KMbeing

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

The Legacy Of Our Knowledge Society

legacy links

Knowledge mobilization (KMb) is making research useful to society. As such KMb is a process that enables social innovation. Social innovation stems from KMb initiatives between community and academia that is moving beyond community engagement to partnerships that lead to more far-reaching ideas and strategies.

 “A Social Innovation is a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than present solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals.”

Stanford University Centre for Social Innovation

A social innovation addresses the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental impacts. All of humanity is affected by economic, social and environmental impacts – not just a few people in a few different countries in this world.  Organizations like Social Innovation Generation (SIG: McConnell Family FoundationMaRS Discovery DistrictThe Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience and SIG@PLAN Institute) are working together to provide learning resources about creating conditions for social innovation.

Social innovation takes a systems approach to address social needs in an altruistic, collaborative and inclusive manner. Collaboration must occur among all sectors of society in order to create a fundamental shift in the development of social programs to cross the borders of societal gaps, create effective change and come closer to overcoming wicked problems. Sadly, the ongoing global struggle for human rights continues with each generation of our humanity and in each generation we perhaps come a few steps closer – and yet take so many unfortunate steps backwards – to become a better society and a better humanity.

In 1969 ARPANET (a military backed project within universities and the precursor to the Internet) established a link between the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Stanford Research Institute. In 1989 Tim Berners-Lee, an independent contractor at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) proposed a large hypertext database with typed links to overcome the problems of information and data sharing over the Internet by physicists from around the world (leading to the creation of the world-wide-web). Stemming from a government funded military project within academia the Internet has now emerged as a knowledge mobilization platform for all of society to participate in sharing knowledge and making research useful to society.

The emergence of our knowledge society will be our era’s legacy as it transforms how government policy changes to address social needs and starts giving voice to all sectors of society to develop solutions within and by society – not just for society.  Social innovation can lead to policy change that is more collaborative with all sectors of society at the systems level, and Canada’s toughest challenge facing systems issues are our health system; our food supply; the future of learning and work; and the future of government structures.

Today knowledge mobilization provides opportunities for social innovation to emerge and address such systems level challenges. This important connection must be properly understood for social innovation to be implemented and for research to have any lasting impact.

As our younger generation begins the journey of their future – now perhaps as graduate students seeking through their own research to make a difference in our world and add to our knowledge society – what legacy do you expect to build and give to the next generation after the legacy of our knowledge society emerges into the legacy beyond?

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