Not many people would call themselves failure experts with a sense of pride and purpose. I do.
If you are interested in having me speak to failure, learning, innovation or resilience at your event, feel free to contact me.


Ashley worked in Cairo with the United Nations Environment Programme and as a management consultant in Vancouver. In both lines of work, she saw a fear of failure inhibit innovation, adaptation, and performance. In response, she launched the consulting firm, Fail Forward, to spark a shift in how we perceive and talk about failure, and to help organizations learn, innovate and build resilience.

Since 2010 Ashley has worked with organizations – from grantmakers and nonprofits to government and private sector companies – to use failure as a learning tool and culture driver to support and foster innovation. She is well known for building the Organizational Learning Team at Engineers Without Borders Canada, and she continues to lead their annual Failure Report.

Ashley is a contributor to the Globe and Mail Leadership Lab, Public Sector Digest, and World Economic Forum Agenda. Her work has received coverage in a wide range of media and news outlets, including National PostThe Globe and Mail, CBC Radio and TelevisionThe New York Times, and Fast Company.

She is recognized by Harvard Business Review and McKinsey as the recipient of the Innovating Innovation Award, hosted Canada’s first ever conference dedicated to intelligent failure, and is a half-ironman triathlete. She earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia with honours.




  • Mozilla monthly speaker series, San Francisco, CA – 16Nov
  • Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation 2016 Conference, Toronto, ON – 2Nov
  • UnleashWD Innovation Summit, Chicago, IL – 19Oct
  • Public Safety Canada, Ottawa, ON – 11Oct
  • SEEP Network 2016 Annual Conference, Arlington, VA – 21Sep
  • Alliance1 Change in Mind initiative, Edmonton, AB – 20Sep
  • GrantStation Innovations 2016, New York, NY – 13Jun
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals Fundraising Day 2016, Toronto, ON – 09Jun
  • Real Estate Regulators of Canada 2016 Leadership Conference, Toronto, ON – 03Jun
  • Literacy Link South Central Failure clinic, Webinar – 01Jun
  • Communications Security Establishment, Ottawa, ON – 25Apr
  • Canadian Chiropractic Association National Presidents Meeting, Toronto, ON – 23Apr
  • Carlton University Masters of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, Webinar – 24Feb
  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities 2016 Sustainable Communities Conference, Ottawa, ON – 09Feb
  • Canadian Heritage, Ottawa, ON – 08Feb
  • Canadian Heritage, Webinar – 07Jan


  • Women’s Habitat,  Etobicoke, ON – 06Nov
  • Conference Board of Canada Business Council for Sustainability, Vancouver, BC – 21Oct
  • Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre Small Business Week,  Thunder Bay, ON – 20Oct
  • Engineering Change Lab, Toronto, ON – 08Oct
  • International Conference on Climate Action, Hannover, Germany – 01Oct
  • Canadian Heritage, Ottawa, ON – 23Sep
  • Industry Canada Service Innovation Lab, Ottawa, ON – 22Sep
  • Canadian Society of Safety Engineering Annual Conference, Ottawa, ON – 20&21Sep
  • Japan Forum of Business and Society Fifth Annual Conference, Tokyo, Japan – 10&11Sep
  • Connection 2015, Philadelphia, PA – 02Sep
  • Canadian Chiropractic Association, Toronto, ON – 07Jun
  • W100 Idea Exchange, Toronto, ON – 05Jun
  • HUB Ottawa, Ottawa, ON – 29May
  • Society for Organizational Learning, Webinar – 29May
  • SPIAO Conference – Muskoka, ON – 26May
  • 100Kin10, Chicago, IL – 13May
  • Toronto Public Health, Toronto, ON – 05May
  • Conference Board of Canada Business Innovation Summit 2015, Toronto, ON – 28Apr
  • Ontario Risk  and Insurance Management Society, Toronto, ON – 23Apr
  • Canadian Federation of Chiropractic Regulatory and Educational Accrediting Boards , Toronto, ON – 18Apr
  • Union Gas, London, ON – 14Apr
  • COSIA Innovation Summit, Banff, AB – 1Apr
  • Ryerson University, Chang School of Continuing Education, Toronto, ON – 26Mar
  • MPAC, Toronto, ON – 25Mar
  • Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada, Ottawa, ON – 13Mar
  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Sustainable Communities Conference, London, ON – 12Feb
  • Ontario Risk  and Insurance Management Society, Toronto, ON – 19Jan
  • UNHCR Humanitarian Innovation Jam, Washington, D.C. – 15jan
  • World Bank Learning From Experience Brown Bag Lunch,  Washington, D.C. – 15Jan
  • Calgary Community Investment Council, Calgary, AB – 08Jan


  • Peace and Security Funders Group Webinar – 17Dec
  • Conference Board of Canada, Public Sector Transformation, Ottawa, ON – 9Dec
  • Natural Resources Canada Fail Faire, Ottawa, ON – 08Dec
  • Ontario College of Art and Design,  Strategic Foresight and Innovation Program, Toronto, ON – 04Dec
  • Bi-monthly breakfast meeting for Nova Scotia regulatory bodies, Halifax, NS – 03Dec
  • Community Knowledge Exchange, Toronto, ON – 20Nov
  • Ontario Risk  and Insurance Management Society, Toronto, ON – 18Nov
  • Salud Mesoamérica 2015 Initiative, Panama City, Panama – 11-13Nov
  • Bond Annual Conference, London, UK – 10Nov
  • Canadian Network of National Associations of Regulators conference, Montreal, QC – 29Oct
  • AGO,  Creativity and Failure after Michelangelo, Toronto, ON – 22Oct
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON – 17Oct
  • Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations, 4th Annual Innovation Awards, Calgary, AB – 06Oct
  • Conference Board of Canada, Leadership and Human Resources Research Division, Intelligent Failure Webinar – 26Sep
  • HUB Ottawa, Fail Forward and the Public Service Q&A, Ottawa, ON – 12Sept
  • Innovation Meetup, Toronto, ON – 09Sep
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation, Fail Fest, Toronto, ON – 09Sept
  • Creative Mornings, Toronto, ON – 08Aug
  • Jewish Federations of North America National Young Leadership Cabinet Retreat, Charlotte, NC – 31Jul
  • CBC – 17Jul
  • Fail Forward 2014, Toronto, ON – 09Jul
  • Evaluation Roundtable Plus, Montreal, QC – 08Jul
  • Suncor Energy Foundation Board Meeting, Calgary, AB –  09Jun
  • Accelerate: Collaborating for Sustainability Conference, Toronto, ON – 06Jun
  • Civic Action Emerging Leaders Network, Toronto, ON – 02Jun
  • IEEE IHTC 2014, Montreal, QC – 01Jun
  • Business Innovation Summit, Conference Board of Canada, Toronto, ON – May 28-29
  • Ryerson University NGOs and World Governance, Toronto, ON – May 27
  • World Economic Forum Global Shapers, Toronto, ON – 13May
  • IAP2 Webinar – 13May
  • Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations Connections 2014, Calgary, AB -14-15Apr
  • Harvard Social Enterprise Conference, Boston, MA – 29-30Mar
  • Social Innovation Bootcamp, Queens School of Business, Kingston, ON – 14-15Mar
  • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations National Conference 2014, Los Angeles, CA – 10-12Mar
  • Capacity Waterloo Board Governance Boot Camp, Waterloo, ON – 07Mar
  • New Evaluation Exchanges for Innovation Training (NEXIT), Waterloo, ON – 06Mar
  • Social Innovation at Ivey, London, ON – 05Mar
  • Health Quality Ontario & Women’s College Hospital  FAILURE: FACING IT, EMBRACING IT, LEARNING FROM IT., Toronto, ON – 04Mar
  • University of Toronto  Dalla Lana School of Public Health – Toronto, ON – 26Feb
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation, Toronto, ON – 12Feb
  • Engineers Without Borders Canada Conference, Toronto, ON – 11-14Jan


  • Fail Festival, Washington, DC – 05Dec
  • Saskatoon tribal council, Edmonton, AB – 20&21Nov
  • Jewish Education Project, New York, NY – 18Nov
  • Canadian Evaluation Society AGM, Toronto, ON – 13Nov
  • Corporation of the Town of Gananoque, Gananoque, ON  – 12Nov
  • IFAD Fail Faire, Rome, Italy – 28Oct
  • Suncor Energy Foundation, Calgary, AB – 05&06Oct
  • Social Enterprise World Forum, Calgary, AB –  02-04Oct
  • Philanthropic Foundations of Canada, Calgary AB – 01Oct
  • University of Saskatchewan Gala, Saskatoon, SA – 27Sep
  • Canadian Women’s Foundation, Calgary, AB – 23Sep
  • Pecha Kucha, Toronto, ON – 20Sep
  • CBC – 02Sep
  • OpenGovHub, Washington, DC – 14Jun
  • Deloitte GovLab, Washington, DC – 13Jun
  • FailCon Oslo, Norway – 06Jun
  • Innovations in International Development Conference, New York, NY – 12Apr
  • Schulich School of Business Sustainable Value Creation, Toronto, ON – 26Mar
  • SXSW, Austin, TX – 12Mar
  • Queens Innovation Summit, Kingston, ON – 01&02Mar
  • Engineers Without Borders Canada Conference, Calgary, AB – 12-14Jan


  • Social Finance Forum, Toronto, ON – 08&09Nov
  • IFAD, Rome, Italy – 09-13Jul
  • My Charity Connects, Toronto, ON – 12&13Jun


  • Ontario Council for International Cooperation AGM, Toronto, ON – 17Jun
  • Millennium Network Conference, Toronto, ON – 11Jun
  • Open Data for Development Camp, Amsterdam – 13May