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Overcoming Big Challenges: Learning from Failure

Solutions Journalism Network

Challenges are endemic to social entrepreneurship. Learning from our failures and helping new ideas spread are major steps to overcoming them.

By embracing and understanding the lessons of a failed solution, changemakers can turn failure into a learning experience. Importantly, these stories do not have to include a new response after learning from failure; rather, the stories present an initiative or multiple initiatives as failure and goes into analysis of HOW it failed, as a learning exercise in problem solving. This learning is the journalist’s responsibility, not the people involved in the failed initiative; disseminating their understanding of solutions that have not worked (yet) is a key part of solutions journalism's overall mission to provide a real-time view of how individuals and communities are overcoming their challenges. These debriefs of failure are particularly crucial in areas like political participation or climate change: issues with far-reaching impact and complicated, thorny roots.

In overcoming our biggest challenges, we learn that success and failure are rarely cut-and-dry. 

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