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The real type and ideal type of transdisciplinary processes: part I - theoretical foundations


Transdisciplinarity integrates or relates different epistemics from science and practice (Mode 2 transdisciplinarity) or from branches of disciplines if interdisciplinary integration is impossible (Mode 1 transdisciplinarity). The paper explains, based on an analysis of the historical development of the Mode 2 transdisciplinarity concept, how transdisciplinary processes link interdisciplinary applied research and multi-stakeholder discourses by facilitating methods. We elaborate on what type of problems may be managed using what knowledge, how this might be accomplished, what types of objectives are desired, and by what organizational means. Thus the paper presents ontology, epistemology, methodology, functionality, and organization of an ideal type of transdisciplinary process. Socially robust orientations are the expected outcomes of this process. These orientations provide science-based, state-of-the-art, socially accepted options of solutions which acknowledge uncertainties and the incompleteness of different forms of epistemics (i.e., of knowing or thought), in particular within the sustainable transitioning of complex real-world Problems.

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Roland W. Scholz
Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB)
Gerald Steiner
Dekan der Fakultät für Wirtschaft und Globalisierung (Donau-Universität Krems)

Problem Discovery as a Collaborative, Creative, and Method-Guided Search for the “Real Problems” as Raw Diamonds of Innovation


This paper poses that the creative search for frequently hidden “real” problems is critical if innovation aims at comprehensive system improvements and changes in thinking paradigms, rather than simple, incremental changes. These hidden real problems can perhaps best be symbolized by raw diamonds, which one strives to find in order to then grind them into sparkling diamonds, i.e. innovation. Currently, problem solving-related research focuses on the analysis and solution of predefined problems, with little emphasis on problem reframing and systemic discovery; moreover, inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations for problem finding and the application of convoluted methods receive little attention. To illustrate the search process for raw diamonds, i.e. the real problem, by way of example, a comprehensive “toolbox of convoluted methods” is applied as part of a comprehensive problem discovery process. The Planetary Model of Collaborative Creativity (PMCC) serves as the conceptual basis for this method-based search for the real problems. It shows that this toolbox requires 1) Collaborative effort; 2) Comprehensive competences (personal, professional domain, systemic, creativity, and sociocultural competences); and 3) A circular creative problem solving process, which is embedded within a sequential working process.

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Gerald Steiner
Dekan der Fakultät für Wirtschaft und Globalisierung (Donau-Universität Krems)

Adopting a New Political Culture: Obstacles and Opportunities for Open Government in Austria (in The Paradox of Openness, S. 210-236)


Openness implies bottom-up empowerment and top-down transparency. The Paradox of Openness analyses the tensions encountered when openness is applied to the quest for democracy and markets, freedom and truth, compliance and transparency, and consensus and dissent in progressive Nordic societies.

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Peter Parycek
Leiter des Departments für E-Governance in Wirtschaft und Verwaltung (Donau-Universität Krems)
Judith Schoßböck
Zentrum E-Governance (Donau-Universität Krems)
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