Submit a failure
We would love to learn from your experience. Please submit a story of failure by clicking the button below and join those who are pushing for more humility, innovation and learning in the development sector.
- Admit something you failed at —no blaming. Be honest and genuinely self-critical of how you/your team/your organization could have done a better job.
- Please submit social impact project and work-related stories only. I appreciate personal failures deserve to be shared as well but this site is intended for learnings related to social impact work.
- The best stories set the context of the work; describe your actions, what happened, and what you learned; and describe the future implications of the failure and learning
- For readability, we suggest 400- to 500-word stories
- Include a photo related to your story
Detailed failure submission guidelines
- Critical factors influencing the story such as location, project objectives, assumptions, hypothesis, timeline
- Your actions/activities
- What assumptions led you to act in this way?
- The result/failure
- Why the failure happened? What happened?
- What does this mean for the assumptions and hypothesis raised earlier?
- Why it was a failure, any big picture/long-term impacts
- The learning (this is the most important part)
- What was learned and changed because of the failure?
- So what?
- What are the results of the learning?
- What change is likely to result?
- What are the future implications for you personally, your workplace and/or the development sector?
- How has the learning been institutionalized and/or influenced your work?
- Recommendations for other projects in similar situations
- Admit personal failures—no blaming. Be crazy-honest and genuinely self-critical of how you/your team/your organization could have done a better job.
- Attach a picture of you and a picture relating to your work/failure
- Expand acronyms
To make it rock
- Bring in the human element, like a really honest blog post, write it as a human, not an academic
- Use quotes/facts/numbers to add weight
- Link your failure into bigger root causes and failure trends in development
- Share your personal reflections on accepting failure and the process of being open about it