Event: 1st June 2015, Brussels


The European Commission’s Learning and Development Unit (DG Human Resources and Security) has invited Dr Kass to make a presentation and conduct a workshop on the subject “Learning from mistakes”. This workshop is part of a Learning Week organized by this unit.

Participants at this week-long event, 1-5 June, will come from the European Commission and its sister institutions, such as the European Parliament, and the Council of the European Union.

The objective of the plenary presentation and the interactive workshop is to create awareness of the importance of learning lessons, how to glean, structure and streamline the important learnings, facilitate sharing such learnings usefully with others, and encourage transparency and collaboration across the organization.

A two-pronged format for this session is foreseen.

Plenary Presentation

The session will start with a plenary presentation in a lecture “Ted Talk” format. Experiences will be drawn both from human spaceflight as well as current events and past history. Story telling will be accompanied by hard questions regarding the difficulties of establishing a culture of sharing potentially embarrassing or sensitive information, and the consequences and costs of not doing so.

Interactive workshop

An interactive workshop will immediately follow the plenary presentation. The participants will be debriefed on a number of critical and challenging potential problems normally encountered, and annoying and sensitive barriers to be overcome when trying to introduce into an organization a culture and system for sharing lessons learned. A set of challenging questions will be addressed to the participants, who will then break up into thematic groups to discuss, deliberate and find solutions and answers to these questions. The groups will then reconvene and present their results to the workshop as a whole, followed by a panel discussion on their findings. The panel will comprise the respective group leaders and will be moderated by the speaker.