The View from Here – KMb as an ecosystem

I just returned from 5 sunny days in Banff. While there, I enjoyed amazing weather and wonderful sights. I went up the Banff Gondola cable ride to the top of Sulpher Mountain. From the top I looked down on the town of Banff, the TransCanada Highway, the Banff Springs Hotel, The Banff Centre for the Arts, the Banff Golf Club, The Parks Canada Museum, as well as skiing on distant mountains and so much more. All of these make Banff a draw for tourists from all over the world. Banff is not a single attraction. It is a synergistic system of tourist attractions each of which benefit from the active participation of all the sites in the Banff tourist ecosystem.

Similarly – and here’s the KMb hook – knowledge mobilization is not a single event or process. ResearchImpact defines KMb as a suite of services that encompasses methods of producer push, user pull, knowledge exchange and co-production. When developing a KMb strategy for a research project, ResearchImpact recommends developing techniques that practice all four of these methods (see table below). While any one of these methods would provide some degree of knowledge transfer or exchange, when practiced together in a system of KMb, they collectively contribute to enhanced knowledge mobilization.

KMb Method KMb Activity Notes
Producer Push Clear language research summaries Develop clear language research summaries from selected research
Lunch and Learn Seminar series at policy/practice receptor sites: one hour lunch seminars, topic identified by decision maker
User Pull Research Translation Help Desk Use knowledge broker model to assist decision maker partners identify, develop and sustain collaborations with researchers
Knowledge Exchange KM in AM Monthly KMb in AM, topic identified by decision maker; co-present researcher + decision maker
Research Forums Modeled on KMb Expo
Co-production Social media to support collaboration Implement, support and train researchers, graduate students and decision maker partners in use of social media; create a sub-community of
KMb Interns KMb Interns drawn from graduate students of climate change researchers

For example, a research collaboration (co-production) between a researcher and a decision maker is facilitated if they met at a knowledge exchange event that occurred after the decision makers received a clear language ResearchSnapshot (knowledge transfer, producer push) in response to a request for research to the research translation help desk (knowledge transfer, user pull). These KMb methods work synergistically to enhance transparency and trust between researcher and decision maker to greater extent possible than using each KMb method on its own.

ResearchImpact is unique in the KMb landscape. We provide a system of KMb services to support a variety of nascent and established research and KMb projects. We are privileged to hold this view from the top yet we prefer not to look down upon but to have an overview of a large portfolio of engaged research projects such as those we have previously blogged about including Mobilizing Minds and Homeless Hub. As you seek to support KMb activities remember to create a KMb ecosystem and explore a diversity of synergistic KMb services. To illustrate different KMb services and methods, ResearchImpact will be rolling out a series titled KMb in Action. Check after our presentations to Congress where we shall be launching KMb in Action as well as other web-based innovations.

Just Remember that ResearchImpact is here to guide you so that you are never lost in the KMb wilderness.

One Response to “The View from Here – KMb as an ecosystem”

written by KMbkteam On 20 April 2010 Reply

Just as any ecosystem needs sustainability, I think it’s important to think about the concepts of a gardener or park warden when considering a KMb strategy for a research project. Keeping in mind that a researcher may be unfamiliar with the terrain, bridges or pathways to enhance and grow a research project – especially with understanding how the four methods may shift through push, pull, exchange and coproduction during the research process – a KMb broker can act as a mountain or trail guide along the research project landscape.

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