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

Monthly Archives: May 2013

Promoting Knowledge Mobilization


Knowledge requires action to be useful. Knowledge can be shared for benefit or harm. When knowledge is shared for benefit it becomes useful. Active and engaging knowledge-sharing for social benefit is more likely to create greater understanding between various sectors of society. Greater understanding leads to a more peaceful and civil society.

Sharing knowledge and being open to the knowledge of others and listening to the knowledge of others as well as sharing your own knowledge on a regular basis is more likely to ensure that common ground can be found between differing views of knowledge – because the world is full of differing views. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s just that we need to try to continue to find common ground. Knowledge and practice develop together.

Strategies for sharing knowledge may differ. Knowledge may be shared more formally or informally through written documents, online or in person with face-to-face engagement. Knowledge sharing can be more academic or artistic. Knowledge sharing can take place through research presentations or storytelling. All of these types of knowledge sharing benefit from and contribute to greater networks and connections through knowledge mobilization.

Everyone has an opportunity to be a knowledge mobilizer to develop greater trust within society, openness and understanding. This action is includes ongoing feedback, deeper conversations and constant learning. When we take action to align our knowledge and work together through knowledge mobilization the more we make the world a better place.

Personal Knowledge Journeys


No one person’s knowledge is ever the same as an another’s. When you compare your knowledge to that of someone else you have no idea what their journey has been to get them to the knowledge they have now.

International Knowledge Mobilization (KMb)


Another successful #KMbChat on Twitter this month!  Each second-last Thursday of the month, knowledge mobilizers, knowledge brokers, knowledge workers and anyone else interested are invited to tweet together (12pm EST) to discuss a variety of topics about knowledge mobilization (KMb). I have had the privilege of moderating two of these KMb Tweet Chats and have never been disappointed with the response, the knowledge exchanged and the great ideas generated.

The topic for this month’s KMbChat (known as #KMbChat on Twitter) was about International Knowledge Mobilization and focused on best practices of KMb from around the world.  Starting the conversation I asked “What are your top examples of KMb from the following global regions?   United States; Europe; Africa; Australia; South America; Asia/Southeast Asia

And why?

Although most of the participants were from Canada and the United States, our tweeting group of KMbers appeared to be well informed about some of the outstanding knowledge mobilization efforts taking place in other countries:


We were fortunate to have @slagosky joining us from Spain who started us off by mentioning that Fundación para la eSalud – FeSalud or The Foundation for E-Health (@FeSalud on Twitter) is a non-profit organization that engages in technological methods of KMb with private and public organizations, mostly related to e-health and developing technology.

Soon the KMbChat generated some great examples of effective KMb work being done in a variety of places in the world:

The United States

Research into Action is an example of a Knowledge Translation program from the United States hosted in the School of Public Health at the University Texas (@KTExchange on Twitter)

Community-Campus Partnerships for Health is a US based organization (which also has a presence in Canada) and is an important player in Community Based Research (@ccph2010 on Twitter)

The United Kingdom

The important KMb work of Sarah Morton and colleagues from the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships  based at the University of Edinburgh

The important work of Angie Hart and colleagues from the Community University Partnership Programme at the University of Brighton

The Beacons for Public Engagement are university-based collaborative centres set up in 2008 to support, recognize, reward and build capacity for public engagement

Another great UK resource for KMb is the London School of Economics Impact of Social Sciences blog

European Union

The Science Shop Model – a European Union initiative – is part of The Living Knowledge Network


The EU Science Shop Model is also practiced by the University of Guelph at the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship


Telethon Institute for Child Health Researchwas among the first to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to major health issues: clinical research, laboratory sciences and epidemiologists all under the one roof, to tackle complex diseases and issues in a number of ways

 Social Innovation Exchange Australia is a non-profit company formed to find better ways of tackling social problems, and responding to growing community needs and opportunities

South Pacific

Pacific Institute of Public Policy located in Vanuatu is a leading independent think tank serving the Pacific islands community. For info on a KMb panel with @pacificpolicy @CIPPEC and @MwananchiGhana see this MobilizeThis! blog


The International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilitieshas a global focus and is the first and only world-wide group dedicated to the scientific study of intellectual disability while also keeping knowledge mobilization front and centre

South America

Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC) is a non-profit organization that seeks to create a more efficient, just and democratic State that improves the quality of life


Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA)is a network of 24 universities that focuses on evidence-based policy making that aims to improve the accessibility, uptake and utilization of locally contextualized development research evidence on climate change and environment, health, information, education, governance, food security, livelihoods for children, women and men in Africa, to inform Sub-Saharan and global development policy and practice

Evaluation of a knowledge transfer strategy from a user fee exemption program for vulnerable populations in Burkina Faso is a research paper (although from researchers at the Université de Montréal in Canada) that analyzes one example of a knowledge transfer strategy aimed at improving the use of research results that could help reduce the vulnerability of certain populations in Africa

One of our KMbChat participants @abbaspeaks pointed out that language is often a barrier to effective knowledge exchange/mobilization, which sparked some great conversation about overcoming KMb language barriers as a challenge to connect us internationally.  This included using technology such as diagrams and images along with internet translation programs that can assist us with international knowledge mobilization.  There was also great discussion about the possibility of creating an undergraduate or graduate course about International Knowledge Mobilization.

All in all it was another informative hour of bringing people together to tweet about KMb! You can link here for further analytics about the KMbChat.

Do you know of any knowledge mobilization projects from across the globe? Please let us know.

Hope to tweet up with you as we invite you to join us for our next #KMbChat on Twitter Thursday June 27th at 12 noon EST moderated by @abbaspeaks.

10 Knowledge Tips


1. Your knowledge has value if you share it with the intention of doing good and not harm. Others may think your knowledge isn’t worth sharing but face those challenges. Sharing your knowledge for social benefit always makes it more valuable, not less.

2. Every person feels stupid sometimes. Every person. Everywhere. We all devalue our knowledge at times and we all get embarrassed. Remember the value of sharing your knowledge for good and when you feel stupid remember, “this, too, shall pass.”

3. Having curiosity about learning something new creates new knowledge.  Embrace curiosity and be open to the knowledge of others.  Exchanging knowledge and learning something new breaks down barriers.

4. Every day, you will feel like you have forgotten something. Maybe you’ve been too rushed.  Maybe you feel like you don’t have enough time. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Especially if forgetting has caused what seems like a mistake and you feel stupid. Go back and read #2 again. Apologize if you need to and then move on. Seriously. Just move on and let it go.

5. The knowledge sharing, the listening, the talking, the  learning, the connections and the surprises.  It’s all part of it. And it’s all worth it to create new knowledge.

6. Knowledge is never perfect. Ever. But always worth sharing to create better knowledge.

7.  You will never regret sharing knowledge if it helps to improve someone else’s knowledge. Except for all of those times you second guess whether you have made a difference in making the world a better place.  Although it may only be in a small way, every bit of knowledge shared for benefit is better than knowledge shared to harm. Overall, this is what counts in the end.

8. Be open to the knowledge of others.  Other people who are very different from you will teach you something new, how to look more deeply at life and how to live and learn more fully.

9. Look for knowledge in everything.  You’ll find it in the middle of the busy. Or under the ridiculous. Or hanging out with the strange. Knowledge is like that. It’s in the middle of everything. It’s completely unpredictable. And it will surprise you when you’re not expecting it.

10.  Having knowledge of “the truth” is a myth. Knowledge isn’t black or white. Knowledge is a full range of colors and blends.  Strive for knowledge sharing to create new and always changing knowledge instead of “the truth”and trust your own knowledge sharing for social benefit to move knowledge forward in an ever-changing way.

Sharing Knowledge Strengthens Understanding


Every act of knowledge sharing for social benefit creates new knowledge and strengthens understanding to make the world a better place.

The Ecosystem Of Knowledge Mobilization


A tree does not grow quickly in one day. A tree requires deep, nutritional soil, adequate rain and the warmth of sunlight to slowly grow each day. Year after year it grows with the rings of experience that come with each season. Each year it extends out and forms new branches.

Knowledge is like that. It takes time to acquire knowledge. Knowledge requires deep support and nurturing along with the warmth and openness of others to gain more knowledge each day. Year after year knowledge grows with the experiences of life.

A solitary tree is often an unusual site. Trees are mostly part of a larger forest, growing stronger side by side with branches overlapping and touching.  Just as individual knowledge is touched and connected to other knowledge. Within the forest, a variety of birds and other animals transport seeds, foreign plants and flowers while travelling and jumping across these connecting branches. These are like the exposure to new ideas and co-creation of new knowledge. And sometimes flames of change completely engulf the forest eventually spurring on new growth and new direction, like a knowledge paradigm shift.

This is the ecosystem of nature, and a more creative way to the think of the ecosystem of knowledge mobilization.











The New “Power” Of Knowledge Exchange

world share

Remember when people thought only the great scholars and teachers held all the knowledge to bestow upon the lowly, ignorant masses?  Or when government agencies moved forward with classified information kept from the public to keep them safe? (OK, I know intelligence operations still exist).  Keeping knowledge from the public has always been a way of holding the power.  As employee communications specialist Tarun Gill points out in Information sharing is power – not withholding it even within the corporate world there is a knowledge sharing paradigm shift.

 Keeping knowledge to yourself as a means of power is now a false and hollow action thanks to social media because social media is all about being social, exchanging knowledge and sharing “the power” to connect our diversity of knowledge together for social benefit. In this way, the world IS becoming a better place, less guarded, more open, more connected and more understanding. This is not to say that some still use knowledge as a weapon for harm in this world or that knowledge shared on social media is all useful and beneficial. It’s not! But for those of us who recognize the power of social media to make a difference in the world there’s no longer a need for knowledge to be guarded under lock and key and hidden away.

Using social media for knowledge sharing to make the world a better place provides everyone with an opportunity to make a difference, not only sharing power but lessening the power-struggles that occur from not sharing knowledge.  This is not only true for us “lowly and not so ignorant” masses in community but also for those academics and researchers in the ivory towers.

 I’ve said it before…social media is NOT a fad. Social media is here to stay and when we begin to use it for more than just the latest gossip or movie reviews we can see the tremendous power of knowledge sharing for everyone that can be an effective tool in not only community and business environments, but academic and government sectors as well.

A couple of my recent blog posts urged Canada’s classic Networks of Centres of Excellence that are funded by the Canadian Federal government to become more active using social media tools such as Twitter for greater and broader knowledge mobilization efforts. Although I focused on getting the NCEs to be more active – especially on Twitter – here are a few tips for anyone to use to harness the power of social media for knowledge exchange and the co-production of new knowledge for social benefit.

  • If you don’t have one already – create a Twitter account. For nothing else, it’s a great and easy place to start
  • To avoid what is referred to as “shiny object syndrome” – zoom in on pertinent subject matter by using Twitter hashtags which will also establish connections with topics, people and sites that are relevant to your interests
  • Don’t simply tweet without including links (unless you are engaging in the next bullet point)
  • Tweet with a 140 character conversation to connect with others not only from your own country but internationally from around the world to facilitate the social  in social media by engaging in dialogue and creating opportunities for further engagement and knowledge sharing with people from different cultures who also want to make the world a better place through knowledge exchange

As I urge everyone, if you don’t keep up with social media you run the risk of being left behind, not being connected, not able to contribute to making a difference in the world and sharing the new “power” of knowledge exchange for social benefit.

Let Go Of Your “Stupidity”


Feeling stupid is something few of us like.  We want to sound intelligent but sometimes cannot let go of the uncertainties and fears – uncertainties and fears about our own ideas, beliefs, habits and thoughts and mistakes we make in comparison to other people in a negative wayFeeling stupid is simply being out of contact with our own knowledge, abilities and confidence.  Feeling stupid is about comparing ourselves to others in a negative way instead of seeing the value of our own individuality. When we feel stupid we know we are stuck and embarrassed, but we have to remember that everyone has moments of feeling stupid. The solution: recognize this and move beyond your uncertainties and fears. Stop comparing yourself to others, and have confidence in your own knowledge and abilities to move forward to let go of your “stupidity”. From moments of “stupidity” come moments of…

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Knowledge Mobilization (KMb): Inclusive Knowledge Bridging the Types, Uses, and Places of Knowledge


Reviewing some of my Delicious bookmarks, I re-read Waiting for the Social Semantic Web. What struck me again is a statement about the distinction between Web 2.0 (also known as the contemporary web) and Web 3.0 – the so-called semantic web. As we gather information by bookmarking and tagging we are linking various topics with various contexts – creating links to assist us in easier tracking and referral. But we are also contributing to the future of intelligent machines. The great divide between humans and thinking machines appears to be getting smaller with every tag that links information in a more digital way. Supposedly, the Semantic Web will make information stored on the Internet even more readily accessible not only to humans but to intelligent machines in a more meaningful way.

But how do we define intelligence and what is meant by meaningful? Meaningful is…

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Hating Is Impossible For Knowledge Sharing

wall of hate

Do you waste time hating people? Hating is impossible for knowledge sharing. Exchanging knowledge with others creates greater understanding. Greater understanding creates peace. Peace is always better than hate.  How often do you provide opportunities that motivate others to share their knowledge, break down walls, diminish hate, open dialogue, create trust and begin to share knowledge for social benefit. Hating is always a waste of time. Hate is a barrier that let’s nothing in and nothing out. Knowledge sharing breaks down the barriers and leads to peace.