The Mistakes Project

This article is one of a series of papers written as part of the “Mistakes, Learning, and Adaptation” Project. In November of 2007, a group of authors and practitioners met at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland, to discuss mistakes in community economic development.

According to Robert Giloth, director of Family Economic Success at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, constructive mistakes call into question key design assumptions about problems, strategic interventions, implementation, partners, and even methods of documentation and evaluation. Most important, constructive mistakes provide invaluable insights into problems and solutions, and could lay the groundwork for the next generation of investments.

For more information about “Mistakes, Learning, and Adaptation,” please contact Colin Austin at MDC Inc., the managing organization: or (919) 968-4531 ex. 321.

Bob Brehm served as director of Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation from 1978 through 1995. Since then, he has taught practitioners in communinity and organizational development and consulted for community groups.


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