I was born and live in South Africa. Currently, I’m a research associate with the Centre for Sustainability Transitions (CST) at Stellenbosch University (SU). Prior to the CST, I was actively involved in building and managing the TsamaHub (Transdisciplinarity, Sustainability, Modelling and Assessment) — an inter-faculty institution working across many different academic disciplines at SU on a wide range of sustainability-related challenges. Amongst its many projects, the TsamaHub developed a transdisciplinary doctoral programme — known as TRECCAfrica — leveraging the necessary international funding for conducting this intra-Africa doctoral programme. In 2015, the TsamaHub participated in a successful submission to the National Research Foundation (NRF) to establish a new ‘flagship project’ in the areas of Sustainability, Complexity, Transdisciplinarity at SU, as the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition, more recently known as the Centre for Sustainability Transitions (CST).
I hold several post-graduate degrees in philosophy, theology and sociology. In my PhD I developed the notion of methodological agility (MA) — a meta-level research strategy for the understanding of the need to switching between the mono-, multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary research methodologies, when tackling sustainability transitions in and under radically different contextual conditions in the world today. For example: the need for transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable & sustainable energies sources may be CLEAR — warranting mono-disciplinary approaches. However, the many different transitioning path-ways of doing this are not necessarily STRAIGHTFORWARD at all — warranting different permutations of multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinarity.
Designing and using appropriate methods for being methodologically agile is a real challenge for doing TTDR. Narrative Action Research (NAR) — explained in more detail on this website (see the Tools page in particular) — is only one approach in this regard.
My contact details are as follows:
Dr John van Breda