Publications in Scientific Journals:

T. Tötzer, S. Sedlacek, M. Knoflacher:
"Designing the future - a reflection of a transdisciplinary case study in Austria";
Futures, Vol. 43 (2011), Issue 8; 840 - 852.



English abstract:
The paper presents a transdisciplinary case study which aimed to encourage a vital regional
process for building more sustainable structures and regional networks in the future. The
case study looks at the industrial city of Steyr which is located in a highly dynamic region in
Upper Austria and has to compete with other regional industrial centres and on the global
market with internationally acting companies in the automotive sector. For finding local
strategies to cope with globally induced pressures and changes several foresight
techniques and transdisciplinary approaches have been applied such as interviews, photo
elicitation, workshops and scenario building. The transdisciplinary case study is reflected
by exploring three major research questions: first, how does transdisciplinarity work in
practice, second, what are the benefits and limitations of transdisciplinary research in
regional foresight processes and third, how can transdisciplinary research contribute to
initiating a long-term process for building sustainable networks and structures in the
region. Some answers can be given from the empirical example of Steyr. The case study
shows that particularly in regions with a long industrial history and tradition and where
existing paradigms cannot easily be overcome, a transdisciplinary procedure provides clear
advantages over sole expert solutions. Transdisciplinarity can be the key to get through to
the local actors, to develop perfectly fitting strategies for the region and to initiate joint
learning and in an ideal situation a long-term change process. New ideas, structures and
networks are established which are essential for improving the long-term development of
a region.

Created from the Publication Database of the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology.