David Phipps, RIR York
David from Canada is about to share his knowledge mobilization experiences with Leandro from Argentina, Glowen from Ghana and about 50 others from around the world at a conference that is aiming to describe a global knowledge intermediary practice. We are a world apart but share so much in common.
David, du Canada, est sur le point de partager ses expériences de mobilisation des connaissances avec Léandro d’Argentine, Glowen du Ghana et environ 50 autres personnes du monde entier dans une conférence dont le but est de décrire une pratique globale d’intermédiaire de connaissances. Nous sommes différents, mais avons tant à partager.
David (Canadá) compartirá sus experiencias de movilización del conocimiento con Leandro (Argentina), Glowen (Ghana) y otras 50 personas de diferentes partes del mundo en una conferencia que busca describir una práctica global de intermediación de conocimiento. Somos mundos distintos, pero tenemos mucho en común.
Way back on May 1, 2009 I wrote about the importance of language and how I will leave that debate to others and just get on with brokering knowledge based relationships. K* (Kstar) is term introduced at the KTKB workshop at the Canadian Science Policy Conference in 2010 designed to embrace all the K-words (mobilization, management, exchange, translation, transfer, integration, purveyor, curator) associated with knowledge intermediaries and move beyond the paralysis of language enabling us to better describe a global practice.
That energy is about to culminate in an international K* conference that will feature knowledge intermediaries from around the world.
Led by the United Nations University – Institute for Water, Environment & Health (UNU-INWEH) and sponsored by many agencies including York University and ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche. At the K* conference (April 25-27) I will have the pleasure of working with Leandro Echt from Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (CIPPEC, Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth) in Buenos Aires and Glowen Kyei-Mensah from Participatory Development Associates in Accra, Ghana where she manages the Mwananchi Ghana project. The three of us are presenting a panel on knowledge intermediary work with civil society and community organizations.
Daniele Zanotti (CEO, United Way of York Region) and I have previously written on lessons learned from our knowledge mobilization practice. For the K* Conference, Glowen, Leandro and I have developed our own list of nine lessons learned from our own knowledge intermediary work with civil society and community organizations. Stay tuned to the K* website for reports from the conference for those nine lessons and follow us on twitter (#Kstar2012) but what I will share now is that the three of us share eight of those nine lessons. Across three very different contexts in three very different cultures we find 8/9 things in common.
The nine lessons learned aren’t rocket science but the fact that they are common across these different K* contexts is really
interesting and we will use part of our panel to explore why these commonalities transcend cultures and nations. Leandro has an appointment in Social Science, University of Buenos Aires but his day job is at CIPPPEC a think tank in Argentina where he is interested in the role of think tanks and the links between research and policy. Glowen has been an Adjunct Lecturer at the Regent University of Science and Technology in Accra, Ghana and she has worked extensively in project management that targets deprived communities focusing on trade policy and food security. She is presently the Country Coordinator of ODI’s Mwananchi Ghana Project. I am working in a very large university in the largest urban centre in Canada managing over $65 million in research funding and connecting research to external audiences from the public, private and community sectors. We operate in thee very different contexts. And despite those differences we find we have so much in common. Leandro, Glowen and I have shared e mails and one Skype call and while I don’t (yet) know them I feel I know their K* practice as it shares so much in common with mine.
I am looking forward to meeting Leandro and Glowen and all the other international knowledge intermediaries at the K* conference. As Leandro says, “I have high expectations for K* Conference as I believe that reflecting about this practice will lead me to plan my work with more clarification.” Glowen agrees, “’I am excited about being a part of the K* conference as there are many ways in which I can share the experience back in Ghana. Knowledge is key to improving the lives of the marginalized that I work and interact with in my line of work.”
It’s almost time for K*!