KMbeing

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

Tag Archives: differences

Collective Impact Of Research Over Isolated Impact Of Research

Pepsi Coke Hatred

We live in a knowledge society with the technology to exchange our knowledge faster with greater numbers of people around the world than ever in our history.

So….

Why can’t we develop skills and opportunities to break the cycle of poverty, hunger and homelessness that still exist?

Why isn’t healthcare a universal human right?

Why is climate change still a problem?

Why can’t we provide students with all the support and services they need to stay in school and graduate?

Why can’t we avoid prejudice, bigotry, bullying and hatred that leads to war?

These persistent global harms are what social scientists refer to as wicked problems. Many academic researchers, community workers and social innovators have spent countless hours and years studying why wicked problems still plague humanity. An abundance of words have been written in an abundance of scholarly journals about an abundance of studies, and there are many community-based examples of localized success stories – yet wicked problems still exist worldwide.

Just when you think we might learn from past generations in history and begin to overcome wicked problems it begins to look like history repeats itself in our own generation. History may not repeat itself but rather rhyme as Mark Twain observed.  Repeating or rhyming – will we ever be able to eliminate these wicked problems? What needs to be done? When it comes to prejudice, bigotry, bullying and hatred – sadly, these are easily learned in childhood as adults pass on their views to children. Thankfully, such views can change and are not always maintained into adulthood. There are many reasons why prejudice continues to be a ubiquitous social phenomenon, and some international researchers even think hatred should be treated as a disease – approaching the problem from a healthcare perspective. Yet wicked problems are also interconnected to the cycle of poverty, hunger and homelessness which stems from economic competition and greed that can then cycle back into prejudice, bigotry, bullying hatred and war.

It would appear that within wicked problems there are two major underlying and interconnected reasons:

1)      Teaching our children to hate and “pass on the disease” by not thinking more broadly beyond exaggerated group categorizations or stereotypes and

2)      Economic conditions that lead to financial disparity and greed.

When we create mental categories and social barriers by grouping into similarities or stereotypes without being open to and understanding our differences, ridiculing or exploiting characteristics of others and exaggerating differences among us – we contribute to wicked problems.

When we maintain economic conditions that only help specific populations without regard for broader solutions that do not lead to lasting benefits for everyone- we contribute to wicked problems.

Knowledge mobilization (KMb) is about breaking down barriers – social and economic. It’s not just about sharing diverse knowledge in our knowledge society – it’s also about moving knowledge into action for broader benefit in society. Without turning knowledge into action knowledge is useless. We can begin to conquer the enormous social and economic challenges that create wicked problems when we begin to implement knowledge mobilization strategies to maximize the impact of research in order to change policies and systems within our world for lasting benefit.

It’s not just about doing research on the problems – it’s about taking that research and turning it into action by creating community/university collaboration, transferring and exchanging knowledge skills and experience to develop ethical business and technology partnerships, and advocating for policy change within government. It’s about connecting and collaborating across sectors to create social benefit that also leads to economic benefit. Knowledge mobilization when linked to social and economic innovation can create far-reaching and lasting change to overcome wicked problems on a broader scale.

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(Link here for more information about this knowledge mobilization model)

Overcoming wicked problems is not just for one sector of our world, one community, one country, one nationality. To overcome wicked problems we need to break down barriers and push beyond our individuality, discipline or region to focus on the larger scale of our commonality as human beings. We need to set our sights on collaborative action for ultimate collective benefit as a primary means to overcome wicked problems – which begins with knowledge mobilization. This includes innovation to make change – both social and economic innovation – which also begins with knowledge mobilization.

I currently work in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at York University and see so many graduate students interested in creating and contributing to our knowledge. I see great aspirations for the future as Masters and PhD students want to have an impact on our collective knowledge – while also wanting to create social and financial value from their research. If we are going to succeed in creating impact we must also start to encourage our students to be visionary in their approaches to knowledge mobilization and community-engagement by thinking about ways of turning their knowledge into action.

York University grad student Bart Danko is a recent and outstanding example of a student presenting his research with broader social and economic impact. Bart has not only pursued his interests in the interdisciplinary subjects of Environmental Studies and Law through York’s unique MES/JD program (the only program of its kind in Canada), he has also harnessed the power of social media by creating a film and website about his research. Like Bart, current and future students need to become more collaborative and networked in the knowledge and innovation society in which we now live by presenting research in broader and technological ways. It’s what is referred to as doing research with collective impact over isolated impact.

As with teaching our children to think beyond limiting and stereotypical categorizations and become more inclusive, we need to teach our students to think beyond their disciplines and think about research that advances knowledge to create not just social change but also economic change on a wider scale – to create collective impact over isolated impact. We need to teach our students to think about becoming boundary spanners from academia to community to business to government when they do research.

We must sustain economic conditions that continue to make it possible for student research to be financially supported by granting agencies while also creating collaborative and funding opportunities with philanthropists, business and industry to deploy their research in providing data and analysis to make informed economic decisions that decrease financial disparity. Students need to think about the potential extra-academic impact of their research across disciplines, sectors – and even social media networks.

Living in a knowledge society with technology to exchange knowledge faster and broader does not necessarily mean breaking the cycle of wicked problems. Knowledge mobilization takes that knowledge sharing one step further to action and impact. Research without knowledge mobilization has isolated impact. Research with action, community-engagement and public-private partnerships has collective impact. Connecting research to knowledge mobilization and scaling it broader to innovation in business and industry leads to wide-ranging social and economic changes that will then begin to break the cycle of wicked problems. It takes a commitment to educate our children, our students and our communities to create knowledge that ensures the cycle of wicked problems will not continue in the future so that we don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Peace Of Mind In Your Knowledge

peace of mind

What in your knowledge exchange with others brings you peace of mind?  Knowledge that is exchanged freely and openly is not disturbed by things you cannot control or things that others say that you do not agree with. Knowledge Mobilization is about knowledge exchanged freely and openly to create new knowledge together for social benefit.

Promoting Knowledge Mobilization

KMb

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.

Different Forms, People, Styles & Sectors Of Knowledge

different

Knowledge mobilization is about exchanging knowledge content in many different forms and connecting people with many different learning styles to share their knowledge in different formats to engage knowledge from a variety of sectors.

A Positive Change For All People On This Planet

Earth

Knowledge mobilization (KMb) is about exchanging knowledge for social benefit to create a healthier world to live in. KMb is about inclusiveness, respecting other people’s knowledge with honesty (no matter how different it may seem from our own), and taking responsibility to share and combine our knowledge in a caring way to create a positive change for all people on this planet.

Abundance Of Knowledge

Cornucopia

It’s important to realize that there is an abundance of knowledge all around us – including from ourselves. Focus on the abundance of your own knowledge and not your lack of it. Many people talk about how we tend to create our own realities by focusing on negative aspects of our lives. If we focus on lack, then we’ll continue to experience lack.  And we won’t be able to experience the value of sharing the wealth of our own knowledge until we begin to value that knowledge.

Life is not set up to make us suffer – and often we are the ones who contribute to our own suffering by the way we think about ourselves and our own knowledge – and the events that happen to us. Most people don’t focus on possibility and potential to value the knowledge they have to share to make the world a better place, but on the limitations and what they see as impossibilities – or lack of knowledge. Each of us has knowledge – shaped in different ways and by different experiences, and each of our knowledge is different, one from another. It’s how we share these differences of knowledge, and combine our knowledge that leads to something better. There’s  a cornucopia of knowledge diversity in this world that we can all share to benefit everyone on this planet.

We’ve all suffered setbacks and defeats. It’s by learning from those setbacks and defeats as points of knowledge  abundance that can help us focus on avoiding future setbacks, and sharing this knowledge for social benefit. If we focus on the negative, our focus will continue to be on the negative. If we focus on our “lack of knowledge”, our focus will continue to be on our “lack of knowledge”.

The abundance of your own knowledge is always there. Even if the abundance of your own knowledge seems flawed, you have knowledge to share for social benefit – if you wish to share it, and if you are open to the knowledge sharing of others.  Life’s too short to spend it focused on what we don’t have in our lives – especially a “lack of knowledge”.  Keep focused on the abundance of your own knowledge and believe in its value, and you are bound to see great changes in your life – and in the lives of others to make this world a better place to live in!  And remember – abundance of knowledge doesn’t always mean intelligence. Knowledge mobilization and knowledge exchange is about sharing knowledge – any knowledge – for social benefit. How do you value your own knowledge and share it to make the world a better place?

Receiving Different Knowledge

Receiving knowledge as it is from each person is different than receiving knowledge as each of us might wish it be for everyone. The world is full of different and understood knowledge. What are you doing to understand different knowledge to make the world a better place?

Different Forms Of Knowledge

 

Different forms of knowledge develop different benefits for society.

Strange Knowledge

Knowledge is open to “strange”.

Knowledge Differences

All individual differences in knowledge are important.