Building a Stronger Future for Canadian Children and Youth Through Social Innovation / L’innovation sociale aide à bâtir un meilleur avenir pour les enfants et les jeunes du Canada

This story was originally posted on the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences blog on March 12, 2014 and is reposted here with permission.

Ce récit a été publié la première fois sur le site Fédération des Sciences Humaines, le 12 mars 2014. Il est repris ici avec permission. Version française disponible ici.

David J. Phipps, Executive Director, Research & Innovation Services, York University

On February 24, 2014 ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (RIR) and Senator Kelvin Ogilvie co-hosted an event demonstrating the impact of social sciences and humanities research on the lives of Canadian children and youth. We were pleased to be joined by the Canadian Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada at this event.

The Honourable Kelvin Ogilvie (Senator), Debra Pepler (Professor, York University), Danielle Quigley (Postdoctoral Fellow), Susan Climie (National Director of Training, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada) and Chad Gaffield (President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council)

The Honourable Kelvin Ogilvie (Senator), Debra Pepler (Professor, York University), Danielle Quigley (Postdoctoral Fellow), Susan Climie (National Director of Training, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada) and Chad Gaffield (President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council)

In his opening remarks to this event Senator Ogilvie commented, “A new language of innovation is emerging, that of social innovation…Research is certainly an important input into social innovation but research alone isn’t enough.”  The most successful products, the most effective policies, and the most beneficial community services are developed when researchers, community partners, policymakers and businesses work together to address challenges and find solutions.

“That is knowledge mobilization, making research useful to society. Knowledge mobilization seeks to support collaborations between researchers and those organizations able to turn research into action and thus maximize the economic and social impacts of research. Knowledge mobilization helps to enable social innovation,” said Senator Ogilvie.

Seven projects that have demonstrated a positive impact on the lives of children and youth were profiled at the event.  These seven projects featured partnerships between post-secondary institutions and municipal, provincial and federal agencies, from the Nunatsiavut Government (and we were joined by that Government’s president, Sarah Leo), RCMP, school boards, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Red Cross, Scouts Canada, Parachute Canada, a library and a public health agency.

Wladyslaw Lizon (MP, Mississauga-East - Cooksville), The Honourable Kelvin Ogilvie (Senator), Robert Haché (Vice-President Research and Innovation, York University), Ted Hsu (MP, Kingston and the Isands) and Chad Gaffield (President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council)

Wladyslaw Lizon (MP, Mississauga-East – Cooksville), The Honourable Kelvin Ogilvie (Senator), Robert Haché (Vice-President Research and Innovation, York University), Ted Hsu (MP, Kingston and the Isands) and Chad Gaffield (President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council)

There are three elements that combine to make effective knowledge mobilization: 1) the right research; 2) the right researcher (and students); and, 3) the right partners. These seven projects were nominated by their institutions and selected by RIR because they fit these criteria.

In the words of Susan Clime, Director of Training for Big Brothers Big Sisters (partner with Deb Pepler from York University and PREVNet NCE, on the Healthy Relationships Training Module project), “It was wonderful to meet the Senators, MPs and Assistants – all of whom were so encouraging and supportive. It was helpful to hear what is important to each of them, as we all look to enhancing opportunities for children and youth and families in Canada”.

At the end of the day that was the goal of this event: to make connections between research, policy and practice.  For more information on those seven projects please click on the links below to see the poster and a ResearchSnapshot clear language research summary on one academic paper related to the project.

For a gallery of photos from the event please click here.

Trevor Bell, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador: Aullak, Sangilivallianginnatuk (Going Off, Growing Strong) “Going off” on the land helps Inuit youth improve mental health

Debra Pepler, York University: Giving adults the right training helps to prevent bullying

Barbara Morrongiello, University of Guelph: New training program results in better home supervision of 2-5 year old children

Donna Kotsopoulos, Wilfrid Laurier University: Improving math skills in pre-school aged children helps learning outcomes

Gira Bhatt, Kwantlen Polytechnic University: Protecting youth from violence and gang involvement is a collective effort

Nazeem Muhajarine, University of Saskatchewan: Smart neighbourhood design can enhance children’s physical activity

Bonnie Leadbeater, University of Victoria: Bullying prevention creates safer spaces for children and youth (presented by Tina Daniels from Carleton University)

RIR logo

Imagining Canada’s Future: Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council invites you to look at vital questions impacting Canadians over the next 5, 10 and 20 years…

TundraQuestion: “What knowledge do we need to thrive in an interconnected landscape and how can emerging technology help leverage that goal and its benefits?”

Answer: We need Information and Communication Technologies solutions for Canada’s arctic to mobilize its cultural resources for community development

JOIN US for an in-depth interactive presentation

THURSDAY MARCH 20, 6-8pm

@ MaRS 101 College Street, Toronto

York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit Manager, Michael Johnny, will introduce members of the Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage research team:  led by Dr. Anna Hudson; with co-investigator, Prof. Angela Norwood; doctoral candidate, Erin Yunes; and Industry Partner, IsumaTV, represented by Gabriela Gámez and John Hodgins

RSVP here Light refreshments will be served

Imagining Canada’s Future: Insights from the University of Guelph, a SSHRC Regional Event

Together with members of the Research Impact (RIR) partnership from Laurier, Carleton & York, the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship (ICES) at the University of Guelph, has secured funding for a SSHRC Future Challenges regional event.

This collaborative venture involves  four local events (one for each institutional partner), to be held on sequential days, all in the third week of March and all four events address the SSHRC Future Challenge “What knowledge do we need to thrive in an interconnected landscape and how can emerging technology help leverage that goal and its benefits?”

The UofG event will take place on Tuesday, March 18 from 4-6pm at Innovation Guelph.

Event Details:

Helen Hambly“Tackling A Wicked Problem: Digital Development in Rural Ontario”

The challenge of overcoming the digital divide between rural and urban areas has been the topic of a multi-layered community-university research partnership with highly practical interactions involving municipalities in Eastern and Southwestern Ontario. Many rural communities realize that 21st century revitalization will involve socio-economic opportunities that are mediated by the Internet and mobile technologies. However, many public, private and civil society stakeholders agree that rural broadband is a ‘wicked problem’ defined as “the persistence of a status quo of divided interests, even in the face of the benefits to everyone from a change and the considerable risks to everyone from a lack of change.” This panel discusses the challenges and the opportunities of rural broadband deployment in Ontario, with comparisons to other communities across Canada who unite to in what some have called the “new Canadian dream” of digital inclusion and intelligent development.

Panel: Helen Hambly (Project Leader), Wilson Halder (MSc Candidate, SEDRD), Laxmi Pant (Post-Doctoral Researcher), Geoff Hogan, IT Director, Grey County (project partner), Campbell Patterson, City of Kingston/CPC Associates (project partner)

For more information and to register for the event, please see the event registration page or contact ices@uoguelph.ca

Imagining Canada’s Future: Insights from Carleton University

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative is looking at areas that will impact Canadians in the next 5, 10 and 20 years. Four regional events will be presented in the Province of Ontario under the umbrella of Research Impact and, in addition to Carleton University, will be held at Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Guelph, and York University. Each event will address the question:

“What knowledge do we need to thrive in an interconnected landscape and how can emerging technology help leverage that goal and its benefits?”

Featuring

Brian GreenspanDr. Brian Greenspan of Carleton’s Hyperlab

Brian Greenspan is an Associate Professor in Carleton’s Department of English and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture. He is the founding Director of the Hyperlab, a digital humanities research centre, and inventor of the StoryTrek locative authorware for interactive stories, games and simulations. WATCH a short video on his work.

twitter bird sm@theHyperlab

Facilitated by

Peter LevesquePeter Levesque, President & Director
The Institute for Knowledge Mobilization

Peter Levesque leads professional development programs, provides strategic consulting, and creates capacity development opportunities for knowledge mobilization practitioners, researchers, early career professionals, and leaders in many sectors.  He has almost 20 years of experience, including leadership positions at SSHRC and CHEO.

twitter bird sm@peterlevesque

Moving Forward, Backwards and Sideways: Navigating the New Landscape of Knowledge Mobilization

Also featuring:

  • Sarah Thorne, Hyperlab / Doctoral program in Cultural Mediations
  • Adam Benn, Hyperlab / Doctoral program in English
  • Alexandra Woods, Hyperlab

And community partners:

March 20, 2014

6 pm to 8 pm

1125@Carleton

4th Floor, Human Computer Interaction Building

Carleton University (see map)

Light refreshments will be served

Free parking available in Lot P-1

RSVP HERE

York University and United Way York Region Receive Funding for Knowledge Mobilization / L’Université York et United Way de la Région de York reçoivent du financement pour la mobilisation des connaissances

By David Phipps, RIR-York

United Way York Region and York University can build on their 5 year knowledge mobilization collaboration thanks to new funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This funding will allow them to support collaborations on income and housing vulnerability.

United Way de la Région de York et l’Université York peuvent poursuivre le travail collaboratif en matière de mobilisation des connaissances qu’ils ont entrepris il y a 5 ans, et ce, grâce au financement reçu par le Conseil de recherche en sciences humaines du Canada. Ces fonds leur permettront de travailler en collaboration sur le thème du revenu et de la vulnérabilité relative au logement.

In June the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council announced a grant to York University and United Way York Region of $141,798 to invest in knowledge mobilization focused on income and housing vulnerability.  The grant is lead jointly by Daniele Zanotti (CEO, United Way York Region), David Phipps (Director, Research Services & Knowledge Exchange) and Steven Gaetz (Associate Professor, Faculty of Education), as well as Michaela Hynie (Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and the Program Evaluation Unit in the York Institute for Health Research). There is an urgent need for research and evidence to inform effective community responses, programs and services for housing and income vulnerability. Building on their five year knowledge mobilization partnership, York University and United Way York Region will implement a community-campus knowledge mobilization strategy based on best practices so that York housing and income vulnerability research and expertise is accessible to community partners. This grant builds on the CIHR funded Knowledge Translation supplement awarded to the partners in 2011 that funds knowledge mobilization activities focused on social determinants of health. Steven Gaetz, who also sits on the York Region Human Services Planning Board, says, “Knowledge mobilization has become very important in Canada. My area of research is homelessness and one of our key beliefs is that we have to figure out ways to mobilize homelessness research so that it can have a bigger impact on policy and practice. York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit has been a big support in this effort.”

While both the SSHRC and CIHR grants support a suite of services as recently described by York’s Knowledge mobilization Unit (see the knowledge mobilization blog post on Mobilize This!), at the core of these activities is funding for a community-based knowledge broker. While many university-based research programs and research units have staff who act as knowledge brokers only the six universities in the York-led ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche knowledge mobilization network have invested in knowledge brokers with a pan-university mandate. And of those six York is the only university to collaborate with their local partner to place a knowledge broker in the community. Jane Wedlock, Knowledge Mobilization Officer at United Way York Region, seeks to build capacity for community members to become partners in collaborative research projects and to work with Michael Johnny, Manager, Knowledge Mobilization at York University, to identify and support collaborations between university and community experts in housing and income vulnerability.

These collaborations will include graduate student interns (Summer 2013) and will be informed by more than 25 ResearchSnapshot clear language research summaries being developed from York University research articles over the summer of 2012.

“York University has transformed our work in the community” says Daniele Zanotti. “It has opened up the richness of community.

SSHRC handed out  95 grants in the October 2011 Public Outreach Grant competition. The York University/United Way York Region grant received the third highest funding of all grants and the highest amount of funding of those grants that had a community partner as a full co-applicant.United Way York Region is stronger because of that relationship and the university is stronger, with deeper roots in the community and greater opportunities to apply research to real lived experience.”

“York continues to build on and strengthen its commitment to community engagement, as identified in the Provostial White Paper,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation.  “York’s researchers continue to share and co-create knowledge with the broader community, as exemplified by the success of our researchers in the receipt of funding for engaged scholarship through SSHRC’s Public Outreach grants program and the work of our researchers and Knowledge Mobilization Unit in further developing partnerships with community organizations, such as the United Way York Region.”

York University and United Way York Region have recently released a video speaking about the mutual value gained when they jointly invest in knowledge mobilization.

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 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.