CPT-22806 Innovation Management and Transdisciplinary Design


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Group work15
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. LWA Klerkx
prof. dr. P Macnaghten
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. P Macnaghten
K Rijswijk
dr. ir. LWA Klerkx
dr. AJK Pols
Examiner(s)dr. ir. LWA Klerkx
prof. dr. P Macnaghten

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Introduction to Strategic Communication (CPT-12306), or Introduction to Communication and Innovation Studies (CPT-23804).

Continuation courses:

- CPT-32806 Change, Inter-human Processes and Communication;
- CPT-37306 Politics of Knowledge and Inclusive Innovation;
- CPT-60306 Facilitating Interactive Processes.


Degradation of natural resources, vulnerability of agricultural systems, fragile governments, environmental pollution, public health issues, climate change and rural poverty are but some of the interconnected global challenges or ‘wicked problems’ for which new answers must be found. People and organizations that aim to find solutions to these multifaceted complex problems need to forge a coherent balance between novel social, technical and institutional components, that anticipates user requirements and contextual conditions. Facilitating such a balance requires creative learning and negotiation processes amongst the different stakeholders, including natural and social scientists, connected to the issue. Systems innovation thinking and transdisciplinary research and design approaches can support these innovation processes, supporting broader transitions towards sustainability. This course will address conceptual, methodological and practical dimensions of systems thinking in innovation to deal with transformative change in both industrialized and developing countries.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- distinguish, critique and apply recent theories and modes of thinking about innovation and design processes in complex environments from a systemic perspective (especially in the Wageningen domains of agro-ecological and life sciences);
- analyse and assess the roles that knowledge workers (gamma and beta scientists and communication specialists such as advisors) may play in such socio-technical design and innovation processes;
- reflect on dilemmas related to bringing modes of transdisciplinary research and innovation into practice.


- lectures on relevant innovation theory and tools for socio-technical problem analysis;
- guest lectures on intervention and design approaches;
- group work on socio-technical problem analysis and interventions.


- individual assignment (20%);
- individual assignment (30%);
- group assignment (50%).
For each component (individual and group assignments) at least a score of 5 is needed. The average needs to be at least 5.5


A course outline can be obtained from the secretary of CPT.
Course literature links will be available on Blackboard.

Compulsory for: BINInternational Development StudiesBScC: Communication, Technology and Policy5AF
MCHCommunication, Health and Life SciencesMScA: Communication and Innovation2AF
Compulsory for: WUDIRBSc Minor Disaster and Recovery5AF
Restricted Optional for: WUECLBSc Minor Effective Communication in Life Science Contexts5AF