Collective approach

The Interdisciplinarity Mission's primary goal is to support and make visible the interdisciplinary community and to enhance the value of interdisciplinary actions carried out on the Aix-Marseille site, but also to go further by facilitating the design of interdisciplinary projects, by making their implementation more fluid, by equipping them with tools to evaluate them, by maximizing their impact and by capitalizing on and sharing best practices in this area.

As this is a cross-cutting approach to supporting change, and an interdisciplinary one at that, it is by its very nature collective, in its design, implementation and evaluation: indeed, both organisational change and interdisciplinarity itself are co-constructed with the players. The Mission's role is not to replace the players but to accompany and complement them in response to the specific and global needs identified: making the strategy visible, articulating the mechanisms, linking internal and external players, exploring new strategic fields for the site, experimenting with incentive practices, producing tools to measure interdisciplinary integration, etc. An important objective, in the long term, is to structure a community of interdisciplinary practices.

At the basis of our approach is the shared definition of terms in order to distinguish between what is disciplinary, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary. Indeed, words structure thought and reflection, and they are of particular importance for our Mission, which aims to promote dialogue between disciplines that do not speak the same language. Thus, multidisciplinarity consists in approaching an object or a theme of study from different points of view resulting from the juxtaposition of disciplinary perspectives. Interdisciplinarity is based on dialogue and collaboration between disciplines as soon as the object of study is developed, a process that allows for the co-production of new integrated knowledge. Finally, transdisciplinarity involves extra-academic actors working to solve a societal problem identified with academics.
A simple and schematic definition is given below.

Source:"Architectures of adaptive integration in large collaborative projects" (Wright Morton, Eigenbrode and Martin, 2015)


Interdisciplinarity mission