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Canterbury Knowledge Commons

Te Pae Raka Hau

18 July 2023

Canterbury Knowledge Commons seeks to bring UC's vision of being an engaged university to life. It is a place where research draws on the collective knowledge, mana, resources, networks, and data of the wider community to show the relevance, impact, and applicability of our research. Learn about our vision and impact and get involved.


The Knowledge Commons is a place where research draws on the collective knowledge, mana, resources, networks and data of the wider community to show the relevance, impact and applicability of UC's research.

The Canterbury Knowledge Commons was started in June 2020 as a response to UC’s commitment to being an Engaged University and reflects the University of Canterbury’s commitment to supporting kotahitanga [partnerships] in Ōtautahi Christchurch and Waitaha Canterbury.

This passion for engagement is at the heart of UC’s institutional strategy and drives the focus of being a university that is not just concerned with its own operations but is actively partnering with the wider city and community to build a brighter future.

The concept of a knowledge commons comes from the notion that a town or village would come together and share information, knowledge, and resources that benefit the whole community. Our Knowledge Commons focuses on how shared vision and partnership can lead to truly collaborative action that supports all people in our region.

Knowledge Commons Update

We are forming partnerships with key leaders in the city in order to create a network that explores problems faced by the city and offers solutions from a truly intersectoral lens. That is, rather than seeking solutions from one perspective, the commons seeks to utilise the combined knowledge across the University and city to support the future of our community.

Our Vision and Purpose

  • Harnessing knowledge, expertise and research excellence at UC to contribute to future development, wellbeing and sustainability of Ōtautahi Christchurch and Waitaha Canterbury; 
  • Creating a co-ordinated, effective platform for businesses, leaders and members of the wider community to engage with the tertiary sector for support with solving complex, intersectoral problems and challenges;
  • Fostering partnerships with key leaders in the city and being present in conversations and strategies that affect all people in the region.

Who is involved

Prof. Ekant Veer has been seconded into the role of Director for the Knowledge Commons to enable the start-up and operation of the venture. He is working with Dr. Susannah Stevens who acts as the commons’ Strategy Lead, and Katie Mills who is the Youth Liason Officer. They work with a wider team of academics, research assistants and other leaders passionate about seeing a more connected and vibrant city.

150 Stories of Impact

We are collating 150 stories from across the university where researchers, professional staff and students are having a positive impact in our local community.

Are you meeting with people and supporting them in their work? Are you creating something that is improving people’s lives? Are you studying a topic that has led to a change in how people do business? Let us know and we would love to celebrate that!

We want to share these stories across the university as well as with our community so they can see what impact the University is having in our city and region. Get in touch with Dr. Kseniia Zahrai for more information.

How to get involved

Contact Ekant and Susie to kōrero about opportunities that the Knowledge Commons can provide.

We are specifically looking to support projects that provide both researchers and students an opportunity to promote wellbeing and impact in our community. We are always looking for exciting opportunities and people to collaborate with and see how we can co-create a future that benefits all people.

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