CanAssist Boosts Independence for Seniors, People with Disabilities / CanAssist accroit l’autonomie des personnes âgées et de celles ayant un handicap

By Dale Anderson (ResearchImpact, University of Victoria) CanAssist, a university-based organization dedicated to developing and delivering technologies, programs and services that improve the quality of life of those with special needs, and just received $3.5 million to continue its work—a shining example of knowledge mobilization in action at UVic. CanAssist est une

Read More

RIR Connects You – Online and In Real Life / RIR vous met en connexion – en ligne et en personne

By David Phipps (ResearchImpact, York) A recent blog about community engagement for social innovation allows RIR-York to engage in some self reflection.  We're doing okay but we have room to grow by better using our online spaces for KMb while reinforcing our commitment to collaboration in real life. Un récent billet portant

Read More

KMb Advice for Americans / Conseil sur la MdC pour les américains

By David Phipps (ResearchImpact, York) Thanks to @KTExchange for giving David Phipps (RIR-York) the chance to speak to Americans about the Canadian KT (=KMb) secret. American citizens, community agencies and lawmakers can learn from their Canadian counterparts. Merci à @KTExchange d’avoir donné la chance à David Phipps (RIR-York) de parler aux Américains

Read More

Clear Language Research Summaries Go National! / Les résumés de recherches en langage clair à l’échelle nationale!

By Shawna Reibling (ResearchImpact, University of Guelph) Clear Language Research Summaries are designed to remove jargon and create a description of a peer-reviewed  discovery that’s easy to understand.  Students and personnel from across the University of Guelph will be trained by York University in clear language writing techniques, beginning to write

Read More

Telling our KMb Stories / Raconter nos histories de mdc

The following is a KMb story that illustrates how a story is a method of knowledge dissemination. As Marshall McLuhen said, “the medium is the message”.

Ce qui suit est une histoire de mobilisation des connaissances qui illustre de quelle façon une histoire peut servir de méthode pour disséminer la connaissance. Comme l’a dit Marshall McLuhen, « le médium est le message ».

David sat on the dock.  It was a sunny day on Beaver Lake in Ontario’s Kawartha Lakes region. White wine in hand and friends all around, he watched Gary (@KMbeing) play with their 8 year old niece, Maddie (ok, she’s not a niece by blood but a niece by love, nonetheless).  Maddie wanted to build a sandcastle, which for her meant that she would tell Gary where to put the walls and turrets and keep engaged just long enough to get it half completed. Gary was playing. And David thought, “When was the last time I just played”?

David played with Maddie’s brother Alex a few months ago when they built Leggo things but he felt regret that he couldn’t remember the last time he played.  Just played.  Without kids. He thought of asking friends:

  • When was the last time you went to a play ground, or a water park or just played?
  • When was the last time you played in anything other than grown up organized sports or fitness classes?
  • When was the last time you just explored your own imagination and just played?

But he suspected that his friends would all be as constrained as he felt about playing.  He wanted to play and act like a kid but he always found excuses about being too busy. The real excuse is he doesn’t’ want other adults (or kids for that matter) to wonder why is this grown up is playing and not acting like he should.

David is also a knowledge broker who works at York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit.  He needed to make a decision about playing so he explored the evidence on play and other child like freedoms. He asked the 21st Century oracle, Google, and found lots of references to play and research but mostly from a child’s developmental perspective.  Google returned less about research on adult play but one studyby Samuel West explained that “Adult play is a facilitator of creativity in an organizational context”. David thought about this and realized that if adult play is important to success in work (and likely in life as well) why didn’t grownups play more often?

David asked Gary, “You remember when you were playing with Maddie?”

“Yeah”, he answered, without looking up from his TweetDeck.

Read More

Public Benefits from Public Research

David Phipps (RIR – York) wrote this guest post for  It was originally published on August 3, 2011 and is cross posted here with permission.

I have been invited by the University of Texas School of Public Health, Research Into Action project, to the Centers for Disease Control National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media to debate the position that Canada has a knowledge translation secret. I look forward to this discussion with Stephen Linder (The University of Texas School of Public Health), Pimjai Sudsawad (Knowledge Translation Program Coordinator, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research), and Rick Austin (Research Into Action project), because I get to brag about Canada and our KT successes.

We’ll start from the (debatable) position that Canada has a KT secret. There is an evidence gap here. There are also excellent examples of KT from around the world. Nonetheless, there is a widely held perception that our KT secret has resulted from (or resulted in) public investments in national KT institutions like the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, Canadian Partnerships Against Cancer, Mental Health Commission of Canada, and Canadian Council on Learning, all with a KT mandate. Canada also has ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (RIR), the only national network of university knowledge mobilization units in the world (to our knowledge).

For argument’s sake, let’s accept that Canada has a KT secret – the question becomes why? Canada has a strong history of public institutions. Compared to the US, Canada has less private health care and fewer private options for education from K-12 to higher education. Using General Expenditures in R&D (GERD) as a metric, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has shown that Canada’s public sector invests relatively more in R&D than does Canada’s private sector. On June 28, 2011 Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council released its report on Canada’s innovation performance in 2010.  The report recognizes that “Canada’s overall business expenditures on R&D lag behind international innovation leaders. These numbers are trending down when they should be trending up.”

Since Canadians invest proportionally more public funding in R&D and likewise have fewer private options in health care and education, I propose that Canadians expect a return on their investments in public research so that research benefits policy and practice in health and education as well as in other sectors. That’s the Canadian socially democratic model.

If this is true, so what? How can we translate this to other jurisdictions? How can other countries create an expectation of public return for public investments in research?

Read More

OLC Partners with KMb / Le réseau OLC et l’unité de MdC de York joignent leurs forces

This was first posted by Ontario Literacy Coalition on July 6. It features two of York's KMb Interns undertaking research with the Ontario Literacy Coalition. Student interns are a great way to connect academic research talent to community knowledge needs. Ce billet a été publié le 6 juillet par le Réseau

Read More