The question of inter-generational transmission of knowledge: ensuring a succession of inter- and transdisciplinary researchers in Switzerland

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Invited expert: Roderick Lawrence, University of Geneva

In light of the complexity of environmental and social problems, that are increasingly global in scale, scholars advocate the need for inter-and transdisciplinary approaches towards more ‘sustainable development’. One of the main challenges associated with such endeavour is the transmission of learning and knowledge between generations, which involves methodological knowledge on how to lead inter- and transdisciplinary processes. As younger researchers enter into the field of ‘sustainable development’, how can we be ensured that advances and experiences from previous generations are integrated into more contemporary approaches – so that we are not constantly re-inventing the wheel. This is all the more relevant in the Swiss context, where inter- and transdisciplinarity regarding ‘sustainability’ in teaching and research needs to be further reinforced, among the current generation of scholars.

This workshop discussed specifically the theme of inter-generational transmission, when it comes to sustainability teaching and/or research.
To open the discussion, guest speaker Professor Roderick Lawrence, Director of the Global Environmental Policy Programme (GEPP) at the University of Geneva discussed his research and professional experience tackling questions of transdisciplinarity.
This presentation was followed by a brief presentation of the different projects associated with this workshop; the goal was to reflect on learnings to date from the projects, in relation to the theme of research succession.
The floor was then opened to discussions around this topic, moderated by one of the participants.

Workshop report and outcomes (pdf)
Valérie Boisvert, University of Lausanne
Marlyne Sahakian, University of Lausanne
Flurina Schneider, University of Bern
Antonietta Di Giulio, University of Basel


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