In intersection 1, Centre for Technology and Society (ZTG) at the Technische Universität of Berlin and ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research are jointly investigating the interlinkages between activities to generate scientific and societal effects of transdisciplinary research.


Intersection 1 continues the work that has been startet in topic line 1 "Societal effects" and topic line 2 "Scientific effects". During the first phase of tdAcademy, topic line 1 and 2 analyzed the societal and scientific effects of transdisciplinary research separately. The now running second phase focuses on their interplay, for which the ZTG and ISOE are joining forces.

The ideal-typical transdisciplinary research process aims at achieving both societal and scientific effects with the newly generated integrated knowledge. This is where the research of interface 1 starts. It assumes that activities for generating scientific and societal effects in transdisciplinary research processes are interrelated, which can lead to trade-offs or synergies for both science and practice. A trade-off exists when activities to generate one form of effect lead to a reduction in the other or to negative unintended effects. A synergy exists when the same activities simultaneously promote the emergence of scientific and societal effects.

Research questions

  1. Research question 1: How do trade-offs and synergies manifest themselves in transdisciplinary research processes?
  2. Research question 2: What factors influence the emergence of synergies and trade-offs?
  3. Research question 3: What strategies exist for dealing with syntheses and trade-offs?

The joint research of ZTG and ISOE is designed as a qualitative second-order analysis of the empirical data collected in the first phase of tdAcademy. ZTG is analyzing workshops carried out with transdisciplinary projects to promote their societal effects. ISOE analyses qualitative interviews conducted with researchers. The empirical material will be coded and categorized to develop an exploratory understanding of constellations and factors that may lead to synergies and trade-offs. The aim is to formulate empirically grounded statements on trade-offs and synergies in transdisciplinary research as well as on existing strategies for consciously dealing with them in research practice.

Photo: Collection of potential synergies and trade-offs in transdisciplinary research processes.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please get in touch with the contact persons of topic line 1 and topic line 2.  


15. August 2023

Getting to know transdisciplinary methods in rural areas of Brandenburg – A report on the second international tdAcademy Summer School

The second international tdAcademy Summer School took place in 2023 and found positive resonance once again. 19 Master and PhD students with very different disciplinary and geographic backgrounds came together in Bad Freienwalde from 17th to 22nd September to learn about transdisciplinary methods and to apply them in an exemplary way to questions in rural areas of north-eastern Brandenburg. For all participants, this was an exciting and enriching continuation of the Summer School cooperation between the tdAcademy team at the ZTG and the ISST of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC).

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4. Mai 2023

New publication of the Fellow Group "Societal Impact" published

The tdAcademy Fellow Group "Societal Impact" present the results of their collaboration on " Measuring and Evaluating Societal Impact" in their paper recently published in GAIA. Read now!

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1. Dezember 2022

Keeping a continuous eye on impact - results of the reflection workshop

In November 2022, Josefa Kny and Martina Schäfer (ZTG/TU Berlin) organised a digital reflection workshop on preliminary findings of topic line 1 "Societal Effects", discussed and enriched by comments from Arnim Wiek and Flurina Schneider.

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1. August 2022

Transdisciplinary methods with sea view – A report of the 1st tdAcademy Summer School

In September 2022, ZTG together with ISST/UPC conducted the first international tdAcademy Summer School. 27 master students and PhD students gathered in the Alt Empordà region. 

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1. August 2022

Impact Workshops enter the second round

In 2022, the Impact Workshops in Topic Line 1 "Societal Effects" enter the second round. Here we asked participants for feedback after their second Impact Workshop. 

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30. Juli 2022

Video (EN): Webinar on developing Theories of Change in inter- and transdisciplinary contexts

In the webinar „Keep rol(l)ing! Developing Theories of Change in inter- and transdisciplinary contexts“ on July 12, 2022, the tdAcademy team at ZTG and Sabine Hoffmann (eawag) presented the results of their collaborative working process.

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1. April 2022

Impact orientation is an ongoing topic! Results from the dialog forum

In March 2022, topic line 1 held a dialogue forum to present and discuss preliminary results and to stimulate exchange among participants.

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15. Dezember 2021

Video (German only): Florian Knutzen on participating in our Impact Workshop

Florian Knutzen (GERICS, Helmholtz Center Hereon) talks about his experiences from our Impact Workshop.

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26. Juli 2021

Video: (German) Christoph Siemers on Impact Workshop

Christoph Siemers from Stadtentwässerung Braunschweig GmbH talks about his experiences and impressions of the tdAcademy impact workshop. 

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8. Juli 2021

Video (German): Feedback on Impact Workshop

Several workshops on impact reflection have taken place in the topic line Societal Effects. Participant Stephanie Moser (CDE, University of Bern) shares her insights in the video (in German).

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22. Juli 2021

Video: Caroline Fernolend on Impact Workshop

Caroline Fernolend (Mihai Eminescu Trust) reports on her experience from the tdAcademy Impact Workshop.

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22. Juli 2021

Video: Flurin Cappis on Impact Workshop

Flurin Cappis from the Economic, Energy and Environment Directorate of the Canton Bern on the tdAcademy Impact Workshop.

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10. Juni 2021

Video (German): Feedback on Impact Workshop

The first workshops on impact reflection have taken place in the topic line Societal Effects. Participant Hannah Sachße shares her insights in the video (in German).

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15. September 2021

ITD Session: Potentials and limitations of Theory of Change (ToC)

In preparation for the session, we present the submissions for the ITD workshop on ToC.

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20. August 2021

ITD Session: How to assess societal impact of research

In preparation for the session, we present the submissions for the ITD workshop on impact assessment.

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20. September 2021

#ITD21 Session: Call for Contributions "How to assess societal impact of research"

At the ITD Conference 2021, topic line 1 will be present with a session on impact assessment and reflection. Interested researchers can already contribute in advance.

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