This week’s class addressed the role of public forums for developing best practices and learning from project mistakes. The two biggest examples covered were the FAILFare and the Dutch Institute of Brilliant Failures. These groups provide outlets for positively critiquing projects and help facilitate the dialogue necessary for future successes.
That said, forums like FAILFaire are not exclusive to the field of international development. One such forum which has spread across the globe and appeals to a variety of fields is Pecha Kucha. The format is simple: 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide. The presentations are often humorous, the space is often a bar in order to promote “thinking and drinking”. These characteristics of Pecha Kucha combine to create a very casual setting amongst peers that allows for honest, unguarded dialogue on successes and failures.
The event can be educational in other interesting ways when you consider its unique format. The setting appeals to millennials as it is fast-paced, high-energy, and to the point. This is key, the 20 seconds per slide rule, as it keeps the presenter from beating around the bush or otherwise obfuscating his or her failures. The informality of it all, combined with its directness, is why the collaborative atmosphere can lead to real assessment and learning. I highly suggest everyone reading this blog to find out the next Pecha Kucha in their city and give it a try.
The next Pecha Kucha event scheduled for New Orleans is May 2nd; however, no official information has been made public at this time, so it may be postponed indefinitely.