Development of recognised interdisciplinary studies -including education and research- based on system science, open innovation and design science, and aimed to develop abilities for integrating knowledge that can be addressed to the solution of scientific and societal complex problems, as environmental and social sustainability, ICT and society issues, the building of social responsibility, etc.
To that end the following CURRICULA types are envisaged:
(a) modules for providing complementary qualification (including summer courses), recognised by HE institutions (in partnership);
(b) open courses certified through the open Badge system;
(c) training modules for teachers and researchers interested in bridging domains or tackling complex problems.
On the other hand, RESEARCH activity should be also developed in integration with the educational programmes.
The integration framework of the three approaches: Open Innovation, Design Science, Systems Science is illustrated in the following figure. We name this integrative framework ODS approach.
This interrelationship among the 3 methodological approaches is closed related to the relation among aesthetics, politics and sciences as presented in different contexts (for instance, in the past European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems Research in Vienna, the Workshop on Information and Systems in Munich, the Summer Course on Social Networks in León, all these held during 2012 and organised by the proponents, but also often referred to in the work of R. Zimmermann).
PRIMER refers metaphorically to the education & research programme proposed, even consider its polysemy: it initially refers to the compilation of elements for teaching to read; in our case we wish to offer foundations in a nutshell to understand unity in real-world diversity. But primer also refers to the small part of explosive used to detonate a larger explosive; whereas we wish to offer basic elements so that a broad and creative confrontation to problems emerge, and it is a sort of explosive confrontation to complex and intriguing issues what we would like to see. Furthermore, primer is also used in genetic contexts, referring to the segments of DNA or RNA complementary to a given DNA to initiate replications; according to our viewpoint -as some of the proponents have exposed- it is because of the common architecture of the knower and the world why he can -partially- get to know it.
Interdisciplinarity in research and education has been targeted since long by European institutions and abroad as a fundamental means to foster new knowledge, face the complex challenge of our age, enabling innovation, transferring knowledge and attaining broad societal alliances. Therefore interdisciplinarity (ID) is included in most of the national and international agendas concerning education and research, and there is a number of successful educational programmes and research centres in which interdisciplinarity has shown to yield broad cooperations, to attract significant investments and to solve intriguing problems of technical, societal and environmental nature.
Nevertheless, as several studies have shown there is a lack of common criteria and methodological approach which hinders a better promotion and recognition of ID. This contrasts with the fact that System Science has developed since the 1950s a breadth of knowledge -both theoretical and applied- which has harvest valuable theoretical and technical results (for instance, some branches of neuroscience, and engineering cybernetic). This gap between ID programmes and system thinking can be understood by a void in the promotion of attaining holistic views of the complexity under study, which is essential to system thinking. However since the development of the international guidance on social responsibility (ISO 26000), which is boosted by European authorities and this programme, the holistic perspective approach to be at the current European agenda, thus closing the gap. At the crossroad of institutions and programmes devoted to the promotion of both ID and system science we aim at providing training in ID skills through theory and application to real problems.
To this end we shall:
The following Figure summarises the Work Plan throughout the 3 years of development (to enlarge it, click on it).
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