Blog Post

Making sense of our feeds - a short period of intersecting news and reports

Sometimes it's fascinating how the world aligns to prove that we need active knowledge mobilization and sense-making in our sector. Within a 24 hour period, these intersecting stories popped into my feeds.

The trends here are inter-related. Who is tasked to bring coherent understanding and sense-making to our sector about how all of this impacts us and the individual newcomers, families, and communities we serve? How can what we learn here lead to action, pivot our interventions, impact policy, illustrate need for change among leaders, and more?

Now more than ever, we need intra and cross-sectoral knowledge mobilization. I believe all of these stories, reports, posts, and articles intersect with each other in many ways. But I don't have the time to build in active sense-making. I can just bring them to your attention in the hopes that something is of value to you.

U of T launches Knowledge Equity Lab to elevate marginalized voices in academia

"The lab, housed at U of T Scarborough’s Centre for Critical Development Studies, is a trans-disciplinary space that seeks to challenge multiple forms of exclusion within the structure of knowledge production and exchange. That includes everything from pushing back against the dominance of the English language in science to learning from Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing.

The lab is already home to dozens of collaborations worldwide. Each of these will address what Chan describes as the marginalization of systems of knowledge and ways of understanding the world that are not central to the West and its prevailing system of capital and finance."

Digital Conversations: Sparking and Scaling Canada’s Innovations

"From new cooperatives and collaboration amongst social purpose organizations to better serve communities, to new technologies and digital transformations to increase access to services, and new thinking on how we fund and support social purpose initiatives.

What can we learn from social innovations that have sparked or scaled during the pandemic in order to better support grassroots innovators for the long-term?"

Mapping Toronto’s Digital Divide

“These findings, particularly in the context of the digital shift during the pandemic, reinforce the need to continue scaling programs to close the remaining gaps in internet and device access. They also highlight notable gaps in internet quality and affordability along lines of income, age and race that urgently require greater policy and programmatic response.”

ConnectTO program aims to increase digital equity and access to affordable high-speed internet in Toronto

“This network would use City assets such as existing fibre assets, buildings, lights, sidewalks and boulevards to address connectivity in underserved areas using a city-wide high-speed internet network, which will be delivered to homes and businesses by a private sector partner. Access to the network will be offered to qualified service providers, at a fair price, to generate revenue, which will be re-invested back into communities to expand service to areas without access and help lower internet costs for vulnerable Torontonians.

The ConnectTO program also aims to streamline and update existing City processes to ensure internet connectivity planning, such as installing public Wi-Fi, laying fibre conduits in existing construction work and similar actions, is embedded in the planning and execution of various City initiatives moving forward.”

Media Technology Monitor (MTM) Newcomers Survey

"MTM Newcomers is the only media and technology survey on newcomers in Canada. It focuses on people who have come to Canada within the last 5 years and helps to understand how newcomers watch TV and video, listen to music, connect with friends and family, and get their news. It will be conducted in 8 different languages: English, French, Tagalog, Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi, Arabic, and Spanish."

Virtual Employment and Resource Attendant (VERA) launch

On January 27th, ACCES is launching VERA, an AI powered guide for your job search! VERA, a Virtual Employment and Resource Attendant, was developed by ACCES Employment with the generous support of Accenture.

Highlights of Challenges Facing Ontario’s Language Services Sector

"The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a stress test for many essential services offered in Ontario. It has brought to light the challenges, inequities and structural flaws within systems designed to support the health and well-being of Ontarians. These challenges, of course, existed before COVID-19, but this crisis has increased the level of public’s awareness of them.

Among these are translation and interpretation services. Many Ontarians with limited knowledge of English and/or French were being left behind, as information about how to stay safe, new government regulations, and financial support programs were rolled out but not made available in their mother tongues.

What were the challenges facing these Limited English and/or French Speakers (LEFS), and the agencies that support them, before the crisis?

Lack of Awareness
Lack of Access
Quality of Service"

All at the same time Digital is facing a Trust Crisis

"The global 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer finds the world in a trust crisis.

Richard Edelman refers to information bankruptcy, noting that in the face of an epidemic of misinformation, the institutions that we expect to guide the way in these moments – government and media – “have both failed to meet the test”.

“The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer finds a new era of information bankruptcy and a trust ecosystem unable to confront it. The pandemic and infodemic are two strands of a Rambo DNA, inextricably linked in their destructive force. Government and media, the usual sources of quality information in a crisis, have both failed to meet the test.” Richard Edelman

While the report itself is always immensely valuable in telling a macro picture, I’ve always found that the trust power of the report comes in the intersections of different threads of data and their implications. This year is no different. Amidst the gloomy outlook from this year’s Trust Barometer report, there are four significant implications for digital marketers and communicators:

  • Digital is facing a trust crisis
  • Brands need to build trust into their digital communications
  • Now is the time for CEOs to speak out online
  • A new mindset is needed in the face of rampant misinformation"

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