Interdisciplinary Organizations

Full Title

Interdisciplinary research matters: Pathways to successful organizational models


Twenty international science leaders (deans, directors, chief executives from six continents) assembled at SESYNC to discuss the urgent need for mainstreaming inter- and transdisciplinary research surrounding developing solutions for a sustainable future. The influential group of research leaders represented a range of research and education institutions including universities, national research organizations, international research networks, and large multi-institution long-term research activities. Each brought extensive experience in leading research activities at the institutional level. The meeting was motivated by the fact that society is calling for more solutions-based approaches and want the research enterprise to respond to and influence that demand. The participants shared many challenges and successes for implementing new forms of research enabled by integrating biophysical and social science approaches. A tangible and important outcome of the meeting was the formalization of a community of practice and the generation of an action plan for rapidly advancing inter- and transdisciplinary research approaches. Among other objectives is to cultivate and empower the next generation of leaders in overcoming current structural and institutional barriers to provide training and support for research that leads to positive sustainable futures both locally and globally.

Project Type
Team Synthesis Project
Arun Agrawal, IFRI, University of Michigan
Kamal Bawa, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment
Paul Bertsch, CSIRO Land and Water
Chris Boone, Arizona State University
Colin Campbell, The James Hutton Institute
Paul Dodd, Office of Research, University of California, Davis
Iain Gordon, James Cook University
David Hart, University of Maine
Jessica Hellmann, University of Minnesota
Anthony Janetos, Boston University
Hein Mallee, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
Alison Miller, Columbia University
Mark New, University of Cape Town
Jean Ometto, Rede-Clima
Steward Pickett, LTER Baltimore Ecosystem Study, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Ken Taylor, Our Land and Water National Science Challenge
Gabriele Wendorf, Technische Universit├Ąt Berlin

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