Failure:Lab Goes to College

Failure:Lab Goes to College
failure lab michigan state university
Courtesy of Failure:Lab.

On April 1, 2014, storytellers are coming together at Michigan State University’s Cobb Great Hall to tell stories of failure. This isn’t your average speaker event, instead speakers are going to lay bare some of the raw truths of their past without expectation for an audience of students, faculty, and community members.

Failure:Lab is an event designed to highlight personal stories of failure in a way that audiences can digest and react through reflection and conversation. The upcoming event at MSU is no different than other events. Showcasing stories told by a celebrated athletic director, an author, a rapper, an attorney, a CEO, and a dean, the audience will become intimately acquainted with the speaker and hopefully learn a little something about themselves along the way.

Speakers include the MSU athletic director Mark Hollis, author and journalist Mike Sager, Detroit emcee Miz Korona known for “8 Mile,” Detroit attorney Jacquise Purifoy, CEO Jeff Barrett who was recently named a Forbes Top 50 Influencer in Social Media and MSU College of Medicine Dean Marsha D. Rappley, M.D. In between each speaker, there will be performances by MSU students including Joe Hertler, Spartan Dischords and MSU Slam Poetry. Audience members are invited at these breaks in the speaker line-up to share their reactions in a variety of ways including using the hashtag #FailureLab on Twitter.

failure lab michigan state university
Courtesy of #BareItAll.

Last year, Failure:Lab hosted a sold out event in Grand Rapids and got some major attention with their event in Detroit. This year, they are planning to go a bit bigger with tentative plans for an event in New Orleans and another in Mexico City. Before that though, in partnership with Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU), Failure:Lab is testing out their model on the college campus. The stories will be aimed at impacting youth and look at the ways in which students are entering into a new phase of their lives. This is an experiment of sorts that is riding on a few assumptions about what folks on a college campus are looking for and what kind of impact an event like this will have in this venue and others like it.

All Failure:Lab productions are a serious venture and there’s no telling how the audience will react to each story, but the folks behind Failure:Lab are looking forward to the foray into the university culture. Their next event will be in Grand Rapids on May 30, 2014 and they are still looking for speakers to round out that event. Know someone that might have a good story? Michigan has been lucky to be a host to so many events with a great impact on their communities, it will be great to see what this looks like elsewhere later this year.

Want to check out the event at MSU? Get your tickets here. Find out more about Failure:Lab on their website, “Like” them on Facebook, “Follow” them on Twitter and follow #FailureLab, or check out their YouTube videos.

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I was raised in vacation-land, Traverse City, where I was one of the lucky ones to enjoy the beach in the summer and snowboard through the winters. Then, I went to college and lived in East Lansing and Lansing, where I learned about sports and getting things done. Now I'm quite honestly falling head over heels for Detroit. I solemnly believe that life is too short for bad coffee, yucky wine, and poorly crafted beer. This means that Michigan is the perfect place for me! My spare time is spent reading or exploring the outdoors. E-mail me: joanna@awesomemitten.com.