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Fools Fear Failure: Designing Better Ways to Fail

Is there something unique about the social sector that leads to an unwillingness to learn from failure?

It's well known that failure is sticky; people learn better from stories of failure than they do from success stories. Yet, in the social sector, failure is rarely discussed. Instead of treating projects and ideas that failed before us as a massive repository of R+D knowledge, these invaluable stories are often never told or actively swept under the carpet.

As human-centered designers, we fail often and quickly as part of the design process. We also excel at telling stories in a manner that is convincing to clients and customers. This panel asks: how might we use our skills as designers to create a new mindset in the social sector that says "I failed and here's the story of how it happened"?

Moderated by the Knowledge Manager from, this panel brings together
designers, master storytellers, and veterans of many a social sector failure to explore this topic.

Additional Supporting Materials




Sean Hewens, Knowledge Manager + In-House Counsel,

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