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UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum by Dr Jane Cloke

ARC NWC Programme Delivery Manager Dr Jane Cloke has written about experience of taking part in this year’s UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum in Scotland.

Hosted at the Discovery Centre in Dundee on 8&9th May, I was privileged to take part in this year’s UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum. The aim of KMbF2024 was to bring people engaged in the art and science of sharing/using knowledge together for conversations, creativity, and collaborative learning. The stimulating programme covered three broad areas of knowledge mobilisation, namely practice, research & evaluation, and training & development.

Two keynote speakers Marc Geddes and Stephanie Barnes shared their insights into parliaments as ‘knowledge institutions’, creativity in knowledge management practice and Radical Knowledge Management. Although billed as ‘keynote’ there was ample opportunity to discuss what we can learn from their work but also what they might learn from us.

The opportunity to view, comment on and hear how poster contributors respond to those observations and questions is distinctive to the Forum. It was great to see a wide range of topics covered from brownfield site redevelopment to palliative care and from community-led initiatives through to embedded researchers. I was particularly intrigued by how library specialists see knowledge mobilisation and how roles are adapting to encompass this practice.

New to the Forum were Idea jams, intended to be a collaborative 60-minute space to elicit diverse views of solutions to a knotty problem. There were sessions on developing principles for ethical and equitable knowledge mobilisation practice, how to democratise research to inform local policies. In ‘how fast can ‘co’ go?’ led by Liz Such and Joe Langley, we debated how we could, and indeed whether we should, coproduce and mobilise knowledge at pace so as to respond to policy-makers’ demands for rapid solutions.

Kelly Shiell-Davis and I contributed a ‘knowledge fayre’ showcasing the work we’ve done with the Matter of Focus team to articulate our ‘pathway to impact’ and asked the audience for their views on the data that would convince them that ARC NWC has made a difference. I was also able to attend another knowledge fayre run by Claire Batey, and it was evident that in initiating a new research infrastructure, Health Determinant Research Collaborations share many issues in common with ARCs. And Mark Gabbay had a great deal of interest when presenting our Dementia Inequalities Game.

Also new to the Forum programme this year, was Storytelling, where contributors were invited to share a short story about their ‘voyage through the ocean of knowledge mobilisation research, practice or training’. With massive assistance from Sian Cunningham, Lucy Melville and I told the story of our Partners Priority Programme (2016-18), co-production and equitable knowledge mobilisation. Christine Provvidenza, in full sea-farer costume, shared her story of creating a knowledge mobilisation product to support transitions from childhood to adult life for youth with disabilities. And Josie Jackson and Elizabeth Doe, with props, delivered a play on how their team mobilises knowledge between researchers, the public, and government liaison.

As part of the organising committee, it was satisfying to see so many connections being made across geographical and topic boundaries. As a contributor, I’m grateful for the feedback from the other participants, and these have sparked thoughts about how I/we can do better knowledge mobilisation to support our impact.


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