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Facilitating cooperation in transdisciplinary research and evaluating its role in SenseMaker® for a developing world context

Dr John van Breda, Prof Mark Swilling

Logics and principles for designing emergent transdisciplinary research processes

Dr John van Breda, Prof Mark Swilling

Establishment of an African TDR Network

Dr John van Breda

Enkanini Informal Settlement

Dr John van Breda

In 2011, the Stellenbosch University-based transdisciplinary research group approached the Enkanini community with the idea of working with residents to come up with solutions to poor living conditions and a lack of energy provision. After months of immersion in the community, the residents welcomed them in and, through continuous discussion, the central issues affecting quality of life began to emerge, the most primary of which was the lack of energy provision (electricity). Their provisional research question was “What could be done between now and the arrival of the [electricity] grids to improve quality of life?” In other words, what can be done while we wait?” Then, additional issues surfaced through this immersive process including the unsafe living conditions that put personal health and safety at risk, and a lack of waste disposal infrastructure (sanitation and garbage). The lack of basic service infrastructure compounded the reality of living in badly constructed shacks. The resultant negative quality of life was apparent to researchers when visiting residents in their home.

Seeds of Good Anthropocenes

Dr Rika Preiser, Prof Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs, Dr Laura Pereira

This project “Seeds of a Good Anthropocene” is a collaboration led by McGill University in Canada, the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University in Sweden, and the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST) at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. It forms part of the initiative “Bright Spots – Seeds of a Good Anthropocene,” a FutureEarth funded project in its first phase (2014-2016).

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