Failure Lab: change the talk on failure


THEIR STORIES ARE TOLD — Failure Lab will be coming to Hope College to open a discussion around the stigma of failure through experiences and entertainment. (Failure Lab)

It is way past graduation day, and the initial joy of leaving high school has turned into a mixture of excitement and fear.

For the incoming freshman, some of you already know what you want to do with your future and others have no idea at all.

For upperclassmen, almost all of you have chosen majors you want to pursue as well as internships you want to zone in on. But each journey and the decisions it comes with can lead to success or failure. Success is great; it’s a time for celebration. But what about when you fail?
This Thursday, in the Park Theatre from 7 – 9 p.m., Failure Lab will showcase the raw, untold stories of failure behind six local leaders. These leaders include Luciano Hernandez, Jennifer Owens, David Tebo, Pastor Willie Watt, Mirka Wilderer and Austin Asamo-Tutu.

Failure Lab was founded in 2012 by a group of professionals in West Michigan to eliminate the fear of failure and encourage intelligent risk taking. The goal is to share personal stories of failure, publish crowdsourced lessons and instigate discussion.

This is an important opportunity for those interested in entrepreneurship, as well as anyone interested in learning from the personal and thought-provoking lessons of others lives. The evening will also feature live entertainment – including some musicians from Hope College. Students interested in attending can purchase tickets for $10 at

Failure Lab provides a chance to come together with other students and members of Hope and address and crush the stigma of failure. Failure Lab integrates an evening of storytellers and entertainers. Storytellers share their personal failures and intimate stories of what went wrong in their lives. These aren’t meant to be a great lesson learned or talk of who to blame, but different ways of overcoming different situations.
Entertainers recount their most memorable brushes with failure. Then performances follow the stories shared to clear the air and allow students time to recharge.

The audiences job is to reflect on what the story means and is encouraged to share any thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #failurelab during the performance between stories.

Failure Lab uses a different curriculum designed to change the conversation about failure.

The Laboratory experience helps organizations and students replace fear and resistance with excitement and learning. When most events and seminars focus on success, the focus doesn’t communicate the tough breakthrough and lessons learned. The labs have shown to be cathartic, inspiring and thought provoking.

This event is beneficial to all and students are encouraged to attend and experience what Failure Lab has to offer.

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