Call for Papers: Leuphana Sustainability Summit “Enabling a Transdisciplinary Approach”

29th February – 2nd March 2012

A growing number of businesses is dealing with corporate sustainability issues. As corporate sustainability covers a wide range of complex topics such as emission reductions, biodiversity management, sustainability-oriented product and service innovation, sustainable supply chain management, or corporate influences on communities and regional development, its successful implementation depends on the contributions of experts from various disciplines in management, environmental science, psychology, sociology, economics, and related disciplines. In fact, the complexity of many sustainability challenges requires problem-solving approaches that transcend not only boundaries between academic disciplines but also between academics and practitioners. This is what transdisciplinarity is about. Transdisciplinary approaches, however, are just being developed. Both managers and academics are only beginning to learn to organize joint transdisciplinarity processes of analysis and solution creation.

Contributions may address but need not be limited to the following aspects:

Papers with stronger focus on the application of the transdisciplinary methodology (or variations of related methods such as action research, participative inquiry, insider-outsider research, design thinking, etc.):

  • Transdisciplinary approaches for integrating sustainability into business model development, corporate strategy processes, innovation and technology management, entrepreneurship, accounting and performance management/measurement, supply chain management, etc.
  • Transdisciplinary approaches to the management of internal company sustainability (management) processes and multi-stakeholder processes
  • Case studies of companies involved in transdisciplinary approaches of corporate sustainability
  • Transdisciplinary projects in companies in transitory, emerging, and developing countries

Papers more strongly focused on the transdisciplinary methodology itself:

  • The links between methods known as action research, participative inquiry, insider-outsider research, cross-functional/interdisciplinary teams, design thinking etc., on the one hand, and transdisciplinary methodology, on the other.
  • History and evolution of transdisciplinary methods for corporate sustainability
  • Comparison and analysis of different transdisciplinarity approaches in corporate contexts
  • Conceptual and/or analytical frameworks for successful transdisciplinarity projects for companies
  • Requirements for successful transdisciplinary projects (e.g. processes, actors) and approaches for meeting these requirements
  • Systems, tools and organizational structures for implementing and managing transdisciplinary processes and projects in companies
  • Analysis of indicators to measure the success of transdisciplinary processes in companies
  • Surveys and empirical investigations of the success, change, and cultural differences in transdisciplinarity practices
  • Intercultural differences in corporate transdisciplinarity practices

Submission instructions

Presenters of a paper are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 500 words. Please include the following details:

Title: no more than 15 words
Authors: names of each author with surname first, presenting author underlined
Abstract: in English, font size: 10 Arial, single line spacing
Institutional affiliation: name of institution or professional association (please indicate if you are an early career researcher or experienced researcher)
Contact Details: email address and telephone number of the presenting author.

The following questions may be relevant for all contributions: What is your disciplinary background and what perspective have you applied in your research? What are your research questions and what is your research design?

The deadline for abstract submission is 31 October, 2011. Only abstracts submitted via the online submission systems will be considered. Please see the details at the conference website: