Celebrating Failure

Headshot of smiling woman with red hair in grey topBy Julia Smeed, Innovation Hub Project Lead

The University of Toronto is home to some of Canada’s most famous research, discoveries and inventions.  It’s important to remember, however, that these successes were often preceded by many failures. The Innovation Hub seeks to create a culture where failure is allowed, and even encouraged in the creative process.  Our failures spark curiosity and allow us to learn.  Failure propels us towards innovation!

There are so many great reasons to fail!  Just take the advice of businessman, engineer & inventor Elon Musk:

Elon Musk Quote: "Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough" #CNBC25 - Elon Musk in an interview with Fast Company.

In fact, there are a tremendous number of great failure resources.  We’ll share a few of our favourites below and we welcome you to share more of your own in the comments section.


Check out the 2011 Engineers Without Borders Failure report

Failure is also a popular TED subject, with bestselling Authors Elizabeth Gilbert and JK Rowling speaking candidly on the topic.

Studying failure is even a new form of professional development.  For example, at FailCon, entrepreneurs and investors study failures so that they can discover new innovations and seek to change directions and iterate more quickly!

What are some of your favourite failure stories, quotes and/or resources? Share them in the comments section!




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