Digital tools for transdisciplinary and transformative research and learning

Illustration: Simone Kummer

How can we organize co-creation, if we cannot work closely with others? Researchers and lecturers were used to design co-creation and learning processes for inter- and transdisciplinary research in face-to-face settings. Then came the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing, quarantining and working from home changed the way we did things. But this disruption has also offered a unique opportunity to explore new options by challenging stable structures and shifting education and research into a liminal state, where innovations are possible and transformative learning moments emerge. These moments led to new forms of organizing research and education.

Transformative science in the digital space

Transformative science in the digital space requires new knowledge, attitudes and skills. Co-creation, especially in a transdisciplinary environment, is not easily converted from physical meetings to an online format. Rather, it requires a conscious use of digital tools and a critical reflection about their influence on our interactions: how does the online environment influence communication? How can participation and inclusion be enabled, contributive fairness be fostered and trust be created in an online setting?

To ensure that the opportunities and challenges arising from the pandemic are fully embraced, a CDE research team developed guidelines that translate experiences of researchers and lecturers into hands-on guidelines ready to use. These guidelines focus on the knowledge, attitudes, and skills related to co-creation for sustainable development. They are needed for four types of competences – digital, professional, social, and personal.