Thinking Across Disciplines for Creativity

DarbellayOn the 18th of September, Prof. Frédéric Darbellay, Head of the Inter- and Transdisciplinarity Unit in the Centre for Children’s Rights Studies, University of Geneva, gave a public talk as part of the Creativity and Innovation Lecture Series organized by the Webster Center of Creativity and Innovation (WCCI). His talk, titled “Interdisciplinarity needs You! Thinking across disciplines for creativity, non-conformism and action in a complex world”, explored the links between creativity and innovation, on the one hand, and inter- and transdisciplinarity, on the other. Prof. Darbellay discussed different meanings of interdisciplinarity and introduced useful conceptual distinctions between disciplinarity, multi-disciplinarity, inter-disciplinarity, and transdisciplinarity. He then offered examples for how and why interdisciplinarity is growing in importance today not only as a field of study but, first and foremost, as an approach to complex topics. Seeing a problem through an inter- rather than single disciplinary lens allows for accessing a different perspective and for the emergence of novelty – both of them key markers of creative processes. These are timely reflections particularly for education and research, both of which would greatly benefit from developing, at once, creative and inter- as well as transdisciplinary approaches. More thoughts on this issue from Prof. Darbellay can be accessed by listening to the podcast recorded on the day of his lecture and available here.