Policy Plan

ISTE has a 2-year policy plan that will be reviewed annually in the AGM and updated accordingly.

ISTE-policy plan 2019 Friday, June 21, 2019

International Society of Transdisciplinary Engineering


Today’s complex problems, especially those that have a large impact on the environment and society, require a holistic approach for solving them by considering knowledge from a diverse range of disciplines, technical as well as social, and from user and practitioner communities. Interchange of such cross-disciplinary knowledge is needed to determine the overall impact on the environment and society. Many examples exist of engineering innovations that have a large adverse effect on the environment by not considering measures and regulations for mitigating these effect, for example non-biodegradable plastics, certain pesticides and fertilizing products, use of greenhouse gasses, long term effect of medication and medical procedures, etc.

To create engineering solutions that minimize environmental and societal damage, engineering design and practices must involve people with the necessary knowledge and methods to determine the impact of new products and services, not only on client and user satisfaction, but also on long-term sustainability. Designers and engineers need to come from a wide range of disciplines to achieve such sustainable solutions. The support by advanced ICT technology is deemed indispensable.

The International Society of Transdisciplinary Engineering (ISTE) aims to create awareness that engineering practices need to evolve into transdisciplinary engineering practices in which the exchange of different types of knowledge and people from a diverse range of disciplines is fundamental.

Transdisciplinary Engineering (TE) is the exchange of knowledge in the context of an innovation, in product, process, organization or social environment. Through ISTE, the exchange of knowledge is possible in its annual conferences, the TE Conferences, and through publication of special issues in scientific journals.

Term of the policy plan The policy plan is a 2-year plan and will be updated each year. This year, 2019, the ISTE TE Conference will be organized in Tokyo, Japan. In 2020, the conference will be organized in Warsaw, Poland. The organization of TE2020 will start in Fall 2019. After each conference special issues in a selection of scientific journals will be organized by selected submissions from the conference that have the potential to be updated into full journal articles. ISTE members and other interested people will be informed by regular newsletters. The website (https://www.intsoctransde.org) will be kept up to date.

Mission, Vision, and Strategy

ISTE has been officially registered in the Netherlands in 2018 (RSIN: 858868039; KvKnumber: 71835237). It continues the work that started with ISPE, and ISPE, Inc. (International Society for Productivity Enhancement), but under a new name and with a more formal foundation, with the website, financial account and registration now located in the same country.

ISPE, Inc. was formerly registered as a non-profit organization in New York in 2004. It was officially called ISPE, Inc. since then. The main objective of ISPE, Inc. was to transfer and integrate new knowledge with relevant existing or new technology and improve strategies and resources to enhance productivity and competitiveness of current product and service producers and thereby improve the quality of the life. ISPE, Inc. has been promoting research, education, and application by organizing conferences and other professional activities.

The International Society for Productivity Enhancement (ISPE) was founded in 1984 in the USA with the goal to support and improve the international exchange of ideas and scientific knowledge in the field of technological development and application.

The mission of ISTE extends the mainly technological emphasis of the previous societies. Such extension is deemed necessary to overcome today’s complex problems and achieve sustainable solutions.

ISTE’s mission is to contribute to and improve engineering research, practice, and education by widening the scope of engineering thinking. Widening the scope includes improving the integration and collaboration between natural sciences and social sciences and pushing mixed methodologies for achieving design and engineering goals. TE is expected to be a significant basis for future evolution in all engineering areas.

The vision of ISTE is to:

  • Identify common patterns in TE,
  • Identify new research questions,
  • Generate guidelines and support to practice TE.
  • Develop methods and tools for improving TE education

ISTE’s strategy to realize its vision consists of promoting the exchange of knowledge between various social and technical disciplines. Its annual conferences (TE20xx) provide a platform for this knowledge exchange as well as its website and newsletter. In addition, special issues based on conference papers offer additional means for knowledge exchange.

Conference themes are connected to transdisciplinary engineering. Based on conference papers, special issues in highly recognized journals are organized to spread the knowledge. The society also publishes a newsletter at least twice a year to keep its members informed. ISTE has a website (http://www.intsoctransde.org) on which its history and latest activities can be found.

ISTE is a non-for profit organization. It is funded by contributions from the annual conferences. The money is used to promote the conferences, maintain the website, support special issues, and publish newsletters.

Current situation At this point in time the ISTE community has a long history in organizing conferences with a fairly stable attendance. Many special issues have already been organized. A new activity that has started last year is the publication of newsletters. Its website has been renewed.

To achieve the goals of the organization, active volunteering people are needed. Until now such people have been available. However, to maintain the website, issue the newsletter, and produce the annual proceedings, financial support is welcome. The nonfor-profit status allows funding of one or more people to perform the necessary tasks.

Organisation and Government

ISTE has a Board, consisting of five people (see also https://www.intsoctransde.org): President: Prof. Cees Bil, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia Vice President: Dr. Josip Stjepandić, Prostep AG, Darmstadt, Germany General Secretary: Dr. Nel Wognum, Technical University of Delft, Delft, The Netherlands Treasurer: Prof. Fredrik Elgh, Jönköping University, Sweden Conference Coordinator: Ass. Prof. Margherita Peruzzini, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

The Board is supported by a council, consisting of 25 people from all over the world (see also https://www.intsoctransde.org).

All people are volunteers and do not get any payment. On the short term remuneration of the Webmaster, Newsletter Editor, and Proceedings Editor is desired. A collective labour agreement will be made and published on the website. A financial statement will be available after the General Assembly early August 2019 and will be published on the website.

ISTE has been registered In The Netherlands in 2018.

Its Chamber of Commerce number is: KvK 71835237.

Its RSIN number is: 858868039

Its Bank account is: NL85 INGB 0008661560

Financial situation

The annual contribution to ISTE by each TE conference is sufficient to manage the website, the bank account, and support other activities when needed and possible.

The financial situation of ISTE is modest, but sound. An incidental negative result of a TE Conference will not endanger ISTE’s financial situation.