What, ‘failure’ can be a positive experience?

You might have noticed that the theme for this years Melbourne International Student Conference (MISC) is ‘Failure Future Focus’. You might also have wondered why we have included ‘failure’ as a theme – after all, the experience of failure isn’t something we seek out.

Well, there is a good reason why we included the word ‘failure’. The thing is, we have all experienced failure in some form. Perhaps you once failed a test, failed to make a relationship work, or simply said something that you later regretted. Failure is part of everyone’s experience. It is even what enables good leaders to create positive change.

How does failure influence leadership skills?

Let’s take a step back. In past years, MISC has focused on discussing careers, leadership and creating positive change. What that means to each individual can be vastly different – what is a meaningful career for me might not interest you at all. However, what is central to both our ideal careers is the idea of leadership. That doesn’t mean you have to necessarily be a manager or executive, but rather that you can help others around you be their best selves too. Being a leader means being able to influence others in a constructive way – whether it is working towards a common revenue goal, setting a clear direction in a group project, or helping your friends see new perspectives.

What does any of this have to do with the experience of failure? Well, failure is how we learn. When we try something new, chances are we will fail in some way. We then evaluate why we failed, and adjust the way we go about the task next time. Being able to reflect on our experiences of failure enables us to plan better for the future, and help others around us avoid failing the same way. However, we often shy away from discussing failure, and see it as something entirely negative. By doing so we miss out on valuable opportunities to improve in our academic, professional or personal lives.

In this year’s MISC we want to change that – we want to celebrate experiences of failure so that we can all benefit.

MISC 2019

This is what we want to achieve with MISC 2019; to reflect on our failures and what we learned from them, to think about how what we learned can help us shape the future, and then get focused on how we will get there.

Failure, Future, Focus.

Discounted early bird tickets are available to students until May 1st, so register now.

I look forward to seeing you there!


Anne Louise – Meld Community board member, MISC project coordinator