Competencies and Skills for Knowledge Mobilization and Knowledge Exchange (Survey Request)

The following is a request for participation from David Phipps, RIR-York in his collaborative research project on priority competencies and skills for KMb and KE.

Two speech bubblesI am conducting a collaborative research project on priority competencies and skills for knowledge mobilization and knowledge exchange. My collaborators are Monica Batac (graduate student, Ryerson University), Julie Bayley (Coventry University) and Ed Stevens (University of Bath). Ryerson University’s Research Ethics Board has approved this study (PI: Monica Batac, supervised by Dr. Charles Davis).

I am looking for a diverse group of participants to complete the online survey on the practice of knowledge mobilization/exchange. Potential participants include knowledge mobilization researchers, knowledge brokers, intermediaries, and knowledge transfer/translation practitioners.

What you will be asked to do:

This study asks you to read and rate knowledge broker competencies based on how often you practice that skill. You will be asked to rate each of 80 competencies according to the following scale:

Crucial (practiced almost every day)
High alignment (practiced almost every week)
Medium alignment (practice monthly)
Low alignment (rarely practice)
Unrelated to my post (never practice)

The survey should take you about 30 minutes to complete.

The survey can be found at:

Your choice of whether or not to participate will not influence your future relationships
with me or any of the project collaborators and our affilitated universities.

Please feel free to forward this recruitment message to those who may like to

Campus to City: Colleges, Universities, and City Building – October 31, 2015

David Phipps, RIR-York, will be presenting at this upcoming event taking place across all three SFU campuses in Metro Vancouver. The full conference schedule and registration details are available here.

Campus to City banner

When: Saturday, October 31, 2015  9:00 am – 7:00 pm

Where: SFU Vancouver, SFU Surrey, SFU Burnaby

SFU Public Square, in partnership with RECODE, an initiative of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation is hosting a day-long, national conversation on the role of colleges and universities in city-building.

Designed by students from across Canada, this participatory, moving conference will bring together students, university faculty and staff, city building leaders and community partners to reimagine how colleges and universities can be a driving force in creating vibrant, livable, and sustainable cities.

With visits to SFU campuses in three Metro Vancouver cities and case studies from campuses across the country, participants will have the opportunity to discuss national perspectives against the backdrop of living examples of community collaboration and city-building.

Campus to City participants will explore the three key roles that campuses play as hubs of innovation, as landowner and developers and as community animators. Themes such as sustainability, design for inclusivity, social finance, and First Nations perspectives will be interwoven into the day during moving breakout sessions on tour buses. Participants will be challenged to bring back the ideas, the energy and the project possibilities back to innovate in their campus communities.

Whether you are a student, faculty or staff at a university, a community partner or a leader involved in city building, you have a role to play in shaping this national conversation.

Join us for an interactive, experiential and solutions-focused conference and help us co-create the future of our cities!

Full conference schedule and registration details are available here.

David Phipps named a Fellow of the Association of Commonwealth Universities

Congratulations to David Phipps, RIR-York, who was recently awarded a Fellowship from the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU). The following story first appeared in York University’s YFile on September 18, 2015 and is reposted here with permission.

David Phipps

David Phipps

David Phipps, executive director research & innovation services, has been awarded a Fellowship from the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) to collaborate with colleagues from the United Kingdom on a project that will develop capacity for university-based knowledge mobilization professionals. Phipps was awarded the Gordon and Jean Southam Fellowship that is open to applicants from any Canadian ACU member university.

The Fellowship is funded under the ACU “Titular Fellowships” Program, which aims to enable the universities of the Commonwealth to develop human resources for their institutions. It also supports the interchange of people, knowledge, skills and technologies globally. During the Fellowship in December 2015, Phipps will be hosted by Coventry University as well as colleagues from the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

“This Fellowship is testimony to David’s decade long development of knowledge mobilization at York and with ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche, Canada’s knowledge mobilization network,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation. “This achievement is also an indication of the growing international recognition of engaged scholarship at York that is creating impacts on public policy, professional practice and social services.”

“Coventry University is pleased to host Dr. Phipps in his Fellowship. We have a national reputation for impact, demonstrated through excellent results in the Research Excellence Framework (2014) and support research impact centrally through an award-winning impact and behaviour change specialist, Julie Bayley,” says Tim Horne, head of the Research Excellence Unit, Coventry University. “Supported by this Fellowship, Coventry University is exceptionally well placed to support and outwardly communicate a scalable and replicable model for knowledge broker competencies.”

Phipps will be joined by other 2015 ACU Fellows from Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Trinidad.

For more information, visit the ACU Titular Fellowships webpage.

Welcome University of New Brunswick / L’Université du Nouveau-Brunswick parmi nous

On April 8, 2015 the ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (RIR) Executive Leads committee made a conditional acceptance to the University of New Brunswick to become the 12th RIR university. On August 24, 2015, those conditions were met and we were pleased to welcome UNB as our newest RIR member.

Le 8 avril 2015, le comité directeur du RéseauImpactRecherche-ResearchImpact (RIR) avait accepté, moyennant certaines conditions, que l’Université du Nouveau-Brunswick devienne le 12e membre du réseau. Le 24 août 2015, les conditions étaient remplies, et c’est avec plaisir que le RIR accueille aujourd’hui son tout nouveau membre.

UNB logo

UNB has a long tradition of supporting knowledge mobilization. UNB leads the New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network (NBSPRN) which supports evidence-based public policy by bridging the gap between those making decisions, those conducting research, non-governmental organizations and New Brunswick citizens. NBSPRN envisions a New Brunswick that is a leader in evidence-based public policy development through Networked Governance. NBSPRN achieves this mission through knowledge mobilization connecting UNB researchers with public policy stakeholders from the public, private and non-profit sectors.

UNB also leads the Pond Deshpande Centre, a catalyst to grow and support a stronger culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the province of New Brunswick. It seeks to ensure that New Brunswick communities are the location of choice for aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs because they are start-up friendly and our post-secondary institutions have best in class entrepreneurship programming. Part of their work includes connecting UNB researchers and students to the social innovation and entrepreneurship community in New Brunswick.

Both NBSPRN and the Pond Deshpande Centre build on a track record of engaged scholarship and community engagement at UNB.

David Burns

David Burns

“UNB is delighted to join ResearchImpact”, says David Burns, VP Research for UNB. “We have already established our knowledge mobilization practices on campus by leading a number of entrepreneurship initiatives such as the NB Social Policy Research Network and the Pond Deshpande Centre which are helping us connect our campus to innovation and entrepreneurship across New Brunswick. We look forward to learning from the diverse knowledge mobilization practices of the ResearchImpact members across Canada and sharing our work here in New Brunswick.

UNB is an important university for RIR. UNB and the Harris Centre at Memorial University of Newfoundland are two of Atlantic Canada’s leading knowledge mobilization universities. This is as much a wonderful opportunity for RIR as it is for UNB.

RIR welcomed Nick Scott (Managing Director, NBSPRN) as RIR Director for UNB and Sasha McEachern-Caputo (Research Coordinator, NBSPRN) as RIR Knowledge Broker for UNB at our annual RIR meeting in St. John’s on September 10-11.

Online Recruitment for Research Study on Knowledge Mobilization

Monica Batac, a graduate student, at Ryerson University is recruiting participants for a Q-study to assess priority competencies and skills for knowledge mobilization. Ryerson University’s Research Ethics Board has approved this study.

Diverse participants from academic and non-academic organizations are invited to complete the survey. Potential participants include knowledge mobilization researchers, knowledge brokers, intermediaries, and practitioners.

For more information, please visit the research study page here:

The survey will close on Monday, July 27th, 2015.

Please direct any questions about the study to

Knowledge Mobilization Summer Institute, August 17-19, 2015

What is the KMb Summer Institute?
Three days of learning and skill development in the field of knowledge mobilization.  Hands-on workshops and networking with professionals will provide a unique opportunity for early career  KMb individuals to develop a solid foundation of understanding of the key principles of KMb, collaboration, stakeholder engagement, and evaluation.

Who should attend? 
Early career professionals working in the area of Knowledge Mobilization or Knowledge Translation and Transfer; this includes researchers, knowledge brokers, research facilitators, and graduate students.  Participants will come from a broad cross-section of organizations such as universities, not-for-profit organizations, research institutions, government agencies, National Centres of Excellence, and industry.

Where will the KMb Summer Institute take place?
In 2015, we are pleased to offer this institute at the University of Guelph in Ontario (approximately 1 hour west of Toronto).  Accommodations will be available on campus or at nearby hotels and food will be provided by the award-winning U of G Food Services.

Cost: $400 + HST = $452.00

Includes three days of:

  • instruction from leading Knowledge Mobilization practitioners and scholars
  • support materials
  • expert keynote speaker
  • dinner on Tuesday evening
  • breakfast
  • break snacks
  • lunch

Monday, August 17, 2015 at 8:45 EDT to Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 16:00 EDT

University of Guelph
50 Stone Rd E,
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1

For more information and to register, visit

Two York Research Administrators Receive National Awards

Congratulations to David Phipps (RIR-York) on receiving the Research Management Excellence Award from the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA). This story was first published on YFile on May 26, 2015 and is reposted here with permission. 

David Phipps and Angela Zeno

David Phipps and Angela Zeno

The Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) has recognized the accomplishments of two of York’s senior research administrators with national awards. Angela Zeno, manager, research accounting, received the Community Builder Award. David Phipps, executive director, research & innovation services, received the Research Management Excellence Award.

The Community Builder Award is presented to a passionate leader in the CARA community whose efforts have strengthened the community through membership engagement efforts, welcoming and facilitating the integration of newcomers or other forms of leadership specifically advantageous to helping members connect to the broader CARA community. An advocate of CARA, Zeno regularly attends meetings and conferences, both regionally and nationally. She was responsible for the development and delivery of the Research Accounting workshop at CARA National for many years and is currently a key part of a team focused on revamping the finance workshops for CARA into a case-based, full-day workshop.

According to her nominators, Zeno has dedicated her efforts and those of her team to the implementation of “best practices” in post-award research administration at York University. “Within the Canadian research administration community, York is held in high esteem due to their work in this area,” says Trudy Pound-Curtis, AVP finance and CFO. “ I am very proud of Angela and her significant contribution to research grant administration in Canada.”

The Research Management Excellence Award is presented to an exceptional research manager who has made outstanding contributions to the profession, both nationally and internationally, through innovation, creativity, hard work and dedication. Phipps is being recognized for his leadership in two emerging areas of research management: knowledge mobilization that seeks to maximize impacts of research beyond the academy; and implementation of Canada’s controlled goods legislation that implements security assessments to safeguard controlled goods and/or technologies within Canada.

“David’s work across Canada in these two distinct areas has helped to increase York’s international recognition for innovation in research services,” says Robert Haché, vice-president research and innovation. “David is most deserving of this award from Canada’s research administration community.”

The awards were presented at a special celebration on May 25 at the CARA 2015 Annual Conference in Toronto. Haché was also featured on the conference’s opening panel discussing the topic “The Future of Research in Canada.” He spoke about the importance of investing in basic research that deepens our understanding of people and the world around us, as well as investing in knowledge mobilization, entrepreneurship and industry liaison to help maximize the social, economic and environmental impacts of university research.

CARA is a national voice for research administrators in Canada. With almost 1,000 members, the professional organization’s strength is in its diversity and comprehensive approach to research administration. CARA provides a critical interface between all stakeholders in the management of the research enterprise.

First Knowledge Synthesis Grants Workshop, May 2015

On May 5, 2015 SSHRC hosted a meeting of knowledge synthesis grant recipients. Knowledge synthesis grants fund researchers and their teams to assesses and communicate the state of the art of knowledge on particular topics of relevance to public policy. Holding a meeting of researchers isn’t new for SSHRC. What is different is SSHRC invited participants from the public, private and nonprofit sectors to begin the process of knowledge mobilization even before the knowledge synthesis had begun. Welcome to the world of knowledge brokering, SSHRC. The ResearchImpact network is here to help support your connections between knowledge production and its use.




On May 5, 2015, SSHRC hosted the start-up workshop for the first in a series of Knowledge Synthesis Grants competitions linked to the Imagining Canada’s Future initiative.

The Knowledge Synthesis Grants competitions on future challenges areas are key to SSHRC achieving the broader goals of the Imagining Canada’s Future initiative. This initiative seeks to position the social sciences and humanities as essential in addressing complex societal challenges facing Canadians, to the greater benefit of Canada and the world.

The day-long workshop focused on the future challenge area “What new ways of learning, particularly in higher education, will Canadians need to thrive in an evolving society and labour market?

The event brought together 60 participants, including the 20 Knowledge Synthesis Grant award holders; representatives from government, industry, academia, not-for-profit and community sectors; and SSHRC staff. The funded projects span the scope of themes identified in the funding opportunity description.

Project overviews addressed topics ranging from experiential learning and the needs of Aboriginal learners, to digital literacy skills, STEM curriculum and the development of soft skills, among others.

Workshop discussions focussed on a number of themes, including emerging trends and implications for policy and teaching, among other areas. An intersectoral panel shed light on research, training and labour market needs, with panelists including Marie Audette, president, Canadian Association for Graduate Studies; John Baker, president and CEO, Desire2Learn and member of SSHRC’s governing council; Don Klinger, president, Canadian Society for the Study of Education; and Jonathan Will, director general of economic policy at Employment and Social Development Canada.

One researcher summed up the event this way:

“The opportunity to collaborate, exchange and build on knowledge with colleagues from across the country allows for richer analysis for our own initiatives and opportunities for future partnerships within and across sectors.”

Knowledge Synthesis Grant award holders will submit their final reports in October 2015. All participants will be invited to SSHRC’s next annual Imagining Canada’s Future Forum, November 16, 2015. There, they will present results and continue to engage with representatives from various sectors.

SSHRC will, over the next three years, hold five more Knowledge Synthesis Grants competitions related to the five other future challenge areas.

The next call for proposals will be launched in early June 2015 and will address the challenge area “What effects will the quest for energy and natural resources have on our society and our position on the world stage?

Subventions de synthèse des connaissances : premier atelier tenu en mai 2015

Le 5 mai 2015, le CRSH organisait une rencontre pour les lauréats de ses subventions de synthèse des connaissances. Ces subventions permettent aux chercheurs et à leurs équipes de faire le point sur les connaissances dans certains domaines précis qui intéressent les politiques publiques, et de les diffuser. L’organisation d’une réunion de chercheurs n’est rien de nouveau pour le CRSH. Ce qui l’est, c’est l’intégration de participants issus du secteur public, du secteur privé et d’organismes à but non lucratif, dans le but de lancer le processus de mobilisation des connaissances avant même que la synthèse soit amorcée. Bienvenue dans le monde du courtage de connaissances, CRSH! Le Réseau Impact Recherche est là pour vous aider à renforcer vos liens avec la production du savoir comme avec ses usages.




Le 5 mai 2015, le Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines (CRSH) a accueilli l’atelier de démarrage organisé dans la foulée du premier d’une série de concours visant l’attribution de subventions de synthèse des connaissances liées à l’initiative Imaginer l’avenir du Canada.

Ces concours, qui portent sur les domaines des défis de demain, revêtent une importance considérable pour l’atteinte des grands objectifs que le CRSH s’est fixés dans le cadre de l’initiative Imaginer l’avenir du Canada. Cette initiative fait ressortir le rôle crucial qu’ont à jouer les sciences humaines pour aider les Canadiens à relever les défis sociétaux complexes auxquels ils font face, et ce, d’une manière qui soit la plus avantageuse possible pour le Canada et le reste du monde.

L’atelier d’une journée avait trait au défi de demain suivant : « quelles sont les nouvelles méthodes d’apprentissage dont les Canadiens auront besoin, en particulier dans l’enseignement supérieur, pour réussir dans la société et sur le marché du travail de demain? »

En tout, 60 personnes ont participé à l’atelier, notamment les détenteurs des subventions de synthèse des connaissances, des représentants du gouvernement, de l’industrie, du monde universitaire, du secteur sans but lucratif et du milieu communautaire, ainsi que des membres du personnel du CRSH. Les 20 projets financés traitent de thèmes figurant dans la description de l’occasion de financement.

Ces projets, qui ont été présentés dans leurs grandes lignes, portent sur un vaste éventail de sujets allant de l’apprentissage par l’expérience et des besoins des apprenants autochtones à la culture numérique, aux programmes d’études en sciences, technologie, génie et mathématiques (STGM) et à l’acquisition de compétences non techniques, entre autres.

Au cours de l’atelier, divers thèmes ont été abordés, dont les nouvelles tendances et leurs répercussions sur les politiques et l’enseignement. Un débat d’experts intersectoriel a permis de cerner les besoins en matière de recherche et de formation découlant des besoins du marché du travail. Y ont notamment participé Marie Audette, présidente, Association canadienne pour les études supérieures; John Baker, président et directeur général, Desire2Learn et membre du conseil d’administration du CRSH; Don Klinger, président, Société canadienne pour l’étude de l’éducation; Jonathan Will, directeur général, Direction de la politique économique, Emploi et Développement social Canada.

Un chercheur a résumé l’atelier de la façon suivante :

« En collaborant et en échangeant avec des collègues des quatre coins du pays, et en tirant parti de leurs connaissances, nous pouvons arriver à une analyse plus complète de nos propres initiatives et mieux apprécier les occasions de partenariat qui existent dans notre secteur et au-delà. »

Les détenteurs des subventions de synthèse des connaissances remettront leur rapport final en octobre 2015. Ils seront tous invités au prochain forum annuel Imaginer l’avenir du Canada organisé par le CRSH le 16 novembre 2015. Ils y présenteront leurs résultats et pourront, là aussi, échanger avec des représentants de divers secteurs.

Au cours des trois prochaines années, le CRSH organisera cinq autres concours visant l’attribution de subventions de synthèse des connaissances, lesquels porteront sur les cinq autres domaines des défis de demain.

Le prochain appel à propositions sera lancé au début de juin 2015 et portera sur le défi suivant : « quels effets la quête de ressources naturelles et d’énergie aura-t-elle sur la société canadienne et la place qu’occupe le Canada à l’échelle mondiale? »

C2U Expo 2015 Registration Now Open!

C2UExpo 2015 logoC2UExpo is a Canadian-led international conference designed to:

  • showcase best practices in community-campus partnerships worldwide;
  • create a space for collaboration around key issues; and
  • foster ideas for strengthening communities

Held every two years, the conference allows community members, universities, colleges, government, and non-profit organizations to create an innovative learning environment. Activities and sessions are diverse, ranging from workshops to art activities, deliberative dialogue to mobile tours, and everything in between.

This year’s conference will take place at Carleton University, Ottawa, ON from May 26 – 29, 2015. Befitting its location, the conference seeks to explore citizen solutions for a better world by delving into the array of policy work in areas such as health, environment, food security and employment.

Register at

Recapping the Top Five Most Viewed Posts of 2014 / Résumé des 5 billets les plus lus de 2014

The Mobilize This! blog had a total of over 16,000 views in 2014. In this post, we recap the year’s top five most viewed blog stories.

Le blogue Mobilize This! a reçu plus de 16 000 visiteurs en 2014. Revoici les cinq billets qui vous ont le plus intéressés.

Knowledge Mobilization: Knowledge, People, Transformation and Innovation#1 with 121 views

So What the Heck is Knowledge Mobilization and Why Should I Care?

This year’s top post was a guest post from Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE). The post first appeared on the CFICE Connections blog on November 24, 2014 and was reposted here with permission.

#2 with 118 views

Practicing the Fine Art of Doing Nothing: A Knowledge Mobilizer’s Introduction to Open Space Facilitation / L’art subtil de ne rien faire : L’animation d’un forum ouvert expliquée par une courtière de connaissances

Lindsey Thomson, Community Engaged Learning Manager at the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship, University of Guelph, reflects on Open Space facilitation and knowledge mobilization.

Lindsey Thomson, responsable de l’apprentissage tourné vers la communauté à l’Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship de l’Université de Guelph, offre des pistes de réflexion sur l’animation d’un forum ouvert et la mobilisation des connaissances. 

#3 with 86 views

Building a Stronger Future for Canadian Children and Youth Through Social Innovation / L’innovation sociale aide à bâtir un meilleur avenir pour les enfants et les jeunes du Canada

On February 24, 2014, ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (RIR) and Senator Kelvin Ogilvie co-hosted an event demonstrating the impact of social sciences and humanities research on the lives of Canadian children and youth. We were pleased to be joined by the Canadian Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada at this event.

#4 with 83 views

Step by Step Knowledge Brokering / Le courtage des connaissances pas à pas

For eight years York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit has been connecting university researchers to public and non-profit sector organizations in order to support research collaborations. In this blog post they describe the process they undertake to broker these relationships.

Depuis huit années, l’unité de mobilisation des connaissances de York met en lien des chercheurs universitaires avec des organisations publiques et sans but lucratif afin de soutenir les collaborations de recherche. Dans ce billet, ils décrivent le processus qu’ils mettent en place pour orchestrer ces relations.

Picture of university building#5 with 81 views

A New University Paradigm / Un nouveau paradigme pour l’Université

In this guest blog Gary Myers (@KMbeing) advocates for a greater integration of research services, knowledge mobilization and technology transfer. Greater integration from research grant application to research impact is a new university paradigm. This blog was first posted on Gary’s website,, on February 15, 2014.

Dans ce billet, notre blogueur invité Gary Myers (@KMbeing) plaide en faveur d’une meilleure intégration des services à la recherche, de la mobilisation des connaissances et du transfert technologique. Une véritable intégration, depuis la demande de subvention jusqu’à l’impact de la recherche : voilà un nouveau paradigme pour le fonctionnement de l’Université. Ce billet a été publié sur le site Web de Gary Myers,, le 15 février 2014.

RIR Welcomes McMaster University to Our Network / Le RIR accueille l’Université McMaster

We are pleased to announce that McMaster University has joined the ResearchImpact-Reseau Impact Recherche network.

C’est avec plaisir que nous annonçons l’adhésion de l’Université McMaster au Réseau Impact Recherche-ResearchImpact.

On October 21, the ResearchImpact – RéseauImpactRecherche network formally approved an application from McMaster University for admission into the network.  RIR now has 11 member institutions across the country.  McMaster University is based in Hamilton, Ontario and has a total student population of close to 30,000.  McMaster brings strengths in the scholarship of KMb, along with strong and growing community engagement efforts.

McMaster University logo

OTony Portern October 23, RIR’s David Phipps and Michael Johnny met with their new counterparts along with selected faculty and staff to discuss knowledge mobilization across the RIR network and at McMaster.  The conversations provided opportunities to hear examples of good practice from across the country, discuss the potential for RIR to support and strengthen KMb at McMaster and also to discuss new and emerging opportunities for KMb capacity at McMaster to complement existing work in the institution and throughout the Hamilton community.

Ailsa Kay FullwoodTony Porter is the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies and Research, within the Faculty of Social Sciences.  Tony will be the Director liaison for RIR.  Ailsa Fullwood is Research Facilitator and Knowledge Broker within the Faculty of Social Sciences and will be the broker contact within RIR.  The McMaster application was led by their Vice President Research and International Affairs, Mo Elbestawi who stated,   “Membership in RIR will provide us access to burgeoning Canadian expertise in knowledge mobilization and to RIR’s well-connected network for publicizing and promoting McMaster’s research impact… We are eager…  to add McMaster’s voice to the national conversation about how to make research matter”.



At the Intersection of Community Engagement and Entrepreneurship / À l’intersection de l’engagement communautaire et de l’entrepreneuriat

We recently had the chance to present communityBUILD, York Region’s approach to supporting social ventures addressing food security and youth employment. There are a number of features that makes communityBUILD unique.

Nous avons eu récemment l’occasion de présenter BATIRensemble, l’approche adoptée par la région de York pour appuyer les projets sociaux qui favorisent la sécurité alimentaire et l’emploi des jeunes. BATIRensemble est unique à plus d’un égard.

On April 2, 2014 we reported on communityBUILD’s first Mash Up competition in March 2014. CommunityBUILD is a partnership of Seneca College, York University, United Way York Region (UWYR) and ventureLAB (VL), York Region’s Regional Innovation Centre and part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs. CommunityBUILD is a collective impact organization developing a Regional system of supports for social enterprise that creates investment ready ventures that will develop novel approaches to food security and youth employment in York Region.

On September 12, 2014 the communityBUILD partners were invited by Allyson Hewitt (Advisor, Social Innovation, MaRS Discovery District) to present to the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs. This was a great opportunity to speak about how the communityBUILD partners are working together with a single vision. In preparing for the presentation I reflected on what makes communityBUILD unique.

Systems approach: communityBUILD takes a systems approach to social venture support. As a collective impact organization it brings together the perspectives of academic, community and business entrepreneurship because solutions to complex challenges like food insecurity and youth unemployment cannot come from one sector alone. As Janice Chu (UWYR) showed, communityBUILD is:

1- Grounded in Community

Engages community to identify issues, formulate and implement solutions.

2- Guided by Research

Mobilizes knowledge and learning to enable social innovations.

3- Driven by Entrepreneurship

Cultivates, supports and celebrates entrepreneurs

Regional approach: communityBUILD is supported by four organizations with a Regional mandate. This isn’t a localized service but one that sources the best ideas from across York Region (and beyond) to address challenges that have been identified by York Region citizens as priorities.

Not based on campus: There is a growing movement to support student and faculty entrepreneurship. The Deshpande Symposium for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education explores many established and emerging models for campus entrepreneurship but when I attended their 2014 Symposium the predominant paradigm was campus based and few prioritized social innovation/entrepreneurship.

Starts with the social market: Community Engagement drives communityBUILD. Through its Meeting House series of community consultations UWYR has been able to identify community priorities allowing communityBUILD to seek and support social ventures that address these community priorities. This is a market (need) focused model of innovation as opposed to campus based innovation models which are solution focused.

Bridges the gap: communityBUILD is uniquely designed to sit at the intersection of community engagement and entrepreneurship. It joins the needs of the social market place with solutions being developed by entrepreneurs.

communityBUILD diagram


CommunityBUILD is itself a social innovation as it takes a systems approach to addressing an unmet need. It is focused on the problem of the gap between community engagement and entrepreneurship. It develops a regional system of supports for social enterprises which are focused on creating solutions to food insecurity and youth unemployment.  Knowledge mobilization is the process of connecting academic expertise to these problems and solutions. See an earlier post differentiating this jargon.

This is also a unique partnership between university, college, community and business entrepreneurship all working together with a collective vision for collective impact.

communityBUILD partner logos

David Phipps, RIR-YorkU

Dates for 2015 Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum – May 14 & 15, 2015

The following guest blog about the 2015 Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum first appeared on the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization blog and is reposted here with permission.

Good afternoon KMbers,

The Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum is usually the first week of June. However, with the 2015 Forum in Montreal, QC, we have learned that our original dates compete with the Grand Prix Race.  Despite being a well oiled machine, we are neither as fast or as rich as the Grand Prix crowd.  With hotel rooms running $600 and up, we have consulted with our partners in Montreal and have selected May 14 & 15, 2015.

Please make a note and I look forward to seeing you in La Belle Province.

Peter Levesque