Research Impact Canada co-hosts largest knowledge mobilization conference in Canada

Research Impact Canada (RIC), a group co-founded by York University in 2006, co-hosted the Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum, from Nov. 24 to 26, in partnership with the Ottawa-based Institute for Knowledge Mobilization. The event was held online this year due to COVID-19.

This popular annual conference was founded in 2012 by the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization to support a growing international community in knowledge mobilization. 


David Phipps

David Phipps

This year, despite the lack of an in-person event, was a resounding success. “We have almost 300 attendees, which is considerably more than the most we've ever had in person. We have four countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia – participating. It is, by far, the largest knowledge mobilization conference in Canada … and likely in the world,” said York University’s Assistant Vice-President Research Strategy & Impact and RIC Network Director David Phipps.

This year’s conference, set at York University, opened with vital topics such as active engagement of Canadian research institutions to foster future knowledge mobilization (Phipps co-presenting), developing capacity for knowledge mobilization, brokering multi-sector partnerships. The Nov. 24 plenary speakers were Christian Dagenais and Dr. Sarah Munro, the latter profiling knowledge translation and policy impacts, asking “How do we help stakeholders make evidence-based decisions?”

The second day of the three-day conference was highlighted by professional development workshops. The Secretary General for the International Federation on Aging, Jane Barrett,  and Sarah Morton of Research Impact Canada, were the plenary speakers. Morton’s discussion focused on impact assessment: learning how to determine whether knowledge mobilization strategies work.

The final day covered topics such as the role of knowledge brokers in making research impact on specific problems and the implementation and evaluation of a science artist residency. The roundtable discussions included using knowledge mobilization to create a culture of innovation among researchers, clinicians and innovators in geriatric rehabilitation, innovations in knowledge mobilization, engaging youth and community and more.

Michael Johnny

Michael Johnny

The professional development workshop on the final day of the conference included an insightful presentation on planning community engagement with Indigenous communities by Phipps and Michael Johnny, manager, knowledge mobilization in the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, York University.

The concluding plenary in this year’s conference was appropriately centred around knowledge mobilization in the time of COVID: Valuable practices we are learning and employing.

More about Research Impact Canada

RIC, Canada’s leading knowledge mobilization network established in 2006, aims to build Canada’s capacity to be a leader in knowledge mobilization by developing and sharing best practices, services and tools, and by demonstrating to relevant stakeholders and the public the positive impacts of mobilizing knowledge.

RIC seeks to maximize the impact of university research for the social, cultural, economic, environmental, and health benefits of local and global communities. It thrives on university research enterprises that encompass scholarship and creative activity by faculty, students and staff across all disciplines, valuing community, industry and government partners as active participants in conducting research. It also strives to promote the idea that knowledge mobilization services reflect the capacity and opportunities of institutional members.

For more information about the annual conference, visit the website. For more about Research Impact Canada, visit the website or contact Connie Tang, manager, Research Impact Canada (tangc@yorku). Follow the group on Twitter @researchimpact.

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