Conference on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research for sustainable development


Auditoire AGORA 12 - Louvain-la-Neuve

26 November 2021

Language of the event: French and English



In the context of “Horizon 600”, the new strategic plan of the university, UCLouvain approved an ambitious "Transition Plan".

One of the main objectives set for the "research" component of the Transition Plan consists of "Stimulating and supporting the emergence of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research in the field of sustainable development and transition."

Both interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches are increasingly required to address ecological and social transition challenges involving interdependent technical, economic or socio-cultural dimensions and a plurality of actors at the level of society. These approaches mobilize specific disciplinary knowledge from all sectors of the university (Sciences and Technology, Social sciences and Humanities, Health Sciences), but they also attempt to integrate different types of knowledge through processes of co-construction of knowledge between researchers from different disciplines and social actors involved in transition initiatives.

Such research often requires specific support in terms of methodological tools, types of partnerships with social actors or visibility in academic journals and international conferences.

In this context, on 26 November 2021, a scientific “Conference on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research for sustainable development” will be organised at UCLouvain.


The conference will be formatted along several programme activities:

  • Plenary sessions to discuss the theoretical, methodological and societal challenges of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research

Our guest speaker, Merritt Polk (University of Gotenburgh, Sweden), will deliver a plenary keynote lecture entitled ‘Institutionalizing transdisciplinary co-production at the University‘.

Prof. Tom Dedeurwaerdere will provide methodological insights into such approaches and introduce a “Vademecum for Transdisciplinary Research”.

In an open panel discussion, UCLouvain professors from different sectors will present how the principles of inter and transdisciplinary research affect their work and share their views on specific methodological and societal challenges posed by these approaches. The conference participants will also be invited to share their views.

  • Thematic Sessions

Following an open call for scientific contributions, UCLouvain researchers involved in interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary research projects will present their research work or their research protocols in a series of thematic parallel sessions.

  • Plenary Session on Future and ongoing UCLouvain interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research initiatives linked to Sustainable Development (Living labs, Circle U., Louvain4 etc.)
  • Plenary discussions aiming to evaluate the lessons learnt from the conference and draw a roadmap for supporting future interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research at UCLouvain.


Date: 26 November 2021

Time: 09:00 – 17:00

Covid Safe Ticket : Physical participation in the conference is subject to the health rules in force at UCLouvain. Attendance at the conference is therefore subject to the Covid Safe Ticket and the wearing of a mask.


The conference will take place in Louvain-la-Neuve The plenary sessions will take place at:

Auditoire AGORA 12 (first floor)
Place Agora 19
1348 Louvain-la-Neuve

The Thematic parallel sessions will take place at Collège Thomas More (Place Montesquieu, 2).

A sandwich lunch will be organized for the participants in the reception hall of AGORA 12

We strongly favour physical presence for participation and involvement in the discussions. Nevertheless, online participation will be possible for the plenary morning sessions. Joining instructions will be sent by email prior to the conference.


Participation is free but registration is mandatory via this form