Call for Submissions: AT-CURA Youth Strengths Conference, July 23-25, 2014

Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Metro Vancouver, BC, hosts SSHRC funded CURA project conference on July 23-25, 2014.

AT-CURA Youth Strengths Conference posterSubmissions due: February 28, 2014

What topics would be considered?

Here are some examples of topics that would be appropriate for the conference:

  • Youth resilience
  • Community engagement for violence prevention
  • Using youth strengths to help at-risk youth
  • Gang-prevention programs and initiatives
  • Youth character strengths and well-being
  • Youth violence reduction
  • Youth delinquency prevention
  • Programs for building youth strengths
  • Relevant pedagogy / education / curriculum
  • Relevant popular media research and implications

What other criteria are important?

In keeping with the conference goals, special consideration will be given to submissions that do any of the following:

  • illustrate collaboration between academics and community with a goal of promoting youth strengths to prevent violence and criminal activities such as gang involvement,
  • illustrate how evidence-based research may be used to develop programs and influence policy-making to promote youth strengths to prevent violence and criminal activities including gang involvement, or
  • report on evidence-based research about the relationship between youth strengths and gang/violence prevention.

Who should submit?

We encourage submissions from researchers, policy makers, service providers, police agencies, graduate students, youth, parents, and teachers.

What types of submissions will you accept?

Most accepted submissions will take place in 50 minute sessions or in a special poster session.  The following types of submissions are encouraged:

  1. Interactive workshop: Interactive workshops will involve extensive audience interaction and training in particular skills.
  2. Themed collaboration (symposium): A themed collaboration will involve a number of presenters who will be recruited and coordinated by you. Your session should allow some time for Q & A or other interaction with conference participants.
  3. Panel session: A panel session will involve a moderator and number of experts (panelists) who will be recruited and coordinated by you. The moderator will ask panelists to respond to questions on a particular theme. Conference participants should be encouraged to pose questions as well and to engage in dialogue with the panelists.
  4. Facilitated conversation: A facilitated conversation is similar to a panel session, but will involve less focus on the experts and a stronger role for the moderator in facilitating two way interaction between the panelists and conference participants.
  5. Individual talk: Individual talks will be 10-15 minutes long. They will be grouped with other talks on similar themes.
  6. Poster: Posters will be featured in a special conference session during which authors will be present to discuss their posters with conference participants. Posters should be designed to fit into a 4’ x 4’ space.

What is the deadline?

The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2014.  We will notify successful applicants by March 15, 2014.

How do I submit my proposal?

Your submission should include:

  • A title
  • A biography (100 words) of yourself and biographies of other presenters/authors, if any
  • An abstract (description of 150-300 words) of your session. You may also include abstracts for other presenters/authors in your session.

Use our online submission form to submit your proposal.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the submission process, please email atcura2014@kpu.ca or call  Catherine Parlee at 1+ (604) 599-3163.

Visit the AT-CURA Youth Strengths Conference website for more details about this event.

Slowing Down for Speed Bumps: Reflecting on a Knowledge Mobilization Metaphor / Ralentir à cause des dos d’âne : réflexion sur une métaphore de la mobilisation des connaissances

Anne Bergen, RIR – University of Guelph

This post is a reflection on the metaphor of “speed bumps” in knowledge mobilization, and was the product of several over-lappng KMb networks. That is, I wrote the post immediately after the June 2013 Knowledge Mobilization Forum, as part of my participation in the KMb Hub of the Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE) project. This post originally appeared on the “CFICE To Say” blog.

Ce billet est une réflexion sur la métaphore des dos d’âne dans la mobilisation des connaissances. Il est le produit du chevauchement de plusieurs réseaux de MdC. Je l’ai écrit tout juste après le Forum 2013 sur la mobilisation des connaissances comme une contribution au regroupement pour la MdC du projet Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE). Ce billet a été publié originalement sur le blogue “CFICE To Say“.

Sign saying Speed Bump AheadIt’s conference season, which means that it’s time to learn new practices and reflect on old practices. After one day meeting with the @ResearchImpact collaboration (http://www.researchimpact.ca/) and two days thinking about knowledge mobilization at the 2013 Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum (#ckf13; http://www.knowledgemobilization.net/), I’m still going through an internal process of synthesizing and contextualizing the things I’ve learned.

One of the most salient themes that I’ve taken away from these three days of learning is that barriers to effective knowledge mobilization can often be better conceptualized as speed bumps[1]. Thinking through this metaphor, speed bumps force you to slow down, but speed bumps are necessary for improved practice (i.e., safe driving/effective knowledge mobilization). That is, “speed bumps” on the way to institutional and organizational culture change, building new relationships, and finding better ways to share and act upon knowledge promote mindful and intentional action: if you’re not paying attention, you’re going to get a surprise. Speed bumps give you a jolt – and force you to change your behaviour. In the field of knowledge mobilization, we need to create new pathways and strengthen old pathways between and within networks.

At the same time, we must remain mindful of the capacity of the neighbourhood for new traffic. Building four lanes of information into the heart of a community is not a helpful form of knowledge dissemination and exchange. Rather, we must think about the needs of end users (and co-creaters) of knowledge, and proceed carefully to minimize the impact of speed bumps.

To push the metaphor further, speed bumps are easier to navigate if we have a co-pilot. We shouldn’t be trying to solve knowledge mobilization problems by ourselves, because knowledge mobilization problems are not individual difficulties. Working within multiple interlinked networks, building trusting relationships, and learning to work with multiple and diverse stakeholders helps us map the road ahead so we can start to predict speed bumps, slow down, and glide over what could have been a barrier.

[1] Thanks for this wording to Kelly Warmington, Knowledge Translation Specialist at The Hospital for Sick Children & Sacha Geer,  Knowledge Translation Specialist for the Partnerships in Dementia Care Alliance

Reflections From a Broker’s Spring Travels / Réflexion d’un courtier en tournée printanière

Michael Johnny, RIR-York

1 Broker.  3 Conferences.  5 Flights.  10 National Partners.  16 days.  62 Presentations attended.  140 conversations.  6334 Kilometers.  Being an RIR knowledge broker in the spring…priceless!

1 courtier. 3 conférences. 5 vols. 10 partenaires nationaux. 16 jours. 62 présentations écoutées. 140 conversations. 6334 kilomètres. Être un courtier de connaissance du RIR au printemps… ça n’a pas de prix!

Yes, it’s that time of year, travel season!  And the totals above only represent June 1-16 and do not represent RIR’s presence at CAURA/ACARU in Montreal in May.  During this 16-day window, I had the pleasure of attending in an RIR national network meeting, the annual Canadian KMb Forum, Congress, and the recent CU Expo.  I am sitting in Corner Brook, NL as I write this, the CU Expo only recently formally closed.  This year things feel different and I mean that in a very positive way.  Each of these events over the past 16 days has provided transformational learning opportunities for me.  This reflection piece has provide me pages and pages of notes to look over, business cards to read over and follow up with and chances for me to leverage new knowledge and information to help make me a better knowledge broker.  So… with all that, here are some thoughts:

  1. The value of a network – my bias with regard to RIR is strong; I believe in it and feel invested in it.  On June 1 and 2, members of RIR met for informal and formal meetings where we looked at the roles, responsibilities and tasks for our members, both at a Director and Broker (operational) level.   I will share a takeaway from a CU Expo session on June 14 about Innovation in Newfoundland, where one panelist shared this about collaboration, “You get out of it what you put into it”.  That makes me feel encouraged because all participants worked hard to come to some common understanding about what RIR can be, and have self-identified roles to help achieve value for us all.  These two days may help propel us on a good trajectory for the next two years!
  2. Vision – Peter Levesque is President of the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization and led the extremely successful 2nd Annual Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum in Mississauga, ON.  One of the services offered by his Institute is a KMb strategy building session.  One item he has shared in this session which really stood out for me is the continuum of KMb planning, from vision, mission, strategy, action, outputs, outcomes and impact (and there are likely others, but this is suffice for now).  I am drawn to Peter because he is a visionary and working in the same field he does is a fortunate circumstance for me.  However, let me fast forward to today, June 15, 2013, where I had the extreme pleasure of hearing Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Chancellor of University of Regina.  Dr. Timmons provided one of the most powerful and visionary talks on community-university engagement I have ever heard.  The reason for this was her messages of enhanced needs for service and for deep meaningful engagement between university and community.  I manage a service unit at York University and take that responsibility seriously, but Dr. Timmons’ messages provided for me passion and renewed commitment to work harder to achieve a statement His Excellency, Governor General David Johsnton made, “this community belongs to this university”.  Here, in my work, the takeaway is a clear vision that roots KMb with neighbouring communities enables success by following Peter’s spectrum along to where action can result in positive outcomes and significant impact.  Daniele Zanotti, CEO of United Way York Region, in his keynote talk at the KMb Forum, enlightened me on some of the impacts of the work of York’s KMb Unit, impacts I was unaware of until he shared them.  At the foundation of my work in knowledge mobilization is a vision, which for me, is rooted in service and meaningful engagement.
  3. Impact – RIR partner institution and CU Expo host, Memorial University (in fact, four of the five CU Expos have taken place at RIR member institutions) were able to showcase their excellent work in community-university engagement and KMb.  Rob Greenwood, Executive Director for the Office of Public Engagement for Memorial U, and Executive Director of the Harris Centre spoke about accountability as an important aspect of transformation in collaborative work.  Accountability has developed a negative connotation which is not always necessary.  David Phipps of York University has written that impact is felt at the level of the end user.  It is my feeling that in a collaborative model of engagement between universities and communities, there is shared accountability and impact helps to reinforce the desired outcomes, as well as the unanticipated or unexpected outcomes of a collaborative project.  This places importance on shared governance, a common vision and activities that are realistic and measurable, and lastly, as Rob stated with such passion, communicate, communicate, communicate!
MUN Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook, NL

Grenfell Campus, MUN, Corner Brook, NL

These are all large and significant takeaways from a busy schedule.  And here are a couple more.

  • It is all about the relationships.  Technology and tools matter, but people want to meet face to face and we need to enable this.  I know this from my work of seven years as a broker, but this has been reinforced and explicitly stated at the RIR meeting; Congress in Victoria, BC; CU Expo in Corner Brook (three separate times in presentations).
  • Details matter – The CU Expo in Corner Brook was the most well organized conference I have ever attended.  Every detail for a delegate was addressed and questions were dealt with immediately, individually and to the satisfaction of the person asking (me!).  Armies march on their stomach and brokers plan, play, share, scheme and dream with theirs too (along with some pints)!
ResearchImpact booth at CU Expo 2013

ResearchImpact booth at CU Expo 2013

I do have specific ideas to consider (or, takeaways that can improve my practice, because I didn’t spend all my time thinking big!):

  • A regional network of knowledge brokers (many people assume these duties without the job title).  Can we connect and convene to learn, share and do our work better?
  • Explore a policy-centred delivery mechanism so policy issues from our partners can be better addressed with academic research support.  There are examples of good practice to consider.
  • Begin to read literature.  An even better idea when your Director recommends it!
  • Alternative forms of engagement… brainstorming needed.  FM radio, 100.1 CU Expo Radio was one of the most innovative resources I have witnessed to engage community around KMb and other processes of community-university engagement.
  • Work with partners to strengthen marketing and communications.  And the best thing about this is we’re a partnership… I don’t need to have all the answers!
David Phipps at the ResearchImpact booth at Congress in Victoria, BC

David Phipps at the ResearchImpact booth at Congress in Victoria, BC

I’m tired. I miss my family.  I miss my office.  But it is these opportunities; the laughter, the seafood, the screech-in, the business card exchange and the significant one-on-one time with partners who are now friends that make me appreciate the value, importance and responsibility of doing this work.  My support system has expanded greatly over the past 16 days.  But like His Excellency shared, “How do we exercise our responsibilities?”  Due to the lessons learned over 16 days, I am better equipped to answer that.

Time for more seafood and more reflection!

KT: The Heart of the Innovation Journey / Le coeur du parcours de l’innovation

Bonnie Zink

Bonnie Zink, Corporate Writer, Researcher & Editor­­

In this guest post, Bonnie Zink writes about her experience at the recent Health Research Transfer Network of Alberta conference. From rock, paper, scissors to smart neural prostheses it sounds like this conference covered a lot of ground. Thanks Bonnie for telling us about the conference.

Dans ce billet, la blogueuse invitée Bonnie Zink relate sa participation à la récente conférence du Health Research Transfer Network of Alberta. De roche, papier, ciseaux aux prothèses neuronales intelligentes, il semble que cette conférence ait couvert bien du terrain. Merci Bonnie pour cet aperçu de la conférence.

In today’s increasingly digital and networked world, continual learning is an important part of our work. As knowledge workers, we look to connect with professionals in our field, collect a diversity of perspectives about the work that we do, and seek learning opportunities that allow us to share our experiences with and learn from each other. Conferences provide these very opportunities, but there are precious few knowledge translation (KT) specific conferences in Canada.

Nestled in the heart of Alberta, there is an annual knowledge translation specific conference, hosted by the Health Research Transfer Network of Alberta (RTNA), that helps us connect, share, and learn. Since 2002, this annual gathering of  KT professionals has provided those of us working in the KT field the opportunity to sharpen our skills, discuss advances and challenges in moving knowledge into action, maximize knowledge exchange by connecting with others in our field, and add new practices to our KT toolkits.

Day One:

The 2012 organizers define knowledge translation as a “deliberate, two-way, iterative process of using evidence to help inform decisions” and challenged participants to discover the “key ingredients for doing this successfully.” In other words, what knowledge, skills, and tools do we need to make knowledge translation effective?

Over the course of three days, we soon discovered that improving the way research is done and how results are disseminated (“Translation of Medical Evidence into Practice: Failures and Improvements” by John Ioannidis, Professor, Stanford School of Medicine) could ensure that quality evidence makes it to publication and informs the process of what should  be studied.

Susan Nall Bales, President of the Frameworks Institute, talked about “Changing the Conversation – Effectively translating Research for the Public?”  The necessity of having better information and a better grasp of research helps us make better decisions for ourselves and the communities we live in and making messages easier for people to understand will help us reach our KT goals.

Day One wrapped up with Dr. Judy Birdsell guiding us through an overview of the RTNA, currently celebrating its ten-year anniversary, its roots, and its future.  A celebratory dinner brought Doug Walker, Trigger Communications and founder of the international Rock, Paper, Scissors Society, to encourage us to think about whether an idea is valid to consider “What if [that] Idea Wasn’t Stupid?” It may be that no idea is so “stupid” that it would not succeed if promoted and executed well.

Day Two:

Rena Sorenson & Doug Walker at the Rock, Paper, Scissors Competition, RTNA KT conference 2012

Day Two was all about celebrating successful KT methods and considering solutions to the challenges many of us face while moving research into the hands of those who can use it to effectively promote positive social change.  Grouped by theme, concurrent rounds of abstract presentations addressed implementing effective KT strategies,  strategic planning methods to enable a successful KT plan, innovative approaches to KT, the role of the KT professional, and fostering collaborative partnerships between researchers, practitioners and policy makers.

Each year the best of the best receive recognition and this year’s winners were:

  • Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Abstract: Ryan McCarthy, former Director of KT at Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), for his evaluation of KT at CIHR
  • Best Poster Award: Mandy Bellows, Clinical Nurse Specialist with Alberta Health Services, for her poster on “Creating a Patient Engagement Resource Kit”
  • Best Oral Presentation Award: Heather Scarlett-Ferguson, Addiction and Mental Health with Alberta Health Services, for her innovative and creative analogy of KT being similar to map folding, “Found in Translation – Fostering Collaboration between Researchers, Practitioners, and Policy Makers.”

Lunch with the Experts is a great opportunity is a great way to connect with leading experts in a number of fields. Participants were able to connect with best practices about using video effectively, communities of practice, ethics for community-based research and evaluation, using Wikis, navigating the policy world, and facilitating conversations.

Day Two wrapped up with Dave Walker and Doug Walker encouraging us to resist the temptation to focus on the tools and technology involved in social media and to focus on discovering the why of what we are doing when it comes to social media. The “Social Media Cafe” introduced us to proven processes that leading organizations use to understand their unique social media opportunities and develop meaningful strategies that deliver results.  Both presenters reminded us that social is people and not technology – it is all about building relationships and making the  connections that matter.

Day Three:

John Lavis

The conference wrapped up with Dr. John Lavis, Professor and Director at McMaster Health Forum, providing a brief overview of the state of research and its role in supporting evidence- informed policymaking.  Dr. Vivian Mushahwar, Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, followed with a tale of innovation and lessons learned as the Smart Neural Prostheses interdisciplinary team navigated the KT journey as they brought Smart-e Pants from discovery to product launch.

One way to accomplish our learning objectives is to attend quality conferences, which allow us to make the connections that matter, learn new skills, and discover best practices in order to improve our own practice.

Knowledge Mobilization’s Crystal Ball / la boule de cristal de la mobilisation des connaissances

On Tuesday June 19 David Phipps (RIR-York) gave a keynote address to the Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum 2012. He predicted where the field would be in 2017.

Le mardi 19 juin, David Phipps (RIR-York) faisait une présentation lors du Forum Canadien sur la mobilisation des connaissances de 2012. Il a prédit ce que serait ce champ en 2017.

Where will knowledge mobilization be in 5 years? It’s tough to say but there are some themes that repeat at every conference, conversation and community of practice. These common themes are going somewhere, but will their journey be complete by 2017?  These are David’s predictions:

  1. Knowledge mobilization as a profession: None of us grew up wanting to be a knowledge broker but increasingly we are seeing roles such as Manager of Knowledge Mobilization, Knowledge transfer Specialist, Knowledge Broker not only in large scale research projects but in research institutions as well. Crystal Ball says: Yes, we will see knowledge brokering acknowledged as a profession in 2017.
  2. Professional training for knowledge brokers: In the US there are accredited courses for technology transfer and research administration run by AUTM and SRA, their respective professional associations. There are individual courses for knowledge mobilization such as those run by Kathleen Bloom (U. Waterloo) and the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at UVic. Waterloo also runs a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation and Melanie Barwick runs the only university accredited course called the Knowledge Transfer Professional Certificate. Crystal Ball says: sort of. We will continue to see individual courses developed in topics related to knowledge mobilization but we may not see a full curriculum leading to professional designation.
  3. Social Media: 15-20 years ago IT folks had to develop a business case to convince corporate leaders to invest in an enterprise e mail system. Today e mail is a fact of life (unfortunately). Many of us are now using social media as a broadcasting tool and a large portion are also using it as a listening tool. We are now starting to figure out how to use social media as a tool for engagement but we’re not there yet. These trends will accelerate. Crystal Ball says: not in 5 years but in 5-10 years social media will become an everyday tool to support research engagement.
  4. Systems and networked knowledge mobilization: Sandra Nutley and colleagues have written that research utilization will grow from individual project level efforts to system level efforts operating in networks of knowledge mobilization. We are already seeing this in initiatives like ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche, K*, KT Canada and the KTE Community of Practice. Crystal Ball says: yes, we will increasingly operate within systems and networks of knowledge mobilization.
  5. KT, KMb, KTE, KTT, KI, KM, K*, Engaged Scholarship:  I am on record as choosing to not engage in this debate. Words matter. Intensions and actions matter more. Crystal Ball says: no. We will not have a single term for all of our related activities.
  6. Evaluation: Under the leadership of the Institute for Work and Health we undertook a systematic review of tools to evaluate knowledge transfer and exchange. We started with 9998 articles and identified only 54 that described quantitative tools. Of the studies that did provide measurement properties only five provided a minimum indication of reliability and validity. Almost 10,000 articles and only five pointed in the right direction. Crystal Ball says: no. Our practices span from relationship building to implementation science. From poverty to climate change to water. We will not have an easy way to articulate return on investment in knowledge mobilization by 2017.
  7. Evidence informed knowledge mobilization practice: We are all knowledge hypocrites. Researchers don’t connect to practitioners and practitioners don’t connect to research. Much. But that’s changing. Initiatives like the Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum create a venue where knowledge mobilization researchers and practitioners can begin to build their own bridge between research and practice. Crystal Ball says: yes. Finally.

The Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum is a landmark event for knowledge intermediaries in Canada. Peter Levesque, the driving force behind the Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum describes the rationale behind the Forum on his website. “Knowledge Mobilization has seen a significant growth over the past decade.  There are more organizations engaged in active knowledge mobilization efforts.  There are more people with knowledge mobilization as their profession. Research efforts to understand and optimize knowledge mobilization practice have accelerated and are attracting more resources.  It is now time to come together to share both the science and art of knowledge mobilization.  The Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum will provide access to some of the best minds and most creative practitioners in the field.”

Thanks to Peter and the Forum for allowing me to gaze into the crystal ball.  Come back in five years and we’ll see if the crystal ball was accurate.

Postcards from Congress – Day 7: Thanks to WLU and UW

So, it’s our last day (and a short one at that)! But even though it’s only a two hour window here at the Book Fair, there is opportunity for conversation. Take earlier this morning, for example- a visitor from the University of Waterloo who had “Mr. Congress” on his nametag! Last evening we had a chance to speak briefly with the President of Wilfrid Laurier University, Dr. Max Blouw. Congress truly is a meeting place. And as we get ready to pack up after a successful week (more later about reflections and numbers), we want to express our thanks to the host institutions and the Federation.

Having two universities hosting Congress is an excellent example of collaboration and this was not lost on the staff of RIR. Both institutions worked tirelessly to support delegates, even through the summer heat and a fall-like monsoon. A special shout out to student volunteers who went above and beyond to provide support. That kind of service does not go unnoticed!

For RIR, it was a week full of conversation, deliberation and innovation. York U and Memorial U’s knowledge brokers worked the exhibit booth and had opportunities to share important messages about our work, learn about our own respective services and build relationships within the RIR team that will strengthen our own efforts moving forward. So as we break out our packing tape, thanks to Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo for creating the meeting place for the RIR network!

Post Cards from Congress Day 6 – Congress is a Marathon

On day six of Congress, the second last day, we have rain. Union Station in Toronto is flooded. Waterloo airport is cancelling flights. And the book fair is quiet with scholars staying dry and collaborating in their own scholarly associations on University of Waterloo campus and avoiding the cold wet trek to Wilfrid Laurier University campus.

But the RIR booth is full with Michael Johnny, Krista Jensen and David Phipps from York and Bojan Furst from Memorial answering questions from book fair attendees. We are pleased to have welcomed questions from across Canada and even from American and British delegates. With the introduction of knowledge mobilization strategies in SSHRC Insight Grant applications, the KMb Units in the RIR network and the services we provide to grant applicants is the envy of many universities.

Looking back on a week of mobilizing knowledge about knowledge mobilisation at Congress 2012 we realize that this is definitely an emerging focus in Canadian schoalrship. We have had 174 substantive conversations about RIR and knowledge mobilization. We have spoken to faculty at 26 universities who wish their institution had a knowledge mobilization unit. There is appetite for and appreciation of knowledge mobilization as an integral part of engaged research and learning.

But at the end of day 6 we are pleased it’s quiet in the book fair. Time for one last President’s Reception. So long as the rain lets up.

And next year we go back to our knowledge mobilization roots. We look forward to joining our first knowledge mobilization collaborators at the University of Victoria which is hosting Congress 2013.

Front row l to r: Krista Jensen and David Phipps (York); Back row l to r: Bojan Furst (MUN) and Michael Johnny (York)

Post Cards from Congress Day 5 – Le nerf de la guerre

Le nerf de la guerre. Anglophones, please google “nerf de la guerre”.  It translates loosely to “the nerve of the war”. It has little do with war or nerves but you’ll not learn that on google.  It has the intent of meaning “the essence of…” or the core idea or principle of….

“Le nerf de la guerre” is how one of the scientific directors of the SSHRC HERD team described our submission under the SSHRC funded knowledge synthesis for leveraging public investments in higher education research and development to stimulate innovation. York U’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit and our collaborator Allyson Hewitt (SIG MaRS) were awarded almost $25,000 to undertake a synthesis of the literature and emerging practices that support knowledge mobilization and social innovation. You will see in the concluding slide to my brief presentation (attached below) that the essence of our paper was: collaborate collaborate collaborate.

This was echoed by the Governor General in his opening address to Congress. He said of the Community Campus Collaboration Initiative that “it is simply a superb initiative. It will help us ensure that social innovation is a key component of Canada’s innovation landscape. This initiative also provides us with a catalytic vehicle to apply knowledge and develop experiential learning”.

Collaborate collaborate collaborate. That’s the underlying message of this SSHRC HERD meeting, the Governor General’s Community Campus Collaborations Initiative and much of the dialogue at Congress 2012.

Collaboration seems to be “le neuf de la guerre” for engaged research and knowledge mobilization.

Thanks to Joanne Provencal and Naomi Nichols for their work on this paper

You can download a copy of this knowledge synthesis here- Knowledge Mobilization and Social Innovation: Integral Components of Innovation Strategies to Leverage Investment in Higher Education

You can also find my slides from my presentation to the SSHRC HERD meeting below

Post Cards from Congress – Day 4

Traffic at the ResearchImpact/RéseauImpactRechereche (RIR) booth has been steady and we have engaged with researchers from universities across Canada who have expressed interest in knowledge mobilization (KMb) and the RIR network.  And while our pens (thanks, York Research), luggage tags (thanks, Memorial University’s yaffle project) and our candy have been popular swag, it has been our recipe book which has been our best seller!

Allow us to explain.  No, we’re not publishers, so we’re really not ‘selling’ anything.  And ‘recipe book’ is how we’re referring to a peer reviewed article which David Phipps has published in 2011, titled A Report Detailing the Development of a University-Based Knowledge Mobilization Unit that Enhances Research Outreach and Engagement (accurate, but you see how ‘recipe book’ rolls off the tongue a little easier!).  At our booth we have an assortment of materials for delegates to take to inform them of our network, our programs and services, and how their institution can get involved in RIR.

Of all these items, it is the ‘recipe book’ that has been the most popular.  So popular, in fact, that we have had to print off additional copies and we’re only half way through Congress!  We’re excited and proud that academics, as well as community-based researchers, are so interested in the details of how York has developed and delivered institutional KMb.  This represents a significant step in our engagement with researchers at Congress.  And we are hopeful this interest will result in future growth for RIR!

Post Cards from Congress – Day 3: Thinking Pan-Canadian

There are lots of pan-Canadian scholarly associations at Congress. There are lots of book sellers and publishers at Congress. There are lots of individual scholars talking about their projects at Congress. And there are three pan-Canadian organizations that support them with a presence in the book fair, the agora of Congress: Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC); Canadian Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS) and ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (RIR). Our good friends at the Canada Foundation for Innovation are also here but without a booth.

The Governor General spoke of the Community Campus Collaboration Initiative when he opened Congress with his Big Thinking lecture. The CCC Initiative is a big tent stretching across the country. It is big enough to welcome RIR along with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, Philanthropic Foundations of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada, SSHRC, Imagine Canada, Community Based Research Canada, CFHSS, Campus Community Partnerships for Health and Social Innovation Generation.  A very pan-Canadian tent.

Last night RIR, SSHRC and CFHSS enjoyed dinner with University of Victoria, hosts of Congress 2013. We spoke of the need to bring the country to Victoria and build on the efforts of Congress 2012 that has a theme of social innovation and collaboration. UVic hosted Community University Expo 2008. UVic is home to Office of Community Based Research and a Knowledge Mobilization Unit. We are looking to UVic to create its own big tent not only for all of Canada but for its local communities as well.