Skip to main content
WORTH Partnership Project
News article28 August 2018European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency5 min read




This week WORTH had the pleasure to interview WORTH ambassador from Portugal Jorge Cerveira Pinto. Jorge is an international innovation expert and also the executive director of AID (Assoc. Inovação Design – Portugal).

He has an amazing array of experiences within the industry including the European Commission expert and external consultant in the fields of innovation, creativity and creative economy since 2010. With his focus on innovation, we wanted to understand what this personally means to him and his advice for cross-boarder collaborations:

You have a vast range of industry experience relating to innovation, why is innovation personally important to you?

There is no value in creation if there is no innovation. I believe we are living in challenging times, with environmental, political and economic changes of unprecedented scales, and the only away to move forward is through innovation, creating disruption, changing systems and models. At the same time, constant innovation in all fields is changing the way we understand the world and mankind, and this, of course, changes the way we relate with the others and organize our social and individual lifes. For example, the impact in companies and industries is tremendous. I love to studying, understanding, and when possible testing and implementing solutions, that address these challenges, sometimes, on a small scale and others on a much larger and systemic scale. So innovative projects are what I do and study in my life and what makes me happy.

Why is it important for the future of the creative industry within Europe to collaborate, in particular with other EU countries?

The challenges we face are so demanding that individuals and organizations must join their resources and knowledge if they want to have an impact on a global scale. The notion of countries and borders, made us pay a very high price in terms of human lives, and this is extremely obvious in Europe. Nowadays, faced with global challenges and competition, European countries are realizing their irrelevance and their lack of resources and knowledge. So collaboration is fundamental, at state, organizational and individual levels. But collaboration is difficult and cultural differences are still significant. And Europe, more than any other region in the world, understands the notion and the need, to be global, but acting locally. Technologies have empowered us with tools that make communication and sharing of knowledge easier, but the human dimension is still the most relevant. Creative industries have at their core the notion of collaboration and partnership: constantly faced with scarce resources and the need to embrace knowledge from different sources, innovation is only possible through collaboration. By fulling embracing the concept of collaboration beyond borders – not only country or regional borders, but also conceptual and disciplinary borders – we can show the future to other industries and lead the transformations that need to happen. The European Union, has allowed to a much larger extent than any other region in the world, collaboration between individuals and organizations, independently of their country or region of origin. In that sense, Europeans are more prepared to work in a multi-cultural and globalised world than others. That, I am convinced, will prove of immense value to Europeans, individuals and/or organizations.

The WORTH Partnership Project aims to bring together partnerships from within Europe to work together on a mutual project, what would be your best advice for them in regards to working as a group?

Collaboration demands a constant acceptance of the other and a recognition of the importance of differences. Keeping an open spirit is therefore fundamental. Collaboration can also be facilitated, if the various parts understand a common language, complement each other, share a common challenge and agree on a common process to address. Therefore, any partnership demands additional work, time and resources. So, we have to realistically assess if we need to work in partnerships or not. In many situations, “partners” are not really partners, just suppliers or clients, and this is fine, and may be sufficient to generate an efficient solution or change. However, when we really engage in partnerships we must aim for ambitious goals – that will be the driver. Also, I believe it is our capacity to accept our interdependence on others that really makes the difference – a true partnership demands bilateral trust and interdependence: I have to trust that the others will accomplish what they commit to and they have to trust me, and success only happens this way. It is this interdependence that makes partnerships work and accomplish true change. In summary, you need relationship management skills and a shared vision. This will allow you to agree on an idea, and then establish more concrete actions. But, to be successful, we must accept that changes will be inherent to the process and that flexibility and errors are paramount.

What are some industry trends that you are currently interested in and hope to see further developed in the future?

For me, environmental sustainability is clearly the biggest challenge we face, in all industries and at all levels of our life. This will change the way industries are organized, the way individuals make decisions, consume, buy and relate to each other. Consequently, industries will have to find new ways of production and distribution and concepts like “circular economy” will be with us for the coming years. Who finds the best answers to this challenge will lead. At the same time, consumerism is now the rule – consumers today hold the power. For example, fashion retailers are being forced to be hyper sensitive to consumers’ needs and wants. Consumers are also hyper aware of how retailers and brands operate regarding their water consumption, waste disposal, acceptable labor practices, health and safety standards, treatment of workers, etc. If a brand’s name is related to any of these topics in a negative way, it will be effected. Technology will continue to change at a dramatic rate, with impacts – both negative and positive – that we can not even imagine. Systems, materials, processes, services and products will change, be more efficient and enlarge possibilities. Individuals are more empowered in their decisions, but also more aware of their vulnerability in terms of the digital world. How companies and industries use data and what social agreement will they establish with their stakeholders, will determine the acceptance level of individuals. But the relations will be tense and continue to change constantly, demanding new behaviours and solutions. I am also very interested in the use of concepts like “value-chain design-led management” – how we can use the tools and methodologies of design innovation to make more efficient value-chains – and new urban production spaces, for example, makers’ spaces and fashion labs.

Find out more about Jorge Cerveira Pinto here.


Publication date
28 August 2018
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency
News Type
  • Worth News