AudaCITY for Partnerships: Foregrounding Partnership Development in the Generation of Sustainability Solutions (AudaCITY)

  • Project team:

    Beecroft, Richard (Project leader), Eva Wendeberg, Andreas Seebacher

  • Funding:

    Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes (GCSO)

  • Start date:


  • End date:


  • Project partners:

    Arizona State University / USA, Dublin City University / Ireland, King’s College London / UK, Portland State University / USA, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

  • Research group:

    Sustainability and Social Transformation

Project description

In 2016 KIT has become founding member of the Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes (GCSO), a global network that advances solutions to sustainability problems through research, development and capacity building by generating, testing, implementing and, ultimately, bringing to scale a wide range of solutions including technologies, policies, economic incentives, social change and cultural practices. GCSO includes diverse global partners who can transform ideas into action. The consortium builds capacity through education and transfers evidence-based solutions to implementers, with the goal to achieve sustainability outcomes on multiple continents. GCSO’s success is measured by evidence-based, positive outcomes and impacts on sustainability issues worldwide.

From 2017 to 2019 ITAS has been engaged in the transdisciplinary and international collaboration project “Building Sustainability Implementation Capacity in City Staff and Leadership (CapaCities)” that addresses the large variation (between pioneering cities and follower cities) in the capacity of city staff and leadership to create, implement, evaluate, and adapt plans, programs, projects, and policies that deliver sustainability outcomes locally and globally.

From 2019 on the follow-up project “AudaCITY for Partnerships” continues this GCSO cooperation with the focus on developing a long-term and strategic cooperation between city and university to embrace the internal transformation necessary for coming together around sustainability and resilience transformations in our cities. The interface between city governments and universities is often populated with “one-off” projects resulting in a narrow, and often disconnected, set of collaboration opportunities driven by researcher interests. For transdisciplinary sustainability science to deliver on its promise of transformation in the “real-world” it needs to resist “projectification”. While transdisciplinary sustainability science has set new standards for how research with city (and other) partners is conducted and the kinds of results it should generate, the persistent focus on projects hamstrings transformation. To effectively collaborate on sustainability transformation, cities and universities must develop audacious and enduring partnerships, which can persist on timescales that match those of the transformations they seek.

Across all case study locations, baseline assessments and goal setting processes are coordinated, based on a pragmatic agreed-upon evaluation framework. Two main activities constitute the core of the project: establishing “audacious” partnerships in all location, including a vision, strategy and catalytic activities like a game play, and increasing the impact of on-going initiatives and projects in the different locations.

KIT’s specific contribution consists in developing transdisciplinary sustainability practices, including strengthening the partnership between KIT and the city of Karlsruhe, starting from the Real-world Lab “District Future”.


Book Chapters
Parodi, O.
Zum Verhältnis von Technik, Technikfolgenabschätzung und Transformation
2021. Gesellschaftliche Transformationen. Hrsg.: R. Lindner, 19–36, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. doi:10.5771/9783748901556-19
Parodi, O.
Zum Verhältnis von Kunst, Kultur und Nachhaltigkeit
2021. Workshop "Kulturförderung jetzt in Zukunft" (2021), Freiburg, Germany, July 20–21, 2021 
Parodi, O.
Nachhaltige Entwicklung
2021. Workshop "Kulturförderung jetzt in Zukunft" (2021), Freiburg, Germany, July 20–21, 2021 
Parodi, O.
Quo vadis Reallabor?
2021. Fachtagung "Herausforderung Reallabor" (2021), Online, February 18, 2021 
Parodi, O.
Perspektive Reallabor: Grenzenlose Möglichkeiten der urbanen Transformation?
2021. Difu-WebSeminar "Impulse für die Zukunft : Kreative Methoden und Prozesse in der Stadtentwicklung" (2021), Online, January 28–29, 2021 
Parodi, O.; Wagner, F.
Reallabor Karlsruhe: „Quartier Zukunft“, Karlsruhe und die Zukunftweltstadt
2021. IQ-Netzwerktreffen (2021), Online, February 25, 2021 


Dipl.-Ing. Richard Beecroft
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe