Fail Faire DC 2011

Fail Faire DC 2011 was an amazing celebration of failure as a mark of innovation and risk-taking on October 13th 2011, at the World Bank. We had great speakers with fun, fast, Ignite-style presentations of their professional failures. Audience participation was not only encouraged, it was mandatory! We are all peers and none of us is perfect. We had much laughter as we navel-gazed at where we have all gone wrong in ICT and international development.

Yet we LEARNED from failure. Failure is no reason to be ashamed. Failure shows leadership, innovation, and risk-taking in pushing the boundaries of what is possible in scaling ideas from pilots to global programs. There is great value in examining our mistakes as we go beyond the easy and the simple. So while we encouraged irreverence and humor, we improved our profession too.

Oh and if you wanna get in on Fail Faire DC 2012, be sure to sign up to get alerts.

Continuing the Fail Faire DC theme

The learning was more than just in the room too. Online and in-person, here are several ways to stay in the FailFaireDC theme:

  1. Read Plan’s CEO on her experience. Dr. Tessie San Martin has a great write up of her thoughts on FailFaireDc and failure in general.
  2. Read the article. We had deep coverage, complete with the academic underpinnings to our erstwhile activities.
  3. Join Admitting Aid Failure, the second Aid Blog Forum. The aid bloggers are taking our idea to the Internets.
  4. Check out the FailFaireDC photos on Flickr. Relive your favorite slides and remember your favorite presenters.
  5. Engage via the #FailFaireDC hashtag on Twitter. During and after the event, #FailFaireDC was trending on Twitter as we discussed the larger themes and issues to improve ICT4D
  6. Look for a FailFaireNYC. Mobile Active is teaming with Unicef to have a FailFaire in New York City this December.

Most of all, remember to fail in everything you do. Only then are you showing leadership and innovation in pushing the boundaries of what is possible in scaling ICT and international development.

Fail Faire DC 2011 Sponsors

Event Particulars

Fail Faire DC 2011 was brought to you by theWorld Bank, Development Gateway, Inveneo, Jhpiego, and Facilitating Change.


  • 6:00pm: Welcome and drinks
  • 6:30pm: #FAIL-Slam
  • 7:30pm: Open Discussion
  • 8:00pm: Mingling, learning, networking, more drinks

Featured Speakers

  • Brian Forde, President, Llamadas, S.A.
  • Kristin Peterson, CEO & Co-founder, Inveneo
  • Dr. Tessie San Martin, CEO, Plan International USA
  • Erin Mote, Chief of Party, USAID Global Broadband and Innovations Alliance
  • Andrea Bosch, ICT Advisor and Chief of Party, TILO Egypt, Creative Associates
  • Dr. Harshad Sanghvi, Vice President of Innovations & Medical Director, Jhpiego
  • Allison Stone, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
  • Jacobo Quintanilla, Director of Humanitarian Media, Internews Network
  • Samia Melhem, Senior Operations Officer, TWICT, World Bank
  • Sean DeWitt, Technology Programs Manager, Grameen Foundation
  • Gerhard Pohl, Senior Director, Development Gateway

If you would like to participate in Fail Faire DC 2012, be sure to sign up to get alerts and updates on this and future Fail Faire DC events.