I had the opportunity to participate in a knowledge brokering workshop – “Knowledge Brokering: Creating links between people and knowledge” – led by Peter Levesque, the founder and president of the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization. Coming into the workshop, I had some initial reservations about what to expect. I knew I would be learning about a subject matter that was relevant to my position at CFICE but the grand question still remained – how did the terms “knowledge brokering” or “knowledge broker” relate to me as a research and multimedia assistant? I had never encountered these terms during my three years in the Multimedia Design program. What impact would this workshop have on me?
During the course the workshop, I suddenly realized that I have been a “knowledge broker” in several cases throughout my work and educational experience and even more so here at CFICE. Being a knowledge broker is synonymous to an intermediary or mediator – one who develops relationships and facilitates the exchange of knowledge amongst organizations or groups.
With an understanding of the term, it is easy to dissect and analyze its components.
Knowledge. One can interpret “knowledge” in a general sense. But knowledge in itself can be categorical and varies depending the context and situation. My knowledge lies in the area of multimedia design and development (i.e. graphic design, web development, etc.) In now knowing what my expertise is, how can I transfer my technical/design skills and add more value as a broker?
Broker. At CFICE, I’ve taken on tasks that focused on centralizing information (or “knowledge”) and ensuring accessibility amongst all hub members whether it’s via the organizational sites, the shared drive, or online tools.
For the Community First organizational site, I was responsible for restructuring and reorganizing the site layout and content so as to facilitate accessibility and readability of information for all members. This further led to the development a “News” page section pertaining to each hub as well as a centralized news page for CFICE.
Furthermore, in an effort to organize CFICE’s files and documents, I proposed a file management system that reflected the structure of the organization. With the file hierarchy, it allowed for the grouping of information in a meaningful and comprehensive way. This management proposal would guide and standardize the manner in which files and documents would be handled in an online domain.
A future database management project would also allow for all hub parties to share and revise information regarding report submissions and the status of publications. With such collective knowledge, the only way it can grow or increase in value is if all parties are aware, informed, and collaborative.
In the multimedia context, I help in aiding the sharing and exchange of information amongst groups. In that respect, I consider myself to be a knowledge broker. I contribute to the development of the organization’s social and media network and provide that chain to all CFICE members.