On June 8-9 2016, John van Breda, of Stellenbosch University’s Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST), addressed a colloquium at the Universidade Federale de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil. The colloquium was titled Trends and Challenge for Higher Education in Latin America and BRICS and was facilitated by the Institute for Advanced Transdisciplinary Studies, UFGM.

John shared insights about the experience of transdisciplinary research at Stellenbosch University. He explained the importance of always understanding the context within which transformative transdisciplinary research takes place, and identified the ‘time of the Anthropocene’ as the planetary context for transdisciplinary work to happen across the globe, including local settings such as in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

John noted that the path to understanding and developing transdisciplinarity at Stellenbosch University (a journey started in 2005), has been a unique one. The existence of different approaches to transdisciplinary research around the world creates a perfect incentive for cross-institutional discussion and learning.

Finally, John shared lessons from transdisciplinary research that has taken place in eNkanini, an informal settlement adjacent to Stellenbosch, since 2011.

The full address is below: