Niagara Knowledge Exchange
The construction phase of the Niagara Knowledge Exchange (NKE) runs from 2012 to 2014. Niagara-wide community partners, led by the Niagara Research and Planning Council (NRAPC) are working together to create the NKE as a network of people dedicated to Niagara-focused knowledge-sharing, collaboration and innovation. NKE is enabled by a digital platform, real-time exchange opportunities and a team of Knowledge Brokers to help foster connections between people, resources and ideas.
During 2011, a group of thirty volunteers led the Niagara-wide community in forming the framework for the NKE. This process was facilitated by the NRAPC. It arose from a November, 2010 Niagara-wide forum to discuss the concept of internet-based knowledge-sharing for focused, evidence-based planning. Over seventy citizens from across Niagara who work in the area of community development attended that original forum, and the list of people involved in the NKE continues to grow.
At the 2010 knowledge exchange forum, keynote speaker Ian E. Wilson, former Chief Librarian and Archivist for Canada, and Executive Director of the University of Waterloo’s Stratford Institute, a social and digital media think tank, challenged forum participants to break down silos and engage in horizontal knowledge-sharing.
Panelists Megan Harris, a Knowledge Broker with the Alzheimer Knowledge Exchange, Tim Ribaric, a Digital Librarian with Brock University, and Tom Jamieson, GIS Mapping Manager, Niagara Region, emphasized the importance of harnessing potential of digital technologies to spark innovation and positive community action resulting from effective online sharing of Niagara-focused data, research reports, mapping and more.
Dr. Heather Kilty of Brock University facilitated round-table focus groups at the forum. Participants expressed strong support for creation of an accessible, reliable, relevant Niagara-focused digital platform for collaborative exchange of data, reports, mapping and other information that would assist with community planning.