KMbuddies for Life / Des amis mobilisés pour la vie

Michael Johnny, RIR YorkU
Michael Johnny reflects on his seven year working relationship in knowledge mobilization with Joaquin Trapero from University of Victoria.
Michael Johnny témoigne de sept années de travail en mobilisation des connaissances en collaboration avec Joaquin Trapero de l’Université de Victoria.
I had to look back to see, but the first communication was an email on February 16, 2006.  It was an introductory email from Joaquin Trapero, the new Knowledge Transfer Specialist at the University of Victoria.  So it makes his career in KMb span over seven years.  And now because of the formal launch of the Research Partnership and Knowledge Mobilization (RPKM) office at the University of Victoria, Dr. Joaquin Trapero no longer has KMb within his portfolio of responsibility.  It has been a few years since he has worked as a KT Specialist, moving on to manage the Institutional Portfolio program.  Now this is his full-time responsibility.
Picture of prairie dogs at the University of Saskatchewan
I had wanted to write this blog for almost four days now, and even now while I write, I am staring at the screen looking for words to capture my feelings.  I remember very clearly the early days of this journey and our work together where we’d meet four times a year– twice here in Toronto and twice in Victoria.  Our Intellectual Property Mobilization grant supported this initial ‘experiment’ of institutional knowledge mobilization services.  Capably led by Dr. Richard Keeler (former AVP Research, University of Victoria) and Dr. David Phipps (Executive Director, Research Services and Knowledge Exchange, York University), Joaquin and I were exploring what it meant to be knowledge brokers and helping lead the development of a national network.
So many memories poured back over the past few days while reflecting back on seven years:  our first Congress at University of Saskatchewan back in 2007 (which was the source of infamous beer, pizza and KMb planning talks); one of Joaquin’s first trips to Toronto to visit with us (where we naively planned a day-long event which began with a breakfast at 7:30 am EST… that’s 4:30 PST… oops); a decision to leave the KTS portfolio to take on UVic’s Institutional Portfolio (but fortunately allowed him to retain working responsibilities in KMb); and the success of KMb within our institutions which has helped enable the growth of ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche.
Congress this year is going to be held in Victoria.  How fitting!  While Joaquin will not be involved in the RIR booth at the book fair, David Phipps and I are going to make sure we meet up for one last beer, pizza and KMb planning talks!  And with that to look forward to, I am happy to share how I am feeling now and that is grateful.  What I have learned from Joaquin over these seven years?  Sharing a commitment to develop strong KMb programs and support RIR, attention to detail and planning, shared values around processes for successful KMb, and having fun along the way!
Joaquin, my friend, I appreciate all you’ve done to make this work in KMb a success and a pleasure.   I wish you success and happiness!  Thanks for a great seven years!

Picture of Joaquin Trapero, David Phipps and Michael Johnny
Joaquin Trapero, David Phipps and Michael Johnny