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

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Gandhi & Knowledge Sharing

I recently attended a lecture at the Centre for Social Innovation, sponsored by New Acropolis Toronto, and presented by guest speaker and philosopher, Parth Doshi. The lecture was  titled Gandhi…The power to change the world. The afternoon presentation was divided into two sections: the first, providing an overview of Gandhi’s life – emphasizing Gandhi’s concept of satyagraha – and the second, focusing on the early influence of theosophy on Gandhi’s spirituality.

Doshi is a very interesting, eloquent and articulate speaker, and he interspersed clips from the film Gandhi (played by Ben Kingsley) to provide a great visual complement to the lecture. Although I enjoyed the lecture very much, I couldn’t help but feel that the second section – with Doshi overly using the word spirituality – became more of a religious sermon rather than a philosophical lecture.

Don’t get me wrong. I can appreciate that when speaking about Gandhi one may need to make use of the word spirituality to describe the personal and powerful drives that contextually influenced him during his life – and that make Gandhi one of the great leaders and influencers of the 20th century and today. However, spirituality is now such a historically heavy-laden and currently alienating term for many that perhaps speaking more about the enduring and deep human virtues of love, compassion and peacewithout alluding to spirituality – might be better suited for a “philosophical” lecture.

Does religion/spirituality have any place in a philosophy lecture – especially in a world that continues to be divided by such ideals? We now live in a world today where spirituality and religion are far too often conflated and marginalizing.  Perhaps it’s my own bias against the alienating use of the term spirituality that’s showing.

Any of my KMbeing blog followers will know that my emphasis on the power of knowledge sharing to make the world a better place does includes the human virtues of love, compassion and peace – but I never want to alienate anyone by sending out unintentional messages of religion or spirituality.

As someone who has extensively studied philosophy, theology and comparative religions, I now recognize that knowledge sharing may include views of spirituality, but the human virtues of love, compassion and peace as part of knowledge sharing (or philosophy) need not include spirituality. We live in a world where many still believe in the power of spirituality, but I think we need to move beyond the divisiveness of using spiritual concepts to embrace the basic human values of love, compassion and peace – based on personal lived experiences – that also shape our knowledge sharing – which can exist regardless of spiritual beliefs. I believe we are now living in a time when we need to emphasize the power of basic human values like love, compassion and peace as part of basic human knowledg sharing rather than spirituality to make the world a better place.

Gandhi said, “Be the change you want the world to be.” I say, make the knowledge sharing decisions you want the world to be.

Gandhi also said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

The need to share knowledge encompasses every area of our lives. Since time is limited, we need to choose wisely the knowledge we’re going to share that will take up that time.  Since knowledge can be used for benefit or knowledge can be used for harm, we need to choose what we will use our knowledge for. Are you making the world a better place with the knowledge you share or are you contributing to the problems that constrain humanity?

I know some people who ignore the knowledge of others or don’t value their own knowledge.  They don’t practice knowledge sharing for social benefit at all – they never sit down and ask “is this type of knowledge sharing making the world a better or worse place?”  “Is this type of knowledge sharing alienating others or focusing on our common human values?” They tend to live without being aware of the needs of others, without being able to see when certain knowledge sharing is harmful or when it might be of value.

Life is short – we all know that.  We may get overwhelmed by what’s going on in our lives, but each experience – either negative or positive – can be turned into knowledge. When we learn to choose to share our knowledge for benefit, our personal knowledge becomes effective.  When all is said and done – life is about making knowledge decisions. The world of tomorrow depends upon the knowledge decisions that each of us make today.  And how do we learn to choose wisely the knowledge we’re going to share?  We observe the results of our knowledge decisions.  Do I reflect on my own knowledge? Do I value my own knowledge? Do I feel my knowledge sharing is making the world a better place?  Am I open to the knowledge sharing of others? Do my knowledge decisions bring peace or conflict? Are my knowledge decisions inclusive or marginalizing? It certainly is not my intention to alienate as well with this blog, and I hope this blog will only help to further enlighten.

Doshi spoke about how Gandhi used a cycle of study, action, experience and reflection to live his virtuous life.

I couldn’t help but think that knowledge should have been included in this cycle. As two of my earlier blogs point out (previous blog & previous blog) knowledge is not something stagnant, it’s a dynamic process – a cycle – that continues to flow and be re-evaluated to create new knowledge – especially for social benefit.

Once we learn to observe and reflect on the value of our own knowledge – for everyone has knowledge to share – then we can make knowledge decisions that will truly help all of us in life that is inclusive for all of humanity.

No Blame Knowledge

When others blame you for their lack of knowledge, what are you doing to help create new knowledge. It’s not helpful to blame anyone for a lack of knowledge – it’s only helpful to continue to share knowledge to make the world a better place.

Sharing Knowledge This Week

What is some of your knowledge you’ve shared with others this week to make the world a better place?

The GG’s 3 C’s Of Knowledge Diplomacy

A recent piece written and published in The Globe & Mail by Canada’s Governor-General (GG), His Excellency David Johnston, titled The diplomacy of knowledge points out the 3 C’s that are “the constant, dynamic elements of learning…in the global knowledge society: creativity, communication and co-operation.

The Governor-General’s article reiterates the core messages of my KMbeing blog posts about the ultimate value of sharing knowledge – sometimes in a more creative manner – in any situation with anyone to make the world a better place. His Excellency refers to this as the diplomacy of knowledge, “defined as our ability and willingness to work together and share our learning across disciplines and borders.”

My KMbeing blog has always promoted Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) in a holistic (and perhaps at times idealistic) way to advance knowledge and combine knowledge to create new knowledge to make the world a better place. The Governor-General rightly points out the current priority of knowledge – “as opposed to military might or GDP…as the new currency and passport to success.”

In my own way I have attempted in my KMbeing blog to describe His Excellency’s idea of diplomacy of knowledge as a way to “open up relationships between peoples” at all levels and “foster harmony in an interconnected world.” It’s very affirming to see that the core message in my KMbeing blog about the value of knowledge mobilization and knowledge sharing at every opportunity for global value is also recognised at a higher level by the representative of Her Majesty, The Queen, in Canada.

As the Governor-General states, “learning together is an important part of living together.” His Excellency also states that “while many of our greatest challenges arise through the interplay of complex problems, so, too, do our greatest advances often occur at the intersections between disciplines.” I couldn’t agree more, as I pointed out in my KMb model below where the intersections for social benefit across sectors occur.

I am truly proud to be a Canadian – and a Canadian knowledge mobilizer – who can be considered part of our Governor General’s recognition that “Canadians can play an important role in the global knowledge society.” Previous blog posts in KMbeing similarly speak of the GG’s 3 C’s of knowledge diplomacy with the recurring messages of sharing personal creativity, communication and co-operation through personal knowledge mobilization to make the world a better place. I strive to bring a sense of creativity to each KMbeing blog post, communication of personal knowledge for everyone, and co-operation for social benefit with the ultimate goal of making the world a better place for everyone – or as the Governor General concludes…”envisaging a world in which all nations (and all peoples) are eager to know and share their learning.”


Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Can Help Save The World

Are you sharing your knowledge to save the world and make it better?

Knowledge Fear & Embarrassment

If you let fear or embarrassment about your own knowledge prevent you from sharing your knowledge with others, you will never have the chance to let your knowledge make a difference in the lives of others – and contribute to making the world a better place.

We all have knowledge to share from our life experiences – no matter how insecure we are, or how insignificant we think our own knowledge is.  I can let fear or embarrassment rule me if I so choose – keeping my own knowledge to myself. I can live from my ego – my most superficial self – and I can live thinking my knowledge can’t possibly make a difference in the world. No one can stop me from doing so – it’s my knowledge and it’s my life.

The question is: how can my own knowledge make a difference in the lives of others or the world?  If I never share my own knowledge – based on my own life experiences – how can I ever know that I might have helped someone else deal with something or learn something from my own knowledge?

If I allow fear or embarrassment to keep me from sharing my own knowledge what will my life be like? What missed opportunities to help someone else might occur? Will I be satisfied that I’ve ignored my own knowledge? Will I regret not having provided an opportunity for knowledge sharing to learn something more myself or help others with something I’ve learned? Will I let fear or embarrassment make decisions for me or will I use my own knowledge – no matter how insignificant I might think it is – to make someone else’s life better?

I can live my life letting my fear or embarrassment control me – but what are the consequences of doing so?  Who will I be if I let my fear or embarrassment block opportunities to help someone else, and – in doing so, in my own small way – make the world a better place? Personal knowledge has the potential to make the world a better place. Are you letting fear or embarrassment control your knowledge – or are you using your own knowledge to make the world a better place?

Knowledge Truth?

Our minds like to convince us that our own knowledge is the only “truth” or “reality”. Take a moment to be open to the knowledge of others to create new knowledge. It might give you a new and different sense of  “truth” or “reality” that might just make the world a better place.

Useful Knowledge

If you’re wondering about whether certain knowledge is useful, ask yourself – How useful is it to others? Will this knowledge help or hinder others? Does it have social benefit? Does it make the world a better place?

Knowledge Without A Doubt

We never need to be discouraged if we are full of doubts.  Curiosity and questions
keep knowledge active and vibrant. In fact, unless we start with doubts we can never begin to create new knowledge. 

Sometimes in my life, I need proof.  I need to know that I’m not the only one who thinks a certain way or who believes in certain things or needs to have things explained why certain things happen. There’s always much to doubt in any “truth”- for knowledge is the result of people’s interpretations of events and beliefs. We all have knowledge based on our thoughts and experiences. To gain new knowledge we sometimes need to doubt.  Having doubt can send us in directions that we never would have explored if we were to hold on blindly to beliefs or “truths” that we adopt as our own from others. Without some doubt there can never be new knowledge. Without being open to another’s point-of-view we can block the possibilities of creating new knowledge – and making the world a better place.

But clinging to tradition and “truths” and being closed-minded to the knowledge of others there’s little opportunity for creating new knowledge. I’m not saying that traditions and personal “truths” are necessarily bad. But holding on to them too tightly without an open-mind creates few opportunities for knowledge growth and new knowledge.

Do you ever have doubts?  Why not embrace them – explore them – even question your own doubts to find out more about them.  Doing so will lead you to new knowledge – without a doubt!


Knowledge Confidence

Be patient with people who haven’t figured out how to share their own knowledge to make life better.  Perhaps they don’t yet have the confidence. What are you doing to help people share their own knowledge with confidence to make the world a better place?