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The positive spin of covering-up failed transdisciplinary implementation Willi Haas and Barbara Smetschka Institute of Social Ecology, Vienna Alpen-Adria.

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Presentation on theme: "The positive spin of covering-up failed transdisciplinary implementation Willi Haas and Barbara Smetschka Institute of Social Ecology, Vienna Alpen-Adria."— Presentation transcript:

1 The positive spin of covering-up failed transdisciplinary implementation Willi Haas and Barbara Smetschka Institute of Social Ecology, Vienna Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt Td-conference 2010: Implementation in Inter- and Transdisciplinary Research, Practice and Teaching Paper 8.3.

2 Haas/Smetschka | TD net conf Genf | | 2 Institute for Social Ecology, Vienna, SEC Based in experimentally orientated faculty for interdisciplinary studies, appreciating processes and reflection Master programme, human and social ecology, ID/TD teaching for 10 years Society nature interactions at different scales, long term, different world regions Thematic area Sustainability support: how to intervene into societal self-observation at different scales

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5 Haas/Smetschka | TD net conf Genf | | 5 Case study Disaster destroys Nicobar islands (tsunami 2004) Research focus: How can science help in promoting wise help and sustainable development? (translational project, funded by Austrian Science Foundation) Aim: Promote projects which are feasible for local people, local and national government and researchers.

6 Haas/Smetschka | TD net conf Genf | | 6 Please formulate a first research question! What scientific discipline are you from? What are the two other disciplines you will need the most? Place yourself and the representatives of these disciplines vis a vis the research question and each other What do you expect from each of them? What can you offer and what are you interested in? … Give it a first try …

7 Societal actions, environ. pressures and ecological limits Communication interface with Nicobarese What development options based on Nicobarese needs and interests are possible given ecological limits, financial resources and social structures? Development options and financial resources Needs Needs and interests Social Anthropology House- holds Tribal council Educational Science Social and Cultural Ecology Development Studies Interests Compatibility with social structures Sociology

8 Haas/Smetschka | TD net conf Genf | | 8 Excessive demands Researcher with T-competence Researcher with T-competence working in teams Researcher with T-competence working in teams with stakeholders Researcher with multi-T-competence From academia: expecting scientific excellence From funding bodies: demanding overall success From the field: expecting useful solutions From within oneself: motivation to make a difference, while not jeopardizing ones career Increasing from D to ID to TD research

9 Haas/Smetschka | TD net conf Genf | | 9 Covering-up failed td implementation: strategies and their function Bridging gaps between paragraphs independent in substance by smoothly phrased connections One-person last-minute tour de force to wrap up td-projects by smart thoughts that point out single aspects from comprehensive but isolated parts Smooth narratives covering different subjects but not based in disciplines (missing theory and methods) The use of (scientific) bridging concepts by only cursorily touching disciplines or their subjects Language skills One person show Leaving science Shallow bridging concepts It doesnt help to point out failed implementation It requires an approach that mitigates demands and helps in securing quality

10 Haas/Smetschka | TD net conf Genf | | 10 Complexity: from reductionistic to holistic to dealing with complexity Coping strategies based on reflection and (self-) observation may finally facilitate a genuine TD process Bringing results to fruition needs backward planning: what needs to be achieved and what structures and processes are required has to be negotiated with all persons involved from the very beginning. Learning: in order to teach TD-competencies it is necessary to steer learning processes by providing experience space and inspiring settings

11 Ecological, economic and social limitations Communication interface with Nicobarese Needs based options What development options based on Nicobarese needs and interests are possible given ecological limits, financial resources and social structures? Development options and financial resources Needs Needs and interests Social Anthropology House- holds Tribal council Educational Science Development Studies Involvement Research question Feeding back results Societal actions, environ. pressures and ecological limits Social and Cultural Ecology Sociology Interests Compatibility with social structures

12 Haas/Smetschka | TD net conf Genf | | 12 Project constellation Is a method based in Systemic Structural Constellations a group simulation procedure developed by Matthias Varga von Kibéd and Insa Sparrer useful in therapy, consulting and coaching, mediation, and organizational development, as well as to promote creative processes bringing representatives, locations and free elements into the constellation helps to add temporal and spatial aspects in equidistance to scientific knowledge and life experience treating and reaching all persons involved on equal terms helping to create pictures of the project and foster crucial integration giving the chance to design a process feasible and useful for all participants

13 Haas/Smetschka | TD net conf Genf | | 13 To deal with complexity: from integration dogma to added value Being aware of demands and quality dilemma (scientific excellence and/or useful solution) Reflect and discuss shortcomings and feasible added value Experience in team constellations to enable awareness Find creative ways and use backward planning Can they help to overcome the need to cover-up and to promote a transdisciplinary process?

14 Haas/Smetschka | TD net conf Genf | | 14 TD-research: walkability of water Thank you for your attention


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