FAILURE: Accept. Learn. Overcome.
FAILURE: Accept. Learn. Overcome.


We are excited to announce our 2nd annual Phoenix Rising Summit! 




2016 Summit - Learn from Failure to Create Success


Please join us on Wednesday, May, 25th, 2016 from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm.


The day will feature stories from innovators & entrepreneurs & in the for-profit, nonprofit, government, & education sectors. Each will share their experiences of failure (setback & recovery), how they framed the challenge, and the tools or methods they used to move forward.


The specific details of their individual failure are not as relevant as how they have dealt with their setbacks and how they have prepared themselves to soar again.


We have released our first wave of speakers and panelists for the 2016 Summit and they will include:

  • Jennifer Ford Reedy, President, Bush Foundation - Finding success when the failure of one program launches another
  • Jim Schowalter, President & CEO, MN Council of Health Plans - Reinventing Healthcare: innovation, risk, & failure when working within the public sector
  • Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) - The perceptions and realities of failure when trying to address systemic change
  • Doreen Bortel, Senior Vice President, Optum / United Health Group - The challenges of failure when being a corporate innovator
  • Jon Bacal, Edupreneur, CEO & Founder, Venture Academy - The realities of failure and lessons learned when trying to reinvent education
  • Sondra Samuels, President & CEO, Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) - How saying "I was wrong" led to what is right
  • Marti Nyman, Vice President Business Development & Commercialization, Health Group - Exploring risk and failure when switching between employee and entrepreneur
  • Damon Shoholm, Director of the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation - The importance of personal values in rebounding from failure
  • Mark Boardman, Entreprenuer / President, ProvidaCare - Ups and down of a career focused on entrepreneurship
  • Diane Tran, System Director of Neighborhood Integration, HealthEast - Risk & experimentation in health prevention and community engagement
  • Cecily Sommers, Entrepreneur, Innovation Strategist / Speaker / Author - Breaking our addiction to certainty: a path to breakthrough innovation


Why events focused on Failure?


While we intellectually understand that failure is an integral part of innovation; for many, it is still hard to accept in real life.  If you let it, failure can stop you from becoming successful and thus it becomes the defining conclusion.  On the other hand these setbacks can become the strongest qualification for a future success.


In Greek mythology the Phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically reborn.  Quite frequently in entrepreneurship and innovation the individual that is able to rise from the ashes of their previous failure finds success.  But rebirth can only occur when the individual demonstrates the resilience to stand again and the community around them supports their effort.  We hope that Phoenix Rising events can help us in building that resilience and in creating that supportive community.


Both Silicon Valley and the East Coast have recognized the importance of failure in driving new ideas and new businesses.  They have created opportunities for their communities to come together to share their stories, learn from one another, and strengthen their resilience.  We need to embrace this in our backyard.  This is our attempt to “become the change that we seek” and help build that community here in Minnesota.  Join us!



2016 Summit - Learn from Failure to Create Success


Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM


Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN



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