Summer School
© Maria Orlova
The mobility transition: An inter- and transdisciplinary challenge
Online:17.7 - 11.8.20236 ECTS

max. 24 participants
Registration Deadline: June 19th, 2023

Register now!


TU Berlin Summer & Winter School
+49 30 4472 0230


The transport sector strongly contributes to anthropogenic climate change with ~20% of global CO2-emissions. While other sectors already achieved improvements, emissions from transport in countries like Germany remained almost constant over decades. Besides environment, we face social (e.g., accidents) and economic (e.g., infrastructure costs) drawbacks from transport. Against this background, the 'mobility transition' describes the path towards more sustainable and equitable mobility.

Historically, mobility was subject to few academic disciplines such as engineering and city-planning. At the same time, there were parallel and relatively independent processes in academia, industry and public administration. In recent years, however, mobility has been addressed from new academic fields: psychology, sociology or computer science. Moreover, several new players entered the stage: tech companies, start-ups and grassroot initiatives. This also resulted in new business models and collaborations (e.g., corporate venturing or joint ventures) which illustrates the important role of cooperation.

Nevertheless, there is still a lack of collaboration between disciplines (interdisciplinary) and between academia and practice actors (transdisciplinary) with regard to mobility, even though both concepts have enjoyed great popularity. This constitutes the starting point of this course, in which the mobility transition will be examined as an inter- and transdisciplinary challenge.

Learning Goals & Syllabus

Learning goals

After completing this course, students will be able to...

  • analyze the societal role of mobility and transport as well as different reasons for being mobile
  • elaborate on current environmental, social and economic challenges of the transport sector
  • explain the main technical developments in the mobility field as well as narratives to achieve sustainable mobility
  • discuss the principles of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research methods and their opportunities and risks
  • collaborate in interdisciplinary teams and engage in discussions on complex issues with scholars from other academic fields
  • present their thoughts and work in front of an audience outside of their field of study

Main course components

The course consists of four main components. In a four-week course, one component per week is covered.

The first component is an introduction to the class as well as the topic of transport and mobility. Students will learn about the societal role and challenges. Also, key terms, technical developments and narratives for sustainable mobility are covered.

Secondly, the course includes the concepts and principles of inter- and transdisciplinary work. Topics are further the societal role of academic research as well as current challenges in this field that paved the way for inter- and transdisciplinary ideas.

In section three, the mobility transition is assessed interdisciplinary. Key topics include social exclusion from a sociological and philosophical perspective and shared mobility business models from the perspective of management and psychology.

The fourth part takes an in-depth look at transdisciplinary work as well as opportunities and challenges. The section also covers transdisciplinary research methods (e.g., real world experiments) and project examples.

In section 1,2 and 4, the learning formats are primarily lectures with interactive elements. In section 3, learning formats include group works, group presentations as well as interactive policy labs with regard to transport policies.


A detailed syllabus with information on the schedule will be made available to registered participants.
You may find the syllabus useful when discussing with your home university whether the ECTS credits attainable for this course are accepted by them.

Please note this is a full-time, intensive course and participants will be expected to attend lectures (18 hours of class per week) and complete independent study Monday through Friday. Additional study may also be required on weekends. The activities of the cultural program are also shown in the syllabus.

Target Audience

The course is generally open to students from numerous fields and diverse backgrounds are beneficial in view of the course concept. However, the main target audience includes students from sustainability science, city planning / geography, business administration, (industrial) engineering, economics, as well as social sciences.


Participants of the TU Berlin Summer School must meet the following requirements: (i) B2 level English, or equivalent and (ii) at least one year of university experience.

Additional prerequisites:

  • General interest in sustainability- and mobility-related topics.
  • Willingness to think beyond the boundaries of one's own field of study.
  • Ability to engage in discussions with individuals from other academic backgrounds.

Michael Bissel is a Ph.D. student at the chair of sustainable mobility and transdisciplinary research methods at TU Berlin. In his Ph.D. project, he deals with sustainable mobility behavior and behavior change. In winter semester 2022 he teaches mobility, transport and logistics as a lecturer at TU Berlin.
Before his Ph.D., Michael Bissel worked as a strategy consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for several years. He was a member of the infrastructure, transport and cities (ITC) team and the public sector practice area at BCG and focused on projects in the fields of infrastructure, electromobility, and HR in public sector. In addition, he worked as a research assistant in psychological research projects (e.g., on electromobility) at several chairs and worked in consulting and industrial companies in the mobility sector.
Michael Bissel studied Psychology, Business and Economics in Lüneburg, Mannheim, Paris and Nicosia.

Anke Kläver works as a research associate in the EXPERI project at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam (IASS). Using the example of Berlin, the transdisciplinary EXPERI project researches how sustainable mobility and land distribution in metropolitan regions can be achieved. Within the project and her Ph.D project at TU Berlin, she deals with the sociocultural and economic challenges of the socio-ecological mobility transition and is particularly interested in just transition processes. Anke Kläver holds a master's degree in political economy. Prior to that she studied environmental sciences and economics in Lüneburg and Vienna. Throughout her studies and prior work experiences she focused on an interdisciplinary analysis of (inter)national sustainability issues and transformational change processes.

Course fees

Course fees for The mobility transition: An inter- and transdisciplinary challenge are as follows:

  • Student: 980 Euro
  • Working professional/Non-student: 1120 Euro

Please note that students will be required to upload proof of their student status (student card/ enrollment information) during the registration process.

Summer School Online:17 July - 11 August, 20236 ECTS credit points