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Fail Log

Check back often for stories and perspectives from Fail Safe speakers and organizers.

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Fail Log #4 - Leo Wong Believes Failure Can Be the Best Education

Leading up to Fail Safe, we're asking speakers and panelists to spill the beans about their lives, work, and experiences with failure. Read on and learn a little bit about who you'll be connecting with this October.


Next up, we have Leo Wong, whose knowledge and passion for social innovation is helping to create the sustainable and socially-responsible leaders of tomorrow. As Founding Director of MacEwan University's Social Innovation Institute, he works with innovators when they're at their most impressionable — as students. Such a role has allowed Leo to reflect on all manners of failure, and he's bringing these experiences to Fail Safe's Friday afternoon Innovation Panel.



Tell us a little bit about yourself.


I am an Assistant Professor at the School of Business at MacEwan University and am the Founding Director of the Social Innovation Institute. I have a background in the nonprofit sector and see the value of applying business concepts to nonprofit organizations (and vice versa!).


My PhD is in Marketing and specifically Consumer Behaviour. I have volunteered for a number of organizations, sitting on various boards locally, and internationally as well. I have a 7-year old daughter and a 4-year old son, so suffice it to say, my days are filled with lots of energy both at school and at home.


What's your earliest memory of failing at something?


In Grade 2, I decided to audition for school choir. I was asked to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It didn’t go well. But I figured that this was just a school choir, everyone was going to get in right? Nope. I was one of the only kids who didn’t make the cut. I felt horrible about being rejected, but fortunately, it didn’t deter me from trying new things. The bad news is I still can’t sing today.


What do you hope attendees will go away with when they attend Fail Safe 2018?


To learn that from failure comes the greatest learning opportunities. Because of failure, you find a different way… a better and improved way of doing things. The more you practice responding from failure, the easier it is to benefit from it. The hardest might be the first few times you experience failure, but with experience, you learn to respond productively from failure.


What's the key to letting go and learning from failure?


The key is to forget about your ego. Your ego may be holding you back, in part because you believe there are expectations of people to be successful in the traditional sense. If you live your own life, self-confident that you are following your own path, then failure becomes a welcome opportunity to learn and not something to feel embarrassed about, or something to hide from.


To learn more about Leo, the Social Innovation Institute, and Roundhouse, head over to the Roundhouse website or give them a follow on Twitter at @roundhouse


Connect with Leo and many other innovative thinkers this October at Fail Safe. Register now.