I am the leader of Failure Lab (University of Warsaw). This is a collaborative and global research laboratory that explores failure regimes and policy responses in a creolized world, with the tools of ignorance and future studies. It is embedded in my 10 years of experience with the sociology of unintended consequences and in the critical failure studies movement that I now see taking shape in social sciences.
A couple of years ago, I formed an interdisciplinary failure team with Mikołaj Pawlak (IPSiR UW) and Paweł Kubicki (SGH, Warsaw). And we’ve been taking our analytical energy and methodological curiosity from the unraveling of failing processes ever since. Together we focus on failure inequalities and failure creolization in public policy. Having also edited with Anna Horolets the first major anthology on failure in social sciences – “Routledge International Handbook of Failure” (2023).
I am engaged in a global think tank aimed at building robust failure research with scholars and practitioners such as Gertrude J. Firestein (University of Virginia), Stuart Firestein (Columbia University in the City of New York), Claire Holman Thompson (author) and Nadine Wilchess (LCSW, Mind the Gap). Together we are active in seeking funding and organizing failure convenings. Such as the failure symposium in Hannover, 2022 (Volkswagen Foundation, with Matthias Gross (University of Jena)), where the first F*** Up Tales in Science took place. Or the upcoming failure workshop in Warsaw, in May 2024 (“Failure Regimes: Economization, Creolization and Moralization of Failing).
As part of our pilot project on creolization of failure, I built a collaborative and global failure lab experiment. Together with Bashir Bello (Federal University Gusau) and Muhamad Supraja (Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta) we are engaged in transglobal sociological initiatives. We aim to uncover varieties of failure. Further consolidating intra-university classes and seminars on failure and ignorance.
I employ sociological and ethnographic methods to understand how failure regimes are constituted and made seem normal in various creolized contexts. In the Failure Lab, we put forward the first investigation of how policy responses are co-constructed in distinct socioeconomic contexts, body representations, and spatial configurations of failure. We coordinate pilot case studies (Poland, United States, Italy, Romania, Chile, India, Indonesia, Morocco and Nigeria). Thus enabling cross-country variations to be discussed and establishing a network of researchers who act as liaisons with experts on policymaking and policy failures in global circumstances.
I am the author of Sociology as Analysis of the Unintended: From the Problem of Ignorance to the Discovery of the Possible (2018), the co-author of Ignorance and Change: Anticipatory Knowledge and the European Refugee Crisis (2020, Routledge, with Anna Horolets, Mikołaj Pawlak and Anna Horolets), and the co-author of Routledge International Handbook of Failure (2023, with Mikołaj Pawlak, Anna Horolets and Paweł Kubicki).
I am part of a SASE (Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics) mini-conference team with Ann Mische (University of Notre Dame) and Gary Herrigel (University of Chicago). We are trying to build a public for the research of alternatives, possibilities, and future projections among the economic sociology people. Now moving more concretely in the direction of dilemmas and failure in decision-making and policymaking.
Beyond science, yet still connected, I have been involved since 2020 in supporting boxing & public sphere. I advanced competitive initiatives in successive editions of the participatory budget at the level of the capital city, as well as organized the first chessboxing meetings in Warsaw. Since 2023, I also serve as curator of photo exhibitions at my home institute — Institute of Social Prevention and Resocialisation, at University of Warsaw.