York Undergraduates are Mobilizing Knowledge for Regional Economic Development through Experiential Education

On December 10, six students in a fourth year Regional Economic Development course at York University presented their research findings to representatives from their community partner, the South Simcoe Economic Alliance. The opportunity to apply their skills to a real world problem came through one of the KM Unit’s sister offices on campus, the Experiential Education (EE) unit. York’s KM Unit has been pleased to collaborate with students from the EE program on previous projects and it was a pleasure to attend the  students’ final presentation.

The South Simcoe Economic Alliance (SSEA) is a dynamic partnership of three municipalities and Nottawasaga Futures: Township of Adjala-Tosorontio, Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, and Town of Innisfil (the South Simcoe region also includes New Tecumseh and Essa). This region is home to two multinational industries, Honda (automotive) and Baxter (pharmaceuticals) yet the lives of it citizens are also shaped through agriculture and many small and medium sized businesses. To realize the South Simcoe brand as “The Best of All Worlds”, SSEA was seeking:

  • guidance on attracting and retaining investment monies that will drive business growth and enhance the quality of life for the community
  • analysis on the recommendations and results of strategic/core activities arising from two background reports – ECAP and Competitive Analysis 2004
  • analysis of the SSEA website and benchmark it against other Canadian regional economic alliances

The students made a presentation and provided a written report and executive summary to SSEA. Valerie Ryan of Nottawasaga Futures said she “appreciated depth and clarity of recommendations from students. They were all very earnest and displayed a high level of integrity.” Valerie was joined by her Nottawasaga colleague Margo Cooney and Adjala-Tosorontio counselor Mary Brett.

They heard from the students that SSEA communities need to view economic development as an investment and expand budget allocation to support economic growth activities. It was recommended that South Simcoe take a leadership role in promoting the region to the Greater Toronto Area (with specific recommendations on transforming the SSEA website into a successful marketing tool) and that local economic developers could establish a partnership fund to leverage joint marketing initiatives. According to the students, SSEA could integrate programs and services to retain and attract business investment and accelerate job creation by developing employment parks that are serviced, readily available, and prominent to possible developers.

On of the students, Christina Kroner said that the EE experience “was a fantastic educational experience that brought our learning to life! The discussion that followed the presentation was very stimulating”.

Thanks to Geoff Webb and his team in the EE Office for remaining an excellent partner for York’s knowledge mobilization activities. York’s KM Unit has added to our growing relationship with SSEA by placing two KM Interns funded by the MITACS Accelerate program to assist in the development of the Nottawasaga Futures Green Transformation Program – stay tuned to Mobilize This! for more on that collaboration.

(l to r) Prof Frank Miele, Daniel Hernandez, Byung Mark Yoo, Tri Ngo, Xiaomin Liang, Ali Waris, Mary Brett, Christina Kroner, Margo Cooney Valerie Ryan

About Experiential Education: Experiential Education is a form of engaged learning that blends theory and coursework with practical, hands on experience. As part of their academic studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies students apply key course concepts to a wide variety of case studies and projects involving both profit and not-for-profit organizations. Faculty members serve as guides in the background, facilitating student engagement with EE opportunities that lend concrete credence to LA&PS’s innovative blend of liberal and professionally-relevant programs.  For more information please contact Geoff Webb, Manager of Experiential Education at gwebb@yorku.ca.

♫Let it Grow, Let it Grow, Let it Grow♫

ResearchImpact announces growth in research summaries, community access, outreach and new web tools.

Three recent stories speak to the continued development of KM services at York:

Research Summaries and Community Collaboration Stations

As reported in YFile on December 4, 2009, York announced the release of 40 additional ResearchSnapshot research summaries. This effectively doubles the number of research summaries available to inform decisions by York’s current and prospective research collaborators. See www.researchimpact.ca/researchsearch for a searchable database of ResearchSnapshots. YFile also reported on the opening of 2 Community Collaboration Stations. The KM Unit on the 2nd floor of the York Research Tower opened 2 work stations including York computers linked into the York Libraries. These two work stations will allow York research collaborators access to York research infrastructure. To reserve time on one of York’s Community Collaboration Station, please email kmunit@yorku.ca .

Social Media tools for Knowledge Mobilization

ResearchImpact previously wrote about its involvement in the launch of ORION’s social media platform, O3. On December 1, 2009 ORION’s newsletter featured an interview with ResearchImpact’s David Phipps discussing the role social media can play to enhance KM services.

New Web Stories: KM in Action

We have also made some changes to the ResearchImpact web site. New content has been added throughout the site but we have launched a new section called KM in Action. This sections features stories of successful KM outcomes or research and research use that was enabled by KM services at ResearchImpact institutions including stories on KM interns (Free the Children, Toronto Wildlife Centre), York’s KM Expo and UVic’s CUExpo in 2008 plus others. Stay tuned for more videos and stories of KM in Action to come.

KM at Queen’s University

The Queen’s University Office of Research Services hosted David Phipps to speak about the road to an institutional KM Unit. David was joined by Yolande Chan, Monieson Centre, Queen’s School of Business, who is a holder of a Knowledge Impact and Society grant and has established a KM capacity focused on economic development in Eastern Ontario. David and Yolande jointly presented on their respective KM activities and began the start of a conversation to explore inter-institutional KM collaboration. Look for Yolande and her team on twitter @RuralKnowledge.

ResearchSnapshots, Community Collaboration Stations, increased utilization of social media, KM outreach and stories of KM in Action are testament to our commitment to excellence in knowledge mobilization by our faculty, graduate students and their research collaborators.

Watch us grow, Watch us grow, Watch us grow

ResearchImpact pleased to help Canadian Policy Research Networks provide an update on Social Innovation in Canada


In 2004 the Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) released their first review of Canadian social innovation titled “Social Innovation in Canada – how the non profit sector services Canadians and how it can serve them better”. On October 9, 2009 CPRN released its update called “Social Innovation in Canada – an update ” (no marks for snappy title!). Funded by SSHRC and authored by Mark Goldenberg (who authored the 2004 report) and colleagues with an introduction by CPRN President Sharon Manson Singer, the report presents a snapshot of Canadian social innovation through literature review, key informant interviews and provide recommendation for enhancing social innovation in Canada. York’s Vice-President Research & Innovation Stan Shapson and ResearchImpact’s David Phipps were pleased to be among the Canadian leaders engaged in social innovation to be interviewed by CPRN. York’s KM Unit and our ResearchImpact partners University of Victoria and Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador got a shout out from Mark Goldenberg and his team.

Sharon Manson Singer

Sharon Manson Singer

Key findings include:

  • The role of the non-profit sector in social innovation remains critical.
  • There is increasing acceptance of social innovation and a broadening of our understanding of the concept.
  • New forms of collaboration, both within and across sectors, new ways of working, and new models are emerging in the social innovation field.
  • Canada is lagging behind other countries on some fronts.
  • Further research, study, and work with respect to social innovation will be important in order to increase our understanding of it, including how to encourage it.
Stan Shapson

Stan Shapson

In addition to these key findings the report identifies that the for-profit sector has moved into the social innovation space in a way that was not seen in 2004. No surprises but the report identifies there is a lack of agreement on the definition of social innovation (read our previous blog post on this topic ). The report also offers 13 pages of references on social innovation providing a valuable resource for any reader. For ResearchImpact, key amongst these findings is the observation about new forms of collaboration. Since KM brokers relationships between researchers and their non-academic research stakeholders KM is itself a means of enabling those new forms of collaboration. We would add to CPRN’s report an examination of social media as an emerging infrastructure to increase transparency and thus enhance collaboration between social innovators (read the paper by Christian Dalsgaard and Morten Flate Paulsen on the use of social media in learning environments ).

David Phipps

David Phipps

“Social Innovation in Canada – an update” concludes by making six recommendations for governments, funders, universities, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and the social innovators who work towards a better world. The last of these recommendations is “Knowledge transfer strategies and their adoption by social innovators need to be profiled and shared. This would help build capacity for social innovation”. For ResearchImpact this final recommendation is critical. Social innovators are natural knowledge mobilizers brokering relationships between social need and innovation capacity. We need to get our stories out and heard so that our KM practices can be themselves evidence based. Thank you Sharon, Mark and the rest of your team for keeping the conversation on social innovation going….what’s next?

Read the full report here.

Still an overall outstanding opportunity – now everyone knows it

orionAs we previously wrote on July 21 O3, Ontario’s new social networking platform from ORION, is a great tool for developing and sustaining research based relationships and collaborations. On October 6, ORION hosted a launch of O3 at the Royal Ontario Museum (see ORION’s press release here). The group included academic colleagues from OCAD, Centennial College, UOIT and CAMH but York’s close relationship with Ontario’s broadband network was highlighted by attendance from Bob Gagne (CIO), Janet Murphy (ABEL), Allan Anderson (CONCERT) and Kay Li (Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies) who is working with the Sagittarius Project which is digitizing literary resources for Canadian students.

Mobilizing MindsAlso featured was Mobilizing Minds, the York co-lead project that links academic research to young adults for mental health.

But it was ResearchImpact that took the stage with ORION. David Phipps was invited to speak about how York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit is using O3 to enhance the connection of York’s research with partners from community, government and industrial organizations. As these collaborations produce research and knowledge mobilization outputs the collaborations will disseminate these outputs using ResearchImpact’s O3 site allowing the site to become a publicly accessible repository of knowledge mobilization products and tools. As reported by President Shoukri in the recent Research edition of York U magazine, “Knowledge mobilization is the intersection between researchers and research stakeholders; it’s where research and evidence help inform decisions about public policy, social programming and professional practice.” Essentially knowledge mobilization is a research dating service. Since 1/8 couple married in the US last year met using social media (watch a video about the social media revolution here), social media such as O3 can also support research based partnerships.

O3York’s KM Unit has been using O3 since its soft launch in May 2009 – visit researchimpact.othree.ca for our O3 site. Mobilizing Minds is the first community engaged project to adopt O3. York also has created a research sub-community on O3 to support. If you are interested in exploring the features of O3 please contact Omar Mohammed, Manager of Research Computing (omoham@yorku.ca) or Krista Jensen (kejensen@yorku.ca) if you are associated with ResearchImpact and/or knowledge mobilization. If you are interested in starting your own O3 community please contact Gary Hilson (gary.hilson@orion.on.ca).

After the reception we got a tour of the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity and saw some of the interactive broadband communication tools used in this multi-media installation. We used this technology to speak to a paleontologist about digging up dinosaur bones and the extinction of dinosaurs. Dinosaurs evolved and died out over 165 million years. Social media has evolved in the span of only a few years but it is here to stay. For an idea of the speed of evolution of social media take 4 minutes and 22 seconds to watch the YouTube video above. THAT’s why you should care about social media.

O3 launch at ROM Oct 5

Gary Hilson demonstrating O3

After 12 years… I’m back!

Evidence & PolicyYou’re used to reading about York’s KM Unit and ResearchImpact in this blog as well as on Twitter @researchimpact. Occasionally we get some press that we don’t have to write like the article on KM in Canada done by University Affairs (April 7, 2008). Now we’ve passed peer review. In the August 2009 edition of Evidence & Policy, David Phipps and Stan Shapson published “Knowledge mobilisation builds local research collaborations for social innovation”. Read the abstract here. The paper positions York’s KM Unit amongst other initiatives to link research to practice including the ubiquitous technology transfer office but also offices such as the University of Brighton’s Community University Partnership Program (shout out to Angie Hart for her wonderful work). We ground our work in Lavis’ KTE methods of producer push, user pull and knowledge exchange [J. Health Serv. Res. Policy (2003) 8(3):165] and we extend those to include the co-production of knowledge.

From the paper, key lessons learned (ok, learning) include:

  • Angie HartmanDeveloping an institutional capacity to support KT (as institutions support technology commercialization) results in benefits to the institution, researchers, graduate students and research users
  • It takes time to break down community–university barriers and develop trust. Care must be taken to manage expectations on both sides.
  • The use of broadband technology to connect stakeholders over distance and over time can facilitate research utilization over a large geographical area
  • Community/government partners are earlier adopters of the services of the KT unit than faculty
  • Decision-maker partners must be engaged throughout the planning, funding, delivery and evaluation of the KT Unit

We are delighted that Evidence & Policy agreed to receive our article and that its peer reviewers recommended it for publication. Evidence & Policy is an important journal for KM. Kathleen Bloom“Evidence & Policy is the first peer-reviewed journal dedicated to comprehensive and critical assessment of the relationship between research evidence and the concerns of policy makers and practitioners, as well as researchers” (Read more here). We are delighted because our work is hitting a wider audience. We’re delighted because of the validation this provides to our work. And I am delighted because this is my first peer reviewed publication in 12 years but I remain grounded because I recognize that recognition of peers is nice but the continued validation provided by partners is more valuable. As Kathleen Bloom wisely points out, “impact is determined by the user” not by academic peers.

York’s Special Research Edition of YorkU Magazine Looks Back on KM as We Look Forward to More

Stan ShapsonSam SchwartzLast week York published its special Research Edition of York U, the magazine of York University. This edition of YorkU features many stories of only a few of the great researchers we have at York but KM was up front and personal. KM was featured in the welcome from VP Research & Innovation, Stan Shapson and the introduction from Sam Schwartz, Chair of the Board Academic Resources Committee. President Shoukri linked KM right back to York’s mission statement illustrating the foundational role KM plays between the university and its non-academic research stakeholders, “Knowledge is of no benefit to anyone if it sits on a shelf. The greatest responsibility of the university is to mobilize that knowledge – to share it with the community and the world to help solve the problems we face, to improve competitiveness, to increase prosperity.”

KM at York started in 2005 with a CIHR/SSHRC Intellectual Property Mobilization grant to York and our KM partner University of Victoria. Working from two other SSHRC grants we have also received support from York’s Division of Vice-President Research & Innovation as well as important financial support from our partners, York Region District School Board and Regional Municipality of York. Money is nice but partnership is essential. United Way of York RegionOver the last 4 years we have worked with over 100 different community and government agencies who have worked with York faculty and graduate students. Some of our strong supporters have helped out on our Joint Advisory Committee and the United Way of York Region permeates our existence in a mutually supportive fashion.

President ShoukriYork’s KM Unit has brokered a number of relationships that continue to grow. President Shoukri mentioned some of these including a few we have previously written about such as Mobilizing Minds and a partnership between Stephen Gaetz’ Homeless Hub and Bernie Pauly of UVic. These are but two of the 155 partnerships we have brokered since 2005. That’s good but not good enough. We continue to work with local organizations seeking to engage with York research. We have a great relationship with the MITACS ACCELERATE Program to fund graduate interns working with decision maker organizations. ResearchSnapshotWe are piloting social networking tools for research and knowledge mobilization. We are poised to double our library of ResearchSnapshot research summaries and we are seeking to add other universities and communities to ResearchImpact, Canada’s knowledge mobilization network.

That’s what we’ve done but let us know how we’re doing. Tell us how wonderful we are or how we can do better using the comment feature above. To help us grow and meet your needs better we shall soon be sending you and all our KM community a survey about our web based services. Thanks for helping us grow.

Read the YorkU Magazine articles here. And to read the whole Special Research Edition 2010 of YorkU, click here.

New Grad Course at UVic “goes social” with Local NGO Content

The UVic KM Unit is excited to announce that UVic Graduate Studies will be offering a new Interdisciplinary Research Practicum course for graduate students that will give students an opportunity to work with NGO’s in Victoria, BC on research questions identified by front-line social service providers.

Modeled after the very successful GS 500 Interdisciplinary Graduate Courses that have been offered in collaboration with various BC Government Ministries and Health Authorities, this course will be themed around “Social Services”, and aims to provide graduate students with practical experience working on applied research in a non-profit setting. The Knowledge Mobilization Unit and Office of Community Based Research is in the process of consulting with several Victoria NGO’s in the development of the course content and research questions. This proves to be an exciting partnership between UVic and the non-profit community, and the Office of Community Based Research and Knowledge Mobilization Unit is thrilled to be working in a brokering role in the facilitation for this innovative initiative.

The course is set to begin in January 2010. The KM Unit anticipates interest from students in various disciplines who may be interested in applying their skills and expertise to research identified by an NGO.

For more information about this course, please contact kts@uvic.ca

ResearchImpact Evaluation Survey

The KM Units which are leading the ResearchImpact network (York University and the University of Victoria) are undergoing an evaluation, and we would like your feedback!  We are asking you to complete a survey regarding your experiences with the Knowledge Mobilization Unit. The purpose of the survey is to gather information  on how a specific research partnership may have influences you, your organization, and/or your community. The survey should take approximately 15 minutes of your time and will be greatly beneficial in the improvement of the KM Unit. Please access the survey by clicking this link.

Items of Interest to Ontario Community Groups and Especially those in York Region – Help with Social Media and Access to Infrastructure $$$

York Region covers 1,776 sq km and encompasses nine municipalities north of Toronto, Canada and had a total population of 983,100 in 2007. With a five year growth rate of 22% (2001-6) and with new Canadians making up 43% of the population (almost twice that of Ontario), York Region is one of Canada’s fastest growing and most diverse communities. It has elements of inner city (i.e. downtown Markham), high wealth creation (i.e. Vaughn), an Aboriginal reserve (in Georgina), rural agriculture (i.e. East Gwillimbury) and environmentally protected areas such as the Oakridges Moraine.  This diverse region has diverse opportunities for collaboration with university researchers to co-produce and mobilize knowledge for social innovation.

Brent MacKinnonFacilitating this co-production and knowledge mobilization, York’s KM Unit is pleased to work closely with partners in York Region such as illustrated in our recent publication with the United Way of York Region (read it here).  One strong supporter of community development in York Region is Brent MacKinnon.  York’s KM Unit first met Brent when we brokered a relationship between him (then at Street Kids International) and Uzo Anucha (School of Social Work, York University).  You can see them talk about their collaboration here.  Brent recently launched his consulting company, Social Media Tools for Work and Learning. Brent provides consulting services to nonprofit organizations interested in harnessing the power of the social web to meet their Vision, Mission and Values. Brent’s focus is to support staff in developing their social media strategy and using the right tools to engage supporters and stakeholders. His first issue of his newsletter, MacKinnon’s Cloud was launched this week and features services as well as stories from York Region including a story on the York Region data symposium, which was also featured on Mobilize This! (read it here).

Social Media Tools logoBrent will also be featured at a workshop on social media for knowledge transfer and exchange downtown Toronto on October 5 “What’s the point of 2.0”. Kudos to Brent for being a leader in social media for York Region community organizations and a champion for knowledge mobilization.  You can contact Brent at brent@socialmediatools.ca and follow him on Twitter @brentmack.

One more item for all York Region not for profits is the non profit stream of the federal government’s stimulus package “Creating Jobs, Building Communities”.  Released by Infrastructure Canada, this program will fund infrastructure projects in the following areas: temporary housing shelters; community centres; community services and cultural institutions.  “Projects must be for the substantial renovation or rehabilitation of existing infrastructure or new capital infrastructure”.  Applications are due August 18, 2009.

What do Machiavelli and Dr. Seuss have to do with Knowledge Mobilization?

Machiavelli and The Cat in the Hat

Concludero’ solo che al principe, e necessario avere ilpopolo amico – I will conclude then that it is necessary for the prince to have the people as friends.

Lesson: No silo research. Research partnerships must be broad and most importantly, engage the people impacted by the outcome.

ResearchImpact and a key community partner, the United Way of York Region recently published an article in Issue 22 (June 2009) of Research Global, the magazine of the Global Research Management Network published by the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

All we could do was to sit, sit, sit. And we did not like it, not one little bit. Then something went bump. How that bump made us jump.

Lesson: Enter all partnerships with an initial plan, a willingness to change depending on the circumstances and, when something goes bump, be present. Full commitment, engagement and openness are critical. If not, do not enter.

Research Global June 2009The article titled “Lessons learned from knowledge mobilisation: turning research into action” is a whimsical look at 10 lessons learned from 3 years of growing Canada’s first institutional knowledge mobilization unit broadly serving the needs of university faculty, graduate students and their non academic research partners.  Each lesson is inspired by and offered with apologies to either Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli’s The Prince or Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat and we back up each lesson with a real life example drawn from our own knowledge mobilization practice.

The lessons are instructive and the stories are real.  The article concludes “Universities need to work hard to develop relationships that include but also transcend individual researchers, projects and partners, in order to maximize the impact of the university on its communities, both local and global. Collaborating is not easy and you will encounter bumps along the road. The key to riding out the bumps is trust, a shared commitment, and never forgetting to communicate, communicate, communicate with funders, faculty, students and collaborators.”

Read the article and all 10 lessons here and see a PowerPoint presentation of the 10 lessons here.

ResearchImpact says O3 is an Overall Outstanding Opportunity

O3 Play Day July 2009

O3: ORION’s new social networking platform for Ontario researchers and their collaborators provides the most comprehensive suite of social networking and collaborating tools for research and knowledge mobilization.

Launched for early adopters at Discovery 2009, O3 serves the needs of: researchers “O3 enables researchers across groups, institutions and geographies collaborate on specific projects or build a community share ideas”; students “O3 is perfect for graduate students who need a place to collaborate on research wherever they are or create and share content that supports their learning” and educators “educators can build repositories of curriculum and teaching strategies to share across schools, boards and subject areas or interact with students.”  O3 has elements of social networking (blog, profile, messaging, comment board, photo gallery, chat) combined with the collaboration tools of a wiki and discussion forum combined with a document management system.  No other platform that I know of combined all of these elements.

And it’s free to Ontario researchers, educators and their collaborators both inside and outside Ontario. Members of the Ontario R+E community can contribute to the O3 community at large or have their own sub-community for their organization that can be as public or as private as they want to be. Throughout the summer, ORION is looking for keen early adopters to try out the service and help it tweak it for its official October launch at the ROM.

ResearchImpact has been a featured project on O3 since its launch and we have been exploring the functionalities for a couple of months.  On July 14 ResearchImpact hosted a morning of O3 play where we got to play with the features and provide technical and user feedback to ORION.  York’s KM Unit welcomed participation from ABEL, the Steacie Library, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, Canadian Mental Health Association, Institute for Work and Health and Mobilizing Minds a large mental health knowledge mobilization project hosted by York and U. Manitoba (see our previous Mobilizing Minds blog posting here) as we explored O3.

According to Liz Lambert (IWH), “O3 has many of the features that will allow IWH to manage our systematic reviews and other knowledge exchange projects. We look forward to exploring these features in greater depth.”

Certain features need to be improved such as the wiki (but we understand that a new wiki is forthcoming) and the message feature which needs to embrace more than 1-to1 messaging.  Overall the greatest attraction is the degree of flexibility of the system.  We were able to imbed a blog and twitter feed widget into the ResearchImpact O3.  We are also able to adeptly manage a variety of permissions to allow differential access to different features.

In addition to ResearchImpact, York University Information Technology is piloting O3 as a collaboration platform for research at York.  O3 promises to be the most useful tool for network enabled knowledge mobilization.  ResearchImpact will begin using O3 as a social networking platform for its main operation platform and we will encourage ResearchImpact associated projects such as Mobilizing Minds to adopt O3.

For more information on O3 please contact Gary Hilson  at gary.hilson@orion.on.ca.

ResearchImpact wishes Sarah Dickie all the best in her move to Prince George, BC.

Sarah has been the Administrative Coordinator for the UVic Office of Community Based Research for almost two years. Along with being a bright and smiling face in the office and dealing with the piles of day-to-day administrative tasks, Sarah has been vital to OCBR’s Community outreach work, and has also been the main coordinator for countless OCBR events and workshops. Sarah leaves very big shoes to fill, and will be missed dearly by those of us in the Office, across the campus, and also by our community partners and friends.

Good luck Sarah! Come back and visit soon.

Re-Launch of the Homeless Hub

The KM Units of York and UVic are pleased to support Stephen Gaetz and homelessness research including the Homeless Hub.  Mobilize This! recently wrote about some of this work and we are pleased to feature the re-launch of this knowledge mobilization website.

As featured in Yfile on Friday the Homeless Hub will re-launch providing researchers, students, schools and decision makers with enhanced access to research on issues related homelessness. From the Homeless Hub web site “Launched in 2007, the Homeless Hub is a web-based research library and information center representing an innovative step forward in the use of technology to enhance knowledge mobilization and networking. The Homeless Hub has emerged as a place where community services providers, researchers, government representatives, and the general public can access and share research, stories, and best practices.” The new and improved Homeless Hub continues this work, makes research even more accessible and interactive, it includes resources for educators and it hosts a downloadable e book “Finding Home”.

Stephen Gaetz (Faculty of Education, York University) is the principal investigator of the Homeless Hub which is supported by a SSHRC Cluster Grant and with support from Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy. He is also leader of the Canadian Homelessness Research Network.

New Homeless Hub Web Site

New Homeless Hub Web Site

1 Million Hits and Counting


We launched www.researchimpact.ca in 2006 and it was pretty much a place holder until May 2007 in time for Congress where ResearchImpact had its launch. The ResearchImpact web site at that time had a video or two (Ben Levin’s talk for example) but was mostly explaining what we were. May 2007 saw 17,773 hits total since inception.


ResearchImpact was updated with some new messages, a new look and a blog added for Congress 2008. More videos were added plus more success stories such as the Aboriginal Policy Research Forum. Some of our business started being transacted on the web site by inclusion of our Opportunity Description Form. May 2008 saw 382,204 hits total since inception.


Again for Congress 2009 we recently update our look and added new functionality including links to our web 2.0 spaces such as our Flickr photostream and our twitter page. A new feature is our ResearchSnapshot series of research summaries, look for more of these towards the end of the summer.


Late in May 2009 we surpassed 1 million hits on www.researchimpact.ca. Today York University released a story on this success. A big THANK YOU to all the faculty, students, funders, partners and administrators who helped ResearchImpact grow to this point.

Now we need to hear from you. Our services continue to evolve but we want to know what you are looking for in a KM web site and a KM service network. Use the comment feature on this blog story to tell us what you’d like to see out of future incarnations of the ResearchImpact web site and the ResearchImpact network.




Knowledge Mobilization at York Looks Forward

On June 5, the KM Unit at York spent a day off-site at the Toronto Centre for Social Innovation embarking on visioning exercises to help define the scope of programs that will be offered in the fall. This is important as the current project funding will be sunsetting and operations will need streamlining to support sustainability.

The efforts from the day resulted in the following, and we welcome your thoughts and comments. Just click on the comments button above this message and share your thoughts!

Vision Statement

National leaders in knowledge mobilization, connecting research and people for social innovation.

Mission Statement

The KM unit at York University is a service unit that:

    Builds a culture of knowledge mobilization
    Fosters collaboration
    Supports co-production of knowledge/research
    Connects policy and practice relevant research to decision makers
    Develops and delivers tools for knowledge mobilization

Our Values

Our service unit is built on the following values:

    Respect – knowledge has many forms and origins and flows in a two way direction
    Wisdom – grounding practice in theory and using practice to inform theory
    Honesty – knowledge brokers are impartial, client-focused and honest brokers
    Engagement – research engages with and is responsive to the needs of the partners
    Impact – real world solutions for real world problems