Failure successfully embraced at World Rechallenge Forum with rich case studies

From left) Kwon Seon-pil (Head of the private planning group for the Fail Expo), Mona Ismail (President of AaltoES), Jeon Hae-cheol (Minister of the Interior and Safety), Kwon Chil-seung (Minister of SMEs and Startups), and Lee Jeong-hee (Chairman of Korea Women Startup Forum) | Photo by AVING News

The Ministry of Interior and Safety (MOIS, Minister Jeon Hae-cheol) and the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS, Minister Kwon Chil-seung) announced on Oct. 13 that it successful ended World Rechallenge Forum. In the forum, major achievements of the Fail Expo held for four years at the Small and Medium Business DMC Center and the culture of overcoming domestic and international failures and rechallenge were shared.

This World Rechallenge Forum was prepared to talk about the failures of individuals, companies, and countries that are experiencing failure due to COVID-19 beyond Korea and prepare for the era of with living with COVID together. Also, experts and people in the related field will gather to share cases of failure and rechallenge so that failure can be converted into rechallenge, and further to spread a culture of acceptance in Korea and abroad.

From 2020, the MOIS has changed the Fail Expo to a year-round operation, and is operating a private planning group composed of private expert by fields to communicate about policies and collect opinions in the field.

In the opening remarks, Minister of the Interior and Safety Jeon Hae-cheol said, “The Korean government has been making efforts to improve social perception of failure by holding the Fail Expo since 2018.” He also added, “We held the World Rechallenge Forum to broadly discuss the value of failure and share international cases. In particular, this forum is more meaningful because it was held on the Day for Failure, which started in Finland in 2010 and is spreading all over the world.”

Jeon Hae-cheol, Minister of the Interior and Safety, attending the World Rechallenge Forum on Oct. 13 to give an opening remarks | Photo by AVING News

He also said, “At the World Rechallenge Forum to be held for the first time in Korea this year, we rediscovered the value of failure through sharing and active discussion of various failure cases between public and private companies, while sharing the common social value of failure and rechallenge into a larger global community. The government promises that it will continue to work with the international community to encourage overcoming failures and rechallenge.”

In the welcome speech that followed, Minister of SMEs and Startups Kwon Chil-seung said, “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic that continued for almost two years, Korea and the world is experiencing difficulties.” In the process of overcoming COVID-19, many companies were in despair, and the difficulties of small business owners were even greater. However, the Republic of Korea showed the power to overcome the crisis, and was able to once again look back on the meaning of failure and rechallenge.”

He then said, “Despite the difficult situation, we found opportunities thanks to the steady challenges of innovative venture companies and startups and the active support of the government, and the venture investment performance has grown rapidly compared to before COVID.”

As if to support this, the number of unicorn companies that was three in 2017 increased to 15 now. He showed pride in the event by saying, “If you look at the data released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) last year, Korea scored high in fear for failure in the world in the past. But, now, it surprised the world by being selected as the country with the lowest fear of failure for the second consecutive year.”

Kwon Chil-seung, Minister of SMEs and Startups, attending the World Rechallenge Forum on Oct. 13 to give a welcoming message | Photo by AVING News

Minister Kwon said, “In the future, the government will continue to improve the perception of failure and plan to help spread a win-win culture for rechallenge in the private sector. Failure is a valuable asset and a process of success. We will focus on the government’s policy capabilities so that the experiences of failure can be perceived as social assets.”

The keynote speech of the World Rechallenge Forum was attended by Kwon Seon-pil, head of the private planning group for the Fail Expo. On the content of the change and the path to be taken by the Fail Expo, Kwon Seon-pil, Head of the private planning group for the Fail Expo, presented the role of the Fail Expo in improving the perception of failure in our society and the development plan for the Fail Expo to support the recovery and rechallenge of the people in the COVID era.

At the opening remark, Kwon said, “The Fail Expo led by the Ministry of Interior and Safety started in 2018 and is entering its fourth year this year. The Fail Expo is a challenge to imagine and make a society that goes beyond the series Squid Game, which is a hit all over the world.”

He continued, “The process of overcoming failure should begin with the provision of a time and space where one can bring out personal failure experiences without fear. Also, in order to bring out the experience of failure, we should be able to destroy all barriers that become obstacles. The venue to freely express oneself with various artistic activities like body gestures, drawings, and music besides language must be prepared first.”

Kwon also emphasized the role of the government, saying, “Overcoming failure must be connected with various innovative activities such as technological, social, government, and administrative innovations. For example, administrative innovations such as regulatory reform, active administration, and inter-ministerial collaboration are also starting points to solve various failures experienced by the people. All activities in Fail Expo will not end here. All members of society must participate in the entire process of failure and recovery.”

Lastly, he said, “To learn about failure quickly and avoid failure, you must quickly and widely spread ways to overcome failure. Also, various institutions and policies that can promote these activities should be creatively developed and spread widely.”

World Rechallenge Forum Part 2 in progress

In the second part that immediately followed, a panel discussion was held on domestic and foreign public, private, and corporate failures, rechallenge cases, and development directions.

Ahn Young-no, a member of the private planning group for the Fail Expo, presented on the operation cases of the Fail Expo, Mona Ismail, President of AaltoES, presented on the operation cases of the World Day for Failure, and Marc H. Meyer, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Education at Northeastern University in the US, presented on case studies of companies.

Especially, Mona Ismail emphasized the importance of the perception of failure, and introduced ways to embrace failure in the society, the need for a mindset change, and the case study of Finland before the Day for Failure and Finland today, which attracted the audience.

In the panel discussion, Manoj Fernando, CEO of the Silicon Valley investment company Think Tomi, Yoon Nan-sil, Secretary for Institutional Reform of the Presidential Secretariat, and Seo Yong-seok, Head of the Future Strategy Research Center at the Korea Technology Institute participated.

Day for Failure, founded by AaltoES (Aalto Entrepreneurship Society) created by Aalto University students in 2010, was extended to World Day for Failure in 2012 with the participation of several countries including Germany, UK, and Canada.

This forum was broadcast live on Oct. 13 on the MOIS YouTube channel and the Fail Expo YouTube channel. The video (translated in Korean) can be viewed later on the MOIS YouTube channel.

Founder of World Day for Failure Mona Ismail says “If you don’t try because you’re afraid of failure, you’ll miss out on many opportunities!”