Title (eng)

Dissemination and Communication of the Transdisciplinary Project "KNOTS"


Lukas Semmler


Institut für Internationale Entwicklung (IE)


The project „KNOTS“ is a three-year scheduled project financed by the European Union. The goal is the establishment of regional and international networks of transdisciplinary research as well as the development of transdisciplinary teaching methods. This paper analyses its internal and external communication and dissemination on the basis of qualitative interviews and observation protocols. It theoretically outlines Transdisciplinarity and organizational communication as well as scientific communication. The interviews and the protocol of a dissemination workshop have shown that the dissemination in the KNOTS project could still be described as work-in-progress, evidently seen in the different understandings of dissemination (mainly) and Transdisciplinarity (partly). There was a general confusion about roles, division of work, responsibilities and the topic of dissemination specifically. There is not a mutual strategy for dissemination, but many different approaches. This counts especially for the time before the dissemination workshop. As one might expect, it resulted in mostly negatively reviewed dissemination activities as expressed by the respondents. An effective internal communication, however, as outlined in the theoretical framework, is key to an effective external communication. Furthermore, there did not seem to be a lot of motivation to come up with sophisticated ideas for dissemination, because, as some interviewees mentioned, they thought of dissemination as a kind of chore assigned by the donor. The workshop may have helped to clarify the roles and expectations for each partner and get a better understanding for dissemination and its importance. It appears that the quality and processes of dissemination of project KNOTS will not change fundamentally for the last period of the project. It poses an example of the challenges and issues transdisciplinary projects face in terms of dissemination activities.

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KNOTS, Transdisciplinarity, Dissemination, Scientific communication, organizational communication

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