The Working Group on Transdisciplinary Systems Research is committed to producing outstanding empirically grounded and theoretically informed research, which describes, assesses and theorizes the complex transformation processes  in organic and alternative agro-food systems. Our research objective: Research themes of particular interest to the working group include transformation processes for sustainability and the implementation of positive change at micro-, meso- and macro level. To explore and develop an empirically grounded, theoretically informed and value-based understanding and perspective on organic agro-food issues, the core questions guiding our research practices are:

  • What insights and issues does a systems perspective offer for understanding the structure and dynamics of organic and alternative food and farming systems in local and global contexts?
  • What theoretical concepts deepen our understanding of the philosophical, social, political and socio-psychological dimensions of organic or other alternative movements and their future perspectives?
  • How can we assure that our transdisciplinary concerns respond to, and can be discussed with a wide range and diversity of people?  

Our research principles: Our research is guided by the principles of transdisciplinarity, theoretical openess as well as grounded in empiricism. By adopting a transdisciplinary research paradigm, we seek to integrate stakeholders from diverse academic and non-academic disciplines, and to ensure their active collaboration throughout the research process – from forming research questions to distributing and evaluating findings. In light of this, we rely on a broad range of qualitative research methods, including qualitative interviews, focus groups and discourse analyses, and encourage the creation of reflexive, cyclical, research processes.