A group of researchers and practitioners interested in advancing knowledge utilization met as a colloquium in Belfast (KU 11) and used a “world café” approach to exploit the social capital and shared understanding built up over previous events to consider the research and practice agenda. We considered three key areas of relevance to knowledge use: (1) understanding the nature of research use, influence and impact; (2) blended and collaborative approaches to knowledge production and use; and (3) supporting sustainability and spread of evidence-informed innovations.
The approach enabled the development of artifacts that reflected the three areas and these were analyzed using a creative hermeneutic approach.
The themes that emerged and which are outlined in this commentary are not mutually exclusive. There was much overlap in the discussions and therefore of the themes, reflecting the complex nature of knowledge translation work. The agenda that has emerged from KU 11 also reflects the participatory and creative approach in which the meeting was structured and focused, and therefore emphasizes the processual, relational and contingent nature of some of the challenges we face.
The past 20 years has seen an explosion in activity around understanding KU, and we have learned much about the difficulties. Whilst the agenda for the next decade may be becoming clearer, colloquia such as KU 11, using creative and engaging approaches, have a key role to play in dissecting, articulating and sharing that agenda. In this way, we also build an ever-expanding international community that is dedicated to working towards increasing the chances of success for better patient care.