Multi-track TTDR processes:

There is not just one way of conducting TTDR processes, but indeed multiple different ways of initiating and managing these. How we actually go about doing this in practice, is always context dependent — meaning that it is contingent upon both the actual issues and stake-holders involved.

There are at least the following three different kinds and ways of conducting TTDR processes:

  • Track.1: Formal processes ~ engaging with legitimised stakeholders mandated as representatives to speak and make decisions on behalf of the needs, interests and values of others in collaborative decision-making processes;
  • Track.2: Informal processes ~ engaging with non-legitimised social actors in their informal networks and settings with no official mandate to speak or make decisions on behalf of others – only on behalf of themselves;
  • Track.3: Hybrid processes ~ engaging with individuals or groups who are in a so-called in-between or transitionary state of legitimation — in other words, people who are still in the process of becoming legitimised. This, in short, means dealing with a situation of emergent legitimation, significantly contributed to by virtue of the relevant social actors’ actual participation in collaborative TTDR processes.

Each of these three tracks can be conceived of as transdisciplinary processes in their own right when disciplinary experts, from various academic disciplines, engage with social actors / stakeholders to co-produce said systems, target and transformation knowledge (see homepage). In practice, though, they are always embedded in particular societal settings and will, therefore, be constructed and conducted as three different tracks, in response to their own context-specific challenges. This, in turn, means that the actual research strategies pursued in anyone of the three tracks for knowledge co-production will always vary from context to context — making it impossible to merely adopt an instrumental cut & paste approach for performing knowledge transfer between these three different transdisicplinary tracks / processes.

When used as an ideal-typical framework (Weber), the Jahn model (2008) below is quite a useful way for visualising collaborative transdisciplinary modes of doing science with society:

The dynamically highlighted middle section (in blue) signifies any one of the above three different multi-track processes. However, in practice, TTDR processes will never be as linear as depicted in the above visualisation. When adopting NAR for doing TTDR processes, the latter become non-linear / iterative — which can be visualised as follows (see methods page for more detail):