Beautiful Mistakes: The Psychology of Learning from FailureSummer Course

Student discussion during Cultural Diversity class.
Summer Study Tour
Major Discipline(s)
Psychology, Education / Educational Studies, Human Development
Location: Copenhagen
Session 2

To err is human. Although mistakes are inevitable, how we perceive and approach failures can help us transform them into beautiful mistakes. But what are the intrapersonal and interpersonal psychological factors that support or hinder learning and creativity? Inspired by Sir Alexander Fleming’s careless lab error that led to the accidental discovery of penicillin, we will explore the psychological and social processes that transform failures into opportunities for discovery, growth, and innovation. How does fear of making mistakes impact individuals, communities, and organizations? Which psychological climates allow individuals and communities to explore new territory, adapt to change, and engage in creative problem-solving? We will examine psychological theories and research combined with real-life cases to explore answers to these questions and consider how we can create optimal conditions for learning and innovation in the unfolding of beautiful mistakes.

Related Discipline(s)

This summer course would also be of interest to the following discipline(s):
Leadership Studies, Organizational Behavior


Gitte Vonsild

DIS Summer Faculty

Master's in Positive Psychology, minor in Psychology. M.Sc. in Economics. Specialized in the field of Applied Positive Psychology. Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) from the Coaches Training Institute, CTI. CFO at the Brewery Darguner Brauerei GmbH in Germany, 1997-2005. Self-employed coach and workshop leader since 2005. Lecturer on coaching & counseling, Positive Psychology, Positive Psychology coaching, change theory, and stress management at Metropolitan University College, 2008-2012. With DIS since 2011.