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

The Difference between Knowledge Exchange (KE) & Knowledge Mobilization (KMb)

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Knowledge exchange can be one of the first steps on the journey of knowledge mobilization. Knowledge exchange does not necessarily mean exchanging knowledge for benefit. Knowledge exchange can also be done for harm.

The term knowledge mobilization was specifically created and developed to describe the inherent action of putting available knowledge into active service to benefit society. This is one of the reasons why I prefer the use of the term knowledge mobilization (KMb) over the term knowledge exchange (KE).

Each person develops personal knowledge from life experiences made up of thoughts, ideas, feelings, facts, interpretations and narratives or shared stories. Every person’s knowledge is unique and influenced by bias, culture, politics, power and fear. When we share our knowledge through knowledge exchange with a diverse range of people, we can recognize similarities and differences. It’s what we do with this recognition that counts. Through the process of knowledge exchange we can create new knowledge – but again, creating new knowledge is not necessarily for social benefit with the specific intention of making the world a better place.

Many people rightly argue, that in the greater scheme of things, what we call KMb doesn’t matter. It’s all about taking action for social benefit. I agree. However, defining an action with accurate terminology is important.

When we engage in knowledge mobilization, we are intentionally exchanging knowledge for social benefit to make the world a better place. Knowledge exchange can be the first step to creating better understanding – knowledge mobilization specifically focuses the act of knowledge exchange with the intention of cooperation and co-production that creates new knowledge for good and not harm.


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