ITS21 Interdisciplinary Teamwork Skills for the 21st Century


Welcome to ITS21 5th conference on Interdisciplinary Teamwork Skills to be held by The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) - DTU Engineering Technology.

The conference will take place online on 23 to 24 June 2021.

This year’s theme for the conference is “Interdisciplinary teamwork skills for sustainability”.

 Deadline for submission and sign up to   participate
 Abstract: 26 March 2021
 Papers: 16 May 2021
 Sign up: 7 June 2021

Participation is free of charge.
To participate you will need to sign up here


Sustainable development through education

Sustainable development is one of the most important challenges today, and tomorrow's social challenges are to a large extent that the development of society must be sustainable.


This requires a lot from educational institutions, as they continuously should be able to acquire new knowledge. In order to succeed, they should also be able to offer interdisciplinary collaboration settings that support the use of knowledge from different disciplines. This requires both depth and breadth. We see young people leading the way as sustainable change makers, but - how can we as educators support and educate change makers?

Keynote speakers

Bringing systems thinking to education


The reductionist approach introduced to science and education by Newton has dominated the organization of our research and educational systems. We are, however, beginning to realise that the knowledge generated within single disciplines is not adequate  for solving the complex challenges faced by society today. Solutions to these challenges require making compromises where  synergies are exploited at the same time trade-offs are minimized. To make such compromises, we need to understand the  interactions between different disciplines and challenges. This talk examines the types of research and education needed to address the challenges of today.

Katherine Richardson
Professor in Biological Oceanography, Section for Biodiversity, Globe Institute, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and Leader, University of Copenhagen's Sustainability Science Centre

  Value creation pedagogy

Martin will talk about his research on value creation pedagogy, defined as when students get to learn through creating something of value for others. This makes students highly motivated by feelings of meaningfulness, thus learning more in-depth and taking more responsibility for their own learning. Martin will also talk about his work-learn balance theory, i.e. when people have a good balance between learning and value creation for others more in general. It can be for students, and it can be for employees.

Martin Lackeus
DrEng., Technology Management and Economics, researcher in entrepreneurial education at the division of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, teacher at Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship. 

Nordic Youth as Sustainable Changemakers

This presentation dives into the role of youth as changemakers in the climate movement in the Nordics. For the youth today, climate change is both a massive concern and a motivational driver for change. But what are the youth concerned about? And how do they see themselves contributing through education, work, entrepreneurship or protest? Based on an anthropological study of Nordic youth, this presentation will provide insights into what climate means to Nordic youths and their concerns, motivations, and actions in regard to more sustainable consumption and living. A better understanding of the youth can help teachers and educators in how to better support, encourage, inspire, and engage the students of today and tomorrow in their desire to make the world better and greener.

Kristoffer Ravnbøl

Anthropologist and CEO of Naboskab

The Use of Work-related Social Dimensions in Teamwork

Interdisciplinary student collaboration paired with experiential learning seem to improve productivity of groups when combined with reflection, peer feedback and facilitation. Via an inventory, our research has identified four basic interactive dimensions of teamwork behaviors: Management, Social coherence, Groupwork commitment, and Attitudes toward evaluations. By completing this inventory, called the Teamwork Indicator (TWI); it estimates central aspects of the current group functioning. Subsequently, if the group scoring on the TWI is used adequately for discussions of typical interactive patterns within the group, improvements of behavior on the individual and group level has frequently been seen. The inventory has been used on student teams in both Norwegian and English language, and the psychometric properties are good in all tested environments. Adequate use of the inventory can improve the quality of group interaction towards a more sustainable output. Research also indicates that between-student feedback is more effective than teacher-student feedback. The presentation will shed light on the four dimensions, and how to use the TWI inventory to stimulate reflecting and feedback-oriented parts of teamwork toward enhanced, more sustainable group.

Are Holen and Bjørn Sortland, NTNU



On behalf of the organising committee


Hanne Løje

Chair for the organising commitee