Learn to fail, learn from failures

2.5 hours

Short overview:

The workshop will teach participants to discover and understand the concept of Intelligent Fast Failure through practical exercises, and to become aware of the importance of failures and of learning fast from experiments. The participants will also learn how the concept helps in the innovation process, in developing better and better ideas. In the learning process, the participants will use a digital design tool, simple to use in any context, for developing professional or personal digital content.

Objectives of the workshop:

  • To understand the concept of Intelligent Fast Failure and how this concept is used in the innovation process;
  • To be able to generate learning from failures and overcome and understand the fear of failure. 
Methods: Group work
Materials: Marshmallows Paper tape Spaghetti
30 mins.
Material usage/Remarks:

Spaghetti (20 spaghetti sticks and paper tape). You could add marshmallows to the building materials


Split the group into teams of 4-5 people. Each team receives 20 spaghetti sticks and one paper tape. Instruct the teams to use the spaghetti and the paper tape to build the tallest structure. They have 18 minutes for this challenge.

While the teams work, observe how they work (do they have a strategy?, do they go directly into building?, how many times they try to build the structure?, how many ideas they try out?, etc.).

Once the time is up, reflect together with the teams on the process - what strategy they had, if they had one, how many ideas they had, how they tried out the ideas, how many times they built the structure, etc.

*The exercise is adapted from Tom Wujec - Spaghetti Challenge

Methods: Mini-lecture
Materials: Flipchart paper Laptop Markers Video-projector
10 mins.
Material usage/Remarks:

Use video-projector and laptop, if you choose to make a digital presentation of the theory.


Present the theory on Intelligent Fast Failure (see the theory part from this chapter).

Methods: Individual work Presentations
Materials: Canva app Laptop Phone Tablet Video-projector
40 mins.
Material usage/Remarks:

Video-projector and laptop for the presentations of the failures resume.

In this exercise you play a very important role in keeping up the morale of the young people. Make sure that when the young people choose their failures, they focus on the lessons learned from those experiences, and not on the failures. When presenting, ask them to insist on these lessons learned. Keep in mind they need to experience the “learning from failure” concept.


Ask each participant to download on their phone/tablet Canva app.

Then, tell them that they have to use the app to build their resume of failures. They need to identify at least three big failures in their lives and put them as relevant experiences in the resume. Then, they also need to add for each experience, the lessons they have learnt from the failures, as “skills developed”. They will use resume templates from Canva or they can create something from scratch. 

The participants who want to share their failure resumes with the group, they will share their final Canva contents (.png or .pdf) on the common social media group created for the workshop.

Ask the participants to share why they chose those failures and how those failures and lessons learnt helped them in life.

Methods: Open discussions
10 mins.

Reflect with the participants on what they learned throughout the session and how they plan to use what they learnt or practised: how they plan to use the concept of intelligent fast failure in their work, mainly in innovation processes.


Please share your comments, feedbacks, suggestions about this workshop here.