Leverage curiosity to foster effective partnerships

August 25, 2023


Dr. Erica Machulak, Founder, Hikma

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).

Upcoming webinar

Dr. Femke Hoekstra


June 28, 2024

Transforming spinal cord injury counselling with open science and integrated knowledge translation

In 2024, KT Connects is focusing on open science — the practice of making scientific inputs, outputs, and processes freely available to all with minimal restrictions. Learn more

Webinar summary

Friday, June 28 

12 – 1 p.m. PST 

Open science practices provide the foundation for transparent and accessible research. Integrated knowledge translation (IKT) ensures that research is meaningful and useful in real-world settings. By combining these approaches, researchers can maximize the impact and relevance of their findings.  

In this presentation, Dr. Hoekstra will share example strategies and practical tips for using open science principles and IKT. She will use a practical example from co-developing and evaluating an e-learning course on spinal cord injury (SCI) physical activity counselling. The free, self-guided e-learning course is created for health and fitness professionals providing guidance or counselling to adults with SCI. 

Learning objectives

After this webinar, the audience will be able to:

  1. Explain how the principles of open science and IKT can complement each other
  2. Learn strategies on how to apply IKT principles to co-develop and evaluate an educational course for health and fitness professionals
  3. Provide examples of how to apply open science practices

Speaker bio

Dr. Femke Hoekstra is an assistant professor in UBC’s Department of Medicine, Division of Social Medicine and an investigator with the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management in implementation science. Dr. Hoekstra holds a doctor of philosophy from the University of Groningen in implementation science, rehabilitation and physical activity promotion. Her research program focuses on improving health services and care for equity-deserving groups in rural, remote and isolated communities. She studies implementation processes of health innovations in real-world settings.