaufhaus

Hotel Bargenturm

Category II <80€

Das Stadthaus

Bed and Breakfast Sahara

Category III <30€

In this Category we could not make prior reservations in hostels. But you find accomondations for a reasonable price at the Youth Hostel Lüneburg and the Salzquartier Lüneburg. In addition we made arrangements for private rooms at Students housing. Please contact us if you need further information.


    Key Dates

    Opening Event:
    August 28, 2016 (starting in the evening)

    Td Training Module:
    August 29 – September 2, 2016

    Weekend program:
    September 3 - 4, 2016

    Special Training Module:
    September 4 – 6, 2016 (starting in the evening)


    Leuphana University Lüneburg
Scharnhorststrasse 1, C 14.027
    (building nr. 14, ground floor)
    D-21335 Lüneburg
    Campus Map