KT Connects — Leverage curiosity to foster effective partnerships


25 August 2023


12 - 1 p.m. PT



When scholars and practitioners build new partnerships, the questions we ask can matter more than the answers we give. This webinar offers direct, targeted advice to transform promising connections into lasting partnerships by asking generative questions. But what are generative questions? Generative questions spark curiosity and ‘generate’ deeper understanding that can lead to meaningful engagement. These types of questions are rooted in the assumption that we and our collaborators bring complementary strengths to the table.

In this presentation, Erica Machulak, founder of Hikma, will present three questions that serve to demonstrate respect, discover shared interests, and identify logistical considerations. While these questions do not encompass all possible generative questions, they have been selected to highlight how to access different types of knowledge. The questions and advice provided will enable you to build trust with collaborators, discover points of shared interest, and lay the groundwork for mutually compelling and feasible projects.


After this webinar, the audience will be able to:

  • Identify three generative questions to help build trust and common ground.
  • Foster dialogue with partners and collaborators across sectors.
  • Leverage curiosity to design effective projects and programs.



Erica Machulak, PhD, is the founder and lead facilitator of Hikma, a social impact startup with a mission to mobilize scholarship for the public good through consulting, capacity building and storytelling. She specializes in supporting cross-sector and cross-disciplinary partnership networks to establish governance structures, determine shared practices, design feasible projects, and communicate effectively about their work. Over the past two years, Hikma clients have secured $6M+ in research funding, informed new policies, and published their work in media outlets such as Forbes and the CBC.
As a writer, editor and facilitator, Erica believes that the world needs to hear more from people who resist easy answers. Since completing her dissertation on medieval English literature, Erica has written articles for Inside Higher Ed, Intellect Ltd, and Humanities, the magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (BA), the University of Oxford (MSt.) and the University of Notre Dame (PhD).