Why failure matters
“Failure” is a word with few positive associations. A failure means that things did not work out quite as we wanted them to. Failures, however, are a necessity for learning and growth, on both personal and professional levels. You have to fall off a number of times before you learn how to ride a bike. Similarly, a company must learn from their own and others’ mistakes to improve their business. Nations also can learn from past policy, in order to improve and plan ahead.
Failures are obviously not very appealing. Who wants to fail at anything at all? Still, we have to face the fact that noone really succeeds on their frst attempt. If they do, they have probably learned from the mistakes of others. We are left with a dubious relationship with failures: we need them, or at least the lessons derived from them, yet we don’t really want them. We dread going down that necessary crooked path of failing and learning.
This 13th issue of Teknovatøren aims to shed light on this paradoxical situation. The contributions to this issue both embrace and criticize failures and point to some possible tragic consequences of them. Among the contributors is Nora Aagaard who writes about FailCon, a conference where entrepreneurs share the mistakes they have made. Jørgen Tresse writes about why we often fail to make good predictions, and Siv Helen Gjerstad argues for why sustainable transitions are in need of greater insights into the psychological nature of environmental behavior. These articles shed light on how failures are connected to human cognition and behavior. Sondre Nygaard considers how democracy is failing the poor and challenging the American Dream. Other contributions in this issue offer differing perspectives on failures in their own ways. I will leave it to you, the reader, to reﬂect on the messages in these articles.
Board of Directors
martin sigurd beyer
social media director
nora vilde aagaard
heidi elisabeth larsen
director of finance
Emilie Skogvang, Siv Helen Gjerstad, Nora Vilde Aagaard, Jørgen Tresse
Henrik Andersen, Joar Kvamsås, Anne Waldemarsen, Siv Helen Gjerstad, Jørgen Tresse
Layout: Silje Totland
Illustrations: Shutterstock, Adobe Stock
MAIN SPONSOR: Grønt punkt
ADDITIONAL SPONSORS: Frifond, Kulturstyret, Centre for Technology, Innovationand Culture (TIK)