It started as an idea on a whiteboard. A future possibility of a forum or space for people, organizations, and communities to come together and share ideas, insights and information – various forms of community knowledge if you will – to create change in their communities.
Spearheaded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Community Foundations of Canada, along with a network of partners, the Community Knowledge Exchange (CKX) developed as an iterative and open platform and process to build and share community knowledge.
This iterative exploration of community knowledge was guided by four thematic questions:
- How can we use research to make more informed decisions?
- How can we turn existing data into knowledge to drive change?
- How can we use stories to demonstrate our impact?
- How do we know we’re making a difference, together?
In November 2014, that idea leapt from the whiteboard and into reality at the inaugural Community Knowledge Exchange Summit, with more than 400 leaders and community-change makers from across Canada and internationally descending on Toronto’s Entertainment District for three days of workshops, conversations, jam sessions and field-building.
That last one’s important: Field building.
As we reflect on the summit and the journey that got us there, that’s what CKX was and is all about. Creating and holding a space for community organizations, academic and research institutions, governments, funders and grantmakers, and engaged citizens to come together in the spirit of collaboration and openness.