Chapter 31: Toolkits for transdisciplinary research: state of the art, challenges, and potentials for further developments
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Confronted with complex, rapidly changing, global challenges, societies need research that helps people understand complexity and join forces. Transdisciplinary (TD) research is a promising approach for addressing various stakeholders and generating actionable knowledge. TD researchers adapt and develop methods and tools for the collaboration and co-production of knowledge. Toolkits for TD research aim to compile potentially useful methods and tools for rather dispersed TD communities in order to provide an overview, guidance, and sources for applying, developing, and combining methods. In this chapter, we discuss the role of toolkits for TD communities (i.e., researchers, facilitators, trainers, and practitioners involved in TD research). We first introduce the main methodological challenges in TD research and specific requirements of TD methodology-situatedness, evolving methodology, sensitivity to unexpected change, and traceability-that may be addressed with the support of TD toolkits. We then briefly describe the emergence of TD-specific toolkits, also referring to toolkits that do not use TD for their framing but are of essential use for the TD communities. Based on this trajectory, and the specific case of the td-net toolbox, we discuss the extent to which toolkits help address methodological requirements for TD research and name potentials for future developments.

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