David Phipps’ Opening Address to the Community Sector in the United Kingdom / Mot d’ouverture de David Phipps à l’attention du milieu communautaire du Royaume-Uni
David Phipps, RIR- York
David Phipps (RIR-York) was in the UK recently and included an address to open the annual general meeting of 3VA. 3VA is a Council for Voluntary Service, providing support for voluntary and community organizations across Eastboume, Lewes District and Wealden. David was introduced as “the most influential knowledge broker in Canada and a recognized world leader in the field of universities empowering local communities and the voluntary sector”.
David Phipps (RIR-York) était récemment au Royaume-Uni et prononçait le mot d’ouverture de la rencontre annuelle de 3VA. 3VA est un conseil pour le bénévolat qui fournit un appui aux organisations communautaires et bénévoles à travers Eastoubme, Lewes District et Wealden. David a été présenté comme “le courtier de connaissances le plus influent du Canada ainsi qu’un leader mondialement reconnu dans la mouvance des universités qui favorise l’habilitation des communautés locales et le secteur bénévole”.
The address started with the video of the Green Economy Centre of Nottawasaga Futures as an example of knowledge mobilization enabling a social innovation. York’s partnership with the United Way of York Region was used as another example of a community agency leading in community development. Both are important partners for York University.
I believe the community sector is rich in talent and expertise. Community expertise and local knowledge is critically important to effective implementation of any new policy, program or service. Similarly tacit knowledge, traditional knowledge and other forms of knowing are found in the community. All knowledge is important and different knowledges must collaborate to enable social innovation.
I have read that the community sector is not an innovative sector. This is rubbish as the community sector has always made a practice of doing more with less which forces innovative and creative solutions to challenges. The limitation we all face is the issue of scale. How can a local innovation be shared with other communities and scaled for broader impact? These limited resources means we have to collaborate to do more with less and that is what I wish to talk about today. Collaboration between the community and academic sectors.
As you open your AGM – it is my pleasure to talk to you about our university and community efforts in Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) to support social innovation. KMb is an institutional infrastructure. KMb at York, like the Community University Partnership Program at the University of Brighton is unique. Both provide services that connect community talent to university talent including researchers and students. Although we implement differently the goals are similar.
Over the last 5.5 years York’s KMb Unit has helped to forge over 225 relationships. We have helped community agencies raise over $1M for programs and services and have attracted over $1M to the university in sponsored research opportunities. Supported by York’s KMb Unit, university researchers and their community partners have received over $17M in engaged scholarship grant funding. We have placed 35 KMb graduate student interns with community and public sector partners and eight of them have been hired by their placement partners. We also have an active social media strategy.
University researchers have always partnered with a variety of organizations, that isn’t new. What is new is that some institutions like York and Brighton have developed an institutional capacity to support this activity for the mutual benefit of the university and the community. It is my belief that the community sector is the heart of our communities. Community agencies are committed and innovative and agile. You have ability to respond to opportunities and collaborate with universities without a bureaucratic web of red tape or a maze of intellectual property agreements.
I am traveling in UK to speak about social innovation and knowledge mobilization visiting Edinburgh, Eastbourne, Brighton and London.
I would also like to recognize that today (December 1) is World AIDS Day, a day to remember those we have lost, their friends, families and allies and the community agencies who provide a wide range of services to people affected by HIV/AIDS. Today is also a day to renew our commitments to research and service for HIV/AIDS. Some of our work has been with HIV/AIDS community service organizations. We have placed a graduate student intern at an AIDS service organization in York Region and we have written and posted clear language summaries that summarize published HIV/AIDS research.
I invite you now to pause, just for a moment and remember those who have lived and continue to live with HIV/AIDS.
Let us reflect on the value that we might be able to generate for HIV/AIDS when we work together. When academic research and community expertise collaborate to bring new ideas to fruition.
In closing, I invite you watch a video in which Daniele Zanotti, CEO of the United Way of York Region speaks about the value of knowledge mobilization to the university and the community.”