Knowledge Mobilization and Communications / La mobilisation des connaissances et la communication

Michael Johnny, RIR-York

There is a relationship between knowledge mobilization and communications but it is unclear and is highly contextual.  Within the last month there has been much discussion on this.

Il y a un lien entre la mobilisation des connaissances et la communication, mais il n’est pas clair et hautement influencé par le contexte. Au cours du dernier mois, il y a eu beaucoup de discussion à ce sujet.

Picture of message bubblesApril 16, 2013.  For me, it was one of the most nerve-wracking presentations I have ever given.  I was speaking to a room full of communications professionals at York University about the intersections of Knowledge Mobilization and Communications.  There are two reasons why I was feeling nervous: first, it is awkward to talk to professionals about their work when you’re not intimately familiar with it, and second, I had some very direct and constructive criticism for both our offices.  The talk opened up new opportunities for collaboration and engagement and was the spark of new interesting developments around two interesting professionals and concepts.

Rewind the calendar a few days.  It was on April 12 that our office hosted one of our traditional KM in the AM events with the topic of discussion being The Role of Knowledge Brokers.  It was a great event, well represented from members of the KTECoP.  An interesting question was raised from the audience, “what are the differences between knowledge mobilization and communications”.  Well, the conversation was suddenly co-opted by a spirited debate on the two terms and the two roles.  York’s David Phipps took to LinkedIn to continue and fuel the conversation and it has remained a lively one.  So lively, (24 responses to date), that we’re going to host a dedicated KM in the AM on this topic later this spring or summer (date TBD).

The impetus for the April 16 presentation was to solicit feedback on a presentation I would like to make to York faculty around the two terms, as there is some confusion on roles and activity.  Melanie Barwick, Research Scientist from Hospital for Sick Kids provided an explanation on the LinkedIn conversation which I quite like. She explains, and I agree, that the two terms are both misunderstood and have points of convergence, but some divergence as well.  The presentation I am looking to refine is part of a York Learning Series which we’re offering to York researchers to help build capacity in KMb across campus.

In closing, taking an honest and respectful approach to let colleagues – many whom I have never met – know that the work we are doing has had some limitations went well.  And the reason for that is I offered to be part of the solution.  When KMb and Communications offices can align their services and co-exist, both can flourish!  Shawna Reibling, Knowledge Mobilization Officer at Wilfrid Laurier University would know this though.  She is a broker with a background (actually, an MA) in communications.  She walks the talk.  I would like to hear what you think about the relationship between KMb and Communications… based on the engagement around this I am confident you have an opinion!

What determines your health? / Qu’est-ce qui détermine votre santé?

By David Phipps (ResearchImpact, York)

A KM in the AM on social determinants of health brought consensus on the challenge but fell short of imagining solutions. At ResearchImpact-York we will continue this dialogue to try to nudge the discussion forward. What will you do?

La dernière matinée de mobilisation des connaissances (KM in the AM) portant sur les déterminants sociaux de la santé a permis d’arriver à un consensus concernant les défis, mais n’a pu dégager clairement des pistes de solution partagées. Chez ResearchImpact – York, nous poursuivrons le dialogue afin de faire avancer la discussions. Et vous, qu’allez-vous faire?

Denis Raphael (School of Health Policy and Management, York University has written, “the primary factors that shape the health and well-being of Canadians – the factors that will give us longer, better lives – are to be found in the actual living conditions that Canadians experience on a daily basis.” WHO defines these conditions as social determinants of health (SDOH), “the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, including the health system. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels, which are themselves influenced by policy choices. The SDOH are mostly responsible for health inequities.” On April 12, ResearchImpact-York hosted a KM in the AM on social determinants of health (SDOH). Part of our suite of KMb services, KM in the AM is a monthly breakfast meeting where university researchers and non-academic stakeholders exchange information and sow the seeds of future collaborations.

Mina Singh and Beryl Pilkington from York’s School of Nursing presented along with Carolyn Mooi from the Heart & Stroke Foundation and Nicky Wright from the York Region District School Board. The presentations kicked off a discussion among the 18 attendees from community and municipal agencies and throughout York Region. Discussion (and there was plenty) focused on the health outcomes related to SDOH: immigration, poverty, homelessness, disability, seniors with people experiencing increased health challenges when more than one of these SDOH intersect. Everyone in the room could speak to the challenges but few were moving to solutions. Local solutions like Mississauga’s investment in community fitness program like Pilates were cited as one example. Nicky charged us to go home and help one person that evening illustrating that we all bear responsibly for being part of the solution.  Continue reading

Social Determinants of Health KM in the AM- April 12

The YorkU KMb Unit will be hosting a KM of the AM event on Tuesday, April 12. The topic of the morning will focus on social determinants of health, with brief presentations by researchers and community leaders, followed by ample time for questions, discussion, and networking.

Confirmed Panelists:

  • Mina Singh, Faculty of Health, York University
  • Beryl Pilkington, Faculty of Health, York University

Date:       Tuesday, April 12

Time:       9:00 am to 11:30 am

Breakfast will be served at 8:45

Location: Markham Convergence Centre, 7271 Warden Ave, Markham

Space is limited. Kindly RSVP kejensen@yorku.ca to confirm your attendance.

This event has been organized by the Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit at York University and the York Region Community Foundation, both of which are partnering on the Living in York Region project.

KM in the AM is a series of issue based forums linking the university and community/government agencies to enhance research, the graduate student experience and knowledge mobilization.

The Living in York Region project is seeking to develop a made-in-York Region reliable baseline understanding of residents and communities’ well-being across a series of civic, economic, environmental and social indicators. The project is designed to give a voice to residents to help generate solutions to key issues affecting local communities and neighbourhoods.

The KMb Road Show – Outreach in 2011 / La mobilisation des connaissances (MdC) – La tournée de sensibilisation 2011

By Michael Johnny – ResearchImpact York

While 2011 is only 9 weeks old, York’s KMb Unit has had lots of outreach activity designed to promote Knowledge Mobilization services at York University.

Bien que l’année 2011 ne soit entamée que depuis 9 semaines, l’Unité de mobilisation des connaissances de York a planifié toute une série d’activités de sensibilisation afin de promouvoir les services développés à l’Université de York.

While I am not an avid viewer of the Antiques Roadshow, the concept is a fascinating one for me; people lining up with their unique ‘treasures’ to share with experts in hope of finding what they possess is of significant value. I can’t say that our efforts in promoting York’s Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit are significantly different. When we present our KMb services people approach us to learn about who we are and what we do. Through this exchange, people develop a greater sense of what we can do to support them. With a clear and common understanding of our capacity to broker research and knowledge based collaborations, quite often people visiting our booth will then share a specific need or expertise they have within their organization, research unit or area of study.

Similar to the experts behind the desk at the Antiques Roadshow, we work with them to polish the idea and seek a relevant collaborative match to provide value for the person who made the initial inquiry. Our colleagues at RéseauImpactRecherche – UQAM have a great word for this in French- valorisation. But we don’t have an equivalent word in English. People sometimes dismiss their ideas feeling they may not fit our mandate or their work may not be attractive to collaborators. But like the ‘treasures’ of the Antique Roadshow every project opportunity holds the potential to be extremely valuable for all involved! Continue reading

Measuring Happiness at a Neighbourhood Level KM in the AM- Feb 8

The YorkU KMb Unit will be hosting a KM of the AM event on Tuesday, February 8th. The topic of the morning will focus on measuring happiness at a neighbourhood level, with brief presentations by researchers and community leaders, followed by ample time for questions, discussion, and networking.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Barbara Rahder, Dean, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
  • Antonella Talotta, Sales Representative, Sutton Group
  • Gord Flett, Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Health, York University
  • Naila Butt, Executive Director, Social Services Network

Date:       Tuesday, February 8

Time:       9:00 am to 11:30 am

Breakfast will be served at 8:45

Location:  Markham Convergence Centre, 7271 Warden Ave, Markham

Space is limited. Kindly RSVP kejensen@yorku.ca to confirm your attendance.

This event has been organized by the Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit at York University and the York Region Community Foundation, both of which are partnering on the Living in York Region project.

KM in the AM is a series of issue based forums linking the university and community/government agencies to enhance research, the graduate student experience and knowledge mobilization.

The Living in York Region project is seeking to develop a made-in-York Region reliable baseline understanding of residents and communities’ well-being across a series of civic, economic, environmental and social indicators. The project is designed to give a voice to residents to help generate solutions to key issues affecting local communities and neighbourhoods.

Food Security KM in the AM- Jan 25

The YorkU KMb Unit will be hosting a KM of the AM event on Tuesday, January 25th. The topic of the morning will focus on food security, with brief presentations by researchers and community leaders, followed by ample time for questions, discussion, and networking.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Rod MacRae, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
  • Joan Stonehocker, Executive Director, York Region Food Network

Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Time: 10:00 to 12:30 pm. Lunch will be served at 11:30.

Location: York Regional Food Network Office. 510 Penrose Street, Newmarket, L3Y 1A2

Space is limited. Kindly RSVP kejensen@yorku.ca to confirm your attendance.

Youth Engagement Using the Arts- KM in the PM

The YorkU KMb Unit will be hosting a KM of the PM event on Wednesday, December 8. The topic of the afternoon will focus on youth engagement using the arts, with brief presentations by researchers and community leaders, followed by ample time for questions, discussion, and networking.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Sarah Flicker, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
  • Jane Wedlock, Executive Director, York Region Alliance to End Homelessness
  • Katherine Boydell, Senior Scientist, Hospital for Sick Children

Date: Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Time: 1:30 to 4:00

Location: York University, Keele Campus, York Lanes Room 280N (#24 on the York Campus Map)

Space is limited. Kindly RSVP kejensen@yorku.ca to confirm your attendance.

Relevant projects are welcome to contact the KMb Unit for exhibitor space opportunities.  Space is limited

A New Twist to YorkU KM in the AM

For those of you who have been able to attend one of York University’s KM in the AM events, you will know the reward for early mornings are a nice, hot breakfast along with the chance to engage with researchers and community leaders. Research speed dating is one metaphor we have heard used to describe these events, but they are simply a place for people to meet and interact around a common topic of interest. And if the event helps plant the seeds of collaboration around a project, that’s a bonus!

After four years of hosting these events throughout York Region, we have had 331 participants and 97% of those who attended found the event useful. We are set to launch a fifth season, and in the spirit of responsiveness and continuous improvement, we’re adopting a slight modification to some of our events this year and our inaugural event reflects this. Starting September 30, the York Institute for Health Research, in collabortion with the KMb Unit will be co-hosting a workshop series on Program Evaluation. This will be the first capacity building KM in the AM we’ve offered. Many of our partners have identified their desire to learn the skill sets needed to better participate in knowledge mobilization activities, and this is the first foray for us to meet these needs.

Dates and Topics:

  • Thursday, September 30, 9:30 to noon – Evaluation Concepts, Tends, Innovations
  • Thursday, October 14, 9:30 to noon – Applying Program Logic Model to Planning your Evaluation
  • Thursday, October 21, 2:00 to 4:30 – Data Collection-Ethics, Surveys, Focus Groups
  • Thursday, November 18, 2:00 to 4:30 – Data Analysis, Writing the Evaluation Report

Location: All workshops will be held at 21 Dunlop St., Richmond Hill at the Office of Catholic Community Services York Region. The KMb Unit would like to acknowledge CCSYR for their generous donation of space.

Costs: $25.00 per person, per session, payable at each event. Cash or cheques payable to York University.

Registration will be capped at 15 per session and coffee and light refreshments will be served at each event.

To register or inquire about more details, please contact Krista Jensen, KMb Officer at York, at kejensen@yorku.ca or 416-736-2100 ext. 88847.

Be sure to check www.researchimpact.ca for additional information on upcoming YorkU KM in the AM events, soon to be scheduled for October and November 2010.

Nutrition and Diabetes KM in the AM- May 5

The YorkU KM Unit will be hosting a KM of the AM event on Wednesday, May 5th. The topic of the afternoon will focus on nutrition and diabetes, with brief presentations by researchers and community leaders, followed by ample time for questions, discussion, and networking.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Mazen Hamadeh, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health, School of Kinesiology & Health Science
  • Jesse Solomon, MSc Candidate, School of Kinesiology and Health Science

Invited Speakers:

  • Southlake Regional Health Centre, Diabetes Education Centre.

Date: Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Time: 8:30 to 11:00 am. Full Breakfast will be served.

Location: Southlake Regional Health Centre, Medical Arts Building, Conference Room B  and C, 6th Floor, 581 Davis Drive, Newmarket, ON, L3Y 2P9

Space is limited. Kindly RSVP kejensen@yorku.ca to confirm your attendance.

KM in the PM, that’s something new!

December 3, York hosted it’s flagship KM in the AM event. Two things of note actually; we hosted (which we rarely do, we like to have these events in the surrounding community) and, it was a PM event. The chance to highlight our new space within the York Research Tower as well as being able to sufficiently host the group of 51 confirmed attendees supported our decision.

Given the size of this event, we adopted a panel format, allowing for multiple speakers (and multiple perspectives) to speak on the topic of Youth Engagement. Dr. Gordon Flett (Faculty of Health), Cathy Dandy (Kinark Child and Family Services), Jennifer McPhee and Elizabeth Brockest (Mobilizing Minds) and Sean Twyford (Ontario Ministry of Child and Youth Services) shared their experiences and perspectives on Youth Engagement and fielded questions from the audience, both informally and within the structured Q&A setting. After closing statements and reflections from our panelists, David Phipps launched the opening of the new community collaboration stations (work space within the KM Unit for community partners to access York libraries and work on collaborative KM projects), as well as the latest additions to the ResearchSnapshot library, which houses clear language research summaries on a wide array of topics designed as a calling card to help inform people about York research and researchers (read more about these new developments here).

The positive responses and the energy of the afternoon have already helped sown the seeds for a follow up event!

While the time, location and format may have slightly changed from events past, we’re delighted that the spirit of collaboration and interest in research, and knowledge mobilization is as strong as ever!

Be sure to check our web site for future KM in the AM events. In addition, if you have thoughts, ideas or reflections on this event, or past events, be sure to contact us at kmunit@yorku.ca!

(l to r) Dr. Gordon Flett, Jennifer McPhee, Elizabeth Brockest, Sean Twyford, Cathy Dandy