The last few years I have been at Congress, I have noticed that the conversations have changed from the ones I used to have in the early years. Back then, I spent a lot of time explaining what knowledge mobilization is, whereas now I talk a lot about how to do KMb.
While I have enjoyed this shift in the conversation, it has made me assume that everyone knows about knowledge mobilization. I realized this isn’t always the case yesterday when I was talking to a young woman who stopped by the booth. After giving her my usual pitch about who we are and how we help our researchers at York with their knowledge mobilization needs, she asked a number of questions about what KMb was exactly. So I switched to my KMb 101 talk instead and gave her some foundational information about the principles of KMb and some of the common methods used by researchers to connect their research with community partners.
As someone about to start her Masters degree, she had never heard of KMb or even the concept of making research accessible and relevant to society. The quote of the day was when she exclaimed, “This is so exciting!” She had worked in her local community on a social enterprise project and really liked the idea of doing research what would be relevant to her community.
It was an exciting conversation for me as well, as it reminded me why I enjoy working in KMb. And it also reminded me not to assume everyone who stops by the booth already knows what KMb is and that I sometimes need to begin at the beginning.