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Webinar 1: Failing Forward

16 March 2021 | 10am - 11.15am AEDT

How can governments create a culture that allows them to learn from failure?

In this webinar, we explored insights from city leaders, leading academics and public servants around what it takes to build a culture that supports and even encourages failure as a productive and inherent part of successful innovation.

During the session we discussed topics such as exploring shifts in mindset, relationship building, new systems and processes, and fostering external ecosystems that embrace innovation.


  • Andi Mirviss (Program Manager, Centre for Public Impact)

  • Peter Shergold (Chancellor, Western Sydney University)

  • Tina Walha (Director, Innovation & Performance, City of Seattle)

Facilitated by:

  • Subho Banerjee (Deputy CEO, Research and Advisory, ANZSOG)

Materials Hub

To take our webinars further, we’ve collated a wide range of material exploring Failing Forward. Scroll down to explore.

The Webinar

Watch the webinar, and read more about what our CoP is saying.

  • Webinar wrap-ups: Check out key insights and highlights from the webinar, as well as a record of our webinar group chat.

  • CoP digests: Check back soon - we’ll be editing and uploading content here shortly after our first webinar.

The Theory

Dive more deeply into this topic by learning more through blogs, articles and reports.

In Practice

We’ve collated case studies and material to illustrate what these ideas look like in practice, and offer frameworks and tools to support experimentation with a similar approach in your work.

  • CPI’s report, How to Fail (Forward) provides a framework for fostering innovation in the public sector. Insights were derived from Failure Foundries - read more about them in the report!

  • In The Learning Communities Handbook, Louise Wilson and Dr Toby Lowe describe a model for teams that enables peer accountability and positive error culture.

  • CPI’s article, “When impact falls short” details how we can learn lessons from policy ‘failure’ and sets out a few policy ‘failure’ case studies to learn from.

  • The Australian National Audit Office’s Better Practice Guide explores 10 case studies from Australian government agencies, highlighting key observations and lessons learned.

  • CPI interviewed leaders in local government to understand their experiences in failing forward. Read our interviews with Carrie S. Cihak, Chief of Policy at King County Metro; David Noguera, Director of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization at the City of Dallas; Bobby Humes, Director of the Seattle Department of Human Resources; and Kate Bender, Deputy Performance Officer at DataKC.

  • A number of event series have been created to view failure in a different light, and some are open to you organising your own event in the series! Fail Festival, Fuckup Nights and Fail Fest are the three biggest organisers.

Join us

Our Community of Practice is a forum for conversations over the course of the webinar series, as well as a chance to build new relationships with like-minded people passionate about reimagining government. Content in webinars will be brought to life, with interactive sessions, conversations and networking opportunities.

Register below, and join us as we reimagine government.

Join our Community of Practice