International workshop on facilitation for transdisciplinary research

Method Seminar: A joint Mistra Urban Futures & Intrepid Cost Action initiative 


Facilitation is commonly interpreted according to procedures and practical attributes that are meant to enhance the realization of desired outcomes of events, educational programs, projects or other collective activities. Although it can be helpful to learn about facilitation in different professional domains these contributions commonly address subjects and purposes that are quite different from interdisciplinary (ID) and transdisciplinary (TD) teaching, research and practice. This workshop will address this gap in order to highlight how facilitators can enable participatory action research that is also transdisciplinary.

There are few evaluations of the added value of nominating a facilitator for co-design and co-production phases of TD urban research projects. This workshop therefore aims to identify evaluation criteria to overcome this shortcoming in order to improve training and practice. This collaborative workshop is intended to launch an international debate grounded in the sharing of experience, knowledge and know-how about the facilitation of transdisciplinary projects within urban development. It is a joint venture between participants in COST Intrepid and Mistra Urban Futures Gothenburg Local Interaction Platform (GOLIP), including current and former GOLIP project leaders and participants of the Urban Futures Open Research School.   

This one-day workshop will address the following core themes and sub-themes about the facilitation of TD projects for urban development in order to improve curricula and training.

There are numerous methods and tool boxes available for application by participants during TD-projects within urban development. However, very little is known today about which methods and tools are used at which stage of the processes. Does this differ between different contexts and international settings? Is the growing number of tools and methods around indicating a demand or ignorance of what has already been achieved in this field, or are they a sign of how the field as such is experimenting and evolving? What can experience of COST Intrepid participants and reports from Mistra Urban Futures project members inform us about the tools and methods that facilitate TD-processes?

A facilitator commonly denotes a person who has specific roles and tasks to guide a process, project in order to achieve a desired goal more easily than if they were absent. The facilitator of a TD-process or project is a person who guides the phases of a project using her/his personal and professional capabilities together with certain methods and tools that enable a group to achieve desired outcomes. What are the specific challenges to be aware of and which theoretical support is required to understand how to interact as process dynamics unfolds? What capabilities can a professional facilitator provide from experiences of multi-stakeholder processes, that also would be useful for a TD-process? 

These themes will be discussed by the participants during the day, with a session of reporting back to towards a common final session where the evaluation of criteria will be discussed.

Date:  14th March, 2019 in Gothenburg, Sweden
Time: 9.00–17.00
Location: Chalmers Conference Center, Venue Ascom 
Tram stop: Chalmers, Chalmersplatsen 1.

Register here in the link on the 8th of March at the latest.

Programme (please note that there may be changes) 

8.30 Coffee and registration

9.00 Introduction to Workshop: Aims, Scope and Outcomes
Henrietta Palmer, Dep. Scientific Director Mistra Urban Futures, 
Roderick Lawrence, Professor, COST Intrepid
Sophia Kaså, facilitator Mistra Urban Futures, Gothenburg Platform and Katalysator

9.15 Facilitation methods and tools for TD-projects 
Chair: Henrietta Palmer

European experiences of method development from the Intrepid cost network, 
Josefine Fokdal, researcher International Urbanism, University of Stuttgart

Tools and methods from Mistra Urban Futures projects and a suggested frame-work for how to structure a TD-process
Kerstin Hemström, researcher at Mistra Urban Futures. 

Reflections on how to facilitate TD-projects locally and trans-locally, from a practitioner’s perspective,
Anna Johansen Fridén, professional facilitator and mediator and Head of education at Nätverkstan

10.15 Q&A (Questions and Answer)

10.30 Morning refreshments

10.45  Workshop in groups

What methods are necessary for facilitators of transdisciplinary projects?
Facilitated by Sophia Kaså together with Intrepid members and GOLIP 

12.00 Lunch 

13.00 Facilitators capabilities
Chair:Josefine Fokdal

Challenges of, theoretical support for and skills required in collaborative processes,
Alexander Hellquist, researcher SWEDESD/ Uppsala University

Approach and competences of a facilitator, possibly useful for TD-processes,
Sophia Kaså, facilitator Mistra Urban Futures Gothenburg Platform and Katalysator

13.50 Q&A (Questions & Answers)

14.05 Afternoon refreshments

14.35 Workshop in groups

Facilitated by Sophia Kaså together with Intrepid members and GOLIP 
What skills are necessary for facilitators of transdisciplinary projects?
What changes to the curricula of courses and training programs are necessary in order to account for acquirement of these skills and competences?

15.50 Synthesis & Key messages
Roundtable reports from group work to plenary 

16.45 Conclusion – Where do we go from here?
Roderick Lawrence, David Simon, director Mistra Urban Futures together with
Sophia Kaså

Henrietta Palmer, henrietta.palmer@chalmers.se 
Elma Durakovic, elma.durakovic@chalmers.se 

Photo: Ricardo Gomez/Angel Unsplash.com


Chalmersplatsen 1, 412 58 Göteborg