Failure is almost everywhere, and unsuccess is deeply embedded into stereotypes about regions, nations, business, gender and race. Failure to embrace crucial philosophical ideas and scientific breakthroughs is often considered a key factor to explain differential paths of development. And historical, long-term narratives add an additional layer to notions of failure. But while failure is conspicuously referred to in public debate, and in local and global politics, it nevertheless remains an obscure and elusive notion. How is it possible that a concept often used to relegate and marginalize individuals and whole communities is so ill defined?
The dynamics between inclusiveness and the failure to integrate is a key social problem of our present, one with deep historical and philosophical roots. Discourses on failure are also present in many other aspects of contemporary societies, from the individual entrepreneur to ideas on international leadership. But quantitative approaches to development and integration need to be supplemented with critical awareness of the consequences of attributing failure to groups, individuals or even nations. Inclusiveness, and integration in all social institutions are challenges that demand reassessing the criteria used to identify failure. At the same time, it is necessary to promote a clear understanding of the temporary nature of failure and the possibilities of reversing and challenging failures. While failure is a heavy and paralyzing category, a concept crafted to perpetuate colonial dominion and legitimize inequalities, positive psychology, engineering and philosophy among other disciplines have pointed to several positive aspects of failure and recovery. REVFAIL project aims to foster widespread reflection on the topic and to provide critical tools for schools, associations and community structures to analyse and revert (auto)imposed and external narratives of failure.
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Funding SchemeMSCA-RISE - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE)
1099 085 Lisboa
75270 Paris 6
7600 Buenos Aires