Panel and participant dialogue on making best use of the emerging knowledge and shaping future knowledge development activities

With insights from MHP-IF projects on how they adapted to evolving pandemic conditions and other experiences during Phase 1, this panel extended the knowledge mobilization story. What do we mean by ‘high quality evidence’? How can we approach knowledge mobilization in a way that is equitable and contributes to decolonizing? This session included four panelists who brought rich and varied experiences linking knowledge and action.

Key messages

    • Knowledge mobilization is a mindset, a process, a way of working, a goal and an outcome. It needs to be woven into all aspects of our work in research, policy and practice.
    • Our knowledge systems need to be transformed. Some priorities are to embrace a broader view of ‘quality evidence’ and privilege relationships and engagement for knowledge mobilization.
    • Mobilizing knowledge equitably requires an examination and transformation of colonial systems.
    • Learning and knowledge mobilization that will contribute to effective action require supportive conditions. Some conditions include adequate time, diverse relationships, policies that safeguard progress, humility, a stance of ‘not knowing’, accepting some level of discomfort, and generosity.
    • New and diverse knowledges are needed. Existing evidence can also be put to better use.


    • Barb Riley (session chair and moderator), Scientific Director, KDE Hub for Mental Health Promotion
    • Christine Chambers, Professor, Dalhousie University; Scientific Director, Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR IHDCYH)
    • Stephanie Priest, Executive Director, Mental Health and Wellbeing Division, Centre for Health Promotion, Public Health Agency of Canada
    • Valerie Salt, Senior Research & Policy Associate, PolicyWise for Children & Families
    • Louis Sorin, CEO and President, End Homelessness Winnipeg (Retired)

In the words of the speakers

This is a disruptive time. What are we learning from each other that will help to make us less siloed and better able to connect in a way that will really support health promotion, mental health promotion and knowledge mobilization? Christine Chambers

…it’s not wrong to be uncomfortable. Maybe that’s the right place and one of the places that we need to start and not be afraid of being uncomfortable with change. Stephanie Priest

[Knowledge mobilization is] a process and it’s a comprehensive approach, and it’s not an end product by any means. It’s a continued conversation, something that needs to be woven into all aspects of the work, from conception to kind of the finished aspect of something. Shifting from output based to process based. Valerie Salt

I believe that knowledge is nothing if it it’s not treasured and kept sacred in the minds, hearts and actions of individuals…Knowledge mobilization, in my thinking and in my experience and in my teachings, is the establishment of relationships… that are sacred because the knowledge lives in those people who are living the experiences. Louis Sorin

Resources related to this session

February 18, 2022