upStream Open House – Getting Fresh in York Region / Soirée porte ouverte d’upStream : fraîcheur garantie pour la région de York

Michael Johnny, RIR-York

York Region Food Network is addressing the issue of food security through an interesting and innovative project. Through collaborative partnerships and a grant from the Ontario Centres of Excellence, upStream Aquaponics has been launched to pilot sustainable and healthy food development throughout the year.

Le réseau alimentaire de la région de York (York Region Food Network) aborde le problème de l’insécurité alimentaire par un moyen original et innovant. Grâce à des partenariats et des collaborations, et avec une bourse des Centres d’excellence de l’Ontario, upStream Aquaponics a entrepris de guider, au cours de l’année qui vient, le développement durable de l’offre d’aliments sains.

AquaponicsYork KMb had the pleasure of attending an Open House for a project led by the York Region Food Network (YRFN) which has realized development of an aquaponics lab – an urban agriculture innovation hub.  This facility is located in Newmarket, ON, steps away from the GO train station in Newmarket.   Approximately 30 people attended to learn more about the aquaponics lab and to tour the facilities.  YRFN Executive Director Joan Stonehocker addressed the crowd in attendance, identifying that this experiment is an important step for YRFN and the local community to address sustainable food development, healthy eating and food security for neighboring communities.

The KMb Unit at York University was approached by YRFN to partner in support of a research and development opportunity for their successful Ontario Centres of Excellence application, which provided direct funding support for the development of the aquaponics lab.  According to YRFN, the lab is producing 800 heads of lettuce each month and almost 150 tilapia.  Food is distributed through the Good Food Box program to underprivileged residents in the community, local restaurants as well as through an emerging retail operation.

With food insecurity identified by YRFN and United Way York Region as a community priority, KMb is a proud partner of this project and is seeking engagement from interested researchers on an ongoing basis.  Efficacy, economic, health and environmental themes are all prevalent in the development of an aquaponics lab.  Our office was also proud to support an event on Friday April 4, which YRFN hosted around Food Waste.  York graduate students and researchers from the University of Guelph participated in the presentations and workshops that were aimed to promote education, awareness and an action agenda around food security and food waste management in York Region.

KMb engages in a wide range of activities bridging and enabling research to help inform public policy and professional practice.  Based on the samples I was able to consume following the Open House, YRFN and their upStream project are well positioned to have a significant and positive impact on communities in York Region.  Add a nice balsamic vinaigrette and we’re taking KMb to the next level!

Aquaponic Lettuce

communityBUILD / BÂTIR ensemble

David Phipps, RIR-York

CommunityBUILD is a unique partnership between community, business and the university that is creating a system of supports for social enterprise in York Region. Combining the assets of different sectors creates opportunities that none could support working alone.

BÂTIR ensemble est un partenariat unique entre la communauté, le monde des affaires et l’Université. Son objectif est de créer un réseau de soutien et d’appui aux entreprises d’économie sociale de la région d’York. En alliant leurs atouts, les trois secteurs ouvrent des possibilités qui ne s’offrent pas à chacun d’eux pris isolément.

build: construct (something) by putting parts or material together (Oxford English Dictionary)

BUILD: a program of ventureLAB “designed to support entrepreneurs of technology ventures – especially first time entrepreneurs.” (http://bit.ly/1pKUsW6)

communityBUILD: a program of ventureLAB (VL), United Way York Region (UWYR) and York University designed to create a system of supports for social enterprise in York Region.

This past week communityBUILD ran the first Mash Up. Mash Up sought to identify new ideas to address to grand challenges in York Region: youth employment and food security.

Jeremy O'Krafka, Mentor Network

Jeremy O’Krafka, Mentor Network

An open call was made for innovators and their supporters to submit ideas that addressed one or both of these grand challenges. Twenty nine ideas were submitted. Nine were selected to come to the Mash Up. Within 45 minutes of the first day these were down to four: one addressing food security, one addressing youth employment and two of them addressing both.

Over two days of Mash Up and one day of work the four teams of between three to six team members worked with mentors from VL, UWYR and York to develop their ideas. These four ideas were then pitched to a panel of social entrepreneurs and community builders. Each had the chance to secure $5,000 of consulting services, become a VL client and receive VL mentoring.

  • Upstream New Gardens Initiative is a project of York Region Food Network that sought to build on its existing hydroponics facility and use sale of hydroponic lettuce to fund Jeremy O’Krafka, Mentor Networkfood awareness programs.
  • Mentor Network seeks to match youth job seekers with experienced mentors who will use their own networks to help make a match between youth and the 80% of jobs that are never advertised through traditional recruitment methods such as job fairs. Mentor Network will pilot with Seneca College students.
  • Hon’r Snacks places healthy food snack towers in offices and proposes to use youth from the NEET (not in employment, education, training) group to stock the towers.
  • Cultivating Opportunities builds on the established therapeutic connection between nature and young people living with mental illness and addictions to provide farmers with steady employees. Youth with lived experience of mental illness and addictions will work on the farm and be paid in vegetables that they can then sell as healthy food baskets in farmers markets or to office workers.

From a one minute pitch on Monday morning to a 10 minute presentation on Thursday all four groups successfully went on a journey with their mentors through the Lean Start Up and the Business Model Canvass.

Keys to success of the Mash Up were:

  • A clear call for projects addressing critical issues important to York Region
  • A well structured journey
  • Mentors to guide along the journey so that teams were actively supported every step along the way
  • Experienced judges to provide critical feedback
  • A pool of talent in York Region and the GTA open to growth and opportunity
  • Three partners each bringing unique assets to the table

communityBUILD is a partnership between the academic, community and business sectors. It is not a campus centric incubator. It is not charity. It combines the power of lived experience in community with the discipline of business with the perspective of academia. Each partner contributes unique assets that combine in complementary ways to create a system of supports for social enterprise. The Mash Up is the first roll out of communityBUILD that has already helped four new ideas move toward implementation. They aren’t social enterprises yet but they have started on a path that will support their early exploration.

Neither VL, UWYR nor YorkU have a mandate to support social enterprise. Only by working together and combining their assets could a regional system of supports for social enterprise be developed that promises to grow from the Mash Up into a new player in the social and economic infrastructure of York Region.

See coverage of communityBUILD in the Toronto Star.

 

Commnuity BUILD - Mashing Up at the Markham Convergence Centre

Community BUILD – Mashing Up at the Markham Convergence Centre

 

communityBUILD Mash-Up

United Way York Region, York University and ventureLAB have come together to create an entrepreneurial community event in York Region called the communityBUILD Mash-Up. 

Centraide de la région de York, l’Université York et ventureLAB ont travaillé conjointement à la mise sur pied dans la région de York d’un évènement communautaire pour entrepreneurs, le « communityBUILD Mash-Up ». 

communityBUILD posterJoin United Way York Region, York University and ventureLAB in the launch of the communityBUILD Mash-Up, a competition searching for social entrepreneurs tackling two York Region challenges: Food Insecurity and Youth Unemployment.

Are you a non-profit looking to launch a new program, or have you been keeping a project on the back burner? Apply for the communityBUILD Mash-Up, an intense two-day start-up workshop and competition created to tackle two challenges in York Region; Youth Unemployment and Food Insecurity.

Are you interested in tackling a challenge? Looking to create a difference in your community? United Way York Region, York University and ventureLAB have come together to launch communityBUILD Mash-Up. An intense two-day start-up workshop and competition created to help tackle two challenges in York Region; Youth Unemployment and Food Insecurity. Apply for a chance to win a $5,000 venture consulting grant and to become a ventureLAB client!

Apply to the communityBUILD Mash-Up for a chance to win a $5,000 consulting grant to pay for expert advice for your social venture and to become a ventureLAB client: venturelab.ca/communitybuildmashup

Social Good and Business Hooked up and I Saw it Happen

Christian Quaresma,York University

This is a guest post reposted with permission from York University student and poet, Christian Quaresma. Christian attending the Collaboration for Social Good event held on April 18, 2013, in Markham (read more about it here) and composed a poem “Untitled” during the event, along with fellow student and poet Sara-Jane Gloutnez. 

Yesterday, April 18th, was a strange day in my poetic career, and a challenging day as a human being. I attended a conference on Collaboration for Social Good in Markham Ontario in order to view the gathering of NGO’s, businesses, and government, through the lens of a poet. At some point I was to give a short performance of a piece I composed on the spot. The organizers sat me at a table with CEO’s, social workers, a professor from Schulich  School of Business, and entrepreneurs, where my identity remained incognito until I took the stage toward the end of the day.

I realized pretty quickly that this event, put together by the York Region Women’s Centre, York U, and other social enterprises, was going to be focused on business strategy. I hadn’t hoped for much more; this romantic poet has a pragmatic streak. Throughout the event there was a lot of jargon tossed around, words like crowdfunding and collaborative consumption (a good idea with a terrible name).

But among the shop talk and the Tony Robbins-like crowd peppering, there were two things that astounded me. First, was the sense of community right from the opening speaker, in a room full of professionals, many normally contained in their respective “silos”. The speakers themselves believed in their causes completely, and their ability to shape capital expenditures toward social good. The second thing was the language of consciousness forming underneath the speakers’ themes as the day rolled on smoothly. From the beginning I had penned down in my notebook “communism/ revolution, inherent contradictions of capitalism?”, wondering how these theories I spent four years learning informed the actions of these business-people.

And there were radicals at the table! They even took the stage and talked about new currencies in terms of social capital, things likes reputation (merit for you classists out there), time banks, and fun. Yes, fun as a form of currency to transform the system of exchange. I even saw strategies for economic growth mapped out on a backdrop of the Fibbonacci Spiral, and explained in terms of “strange attractors”. The amateur physicist in me teared up with joy.

During the lunch hour I met up with my accomplice, poet Sara-Jane Gloutnez, to compose a collaboration for our performance. I crammed in a quick sandwich, which left my nervous stomach empty by the time we took the stage, so that I was shaking a little during my reading. We did our bit, and I yoked together some strange combinations like “entrepreneurial vines” and “perennial investor”. The poems will be posted on the event blog, links forthcoming.

I left the conference with a million good feels vibrating in my body, especially after hearing the soul-lifting stories of Neil Hetherington, former CEO of Habitat for Humanity, Toronto. It seemed to me there was an atmosphere of experimentation in the air, a willingness to explore ways of improving our lives beyond the traditional market and to expand the notions of life-chances beyond GDP, or even the HDI, to include people’s dignity.

Collaborating for Social Good / Collaborer pour le bien collectif

David Phipps, RIR-York

What happens when 88 people get together to talk social innovation? You get the start of a Regional and systems level response to address persistent social challenges. You also get to dance!

Que se passe-t-il lorsque 88 personnes se rassemblent pour discuter d’innovation sociale? Vous obtenez l’émergence d’une réponse à des défis sociaux persistants, et ce, à l’échelle régionale et systémique.

Collaborating for Social Good was sponsored by the conference series “Business Innovation in Changing Times” a capacity building series for York Region designed to accelerate innovation and business growth. On April 18, delegates from the private, public and non-profit sectors came together to discuss how to collaborate to create social benefits. There were 29 delegates from the non-profit sector, 35 from business, 11 from education and 13 from government. York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit was pleased to be part of the steering committee. We also were an exhibitor and presented on a panel with Women’s Centre of York Region and ventureLAB.

Much of the day was spent mind mapping to identify drivers, issues (“burrs”) and opportunities. Maps were developed and shared and commented upon. In the end the maps were synthesized into opportunities/challenges for York Region. A group of 25 participants came together on May 13 to continue the dialogue. These 25 were comprised of 10 from business, 6 from government, 3 from education and 6 from the nonprofit sector. This group came together to begin to address the two social innovation priorities derived from the mind map synthesis: 1) knowledge transfer; and, 2) taking risks.

mind maps

Mind maps

Three things were striking from this event:

  1. There were more private sector than non-profit sector participants: often the non-profit sector dominates the discourse of social innovation. This has been true at York’s Knowledge Mobilization Forums and at many of the knowledge mobilization events we have held in York Region. Collaborating for Social Good seems to be the start of a new conversation where business has an equal voice.
  2. This was a Region wide conversation: there was no dominant sector or municipality.
  3. Knowledge transfer – sharing across sectors – was identified as a priority for the Region.

Huge shout outs to Kirsten Eastwood (Women’s Centre of York Region) and the York Region Social Innovation Collaboration for their time and talents in organizing and executing this wonderful event.

We also embedded some arts based activities. Two poets from York University attended and interpreted the day in poetry. Sara-Jane Gloutnez composed “Cubism” and she collaborated with Christian Quaresma on an “Untitled” poem. These poems capture some of the thoughts and themes of the day in a style that is both foreign and familiar at the same time.

And thanks to Seneca College we danced. Seneca sent three students who led us in some Zumba and Latin dance. This was an amazingly successful activity. You have to trust each other when dancing. You also need trust for a successful collaboration.

Dance may just be a novel vehicle for knowledge mobilization!

Attendees dancing Zumba for collaboration

Dancing for collaboration

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.

A Summer of Clear Language Summaries Ahead! / À venir, un été rempli de résumés de recherche en langage clair

This summer, our writing team at York University has started working on brand new clear language summaries. Look for new, upcoming ResearchSnapshots to be developed around the topic of Poverty Eradication.

Cet été, l’équipe de rédaction de l’Université York a déjà commencé à travailler sur de tout nouveaux résumés de recherche en langage clair. Ne manquez pas les prochains ResearchSnapshot qui porteront sur le thème de l’éradication de la pauvreté.

This summer, the writing team at the KMb Unit at York are back to begin drafting a new set of ResearchSnapshots for our readers!  The theme for us this year is Poverty Eradication.

The initiative stems from York University’s partnership with the United Way of York Region (UWYR) in making KMb a crucial process for community engagement.  Between 2001 and 2006, growing trends have been identified in York Region.  There has been a 55 percent increase of low income earners, while the gap between high and low income earners continues to widen. This includes a 62 percent increase in the number of children living in low income households.

According to the Canadian Make Poverty History Campaign, more than 3.5 million Canadian live in poverty and the numbers are growing for youth, workers, young families, immigrants and people of colour. The world has enough resources, money and technology to end poverty, yet about 1.7 billion people worldwide continue to live in extreme poverty.

A part of the UWYR’s Community Investment Priorities seeks to support peoples’ transition from a life of poverty to possibility. But what exactly is Poverty Eradication?

Poverty is the lack of basic needs, with the experience of low income, education and health.  It also involves the lack of opportunity or capacity to improve one’s life. By analyzing the causes that create these living conditions, poverty eradication seeks to create change and eliminate these underlying causes.

As you will find over the summer, researchers at York and our partner RIR universities have much to offer in the areas of poverty, education, housing and economic vulnerability.  We have two very enthusiastic and dedicated mobilizers in the process of seeking research expertise and developing ResearchSnapshots: Sabah Haque and Paula Elias.

Sabah Haque: Currently, I am a business student at Schulich, and I have dedicated my summer to a cause I really care about. I am pleased to be working with Knowledge Mobilization on the pressing issue of Poverty Eradication. My goal is to provide a wide range of perspectives on how poverty can be alleviated, by making current research accessible to anyone in the community. Research in the areas of social work, business, health and environmental studies (to mention a few) – all play a role in tackling the issues surrounding poverty. This summer, stay tuned to learn about the next steps you can take to put an end to poverty!


Paula Elias: As a writer for York’s KMb Unit since 2010, I have had the pleasure of working with many researchers and becoming a part of our efforts to mobilize knowledge.   As a non-profit worker and educator, mobilizing knowledge has enhanced what I do.   Addressing clear language and supporting accessible knowledge to my students and community partners are so vital, and I look forward to gaining another summer of experience here at York.

The Importance of Knowledge Mobilization in Benefiting Our Region

The following was first published by United Way York Region on June 4, 2012 and is reposted here with permission.

As a concept, Knowledge Mobilization was introduced in Canada in 2001-2002 by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) and can be defined as putting available the knowledge gathered through research regarding social issues (poverty, housing, immigration, climate change, security, Aboriginal issues and social determinants of health) into active service to benefit communities.

As Universities are the main producers of new social science research, connecting academic knowledge to non-academic decision-makers about public policy can create significant change in our community and society in general. As such, United Way York Region (UWYR) is working proactively with York University to identify and address community priorities.

Since 2006, York University has employed a knowledge-mobilization unit to foster relationships between university research and non-academic partners. York’s Knowledge Mobilization unit currently houses three full-time knowledge brokers, one of whom works directly with us here at United Way York Region.

While we are continuing with our traditional role of supporting agencies to meet urgent needs, UWYR is also working hard to tackle the root causes of social issues. With the funding that was awarded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to York University and United Way early last summer, projects are underway that will draw on the university’s strong interdisciplinary research to respond to our community needs and systematic social challenges identified by United Way of York Region.

United Way York Region’s Strength Investments is an example of this innovation, providing seed funding to build civic muscle. Strength Investments bring community, faith, business and agencies together to work on simple, collaborative and unique solutions. The funding, which arose through research undertaken by three York University graduate students in the summer of 2010, represents a new way for us to support the rich, informal network of caring and ground-breaking solutions that already exists across the region.

Meet Jane Wedlock, Knowledge Mobilization Officer at United Way York Region

The following blog story was first published in the United Way of York Region’s blog on November 29, 2011. It is reposted here with permission.

Meet Jane Wedlock – a Knowledge Mobilization Officer who was hired to work for us as part of our partnership with York University to develop research initiatives that will examine how living conditions (the social determinants of health) affect health.

The goal of this initiative, according to Jane, is to support the advancement of UWYR’s Community Impact agenda: “helping youth grow up strong, healthy, caring and responsible; enabling individuals and families to achieve economic independence; and improving the well being of individuals and communities to enhance overall quality of life through this additional partnership with York University’s Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit.”

Jane’s position provides community based knowledge mobilization services, which means building relationships and brokering partnerships between community organizations and faculty/students; enhancing access to academic research to support community policy development and program activities through various media; and creating training and capacity building opportunities in conjunction with Community Leadership Resources staff at UWYR.

All of those involved have the same focus on the Social Determinants of Health – the factors that really shape our health and wellbeing. This includes issues related to poverty and economic independence, housing and homelessness, immigration, education, and food security.

Jane has a good working relationship with the university staff at the KMb Knowledge Mobilization Unit where this work has been going on for the past five years. Having worked with them closely on various projects, Jane adds that with York University, United Way will be hosting a series of five Meeting Houses, entitled, “…more than roads, sewers, stores and schools” (which you can read, here) that will offer opportunities for resident conversations in areas of significant future growth in York Region.

“We will be exploring how research/learning opportunities can support these conversations and the subsequent development of social infrastructure in these communities,” explains Jane.

This one year project is funded through a grant from The Canadian Institute for Health Research and will provide an opportunity to expand the impact of research on the development and implementation of effective community health policy as well as the delivery of services.

Mental Health for York and York / La santé mentale à York et York

By David Phipps, RIR-York

On Friday October 7, 2011, York University’s Faculty of Health and Faculty of Education invited researchers and educators to meet with representatives of York Region’s community mental health agencies. It was intended to be a day of priority setting for York U and York Region.  It was a day of knowledge mobilization and ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (RIR)-York was there.

Le 7 octobre 2011, la Faculté de la Santé ainsi que la Faculté d’Éducation de l’Université York ont invité chercheurs et éducateurs à rencontrer les représentants des agences de santé mentale de la région de York. La rencontre se voulait une occasion d’établir les priorités pour l’Université de York et la région de York (York x York = York2). C’était une journée de mobilisation des connaissances et RéseauImpactRecherche-York y était.

There were about 40 of us in the room at the Markham Convergence Centre, slightly more community than university folks.  The university members were almost all faculty with a couple of project staff and knowledge brokers thrown in.  The community members came from across the mental health support spectrum and from across York Region. The goal was to start a conversation about mental health in people 0-25 years old. We started from the position that York University is part of York Region.  Not only do many York U staff, faculty and students live in York Region but many high school students with mental health experiences will move from the school system to York University creating an opportunity to provide a continuum of mental health supports and services.

Pat Bradshaw (Schulich School of Business) was retained to guide the group from introductions to decisions. She started us out in assigned roundtable discussions of 4-8 people per table discussing trends, gaps and opportunities for mental health services in York Region. She then used a nominal group technique to move quickly through group report back allowing each group to build on comments previously provided and avoid duplication. The group then used a dotmocracy technique to prioritize opportunities. The fun continued with two “open spaces” (=unconference) where individuals identified issues they felt relevant to the prioritized opportunities and agreed to host and report back on the outcomes of their sessions.

While the notes are still in development what happened was classic knowledge exchange, a component of knowledge mobilization.  Groups of mental health stakeholders came together to share information, develop trust and create relationships that may lead to campus-community collaborations around research, teaching and the student experience.

The facilitated approach was also reminiscent of a Harvard Business Review blog titled, “Hold Conversations, Not Meetings” posted on February 15, 2011.  This blog made the following recommendations to engage in information exchange, not just passive information transfer that more frequently occurs in meetings. Continue reading