Knowledge Mobilization Hub Research Assistant Reflection

Profile Picture 2How does one go about the daunting task of strengthening Canadian communities? They do so by connecting with like-minded people to address an equally formidable question. In the case of the CFICE project, that question is: How can community campus partnerships be designed and implemented to maximize the value created for non-profit, community-based organizations? The CFICE project at its core is a group of people across Canada that seek to connect the academic institution with the surrounding community and encourage partnership that will ultimately enact positive changes.

Looking back at my time spent as a research assistant with the knowledge mobilization hub of the CFICE project, it’s hard to put to words the experiences I’ve had and the things I’ve learned. From having the opportunity to speak in front of experts in the field of KM, to dabbling in the logistics of patents and intellectual property, CFICE has provided experiences that I never would have thought available given my current academic and occupational direction. Indeed throughout my time with CFICE I have had the opportunity to help in organizing multi-community and multi-campus conferences, I have been able to attend conferences in differing parts of Canada, I gained valuable experience in dealing with large groups of people (especially time management skills in organizing meetings), and helped in the development of novel a KM tool (the Knowledge Mobilization Game). GameAlong with these invaluable experiences I also was able to see firsthand the difficulties surrounding the implementation of knowledge mobilization both in and out of academia. For example, traditional avenues of knowledge dissemination are usually limited to publishing in relevant journals and perhaps attending a conference. Furthermore, aside from issuing surveys to potential users of knowledge it is difficult to measure the impact knowledge mobilization has on the community. Fortunately the former problem is slowly being addressed through changes in granting policies and the incorporation of KM strategies when attempting to secure funding.

Prior to my university studies at Carleton University, were someone to ask me what knowledge mobilization was and what it entailed I simply would have told them that it was the movement of knowledge. Although not wrong, that assumption would fail to capture the essence as to what knowledge mobilization truly is. Knowledge mobilization is more than getting knowledge from one person to another. Knowledge mobilization is about putting research into action– it is about doing everything possible to ensure that that knowledge gets implemented in order to enact the best possible outcomes for a given situation.

Moving forward I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity continue my studies at the doctoral level. As I pursue further graduate work I do so with a greater understanding and appreciation for knowledge mobilization and what it truly entails. The usual avenues of knowledge dissemination and exchange, although tempting, are becoming insufficient in ensuring that the knowledge generated from research is actually implemented. Knowing this, and using the skills I have learned during my time with CFICE I hope to put my future research into the hands of those who will truly benefit from it and therefore ameliorate both the academic and public communities.

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Technique of the Week #10: Social Media

What you need to know

If you’re living in the modern world, chances are you’ve had some experience with the various forms of social media that are prevalent today. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are just a few of the platforms that people commonly use to convey messages, ideas, thoughts, and feelings. One of the many reasons as to why social media is so ingrained in today’s society is the fact of how easy it is to use, and how effective it is at conveying one’s thoughts. If one wants to check their facebook, all they need do is open the application on their mobile device, or go to the website on their computer.

Resources, time, and skill

In order to use social media, one must have a certain degree of computer literacy. That being said, from personal experience that requirement isn’t very onerous – even my computer-wary grandmother uses facebook! Another aspect to keep in mind is the willingness to actually use the social media in the first place. Some people may be reluctant to use online platforms due to privacy concerns.

Key Considerations

With advances in technology and the ability for general consumers to use social media, many organizations are putting efforts into their social media campaigns. It isn’t unheard of that whole occupational positions are dedicated to managing a companies social media  network. That being said there are a few considerations that should be taken into account when using social media. Privacy is a big concern – with everything being online it is generally a good idea to go through several layers of editing before something is posted to the public. This will ensure that sensitive information and unintentional offensive messaging isn’t being posted. Furthermore, social media may not be the vehicle warranted for your KM strategy – if something is of a sensitive nature perhaps more formal routes of KM are needed.

Incorporating social media into your KMb

In order to incorporate social media into your KMb you need to decide what type of message you want to disseminate and what type of medium that message would need to be in. For example, platforms such as Instagram utilize solely images. In this case perhaps infographics would be best used. If short bursts of information are needed, then Twitter is an option as it excels in piquing people’s interests quickly and effectively. If you want a platform that is able to do a bit of each of these things then perhaps initiating a facebook page for you KMb activities is warranted.

The take away

Social media is an excellent way to disseminate information as it is relatively easy to use and widely adopted by the general population. That being said, the message you are wanting to spread, and the audience you intend to target need to be taken into account when deciding to incorporate social media into you KMb activities.

Resources

Here are a list of resources if you are interested in setting up a social media platform for your KMb strategy:

Free Webinar on Food Waste

Free Webinar

 Food Waste Reduction Practices and Policies – North America and EU

 

                       


 

Free Webinar

About one third of all food produced for human consumption goes to waste. That amounts to more than one billion tonnes of waste around the world every year from production to consumption. Despite a growing attention from the academic world, civil society and policy makers, the debate on food waste is affected by a lack of a consensus over its definition and scope, the conditions that lead to its creation and the (lack of) quantification along the food supply chain. Analysis of food loss and waste in Canada, the U.S., and other developed countries shows that most of the food loss and waste occurs in households and in the food retail and service sectors. The quantifiable and unquantifiable costs of food loss and waste are huge and account for 30 percent of what the Canadian agriculture and agri-food system (AAFS) generated in 2012.

This webinar will discuss the need for an analysis of policy strategies and measures of food waste.

Matteo Vittuari

Matteo Vittuari, PhD in International Cooperation and Sustainable Development Policies is a senior researcher and lecturer in agricultural and food policy and agricultural policy evaluation at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Bologna, Italy. His research interests include food policy with particular attention in food waste and losses, economic and social aspects of agro-food and bioenergy systems, rural development policy. He is currently coordinating the Policy WP within the FP7 FUSIONS: Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising Waste Prevention Strategies.

Abdel Felfel 

Abdel Felfel is a Policy Analyst with the Strategic Policy Branch at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Ottawa. At AAFC, Abdel has worked on analysing several agricultural policy issues including international trade, competitiveness, productivity and food processing. He also participated in developing Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sector policy framework Growing Forward 2. Abdel has also worked at the University of Guelph and the Value Chain Management Center where he co-authored the first report on food waste in Canada in 2010.

 Audience:Members of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Waste Management Canada, and Food Secure Canada, staff of government departments, including MAFRD, staffs of food waste management organizations, civil society organizations and individual citizens, students, faculties, and everyone interested in food sector policies and the management of food waste.


Date: Thursday, June 4, 2015

Time: 12:00 pm CST


For more information and to register, please contact:

Sarah Woods
woodss@brandonu.ca

204-571-8585

RSVP by Monday, June 1, 2015

CACSL and Volunteer Canada present Collective Impact: From Idea to Action

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What: Skill building workshop led by Liz Weaver, Tam-arack Foundation
When: May 26, 2015 9AM to 5PM
Where: C2U Expo Pre-conference , Algonquin College
CACSL and Volunteer Canada Members: $75
Non-members: $180 (Usual price $199)
To register: Visit C2U Expo Website


Led by Tamarack’s, Liz Weaver this hands on work-shop will lead participants through building their knowledge of collective impact, assessing, where and if it fits with their community work, and providing take away tools for moving forward. It is targeted to community leaders, volunteer centres, and community engaged scholars.

This interactive full day workshop will provide participants with an overview of Collective Impact and a variety of practical tools to move from theory to implementation. The workshop will also focus on the en-gagement of a variety of unique and often overlooked partners in collective impact efforts: volunteer cen-tres, the business community and campus leader-ship. The participants will identify and discuss the unique contributions that each of these partners can make to advancing a collective community change effort.

Cost : $75/person for members of CACSL or Volun-teer Canada; $180/person for all others. Contact CACSL or Volunteer Canada to purchase your mem-bership.
For more information, please contact Geri Briggs at Geri.Briggs@Carleton.ca or pspeevak@volunteer.ca

Technique of the Week #9: Print

What you need to know

One of the oldest forms of knowledge mobilization is the written language. By definition, the modern practice of history begins with written language with the oldest form of writing dating from 5500 BCE. Today, modern forms of writing often come in the form of prints. These prints can be in the form of a variety of differing presentations. For example, common forms of print include policy briefs, newspapers, magazines, books, and journal articles.

Unlike other forms of media which often require the quick dissemination of information (like radio or television advertisements) print media can usually incorporate more detail. Finally, Print media is an easy way to spread awareness in a geographical location (e.g., local newspaper).

Resources, time, and skill

As with any form of communication, the efficacy of printed communications in providing clear messages depends on the skill of the person/organization trying to send that message. Things to keep in mind when using print as a form of knowledge mobilization:

  • Messages should be clear, and the reader should leave with an understanding of what they read, and be able to use this information for action (e.g., decision-making).
  • Print media normally allows you to control your own advertising space such as the size of the ad and the location.
  • Depending on the medium used, time can vary. For example, book preparation and production may take months, while preparation and production of newspapers may take a few hours.
  • Print media is generally cost effective.

Key Considerations

Whether it be online or in physical paper copies, the message you are trying to convey may sometimes get lost among the mass of other messages bombarding a population at any given time. In addition, print such as newspapers and magazines have a short lifespan, with many people throwing them out or only reading them for a day or two. Although printed messages have the ability to host large amounts of information, this must be weighed with the benefits of having concise messaging.

Incorporating print into your KMb

You most definitely have used print in your knowledge mobilization strategies. As such you probably know that print media has unlimited exposure and are non-invasive. As opposed to television and radio which have time limits and may interrupt regular programming which may be of annoyance. Print media allows you to target specific audiences with your ads or articles. For example, magazines are normally highly specialized (e.g., fashion, science, real estate). This allows you to tailor your messages to your audiences. Depending on your goals and budget, print media can be used in conjunction with other techniques such as radio, television, or social media to achieve greater awareness.

The take away

One of the oldest methods of conveying messages, printed communications can be applied through a variety of differing techniques and mediums. One should keep in mind that when using printed communications for KMb, messages should be clear, and leave the reader with knowledge that they can use for action.

Resources

Advantages and disadvantages of print media

Advantages to print media

Five common elements of print advertisement

About print media

Examples

Print example #1

Print example #2

Thank you to the University of Alberta CSL Centre

Thank you to the University of Alberta CSL Centre for developing The Canadian Community Service-Learning Studies Resource Base (CCSLrb) which provides a wide range of bibliographic references and links to full-text sources of research on community service-learning, with a primary focus on Canadian research, for use by CSL instructors, researchers, community partners, and students.

http://www.csl.ualberta.ca/en/Research/~/media/Community%20Service%20Learning/Documents/Reports/2015-03-24-Canadian-CSL-Studies-Resource-Base.pdf

CAGS: Imagining Canada’s Future.

CAGS members  know that graduate research has an important role to play in building Canada’s future and training its leaders.

There are many paths to that future. The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies believes that graduate students hold critical answers to that question.

That’s why CAGS will be engaging humanities and social sciences graduate students in some straight talk about opportunities and challenges for social innovation, research, and building our knowledge capital. Later this spring we will be working with more than 20 graduate schools across the country to organize roundtables, seminars and reports. While it is going on, you’ll see snippets on our webpage and social media.

Highlights of this dialogue will be used as a resource for decision-makers as they determine which research they will support. It will be incorporated into a report which CAGS will submit to SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future. This project grew out of the ReThinking the PhD theme from last year’s conference. And it will comprise a session at the Calgary 2015 conference.

You can follow the project here, on their Facebook page, and on their Twitter using #futurecanada.