WE LOVE TRANSDISCIPLINARITY MAITE DUGU – Shaping the future of universities

There is an increasingly broad, deep and severe inadequacy of our unarticulated, broken-up and divided knowledge, on the one hand; and, on the other, realities or problems are increasingly multi-disciplinary, transversal, multidimensional, transnational, global and planetary. – Edgar Morin.

Chaired by: Elena Urdaneta and Igor Campillo (Euskampus Fundazioa)
Co-chaired by: Olivia Bina and Marta Varanda (COST-Intrepid)
Date: 6th and 7th September 2018
Place: Palacio Miramar, Pº de Miraconcha nº 48. Donostia / San Sebastián

There is a widespread awareness of the need to delve deeper into the meaning of transdisciplinarity and its ability to transform our way of generating knowledge: pressing global and societal challenges require a fundamental convergence of disciplines, which generate fields that are common to all. These convergence spaces lead to the creation and transformation of new conceptual and methodological frameworks that no discipline can claim to be its own or exclusive.

On January 2016, Euskampus Fundazioa summoned a group of researchers linked to the University of the Basque Country to jointly reflect on transdisciplinary collaboration. The main purpose was to bring together talents in a shared reflection on the challenges and benefits that transdisciplinary collaboration involves and crystallize them in opportunities for the future. As a result, a document was released with the main conclusions to foster transdisciplinarity, bringing the University closer to Society in order to offer local responses to global challenges.

In 2015 the COST-INTREPID network started its way with the overall aim to better understand how to achieve more efficient and effective interdisciplinary research in Europe, in order to enhance our capacity to meet contemporary global challenges characterized by increasing complexity and uncertainty. INTREPID gathers scientists and professionals from various disciplines and 27 EU countries in a common space for reflection on the role and opportunities of interdisciplinarity in research programming and funding cycles, addressing multiple stages and dimensions of the research and innovation process. INTREPID draws on examples and experience related to sustainable urban development& research.

Echoing both initiatives, now Euskampus Fundazioa and COST-Intrepid join forces to celebrate a summer course, in the context of the University of the Basque Country’s Summer School, that addresses different dimensions (transdisciplinarity, co-creation and co-production of knowledge, interconnectedness, openness, inclusiveness of societal actors, anchorage to the territory, etc.) that will shape the future of universities and research centres. A practical approach will be deployed through lectures and workshops in which each participant will be able to learn insights provided by leading professionals and to share her/his own personal experiences. In this way, the ideas and conclusions generated over the two-day course will be based on the participants’ real experience.


1. To promote transdisciplinarity in academic research as a necessary approach to transform universities to become more responsible and engaged with society aiming sustainability.
2. To be aware and share experiences of transformation initiatives and processes in higher education institutions and research centers with a holistic approach.
3. To gather methodologies and best practices recommendations to materialize transdisciplinary approaches and co-creation environments in a real time period.
4. To identify structural and cultural challenges in the organizations that catalyze working in more transdisciplinary, engaged, open and responsible ways.


In order to be able to organize and develop transformative learning and ideas, our creative reflection will be structured around three levels, ranging from the individual to the institution. Several workshops will be the backbone of the summer course, covering these levels of transformation.

1. Personal and interpersonal level
We will explore and share the aptitudes, attitudes and emotions that foster or hinder shifts to work in a more transdisciplinary, open, and responsible way.

2. Contextual Level
We will explore and share:
• Co-creation working methodologies that foster trust, reciprocity and generative scenarios.
• The role that physical and virtual environments play in the generation and co-production of knowledge.

3. Institutional Level
We will explore and share organizational and regulatory changes in universities and other knowledge institutions that stimulate and/or slow down collaboration, transdisciplinarity, inclusiveness of different actors, openness, new governance models, and responsiveness.

Keynote presentations

Theory U perspective and levers of transformation shaping the future of universities

Igor Campillo, Euskampus Fundazioa

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On being a Trans Scientist: no guide, no limits

Prof. Leire Escajedo (University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU)

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Why and How to Promote Interdisciplinarity in Research at the University?
from epistemological to practical aspects

Pierre Dos Santos Bordeaux University

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Windesheim Honours College-Value Creators: Educating at personal and interpersonal levels

Liesbeth Rijsdijk (PhD), Director External Relations and Senior Researcher Social Innovation &  María García Álvarez (MA) Lecturer and Coordinator of Value Creators

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Value creation with the E-Model

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Contextual level-Physical and virtual spaces

Professor Olivia Bina , University of Lisbon

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The Future University

Professor Prue Chiles , University of Sheffield

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We love Transdisciplinarity Maite dugu – Shaping the future of universities

Keynote lecture & Workshop by K2K

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Board Games and Regulars’ Tables — Extending User Centred Design in the Mobia Project

Johannes Tröger, Jan Alexandersson, Jochen Britz and Maurice Rekrut, German Research Center for Artifical Intelligence – DFKI GmbH

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