The NKE is a breakthrough tool to benefit the people of Niagara! Innovative solutions are new ideas, products, services and/or relationships among diverse partners; they are breakthroughs that address challenges in the marketplace or community. Often they occur when two or more ‘siloed’ groups interact, share stories, and find ways to capitalize on each others’ strengths.

The Niagara Knowledge Exchange (NKE) is an innovative tool built by the Niagara-wide community. It takes a fresh approach by gathering diverse groups and individuals throughout Niagara in an online space, to share relevant, reliable Niagara-focused information for evidence-informed planning. It opens up lines of communication, in real time, within and across twelve sectors that contribute to Niagarans’ quality of life.

Innovative ideas come from multiple directions. Niagara Connects’ role is to gather those ideas, pay attention to the patterns among them, see emerging issues of importance to the Niagara-wide community, and then gather the necessary evidence to  enable the community to drive coordinated action.

This work can be complex. In the past in Niagara, complexity was seen as an insurmountable barrier to taking action. Niagara Connects leads the Niagara-wide community in seeing complexity as an asset. We gather diverse ideas and weave trusted relationships; these underpin the community’s willingness to work together, to build innovative approaches that truly make a positive difference in the lives of people in Niagara.

What makes the NKE a really innovative tool is the community’s desire to describe and shape it, and now sustain its growth. The NKE is essential for us to achieve our common end goal: a stronger future for Niagara, for the benefit of all people who live here.

Mary Wiley
Executive Director
Niagara Connects

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