Look up “failure quotes” in Google and you’ll find the widest range of people talking about it – from Winston Churchill to Nelson Mandela to Oprah Winfrey and LeBron James and Michael Jordan. The gist of all of these inspirational quotes is that in order to succeed you need to fail, and that the most learning – and often success – takes place after that fail.
Such is the rationale behind the F***up Nights (FUN) initiative, a global movement born in Mexico in 2012 to publicly share – and learn from – failure stories. On November 3, a FUN was organized in Jerusalem, under the auspices of the Jerusalem Municipality, PresenTense, Siftech, and others. Michal Shilor, our Coordinator for the Grassroots Campaign for Tolerance and the founder / initiator of the growing 0202 Facebook page / web site “empire” that we’ve been mentoring, was one of the speakers.
Today all three pages have close to 70,000 likes and reach well over 100,000 weekly, including prominent journalists and researchers and municipality and national agency officials, and has been known to affect municipal policy. However, in the beginning, it almost closed.
It was the fall of 2015. The first page, 0202-A View from East Jerusalem, which translates news posts from Arabic into Hebrew, had opened 6 months previously. The translators began to see on the Facebook pages and Internet sites much more violent and hateful speech, and very little else. Then panic set in. ‘Is this what East Jerusalem is really like, always?’ the organizers thought. ‘What are we doing here? If this is what it’s always like, we can’t be part of the hate cycle.’ And they almost closed up shop.
And then they took a closer look at the string of events. Lots of incitement on Facebook and the Internet, and a short time later, a stabbing attack. The connection was clear. In fact, they were the ones with the information. 0202 was indeed showing them insights into Palestinian life in East Jerusalem, however disturbing that reality was.
That was when they realized that they could use the information they have access to help influence policy and society. Case in point – the “We Won’t Live in Filth” campaign by our MiniActive network. As a result of the continuing violence in East Jerusalem, garbage collection all but stopped in the fall of 2015. The MiniActive network, which has been working to improve the environment in East Jerusalem in a number of ways since its establishment in 2012, had been trying, without success, through its usual channels – calling the 106 municipal hotline, occasionally publishing on their Arabic-language Facebook page. Then they came up with their “We Won’t Live in Filth!” campaign, in which they posted pictures of overflowing garbage recptacles every day, in order to raise awareness. 0202 picked up these posts, which were seen and followed up by city council members, who were able to pass an addition of 3 million NIS to the annual Jerusalem sanitation budget for garbage collection in East Jerusalem.
Over 100 people came out to the Post Hostel for the first Jerusalem FUN. It was also covered by the Jerusalem Post:
Here’s the Facebook post in Hebrew and the photo album:
Here’s the post of the Jerusalem Post article: