It's a failure only if you don't get anything out of it, Thomas Edison said he knew 999 ways that a light bulb did not work; yet we have lights today.
— Ben Carson, Take The Risk (p. 36)
This interactive 90 minute workshop demonstrates the importance of learning from failure and provides an opportunity for Wikimedia project leaders to learn from each other.
Participants learn how fail fests are accelerating knowledge sharing and innovation through a safe and structured peer learning exchange.
Participants will find value in learning from failure.
Participants will learn, practice and gain comfort in sharing stories of failure.
Participants will learn how to easily share learning through creating learning patterns.
The audience for this workshop are program and chapter leaders who wish to share what they learned executing a program or activity. It is likely that participants will represent both volunteers and some chapter staff.
Ideal for a group of (10 - 20).
Hosting and Activities Logistics
Fail Fest is a peer learning session that can be facilitated by Wikimedia Community Leaders.
Is is appropriate as a conference format or can be used as a tool for curating knowledge in any community.
Ideal room set-up is round tables with 6 - 8 people.
Computer/LCD Projector with speakers required.
Paper Chart for posting ground rules
Supplies and Materials
Fail Fest Reference Guide for each Participant
Learning Pattern Templates (2 - 3) for each table of 6
The workshop consist of outlining the power of failure stories to prompt innovation and the rich sharing of experiences by Wikimedia leaders, who tried something that didn’t work as they had planned and their reflection on what they would do differently.
Be prepared to learn, laugh, lead and listen to the failures and lessons learned, so as a movement we can fail fast and grow faster through shared learning and problem solving.
Be prepared to share or reach out to community leaders who can think about a story of failure to launch the peer exchange. (Use the guide to Fail Fest Storytelling ) as a Frame.
A sample letter to participants can be used if you know who the participants are in advance.
Review the Fail Fest Quick Reference Guide for Sharing Failures and Creating Learning Patterns
Print off the template for Learning Patterns (1 or 2 per table)
LCD Projector with Speaker
Fail Fest Quick Reference Guide
Learning Pattern Templates (3 - 4 per table)
Chocolate Chip Cookies for Participants (Connected with a story shared in the module about failure).
Post the Ground Rules for Fail Fest on a Paper Chart
Play the multi-media with stories and quotes of famous failures. Have this playing as participants arrive to set the mood. (Link to be provided).
Bring Chocolate Chip Cookies if you can (They will be enjoyed and are linked to a story of failure)
Use slides and instructional guidance provided in the notes to facilitate your session.
Keep program on time with the agenda suggested to insure sufficient time for peer sharing and capturing of the knowledge pattern.
Have participants complete session evaluation.
Post Learning Pattern in the Learning Pattern Library.
↑Breaks may vary from site to site according to local guidelines or class preference.
About this journal
Use this learning journal to capture your Ah Ha Ideas and next steps to apply course content to your Wikimedia Community Projects. Also write down community members you connect with on the topic for ongoing knowledge sharing.
Module 1: Define how failures create successes
Questions for Reflection/Practical Application:
What does "FAIL" stand for?
Have you ever documented a failure to help others in the movement?
Module 2: Fail fest story share
How might you use the fail fest format in your community?
What was one Ah-Ha idea you had from listening to stories of failures?
Module 3: Learning pattern creation
Questions and Reflections:
How can you use the learning pattern library to improve program design in your community?
As an experienced program leader, what learning patterns can you improve?
Module 4: Reflections and Next Steps
Questions and Reflections:
What tools an resources did you learn from this session that would be helpful?
What community members/staff do you want to connect with for ongoing learning exchange?