J.K. Rowling Tells Harvard Grads Why Success Begins with Failure

Here’s J.K. Rowling speaking with eloquence at Harvard’s graduation, 2008. You’ll find a little wit (although far different than the kind on display when Sacha Baron Cohen — a.k.a. Ali G & Borat — spoke at Harvard graduation festivities in 2004). And then there’s the sage advice that she dispenses. Some good thoughts on why success is ultimately predicated on failure (thoughts that call to mind Steve Jobs’ now famous talk at Stanford), and why we need to exercise the power of imagination — and empathy — in the broadest sense. We have other fine graduation speeches posted below.

Related Content:

Conan O’Brien Kills It at Dartmouth Graduation

Bono Tells Graduates “Pick a Fight, Get in It” (2004)

Stephen Colbert Dishes Out Wisdom & Laughs at Northwestern


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  1. anon says . . . | June 17, 2008 / 12:13 pm

    FYI, Sasha Baron Cohen spoke at Class Day, rather than Commencement a few years ago at Harvard. That’s a big difference. It is doubtful anyone like Ali G would be allowed to speak on Commencement Day at Harvard. (Class Day happens the day before Commencement, and tends to have lighter and more humorous guests, and involves only the undergraduates at Harvard)

  2. Conformity Isn’t a Recipe for Excellence: George Carlin & Steve Jobs (NSFW) | Open Culture says . . . | December 5, 2011 / 10:37 am

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