I’m very pleased to announce that planning for the next Pecha Kucha Night in Delhi has already begun. The next event will be held on Friday, the 17th of May 2013, and will focus on the exciting and highly fraught topic of Failure.
What is failure? Is it good, bad, undesirable, desirable, or just plain unavoidable? How does one deal with failure? Will society ever learn to accept failure? Is a failure always a failure, or can it lead to success? On what basis does one judge something as a success or a failure?
Failure is one of those nebulous concepts that you canâ€™t quite pin down. On the one hand, it can be conceived as that undesirable state of not meeting an intended target or goal, which makes it a negative, deep source of embarrassment and even inadequacy. Indeed, this extreme aversion and fear of failure is prominent in Indian cultureâ€™s view of the concept. On closer examination, however, failure reveals itself to be far more complex, and closely integrated to its opposite, success.
For one, neither failure nor success would be possible without first venturing out into the world and trying out an idea. Moreover, success itself isnâ€™t an absolute state, but rather a process, usually comprised of many failures, all of which serve en route as valuable lessons and learnings. The design process, for example, integrates a kind of structured approach to failure, leaving room for many small, controlled failures (also called concepts or prototypes), which then serve as a way to learn, iterate, and improve the original design. The same can be said about the experience of entrepreneurship, the discourse around which has led to a kind of re-claiming of the concept of failure.
Failure, ultimately, has many dimensions and can not only serve as a lesson to improve ourselves, personally or professionally, but also serve as a means to identify larger social opportunities. This is particularly true for systemic failures and structural failures that are collectively observed and experienced.
This Pecha Kucha Night aims to explore this concept through a wide range of different perspectives on the topic. While some speakers will talk about the concept of failure and what it means to them, some will describe their personal and professional experiences with failure, and others will talk about how they treated social failures as opportunities. Speakers will include entrepreneurs, designers, urban planners, journalists, government representatives, representatives from NGOs and social sector organizations, among others.