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Welcome to the Hikma Collective

co-creation hikma collective knowledge translation Nov 11, 2021
A scene featuring three figures, one seated and two standing, interacting with books and a globe in the foreground with a night sky background.

What is the Hikma Collective? 

At Hikma, we believe that the world needs to hear more from people who resist easy answers.

Bayt al-Hikma, Arabic for “The House of Wisdom,” lives in the cultural imagination as a library in medieval Baghdad that drew together scholars across languages and disciplines to translate Aristotle, invent algebra, develop medicines and write literature. As is often the case when cultural events become popular myths, the historical reality is a bit more complicated.

At Hikma, we prefer the messier reality of a network of people with unique expertise navigating diverse societal, cultural, and political moments. Ideas take shape through collaboration over time, and they thrive most when creatives and inventors respond to a need, challenge, or opportunity within a specific context. At the Hikma Collective, our goal is to help complex thinkers from the academy, industry, and the social sector build pathways for rigorous thinking to inform better outcomes. We bring together learners and changemakers of all kinds to build skills, test ideas, spark relationships, and co-create positive change. 

The Hikma team facilitates this community through collaborative events, training programs, and ongoing dialogues with changemakers across contexts. By fostering curiosity, joy, and collaboration, we are building a stronger knowledge ecosystem.

Established by a core group of humanities scholars and like-minded leaders, we draw upon our capacity to tolerate sustained ambiguity, ask generative questions, and craft compelling narratives. We are committed to unknotting complex ideas through creative and accurate communication that translates them for new audiences. 

Our members share knowledge through our Hikma Office Hours series, training programs, and virtual community. Led by founder Erica Machulak, the Hikma team facilitates these conversations, invites guest speakers, and co-hosts community-driven programming. Members are welcome to propose ad hoc virtual gatherings and recurring working groups to test and explore writing projects, program designs, lesson plans, new services, partnership strategies, and other ideas. 


Why do we need it?

Our digital world has facilitated a knowledge ecosystem where misinformation and polarization pose barriers to our collective wellbeing, our environment, and our ability to engage responsibly as global citizens. 

To address these challenges, we need to build common ground between people with deep knowledge of diverse contexts. Engaging, reliable knowledge translation offers a pathway to generative engagement between individuals and organizations.


"Only by bringing together different forms of knowledge can we advance better practices, better policies and steer the direction of innovation for the public good."


Changemakers across higher education, government, industry and the social sector often get stalled because of differences of vocabulary even before they have the opportunity to exchange opinions. By fostering organic dialogues and learning opportunities, the Hikma Collective builds capacity for individuals and organizations to connect more effectively.

Hikma supports effective communication and collaboration writ large, from op-ed writing to funding proposal development, collaborative facilitation, and instructional design. We offer expertise in media writing, grant writing, facilitation, partnership development, and program design to build knowledge translation skills across our community.


Let’s co-create something great

Curious to learn more? The best way to engage with us is to jump right in. Sign up for our newsletter, follow us on social media, and join our next Hikma Office Hours to participate in the process and co-create spaces for joy, curiosity, and collaboration.

We have created a testbed for the Hikma Collective through Hikma Office Hours, our series of conversations with changemakers across the knowledge ecosystem about how ideas take shape, travel and thrive. These events and our virtual training programs model clear, curiosity-driven communication through conversations with leaders across contexts. From user experience design research to startup culture, museum curation and Indigenous data sovereignty, we bring together methods and perspectives across the knowledge ecosystem. 

The Hikma Collective’s current programs have materialized through conversations with our readers, clients, and pilot course cohort about the strengths our community has, the training it needs, and the opportunities that lie ahead to build relationships between scholars and leaders in industry and the social sector. We will continue to make decisions about what to offer based on what we learn from you and what we can sustain through our growing community of practice.

We invite you to help us test this new idea and set a deliberate, intentional trajectory for the Collective. Learn with us as we offer new events, training programs, resources, and stories that bring new perspectives to the conversation. This is going to be a wild ride, and we hope you will join us.


Erica Machulak, PhD, is the Founder of Hikma Strategies. 

Erica’s work has been published in Inside Higher Ed, Intellect Ltd, the Yearbook of Langland Studies, and Humanities, the magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Browse her portfolio here


Image by Sophia van Hees, PhD. Sophia is Hikma's Artist in Residence and the Founder of Brave Snail Designs. Browse her portfolio here

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