Knowledge Mobilization 100 – 2012 Edition

by Peter Levesque on December 16, 2012 · 7 comments

in KMb Articles,Resources,Survey,Uncategorized

KMbW_LotusThis is the second edition of the Knowledge Mobilization 100.  (the first was 2011).  The KMb 100 is an annual “peek” at who is influencing our thinking about knowledge mobilization practice.  While not a scientific study, as a peer-to-peer exercise it does reveal at least two important things: who are we paying attention to and what are some of the new resources that we may not have had a chance to use before.  The name for this exercise – KMb 100 – is not meant to denote a race but rather 100+ people, books, articles, twitter accounts, blogs and other resources that can be of utility or interest to knowledge mobilization practitioners.

Responses to the nomination form were received from October 15, 2012 until December 16, 2012.  There were 36 unique respondents.  The overall trend of responses point to an emerging conclusion – that a committed group of people, reasonably funded, well-managed, and left to do their jobs creating relationships between people and knowledge will eventually be shown to be leaders in this field.  ResearchImpact and the Knowledge Mobilization Office at York University, led by David Phipps is the clear leader among respondents to this call for nominations.  This was the case in 2011 and is more so the case this year.  Congratulations to David Phipps and his team at York University. Among the open responses at the end of the form was included:

David Phipps is a go to person at York University when it comes to partnership development and knowledge mobilization strategies.  He is always willing to help and is very engaging and has great ideas about what works, who is best to reach out to, etc.  His team have helped train students, faculty and staff in KMb initiatives and are amazing communicators.  This component has helped strengthen research at York University and adds a refreshing aspect to grant proposals and research dissemination.  I highly recommend David Phipps for this acknowledgement!

Here is the breakdown of responses.

In response to Who most influences your KMb practice?

The leading response was David Phipps from York University in Toronto with 31% of responses, followed by Michele Dupuis from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Shawna Reibling at Wilfrid Laurier University, each with 7.8% of responses.  The remaining responses were divided equally among a range of well-known knowledge mobilization experts as well as some new names this year – including generic responses such as “Artists” and “Researchers”:

  1. David PhippsQ1_Discipline
  2. Michele Dupuis
  3. Shawna Reibling
  4. Adrian Chan
  5. Ben Levin
  6. Brian Haynes
  7. Bronwynne Wilton
  8. Carole Lévesque
  9. Christopher McAll
  10. Dawn McArthur
  11. Ron Barr
  12. Wendy Cukier
  13. Gary Myers
  14. John Lavis
  15. Peter Levesque
  16. Ruth Philips
  17. Ted Jackson
  18. Zhangxing Chen

In response to Who else influences your KMb practice?

Again, the leading response was David Phipps from York University in Toronto with 23% of responses, followed by Gary Myers from KMbeing with 11.5% of responses and Michael Johnny from ResearchImpact with 7.8% of responses. The remaining responses were again divided equally among a range of well-known knowledge mobilization experts as well as some new names this year – including generic responses such as “Artists” and “Social Organizations”:

  1. David Phipps Q2_Discipline
  2. Gary Myers
  3. Micheal Johnny
  4. Bronwynne Wilton
  5. Christopher McAll
  6. Peter von Dadelszen
  7. Andrei Krassioukov
  8. Pamela Palmater
  9. Fleur Macqueen Smith
  10. Gord McDonald
  11. Gordon Guyatt
  12. Jamie McInnis
  13. Linda Hawkins
  14. Peter Levesque
  15. Research Impact

In prompting for a third influencer, we asked Anyone else? A third pick?

With this question we have a broad range of responses with, Charles Ungerleider, Peter Levesque, and Sandra Nutley each mentioned twice.  The remaining responses were equally divided.

  1. Charles UngerleiderQ3_Discipline
  2. Peter Levesque
  3. Sandra Nutley
  4. Bonnie Zink
  5. Ian Pike
  6. Peter Cripton
  7. Gary Myers
  8. Jane Wedlock
  9. John Lavis
  10. Jose Etcheverry
  11. Julia Hanigsberg
  12. Linda Hawkins
  13. Melanie Barwick
  14. Michael Johnny
  15. Stephen Gaetz

When asked: Whose books or articles do you read most often? the responses somewhat reflect the “influencers” responses above – Mobilize This/ResearchImpact/David Phipps was listed as the most influential source with almost 44% of responses, followed by a diverse range of other sources including “research journals”. 

  1. Mobilize This, ResearchImpact, David PhippsMobilize This
  2. Dean Smith
  3. Etienne Wenger
  4. Evidence & Policy
  5. John Lavis
  6. Katie Porter
  7. KMbeing
  8. Nature
  9. Premium
  10. Publications from advocacy groups on different issues
  11. Research Policy
  12. Sandra Nutley
  13. Sarah Lampson

When asked: Whose website or blog do you consult regularly?, the responses followed the trend – 57% of responses identified ResearchImpact/York/David Phipps as the most consulted website, followed by Knowledge Mobilization Works and a diverse range of sources – all links have been provided.

  1. ResearchImpact, York, David Phipps
  2. Knowledge Mobilization Works
  3. Alberta Family Wellness Initiative
  4. Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  5. Flowingdata
  6. Google
  7. Institute for Clinical Evaluative Services
  8. KM on a dollar a day
  9. KMbeing
  10. LSE Impact of the Social Sciences Blog
  11. Oil Review (unclear which edition: Africa or Middle East)
  12. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Social Media produced a broad range of responses.  When asked: Who is your top tweeter on Twitter? and Who else do you follow using social media?, the top response was “don’t use Twitter” (there was no space for “why not” but it would be an interesting follow up question) followed by: @researchimpact,  @bonniezink@KMBeing@peterlevesque, @ccph2010, @colleen_young, @ProcessPathways, @SteerCareer, @LSEImpactblog, @NIHforHealth, @KMbW_Updates, @hjarche, @NatureNews@sigeneration@MobilizeShawna@MdC_UQAM@researchgirlca@buddhall.

When we asked people about What factors are most important in choosing an “influencer”?, (Trusted, Innovative, Knowledgeable, Experienced, Demonstrated Impact) , they responded that the factors were all important with being “trusted” and “knowledgeable” as somewhat more so than the other 3 factors:

T_I K_E_DFinally, some open statements about who influences their practice:

  • Grateful to be able to share my views in this way, thank you!
  • Great initiative.
  • The most important factor for me choosing influencers is they are well connected and accessible. For example, they are able and willing to help me with their own expertise and refer me to lots of other experts because they are part of the community and fully engaged.
  • Melanie Barwick with her grid is a reference too but I never heard her.

Some words of caution and an area for the community to grow:

I applaud efforts to promote and support knowledge mobilization initiatives and practices; however, as happens with the institutionalization of most good ideas, in so doing the interpretation of knowledge mobilization has become quite narrow and even superficial in some cases.

There has been a “dumbing down” of efforts to engage with publics. I am more interested in efforts that don’t just ‘translate’ knowledge to different sectors but engage diverse audiences in new and different ways. For the past 15 or so years there has been a movement in educational research and to a lesser but still significant extent in health research to use the arts in research representation and communication.

I have been part of that movement from its inception. The work is not called “knowledge mobilization” per se, precisely because the term has developed certain connotations, but it certainly is ground breaking in its approach to moving academic work into communities. I would be happy to supply more information about this if you are interested. 

Thank you to all who took the time to fill in the form, who share the call with their colleagues and friends, and for the link to new people and sources to help develop my own practice.  There was no financial compensation or sponsor for this exercise – simply colleagues sharing among themselves in a loose community of practice.  I look forward to seeing what we learn from the 2013 edition.

Peter Levesque


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Melanie Barwick December 17, 2012 at 10:44 am

I think it would be interesting to explore this ‘list’ for indications of knowledge spread rather than centrality of influence or expertise. Far more powerful, I believe, for the KMb knowledge base to be spread far and wide than to reside in the same particular individuals over time. Maybe we need both, but I believe we need to shift our thinking to understand that it’s not about being the expert but rather empowering others to develop their expertise :-) So, seeing who is on the list for the first time, I think, is a good indicator of knowledge spread and growing supports for KMb/KT.

Another way to go about this would be to look at growth in connectedness, rather than influence, for we all influence one another on an ongoing basis. Peter, have a look at it might offer a different way of looking at how we are all connecting in this field.

Thanks to all my influencers; you make this job a fun one and so very stimulating!


David Yetman December 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Peter, not to minimize what you are doing here, but 36 respondents is not a large sample size if you are not conducting representative sampling. I realize this is a proxy report, and there is no evaluative methodology, but with that number of respondents, is it possible to really say anything conclusive? Is it not impossible to state anything concrete from such little feedback?

I am puzzled with the value of this exercise. I know many, many people who understand and share knowledge with great success and they are not in “our circle” of knowledge mobilization people. Many of them I am realizing are innovators in digital technology businesses and know very little about how universities work, but they do understand how to create ideas from multiple knowledge sources. They also are brilliant at understanding the audience, the right way to tell the story, and the digital media channels to affect client behaviour or to change opinions. Many of them have no idea what knowledge mobilization is, nor do they care, but they are certainly brilliant innovators.

This exercise, in the end, seems to be validation of influence in the same small group of knowledge mobilization colleagues who have an interest in knowledge mobilization as a theoretical exercise. Therefore, I would not expect the results to look very different from year to year because its the same group of people responding each year.

Is there a way to produce a report/tool that breaks us outside of this closely knit group? Is there a way to produce a document that helps us understand the diversity of ways knowledge is being used to innovate in Canada in business, government, etc.? Maybe we need to have people list examples of projects/case studies rather than acknowledging “who’s who in the zoo”.

Sorry, if this comes across as sour grapes, it certainly isn’t meant to stifle your creativity. Nor does it mean to minimize the great work David and his team are doing at York.

I just think we need to go back to the drawing board here…..


Peter Levesque December 17, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Thanks Melanie for the link to the Partner Tool. I agree that we could do some interesting work about who is connected, how they are connected and what is the content exchanged in that connection. I did some personal/professional network analysis last year and found that I participated in a set of communities that I did not view as such but when mapped out it became clear.

Thanks David for your comments. This is simply a “peek” inside some networks. It revealed some people that I did not know before as well as some resources that I was not aware of. It is completely dependent on who takes the time to engage with the nomination form and how it is shared. As I stated last year and again this year, this is not a survey or a scientific study. It simply reveals something interesting and confirms some thoughts about what happens when you have resources applied consistently. Take it or leave it but based on the set of new introductions that have happened since posting the results yesterday, there is value in simply engaging in a process that reveals new connections.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday to all.

ps: Heading out on the Caribbean Princess – Ft. Lauderdale to Bahamas, Aruba and Curacao, Jan 26 – Feb 2, 2013, if you want to engage in further discussion.


Peter Levesque December 21, 2012 at 10:08 am

Press Release by Process Pathways

Calgary, Canada (MMD Newswire) December 20, 2012 — Gordon McDonald CEO & President at Process Pathways, the Canadian market leader in research management software, has been named one of Knowledge Mobilization’s Top 100 Influencers of 2012.

The Knowledge Mobilization 100 is an annual ‘peek’ at who is influencing thinking in the industry of knowledge mobilization. It is a peer-to-peer initiative that aims to answer the following questions: Who are the people that the knowledge mobilization field is paying attention to and what are some of the new or previously untapped resources available in that field.

Gordon is an expert in research management systems. His company Process Pathways created ROMEO, an Enterprise Resource Planning solution that in unmatched in its capabilities for online database-driven solutions that manage certifications, track statuses and facilitates smooth fund disbursement. Gordon runs an extremely lean team and they are the market leader in their space. He has over 25 years of experience in systems design and operations management. Outside of his industry, Gordon is extremely interested in the Big Data and innovations from the crazy to the mundane.

“I believe that every avenue you have to engage with customers and the general public, including social media, should be about interesting topics and not just as a mouthpiece to push out information about my company” says Gordon McDonald, “As a result of this philosophy I post and write about interesting stories, scientific discoveries, and research community news as well as associations connected to the research community.”

In addition to Process Pathways’ CEO being named an influencer the company’s twitter account @ProcessPathways was named one of the top social media resources.

For more information on the Knowledge Mobilization 100, visit the website: For more information on Gordon McDonald and Process Pathways visit



Meghan Somers

The Agency

+1 587 899 0615

meghan at theagencyinc dot ca

Notes to Editors:

Process Pathways is the leading research management solution provider based in Calgary, Canada with offices in Ottawa and Halifax. The company is the creator behind the highly acclaimed on-line, database-driven software application suite, ROMEO, which is redefining the practice of research project management in Canada and now globally.

An Enterprise Resource Planning solution for the academic community, ROMEO manages certifications, tracks status and facilitates smooth fund disbursement helping research administrators meet the important financial and legal compliance requirements all while integrating seamlessly with other mission-critical enterprise applications. For more information go to


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