Transdisciplinarity brings together different approaches to solving challenges and societal actors. It requires deeper and ethical engagement of science with society and its life sustaining resources and technologies. Here Science is used in its broadest sense of the word, covering all fields of scientific enquiry: a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes in the form of testable explanations and predictions across the natural, social, health and engineering sciences; a body of knowledge of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied.  We are at the threshold of new transdisciplinary thinking about human and natural system complexity.

AEON sets out to solving complex problems through implementation of transdisciplinary science to explore sustainability for people and the planet, particularly in Africa.

As Earth Stewardship Science institute, AEON brought transdisciplinary research and teaching into reality at the University.

A transdisciplinary approach to research can potentially assist in identifying complexities and contexts beyond the reach of discipline-specific abilities. This enable creation of knowledge that combines the breadth and depth of understanding the complexities of interactive natural and social systems.

AEON transdisciplinary approach is also linked to it being a Department of Science & Innovation Global Change center. In this context, AEON created a transdisciplinary environment where consilience prevails, and where students can develop the necessary interactive capacities and adaptabilities to take on the challenges of the Anthropocene locally and internationally.

Analysis of the DSI-GC 2014 conference themes shows important non-linkages between research themes, and that effective transdisciplinary research is required to meeting the challenges inter-alia of energy, society and technology. An illustration is given in the above figure, where transdisciplinary linkages were created from 234 research papers presented at the conference (Dhansay et al., 2015).