This article explores inter and transdisciplinarity, given the need for more complex, relevant and transformative knowledge to shift society toward more sustainable futures. It connects practical questions about economic, societal and ecological limits to questions about the limitations of academic knowledge. Transdisciplinarity involves co-constructing socially relevant, transformative knowledge with actors outside academia. In practice, transdisciplinary work requires clarity about intentions, inclusive and well- facilitated collaborative processes accommodating dissenting and transgressive perspectives. Higher education has begun to experiment with inter and transdisciplinarity via sustainability focused projects. However, it insufficiently addresses broader demands for transformation and cannot achieve this without integral leadership.