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

David Phipps: Promoting KMb-Knowledge Mobilization (Or Mobilisation) Across The Ocean

David Phipps, Director of Research Services & Innovation Services at York University in Toronto has recently been published as a guest writer in the Higher Education section of The Guardian newspaper in the U.K.

In the first of a what promises to be a very interesting four-part series, Phipps introduces the concept of knowledge mobilization (KMb) or mobilisation – with an “s” as the British like to spell it – writing about the use of KMb within institutions to maximise the impact of academic research on public policy and professional practice.Phipps emphasizes the importance of Social Sciences & Humanities (SSH) within academia as a mode of research that can embrace KMb to help solve wicked problems “such as poverty, housing, immigration, climate change, security, Aboriginal issues and social determinants of health” – to name a few. (See my previous blog for a further perspective on wicked problems).

Phipps rightly points out that universities are the main producers of new SSH research knowledge, but that they will not benefit society if scholars limit themselves to traditional academic approaches of communicating such new knowledge. Phipps states, “Knowledge mobilisation is the process of connecting academic SSH research to non-academic decision-makers so that this research informs decisions about public policy and professional practice. Knowledge mobilisation (the process) can enable social innovation (the outcome).”

Phipps writes from an academic perspective focusing on how universities and other formal institutions can benefit from KMb to create social innovation. Social innovation is for social benefit – combining existing knowledge to create new knowledge to overcome the wicked problems that continue to plague our world, and ultimately to make the world a better place.

 My more informal and holistic approach asks how each one of us can mobilize our own knowledge to connect with others – even in more familiar environments – to contribute to this process of social benefit.

What are you doing in your own life to use your own knowledge to connect with the knowledge of others? What are you doing in your own life to combine your own knowledge with the knowledge of others to create new knowledge to overcome wicked problems?

The Phipps articles take the concept of KMb across the ocean – from Canada to the UK – hopefully promoting a valuable tool for social innovation and social benefit that perhaps might begin to spread globally to help address and overcome many of this planet’s wicked problems. The rest of the series takes a past, present and future approach to include the past origins of KMb, present KMb services, and the future of KMb with predictions on where the field is going or needs to go.

I agree with Phipps that traditional and formal academic approaches have not been successful in solving many of these social problems. Perhaps it’s time to also include informal and personal approaches to knowledge mobilization in each of our lives to address such social problems in order to make the world a better place for everyone.

I hope you’re looking forward to reading the rest of the articles as much as I am.

3 responses to “David Phipps: Promoting KMb-Knowledge Mobilization (Or Mobilisation) Across The Ocean

  1. researchimpact March 9, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Thanks for the shout out, Gary, and for always extending our institutionalized concepts of KMb to the broader public. That’s something I’ll be writing on shortly.

    • KMbeing March 9, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Glad to be part of the KMb process to make the world a better place – in whatever capacity we’re in. Looking forward to your future articles and writings.

  2. Pingback: 140 Twitter Characters To Knowledge Mobilization – Revisited | KMbeing

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