Td Summer School 2018

Transdisciplinary Research at the Science | Society Interface within an Intercultural Orientation

Leuphana University Lüneburg is pleased to invite you to the 6th Td Summer School in Lüneburg, Germany. The Td SUMMER SCHOOL offers a 5-day intensive training (Td Training Module) on transdisciplinary research that will prepare researchers and practitioners for transformative research on societal challenges at the science | society interface. Participants will gain input on theoretical and methodological foundations as well as experience in designing and implementing transdisciplinary research processes. The aim is to broaden academic researchers’ disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives towards a transdisciplinary approach and to enable practitioners to elaborate their role in transdisciplinary research processes. This year a particular focus is on interculturality to foster exchangebetween researchers and practitioners from different world regions and to mutually learn from different transdisciplinary research traditions. Subsequently, an optional 2-day seminar on ‘Virtual Environments to Facilitate Participatory Processes’ (Special Training Module) will take place.

As a side event an intercultural agenda setting workshop on transdisciplinary research and sustainability will be realized. People from different world regions who are interested in continuous collaboration to further develop epistemological and methodological foundations and practices of transdisciplinary research and sustainability are invited to participate.

Td Summer School 2018 is organized by the Methodology Center in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair Higher Education for Sustainable Development, the CCP and Bridging the Great Divide research teams, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany, the Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico and the Nodo de Transdisciplina de Red Temática de Socioecosistamas y Sustentabilidad de CONACyT, Mexico.


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 30, we ask you to send us your CV, motivation and an outline of your current activities/research until June 23, 2018 to 


To foster intercultural exchange and explore the potential of transdisciplinary research in different cultural contexts and world regions, we can offer 15 scholarships for participants with low economic resources from the global south. Scholarships include participation fee, accommodation and contributions to travel costs (up to 750 Euros). Researcher, post-graduate students with research experiences and practitioners (e.g. civil society organizations; administrative bodies; or SMEs) from the Global South can apply for this scholarship. We particularly encourage people from Africa, Asia and Latin America to apply. For so doing, please include in your motivational letter a short statement why this scholarship is needed and how you envision to use the insights gained during the Td Summer School to foster transdisciplinarity and sustainability in your current or future professional field. The scholarships are funded by the Ministry of Science and Culture of the Federal State of Lower Saxony as well as the Volkswagen Foundation as part of the project “Bridging the Great Divide in Sustainability Science” (ZN 3188)


Ulli Vilsmaier, Leuphana University Lüneburg 
Professorship for Transdisciplinary Methods, Methodology Center and Institute of Ethics and Transdisciplinary Sustainability Science

Juliana Mercon, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico
Professor at the Instituto de Investigaciones en Educación, Universidad Veracruzana. Línea: Territorio, Comunidad, Aprendizaje y Acción Colectiva

Maik Adomßent, Leuphana University Lüneburg 
Professor at the Unesco-Chair Higher Education for Sustainable Development and Leuphana College

Daniel J. Lang, Leuphana University Lüneburg 
Professor for Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research, Institute of Ethics and Transdisciplinary Sustainability Science

Loni Hensler, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico and Leuphana University Lüneburg
PhD candidate at the Instituto de Investigaciones en Educación, Universidad Veracruzana. Línea: Territorio, Comunidad, Aprendizaje y Acción Colectiva

Maria de Eguía Huerta
Leuphana, Post Doctoral Researcher at the Methodology Center and Center for Global Sustainability and Cultural Transformation

Bianca Vienni
Leuphana, Post Doctoral Researcher at the Methodology Center

Francisco Xavier Martínez Esponda
Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambienta, Regional coordinator of the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (online)

John van Breda 
Stellenbosch University, Senior Researcher in Transdisciplinarity, Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (online)

Heike Zimmermann
Leuphana, Post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Ethics and Transdiscplinary Sustainability Research in"Bridging the Great Divide in Sustainability"

Julija Naskova
Leuphana, Research Associate at the Institute of Ethics and Transdiscplinary Sustainability Research in "Bridging the Great Divide in Sustainability"

Beatrice John
Research Associate in Bridging the Great Divide in Sustainability at the Institute of Ethics and Transdiscplinary Sustainability Research

Aditya Gosh
Leuphana, Post-doctoral researcher in Bridging the Great Divide in Sustainability at the Institute of Ethics and Transdiscplinary Sustainability Research


Please note that Lüneburg is well booked in September. We recommend to book as soon as possible. We prebooked rooms in some hotels in different price categories until July, 10, 2018. When booking the room please use the code "Td Summer School 2018“. Where preserervations are limited to Sep 2-7, do not hesitate to ask for other time-slots. We just didn’t get contingents for longer periods of time. 

Category I <120 €

Hotel Bergström (prereserved rooms available from Sep 2-7, 2018, to book via the Td Summer School Office)

not prebooked but to recommend and in the city center: Hotel Altes Kaufhaus

Category II <90 €

Parkhotel Lüneburg (prereserved rooms available from Sep 2-14, 2018)

Bremer Hof (prereserved rooms available from Sep 2-7, 2018)

not prebooked but to recommend and close to Leuphana University: Kunsthotel Residenz

Category III <30 €

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

The Training Modules

  • Td Training Module (September 2-7, 2018)
  • Special Training Module (September 10-11, 2018)
  • Agenda Setting Workshop (side event) (September 11-13, 2018)

The Training Modules

Td Training Module (September 2-7, 2018)

During the Td Training Module we will provide insights into historical, political and theoretical foundations of transdisciplinary research that have emerged in different communities and world regions and create a space to gain practical experiences in designing transdisciplinary research processes. We will explore different methodologies and frameworks, principles and design elements of transdisciplinary research and get an overview of methods for collaborative, transdisciplinary research. During the 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.


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 could be a problem field that your current research or professional activity is related to, and which you want to further develop towards a transdisciplinary approach. Alternatively, it could be 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 that will be introduced during the first days of the Td Training Module. Working together in groups with scientists and practitioners 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.



Programme Overview

Special Training Module (September 10-11, 2018)

In the Special Training Module we explore the possibilities of facilitating participatory research processes using digital visualization, modelling, and simulation approaches. Related virtual visualisation environments can range from a room with multiple displays splitting up complex problems into manageable information, a spatial model displayed on an interactive smart table, to an augmented reality on a tablet. Facilitating participatory research processes in such environments provides for instance the opportunity to visualise complex problems in a way that helps to better understand the drivers and challenges and to model multiple future scenarios. Yet specific skills are required from researchers and facilitators to create these environments and enable purposeful cooperative research

processes within these settings.


The overall objectives are to develop an understanding of the opportunities and challenges of virtual environments to facilitate participatory processes and to experience and discuss a case study within a pilot or a virtual visualization environment. On the first day we will introduce and review an array of existing virtual visualization environments to facilitate participatory processes. On the second day participants will experience a real session in a pilot visualization environment. We will explore data requirements and the design process while taking into account the cultural diversity of participants and discuss the potentials and limits of such environments.

Agenda Setting Workshop (side event) (September 11-13, 2018)

To benefit from the co-presence of participants and trainers from different world regions, we are organizing an agenda setting workshop to develop an international research agenda on transdisciplinary research and sustainability. We envision the formation of an intercultural research consortium that further develops transdisciplinary research and sustainability through continuous exchange and comparative research. During the 3-day workshop we will elaborate an overall research horizon and according research questions and will explore forms of continuous exchange and cooperative research. The workshop is organized by the CCP research team, a consortium of researchers from the Methodology Center, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Sustainability.

The overall objective of the CCP project entitled ‘Complexity or Control? Paradigms for Sustainable Development’ is to contribute to consolidate epistemological and methodological foundations of transdisciplinary sustainability research. In the course of the research, the necessity to tackle these challenges from different perspectives, incorporating different socio-cultural traditions, in particular research traditions, political and economic conditions and different roles of science in society became obvious. CCP is funded by the Ministry of Science and Culture of the Federal State Lower Saxony and the Volkswagen Foundation. More information on the CCP project can be found here.


Outline: Agenda Setting Workshop



Td Sumer School Office / Methology Center

Campus Universitätsallee, C4.008

21335 Lüneburg, Germany

Fon +49.4131.677-2295

    Key Dates

    Opening Event: 
    September 2, 2018 (starting in the evening)

    Td Training Module:
    September 2-7, 2018

    Weekend program:
    September 8-9, 2018

    Special Training Module:
    September 10-11, 2018

    Agenda Setting Workshop (side event):
    September 11-13, 2018 (starting in the evening of September 11)


    Leuphana University Lüneburg
    Central Building
    Universitätsalle 1
    D-21335 Lüneburg
    Campus Map