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Mistakes: The Shadow Capital for Learning

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems book series (LNNS,volume 349)


Mistakes, whether resulting from defective judgment, deficient knowledge and carelessness, or misconceptions and misunderstandings, are never trivial to deal with. However, if approached appropriately, they can become a source of potential corporate value so that they can facilitate future growth and development. Accounting of mistakes can prove an extremely tricky area — the same as in financial reporting, accounting is not an end on its own but a means to an end. We live with our mistakes, but we don’t have to die with them. Finding the courage to change things may seem difficult, but the opportunity is big and is available anytime we decide to seize it. It is never too late to see an opportunity for change: the more we invest in explaining our mistakes to ourselves, the easier we shall get “rid” of them and minimize the risks of making the same mistakes again. Admitting mistakes is not easy but should not become unbearable for the people: it is what we learn from our mistakes and our failures that may drive us into our future successes.


  • Mistakes
  • Shadow capital
  • Intellectual capital
  • Corporate value

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-90677-1_19
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I would like to thank Jerry Andriessen and Juliano Sales—with whom the author had the opportunity of long and fruitful discussions, where we had the opportunity to revisit recurring themes and topics. With Michael Scriney, we had the opportunity to also reflect on how humans can learn from computers and more specifically how Human Intelligence may gain from the breakthroughs of Artificial Intelligence technologies. There is still a long way to walk and it is a journey full of mistakes—those that have been already made and those that wait for us to make them. What is important is what we may learn out of them.

Authors usually thank their reviewers as an expression of gallantry. Here, the author was fortunate enough to receive a comment by one of the reviewers on the relevance of the thinking of Michael Oakeshott, drawing our attention to his book “The voice of liberal learning.” The author admits that has never heard or read before the name of Oakeshott (renowned English philosopher and political theorist) nor had been exposed to any of his works. It took some good time to locate a copy of the book in a library (borrowed very few times and the last back in 2006). It is quite a pity that with such a massive exposure we experience to mega-amounts of information, most of which may be of ephemeral and doubtful of any value, some really good pieces of work and books miss the opportunity to find their way to a broader audience.

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Koumpis, A. (2022). Mistakes: The Shadow Capital for Learning. In: Guralnick, D., Auer, M.E., Poce, A. (eds) Innovations in Learning and Technology for the Workplace and Higher Education. TLIC 2021. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 349. Springer, Cham.

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