525,600 Minutes- How do you measure a year of KM?

Tuesday, March 2nd was the third annual KM Expo where York and it’s (mainly community) partners celebrated the past year of KM and looked forward to another. We were pleased to welcome over 95 participants to examine how KM can help broker relationships over, under, around and through Boundaries: between research and practice/policy; between community and university; between research and partner.

One always surprising and satisfying session is the un-conference time where participants identify topics of interest, including evaluation, training for KM careers, what is/are knowledge(s), changing the university culture, and social media. Danielle Zanotti (CEO, United Way of York Region) is always entertaining and thoughtful as he compared York’s KM Unit to his Nona (grandmother) who was strategic in her choice of partner – his Nono (grandfather). Tim McConnell (President and CEO, McConnell Foundation) reflected that putting voices around a table who wouldn’t normally sit together creates a clash of different understandings that creates new knowledge. He also recognized that policy makers (provincial and federal) where mainly absent from our KM table.

Many participants were asked the same question, “If you could tell the university to do one thing over the next year, what would it be?” We heard the following:

1) Engage in more brokering
• ResearchImpact-York has received over 150 requests for research brokering and will continue to do more

2) Create time/incentives/rewards for faculty to engage in KM
• We see this frequently. CHSRF has held some conversations with VPs Academic and Provosts but little progress has been made on including community engaged research in tenure & promotion

3) Create a learning cycle around KM
• ResearchImpact-York has created the KM P2P network, we’re developing KM tools, and we are active in the Ontario KTE CoP

4) “Universities are leaders in tradition” – become more open
• York has recently released the Provost’s White Paper providing a vision of York as Canada’s engaged university

5) Develop evaluation tools for KM
• Summer 2009 York conducted a formal evaluation of the last 4 years of KM. This report and recommendations arising from the repor will be presented on this blog soon.

6) Support digital literacy as an emerging skill-set
• See York’s initiatives like the Institute for Research on Learning Technologies, our work on O3, ABEL and other resources such as we wrote in this blog post

Throughout the 2010 Expo the theme was bees. We asked ourselves the question, “to b or not to b” and we decided to b. Starting with the 2010 Expo and following the lead of other knowledge mobilization leaders in Canada, including Peter Levesque, the Harris Centre, and SSHRC, York will adopt the acronym KMb.

ResearchImpact – York will be posting videos and presentations from the Expo on this blog and on KMb in action but for now, please see here for 525,600 minutes of KMb.

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