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Knowledge Mobilization Training

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  • What counts as knowledge or evidence? Evidence can be any form of knowledge on a social condition opened up for external scrutiny. This can include government reports, consultants reports, or other forms of coded knowledge. Tacit knowledge, or non-codified, individual knowledge is also common. Here, in this context, I consider academic knowledge.
  • SUCCES = simple, unexpected, concrete, credentialed, emotional, storied
  • SUCCES = simple, unexpected, concrete, credentialed, emotional, storied
  • SUCCES = simple, unexpected, concrete, credentialed, emotional, storied
  • SUCCES = simple, unexpected, concrete, credentialed, emotional, storied

Transcript

  • 1. Knowledge Mobilization: How Your Research Can Benefit Society Presented by David Yetman, Manager, Knowledge Mobilization, Harris Centre, Memorial University PhD Candidate (Medicine), Memorial University
  • 2. Outline
    • Tutorial
    • Welcome, Introductions (5 minutes)
    • Participant Expectations (5 minutes)
    • What are the structure of these tutorials? (3 minutes)
    • What is Knowledge? (5 minutes)
    • What is Knowledge Mobilization? (10 minutes)
    • Barriers to Knowledge Mobilization (10 minutes)
    • Break (5 minutes)
    • Communication and its ties to KMb (10 minutes)
    • Issues with Translating Research (10 minutes)
    • Research translation (10 minutes)
    • Benefiting Society (How do You Know?) (7 minutes)
    • Home Stretch
    • Strategies for Mobilizing Knowledge (10 minutes)
    • Tips to take home (5 minutes)
  • 3. A bit about the Harris Centre
    • www.mun.ca/harriscentre
  • 4. Welcome - Introductions
    • A bit about your instructor:
      • 4 years experience as KMb Manager;
      • PhD in public engagement/KMb;
      • Teach Knowledge Transfer with Lifelong Learning;
      • I grew up on an island (you?)
      • Let’s record everyone’s expectations for this session: what do you want to achieve?
  • 5. What is the Tutorial Structure?
    • 5 planned sessions;
    • Introduction to knowledge mobilization (first);
    • Communicating your research (second);
    • Communication in-depth (third);
    • Research translation (fourth);
    • Creating a knowledge mobilization plan (last);
    • Planned over one year
  • 6. Defining knowledge is a bit like nailing jelly to a wall….
  • 7.
    • What do you think knowledge is?
  • 8. What is Knowledge?
    • Is information, ideas cognitively transformed
    • Knowledge is a consequence of social interaction;
    • Some knowledge is certain…others not so….or is it?;
    • Knowledge is open to critique (Descartes’ skeptic);
    • Knowledge is relative or absolute?;
    • Pythagoras: knowledge starts with man: one man = truth
    • Knowledge is sensory related or innate?;
    • Democritus: true knowledge begins when sensation ends; Plato and Socrates agreed
    • Is knowledge handed to us by God?; (Augustine)
    • Heraclitus: reason = knowledge not passion;
    • Socrates: knowledge = ground not to be disputed;
    • Is justified true belief knowledge?;
    • Develops potential capacities by accumulating the experiences of the past generations…then draws a conclusion to form a basis for action (e.g. The burner is hot…don’t touch the burner…wisdom)
  • 9. Question?
    • What would happen if we had no language? No voice? No expression? What would we know? (Think of early Homo Sapiens …what did they know?)
    • Noam Chomsky: knowledge is limited (as is science) by our innate acquisition of language
  • 10. The Knowledge Argument
    • Mary is a world renowned neurophysiologist. She lives in a black and white room and has for her entire life. She communicates to the outside world through a speaker phone and a black and white video monitor. Mary studies the neurophysiology of vision. More specifically how the brain interprets color and she knows everything there is to know about this (wavelength, temperature, refraction, and biological processing of color, etc.).
    • The question: does Mary know color?
  • 11. What is knowledge mobilization?
    • Peter Levesque : Never in human history have we hunted for so much data, information and knowledge. 
    • Never in human history have we gathered so much that is useful but not used.
    • Knowledge Mobilization is a complex and emergent process that focuses on making what we know ready for action to produce value.
    • SSHRC (2008) “moving knowledge into active service for the broadest possible common good ”;
    • Comes from the French “ mobilisation ” – making ready for service or action.
  • 12. What is knowledge mobilization?
    • Bennet (2008): “Knowledge mobilization is the process of creating value or a value stream through the creation, assimilation, leveraging, sharing and application of focused knowledge to a bounded community, i.e., the effective creation, movement and tailoring of knowledge from its source (researcher or expert) to its application (practitioner, community leader, community) such that consequent actions are effective and beneficial and permit action learning.”
  • 13. What is knowledge mobilization?
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYF11noqFfE
    • (run 50 seconds to 3:20 seconds)
    • Peter Levesque, Director, Knowledge Mobilization Works, Ottawa, Ontario
  • 14. Bennet, A. 2008. Knowledge Mobilization in the Social Sciences and Humanities: Moving from Research to Action.
  • 15. Avoiding the terminology trap
    • Meaningful words used in inconsistent ways become meaningless (eg. Sustainability, evidence-based);
    • Eventually become urban-legends (we perceive them to exist);
    • You will encounter jargon-like, popular phrases:
      • Diffusion
      • Dissemination
      • Knowledge management
      • Knowledge transfer
      • Knowledge transfer and exchange
      • Knowledge interaction
      • Knowledge sharing
      • Knowledge mobilization (the Levesque umbrella)
  • 16. Problems with knowledge mobilization
    • What counts as knowledge? (for us academic knowledge)
    • Ethical issues in research translation and sharing
    • E.g. “Great Western Company Example” – Fenwick, 2008
    • Compromising the complex and integrated nuances of research – sometimes the easiest messages to mobilize are not the important ones;
    • Separating the medium from the message;
    • What should we be mobilizing? Everything?;
    • Nutley (2008) claims it is unsuited for the task – she calls it knowledge interaction; (hubristic in its intention)
    • In a broader way, should universities be spending their time mobilizing or discovering? What should the percentage be? (the single study and synthesis have merit, as do general bodies of knowledge)
  • 17. Challenging or supporting conceptualization of evidence: the value of knowledge mobilization
  • 18. Barriers to effective knowledge mobilization
    • So…..we assume that knowledge mobilization exists…
    • What now?
    • Recognizing barriers facilitates better processes:
    • Individual and institutional barriers;
    • Next slides deal with each of these separately
  • 19. Barriers to effective knowledge mobilization
    • Individual
    • Cognitive capacity
    • Learning style (genetics, signal, stimulus, chaining, verbal, multiple discrimination, concept, principle, problem solving)
    • Cultural background (semiotics)
    • Acceptance & Motivation
    • Interests (reward for acting)
    • Previous exposure to information
    • Power: perception of range of influence
    • Perception of self-intelligence
    • Illusion of certainty
    • Hubris
  • 20. Barriers to effective knowledge mobilization
    • Organizational
    • Timing and timelines
    • Small p and big P politics
    • Organizational culture (inside and outside university)
    • Motivation of influencers
    • High inter-worker intellectual competition
    • Previous exposure to information
    • Organizational power
    • Poor research translation
    • Poor understanding of mechanics
    • Wrong research, wrong time
    • Research refutes policy convention
    • Research used as smoke and mirrors
  • 21. How do you think people communicate?
  • 22. KMb and Communication
    • We are inundated with messages every day, in every way;
    • So…imagine taking complex research and getting the attention of a user?
    • 70% of KMb is communications related;
    • KMb borrows heavily from communications theory:
      • Extract your key messages
      • From that, chose the audience to be impacted
      • Wisely select the appropriate target audiences
      • Match appropriate communication tools to targets
    • KISS – sometimes easy methods are the best methods
    • The medium is the message! (Marshall McLuhan)
      • Refer to Fenwick, 2008
    • Don’t assume you know: do research on your target audience (drivers, likes, dislikes, demographics, institutional embeddings, learning style – as specific as you can get it)
    • You can’t mobilize knowledge without understanding communications!
  • 23. KMb and Communication
    • Tips:
    • Source matters (some are more credible than others);
    • Substance matters (Use research messages that are relevant to the target audience);
    • Translation matters (see next series of slides);
    • Format matters (what appeals to the learning style of the audience?);
    • Timelines matter (no good to release information on the day of the Cameron Inquiry report);
    • Overload matters ; too much information is easy to ignore
    • May want to consider the SCAM approach – Source, Channel, Audience, Message
    • See handout (Linkage Plan)
    • Christina Fabretto and Lynn Morrisey will have more in-depth discussion on these topics on the next seminars.
  • 24. Issues in translating research
    • What are your concerns about translating your research for public use?
    • Are there different issues to consider in the social sciences and humanities and the natural sciences?
  • 25. Issues in translating research
    • Are you compromising your research?;
    • Are there limitations to academic language, are there synonyms to academic language?
    • Are you compromising your research impact?
    • How do you balance selecting key messages that are attractive to your audience, but not attractive “hooks” for media?
    • How do you control “media sound bites”?
    • Do we believe the science deficit model?
    • More in later module…..
  • 26. What does this image mean to you? What would it mean to your audience?
  • 27. Keys in translating research
    • YOU extract your key messages…what do you want your target audience to hear? This should provide a value or value stream for you audience…not just what you think is academically relevant!;
    • Decide on the desired impact for your research;
    • YOU chose the language to clearly articulate your research. Always aim for grade 8 level….some even use grade 6 level. Remember if your grandmother can’t understand it you need to revise….BUT it depends on your audience!
    • Use the services of a knowledge broker;
    • Work with the target audiences and bounce your messages off them;
    • Make your messages actionable, written specifically to audience;
    • Avoid jargon, cut wordiness, avoid acronyms, use active verbs, work with a lead paragraph
  • 28. Keys in translating research
    • There is an old saying that “journalists never let facts get in the way of a good story.”
    • The media likes positive, people narratives that appeal to current social or economic issues.
    • The media likes to see examples of research improving people’s lives, or solving problems…. more research is required won’t cut it….
    • Make it a narrative…tell a story…people relate to stories (personal, corporate and collegial stories)
    • Mark Twain said that “a lie can travel half-way around the world before the truth can even get its boots on”.
  • 29. Making your ideas stick (I)
    • The Kidney Heist Story
    • The basic premise is that an innocent person falls in with a stranger at a bar, who ends up drugging him and stealing his kidney. The victim wakes up in a tub of ice in a hotel room with a note ”If you want to live call 911”.
    • Compared to:
    • The Not-for-Profit Sustainability Endemic Problem
    • This highly competitive and complex environment requires that every not-for-profit organization’s modus operandi be on improving their strategic operations in order to be sustained or in some cases survive as they complete for human capital, in the form of committed volunteers and highly-competent employees, and for financial resources, in the form of donations and other funding from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government.
    • Do you have an urban legend? Why did it stick for you?
  • 30. Making your ideas stick (II)
    • One more example:
    • Fat soaked popcorn:
    • A researcher found out that popcorn at movie theatres affected cholesterol levels. The Centre for Science and Public Interest (CSPI) didn’t present a series of bar-graphs showing the relative fat content in popcorn compared to other fatty foods.
    • They published a picture of fatty foods laid out on a table (bacon, Big-Macs, junk food, etc.) grouped together…and compared this to popcorn, the second isolated group. The results were shown on CBS, NBC, CNN, and Letterman.
  • 31. How do you know it benefits?
    • So…..with all this work, how do you know its working?
    • Key Factor 1: Make sure you have desired outcomes to impact society! They need to be SMART targets;
    • Key Factor 2: Build in a formative evaluation. Keep it simple. Plan to measure how your research impacts society. Tell a story. Develop a case study. Evaluate process and outcomes.
    • Key Factor 3: Mid-term evaluation can allow you to modify your knowledge mobilization processes.
  • 32. Taking it home….
    • Think about what you want your research to do….even before you start your research;
    • Develop a knowledge mobilization plan for your research (messages, desired impact, target audiences, communications tools, evaluation methods, timelines);
    • Work with your targets to refine the KMb plan;
    • It’s about evidence-informed not evidence-based
    • What your fellow graduate students are doing:
      • Jessica Kukac: Sustainability board game
      • Deatra Walsh: Rant and rural play
      • Dance your PhD! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2u9eAzk7TU
  • 33. Tips….Dave’s Top Ten List
    • Pick out your best ideas…social sciences is as interesting as any research;
    • YOU do the translation – don’t leave it in the hands of others; (if you don’t do it media will!);
    • Don’t ever compromise on your research integrity;
    • Use a knowledge broker (Harris Centre);
    • Communicate effectively, appropriately and creatively (text messaging for seniors?);
    • Think like your audience BUT be cautious….
    • The medium is the message…don’t get caught up in all the latest technology because it’s there;
    • Make your ideas stick!; (concrete not ambiguous analogies – think proverbs; SUCCES)
    • Tell a story….people, positive, making a difference
    • Build a case….measure outputs or outcomes
  • 34. The Tree of Knowledge by Humberto R. Maturana
    • What is the object of knowledge?" asks young Grasshopper. "There is no object of knowledge," replies the old Shaman, "To know is to be able to operate adequately in an individual or cooperative situation." "So which is more important, to know or to do?" asks young Grasshopper. "All doing is knowing, and all knowing is doing," replies the Sage, and then continues, "Knowing is an effective action, that is, knowledge operate effectively in the domain of existence of all living creatures." (paraphrased from Maturana & Varela, 1992).
    • Lesson – mobilizing knowledge is highly interactive, integrative, and situation dependent. The act of knowing is doing and the act of doing is knowing. “We do not see that we do not see!”
  • 35. Where to from here?
    • 5 modules;
    • Next one – Christina Fabretto; Knowing your Audience
    • Fall 2009: Lynn Morrissey – Communication Approaches;
    • Fall 2009: Maintaining Integrity in Research Messaging; (Instructor – TBD)
    • Spring 2009: Research translation & Creating a Knowledge Mobilization Plan (David Yetman)
  • 36.
    • Have I met your expectations? – A Quick Review
    • Thank-you for your time and participation: to find out more about the Harris Centre and its programs visit www.mun.ca/harriscentre
  • 37. References…useful readings
    • The Economics of Knowledge, D. Foray
    • Using Evidence: How Research can Inform Public Service, S. Nutley
    • Epistemology: An Anthology, Edited by Sosa & Kim
    • A History of Knowledge: Past, Present and Future, C. Van Doren
    • Made to Stick: Why some ideas survive and others die, C & D Heath
    • The Tree of Knowledge, H. Maturana & F. Varela
    • The Passion of the Western Mind, R. Tarnas
    • Basic Teachings of the Great Philosophers, S.E. Frost, Jr.
    • The Conditions of Learning, R. Gagne
    • The Will to Meaning, V. Frankl
    • Unfolding Meaning, D. Bohm
    • Knowledge Mobilization in the Social Sciences and Humanities, A. Bennet and D. Bennet
    • The Politics of Truth, M. Foucault
    • Introducing Semiotics, P. Colby & L. Jansz