2018 Session Description

Embodying Failure
Making sense of leadership through imperfection

For adults • 2 x 90 minutes
Category: Insight
Maximum Participants: 20
Saturday 10:45am • Centennial 13
Time and location subject to change (what isn’t?)

Our bodies are time travel machines. They hold the memories of every success and failure for future use. Let’s employ the system we have – our senses – to travel back in time and use those failures to improve our leadership skills: from empathy to prototyping to creativity.

By developing mindfulness and generative stories, we can create a reality that makes sense of the past, transforms the present, and writes the future. According to interpersonal neurobiologists, the ability to turn our experiences into myths that teach us how to live is the number one predictor of future success.

We will walk out the door with new perspective on our gifts as leaders, giving permission to the people we lead to fail, because, as Truman Capote said, “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”

The Skinny: 3 things you will do in this session

  • Activate your senses to connect with embodied memory (aka taste, smell, listen)
  • Unlock the potential of storytelling to make sense of “failure”
  • Learn what Samuel Beckett meant when he wrote “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Tamara Christensen
Phoenix, AZ

Tamara Christensen is on a mission to transform the way it feels to work. The founder of Idea Farm, she is a passionate and empathetic facilitator, trainer, speaker and author. Tamara has nearly 20 years of experience blending design thinking, creative problem solving, collaboration, and research to help organizations build innovation capabilities and apply them to complex business challenges.

Tamara works with a range of organizations from small not-for-profits and local businesses to global Fortune 100 companies including Honeywell and 3M. In addition to an MSD in Design Thinking and doctoral studies in teaching creativity, she has earned various facilitation certifications including the Integrating Creative Leadership program at the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI), Lego® Serious Play® methods and materials and the Stormz digital collaboration tool for large groups and events.

Tamara presents at events around the globe including CPSI, CREA and Mindcamp. She has been described metaphorically as a glass of prosecco, a whirling dervish and a sharpie. Tamara’s book, F-ing Innovation: Why innovation is hard and what to do about it is now available on Amazon.

Tamara is a returning presenter. Click to see what they’ve presented in the past.


Jay Aquilanti
Orange County, CA

Jay Aquilanti, a dual US-Canadian California-based practitioner in creative problem solving (wow – take a breath!), leads a bi-coastal team of Innovation Catalysts for Yellow Shoes, Disney Parks’ in-house creative content group. No challenge is too small for Jay and his team as they work to solve challenges across the Disney Parks portfolio world-wide.

As a 20+-year cast member with he actively takes part in the creativity community having been a past presenter of Mindcamp, CPSI leader and even a red jacket of CREA – yes!

As a Toronto native, Jay has resided in Orange County CA since 2002 with his three daughters, and along with his partner, Tony and his three boys, it’s a Brady Bunch kind of adventure!

Attending Mindcamp for the first time was such a transformative experience, it REMAINS his all-time favorite gathering of a creative community!

Jay is a returning presenter. Click to see what they’ve presented in the past.

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