Postcards from Congress Day 6 – Big Ideas, Baby Steps

What Happened: UQAM hosted over 100 academics, students, community leaders and funders for a one-day conversation “to explore the role of knowledge in society”. This structured conversation is intended to support the development of a Knowledge Commons for Canada.
Why is this Important: The energy in the room was very positive and clearly people in the room felt very passionate about this initiative. Dr. Chad Gaffield, SSHRC President, who facilitated the morning plenary session shared, “we have not articulated the paradigm shift at Canadian universities across Canada” and this was significant as I felt a lack of a clear mission statement could be keeping this conversation at a level that lacks an action agenda. That said there were many highlights shared from the morning speakers and afternoon breakout sessions which the leadership can build on to strengthen the foundation of this initiative. It is a very important conversation, because as promoted, “there is a growing recognition that knowledge is not a monopoly of academics”. Check www.knowledgecommons.ning.com for more information.
Final Thoughts – There are two:

  1. When this shifts from a conversation to an action agenda then this will be a dynamic initiative and;
  2. A Keynote Listener- this is one of the most innovative ideas I have seen in some time!

Michael Johnny of RI-RIR York and Budd Hall of the OCBR at UVic

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