Learning from Failure – Airing our dirty laundry

 Registration is closed for this event
An event from Greater Manchester-based Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise staff.

Voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations are usually encouraged to focus on successes to demonstrate to funders and policymakers that they deliver impact and value for money. Such polished success stories hide the fact that elements of failure are a natural part of most projects. 

Nobody likes talking about failure, but doing so could help us unlock useful insights not only about what works but how it works. GMCVO has worked with members of the Greater Manchester Third Sector Research Network to organise a free one-day event that hopes to change this.

This event invites participants to begin to talk about when something went wrong, about problems that presented themselves, when projects took an unexpected turn and required adaptation, and what we can learn from these. 

This event is for staff, volunteers and researchers based in the VCSE in Greater Manchester, as well as funders and commissioners for a day of reflections and discussions about what failure means and how telling stories of failure can enable organisational learning.

The event is a chance for participants to:

  • Hear stories about learning from failure

  • Learn from others

  • Reflect on what failure is and why it matters

  • Learn to communicate about failure 

  • Hear from evaluation experts about methods that prioritise learning from failure

The event will combine informative and entertaining presentations about learning from failure on the one hand and smaller working groups where experiences and approaches to integrating a learning culture into daily work can be discussed in a protected atmosphere.

The aim is to provide a supportive space that will encourage participants to reflect about the problem-solving that is inherent in delivering projects in order to begin developing their own stories about ‘failure’. 

The event was funded by the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and organised by GMCVO and the following members of the Greater Manchester Third Sector Research Network: Alex Tan, AT Research; Hayley Trowbridge, People’s Voice Media; Katja Levy, Manchester China Institute; Simon Armour, Doctoral candidate at MMU and Mental Wellbeing Programme Manager, Stockport Council; Melvin Bradley, Mental Health Independent Support Team; Dave Morgan, Broughton Trust.

Please note: Greater Manchester-based Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector colleagues will be given priority if the event becomes is oversubscribed. In this case attendance will be limited to one place per organisation.

Directions and map to GMCVO


23rd June, 2022 9:45 AM through  4:15 PM
St Thomas Centre
Ardwick Green North
Manchester, M12 6FZ

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