Festival of Failure

The Festival of Failure is led by Dr Michael Shaw (School of Design and Creative Arts), Professor Lisa Jackson (School of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering), Dr Mark Burnley (School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences) & Dr Afzal Ashraf (School of Social Sciences and Humanities)

Failure is often invisible, and within the ‘winning’ mentality of the modern world it is an almost taboo subject. One might controversially argue that success is the tip of an iceberg, below which resides the ‘failure’ of many individuals, systems, and the relationships between them. Recent events show these failures can affect entire nations as well as individuals, be it physically, socially, or mentally. From the world’s conflict zones and the migration of peoples, to the welfare of athletes and management of crime, across society and countries there is a pattern of failure to act or failure from acting. This viewpoint casts failure as wholly detrimental, yet the failure of a structure, body, material, idea, government, policy, or process can also precipitate its development.  

The festival of failure, through its talks, discussions and events seeks multidisciplinary advances in mental, physical, creative, systemic, and structural resilience to failure in order to better:

  • accept, exploit, and learn from failure.
  • minimise risk aversion and the fear of failure.  
  • anticipate, identify and remedy points of failure. 
  • manage the failure ‘envelope’.
  • deal with the consequences of failure once inevitable.
  • use failure to understand structures, systems, culture, and society.

Featuring IAS Visiting Fellows - 

Professor Antulio J. Echevarria II (US Army War College)
Professor Niels Ørtenblad (University of Southern Denmark)
Professor Ruqiang Yan (Xi’an Jiaotong University)
Associate Professor Wyke Stommel (Radboud University)