past event
Urban Innovation

Who Gets to Learn from Failure?

What are the enabling and limiting factors of public entrepreneurship, in and outside of government? How are these factors shared with public servants across all races and genders? How does the unequal treatment of women and minority entrepreneurs in the private sector compare to the public sector’s treatment of all public entrepreneurs? Who is given the benefit of the doubt and gets to learn from failure, and who does not? This webinar will explore these questions and more as we seek to explore the topic of public entrepreneurship, equity, and failure within the public sector.

Co-hosted with the Centre for Public Impact.


  • Mitch Weiss, Professor of Management Practice in the Entrepreneurial Management unit and the Richard L. Menschel Faculty Fellow at the Harvard Business School, Author of We the Possibility
  • Victoria Woodards, Mayor of the city of Tacoma, WA
  • Bobby Humes, Director of Human Resources, City of Seattle, WA
  • Josh Sorin, Program Director, Government Innovation, Centre for Public Impact
  • Moderated by Jennifer Bradley, Director, Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation


In early 2020, the Centre for Public Impact partnered with the Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation to explore why it’s so difficult to learn from failure in the public sector and what public servants can do about it. The bulk of our findings were informed by the six local governments, 20 departments, and over 150 public servants who participated in our workshops. The program resulted in a report summarizing the team’s findings: How to Fail (Forward): A Framework for Fostering Innovation in the Public Sector.

Event information
Thu Apr 8, 2021
1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT