Knowledge Mobilization (KMb): Multiple Contributions & Multi-Production Of New Knowledge

Social Knowledge Brokers

We can distinguish a knowledgeable person as someone who makes great efforts to recognize and bring together academic/institutional or formal knowledge and practical or experiential/social knowledge.

Often, it’s the academic/institutional or formal knowledge that gets more recognition, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with practical or experiential/social knowledge – what’s important is that we connect these types of knowledge for making the world we live in a better place.  Many people don’t feel the desire to excel, and they don’t feel the need to use their own knowledge for anything – or anyone – beyond themselves.  While “common” practical or experiential/social knowledge is often what most of us have, we can also use this type of knowledge to avoid or lessen many of the social problems that people face.

Many of us have a desire for “excellence” and making society better – however we choose to define it.  We have the desire to make something more for ourselves and for others than we currently have or are, and we have a need to achieve something that contributes to the world on a certain level.

In order to do this, we can mobilize knowledge by sharing our knowledge diversity – making it available and participatory for everyone.

Individually, though, we all see knowledge through different lenses. That’s one of the problems with trying to define what we mean by knowledge.  For one person, knowledge might mean being awarded an academic degree after specializing in a particular discipline. For another, knowledge might mean “evidence-based” research. For others knowledge might mean sharing personal narratives of life experience or awareness.  No matter how we personally define knowledge – whether academic, institutional, formal, common, practical, experiential or social –  we need to recognize their  connections.

Fortunately, there are individuals professionally known as knowledge brokers – who continue to emerge  and work at bridging our understandings of knowledge. Knowledge brokers help to connect people through more formal knowledge mobilization efforts at academic and institutional levels for social benefit. Such knowledge brokers bring together academic/insitutional research knowledge and experiential/community knowledge to inform policymakers, who then develop policy for social benefit.

But all of us – individually – can also be practical or experiential, social knowledge broker when we help bridge the gaps of knowledge diversity to overcome ignorance, prejudice, fear and hatred in our own lives for social benefit.  Such sharing of our own experiential/social knowledge can also bring together different knowledge – especially through the use of social media – which can then develop new knowledge for social benefit.

Each of us is a knowledgeable person, but are you a social knowledge broker?

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