Institut für Soziale Ökologie
ABSTRACT: Researchers engaging in transdisciplinary sustainability research aim at producing solution-oriented, societally-relevant knowledge. As a result, they often need to operate in a tension between descriptive-analytical and process-oriented modes that can be troubling, but also constructive and even inspirational. This input draws from several years of transdisciplinary socioecological research on the Greek island of Samothraki, revolving around a vision of transforming the whole island into a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. What started as a response to environmental degradation by concerned citizens has gradually developed into an evolving research agenda co-designed by local actors. This contribution will discuss the role of scientific research in supporting this process, outlining challenges and synergies of managing a process with both scientific and practical goals. Drawing on standard transdisciplinary principles I will discuss how those were applied on Samothraki, some of the main empirically derived challenges that emerged, and response strategies pursued, highlighting the crucial role of collaboration.
Sophie Koppensteiner (sophie.koppensteiner [at] aau.at)