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Learning from Failure

Published January 22, 2013

by iris_author

Location: SSB W256, Schulich School of Business
Day: Tuesday, March 26
Time: 7:00-8:00 PM

Guest Speaker: Ashley Good, Engineers without Borders and Founder Admitting Failure
Ashley started Admitting Failure in January 2011 and has built a career around being an expert on failure—or, more specifically, on learning from it.

Her work has catalyzed a change in the way we think about innovative problem solving, challenging our perception of failure and demonstrating the validity of an approach based on testing to learn, especially when faced with complex, non-linear problems.

Ashley has worked with a range of organizations—from donors and foundations to non-governmental organizations and private sector companies—to use failure as a learning tool and culture driver to support and foster innovation. Ultimately, her work helps increase organizational performance by maximizing the "learning ROI" from failures and building an acceptance of failure as a catalyst for the innovation and collaborative learning needed to address complex problems. 

Her work on failure has received coverage in a wide range of media and news outlets, including the Stanford Social Innovation ReviewThe Guardian, Harvard University’s Hauser Center for NonProfit OrganizationsTED talksBBC World and, most recently the New York Times. She also recently made the list of finalists for the HBR/McKinsey Innovating Innovation Award.

Before launching Admitting Failure, Ashley worked in Cairo at the co-ordinating center for the United Nations Environment Programme and as a management consultant in Vancouver. She joined Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) in 2009 where, after spending a year in Northern Ghana on agribusiness projects, she built and continues to lead EWB's Organizational Learning Team and annual Failure Report.

Sustainable Value Creation Speaker Series

This talk is part of an ongoing joint Speaker Series is brought to you by IRIS and Schulich Course Director Dr. Kevin McKague and his MGMT 6500 Sustainable Value Creation course (Business Model Innovation for Poverty Alleviation), which is cross-listed by both the Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business and the Nonprofit Management Leadership specializations at the Schulich School of Business. To see the other planned events, visit the Sustainable Value Creation Speaker Series page.

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