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