Narrative Based Transdisciplinary Research using the sensemaker tool

A research workshop offered by Stellenbosch University at the Sustainability Institute

Course Objectives

Developing better understanding of transdisciplinarity and how this approach differs from mono-, multi- and inter-disciplinarity.

Developing better understanding of transdisciplinary research processes and the twin-objective of co-producing the following outcomes:

  • Contributing to finding integrated and innovative solutions to complex societal challenges in Africa (e.g. food security).
  • Contributing to new ways of understanding and bringing about social change in a developing world context (theory building).

Developing some practical insights for using in your own individual research projects.

Watch the course overview above or explore section by section below.


“We can't solve problems with the same mindset that created the problems in the first place.” Albert Eisntein


"It ain’t what you do not know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so." Mark Twain

Learn how to co-produce transformative knowledge capable of both understanding and bringing about social change.

Develop research programs and projects that are relevant.

Design new research methodologies and methods capable of crossing the disciplinary divide.


“Data, data, data! I cannot make bricks without clay.” Sherlock Holmes


“Complexity is looking at interacting elements and asking how they form patterns and how the patterns unfold. It’s important to point out that the patterns may never be finished. They’re open-ended. In standard science this hit some things that most scientists have a negative reaction to. Science doesn’t like perpetual novelty.” Brian Arthur


"The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater than the superimposed influences that keep us apart." Kwame Nkrumah

Metaphor, analogy and the evolution of language get missed by content analysis approaches. The meaning is not in the content, but in the context.


"Research is formalised curiosity. It is poking and prying with purpose." Zora Neale Hurston

Created By
James Tayler

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