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Agility in Transdisciplinary Research: Lessons Learnt from a Research Sprint on Digital Technologies and Flood Risk Management

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

Publication date13/03/2020
Number of pages11
Original languageEnglish
EventICT4S – International Conferences of ICT for Sustainability 2020 -
Duration: 21/06/2020 → …


ConferenceICT4S – International Conferences of ICT for Sustainability 2020
Period21/06/20 → …


Environmental challenges demand radically transdisciplinary approaches in order to respond to their complexity. Whilst transdisciplinarity has become a buzzword, less attention has been given to approaches that genuinely transcend disciplinary boundaries and support work within multifaceted and volatile research environments. This paper examines the adaptation of an existing transdisciplinary research management framework and extracts lessons learnt from its adoption in a one-year research sprint exploring the role of digital technologies in flood risk management (the flood sprint). Drawing on interviews (N=14) with the flood sprint core university team (including researchers and the project administrator) and partners, we present the opportunities and challenges of this approach. Specifically, we find that whilst the approach fostered meaningful relationships and knowledge building between the researchers and the partners, challenges were experienced within the research team around internal collaboration and the pressures of the sprint cycle. The balance between rapid prototyping and longevity was also a challenge.