Northern Region Can Become "Hub" for Innovation and Knowledge

[Mal Fletcher Press Interview with Vida Economica newspaper, Portugal]

[Published April 19, 2013 - Translated from the original Portuguese]

by Fernanda Silva Teixeira

vida economica

Before an audience composed of more than five hundred entrepreneurs, managers, consultants and academics, the English expert in innovation and social change addressed the International Leadership and Entrepreneurship Conference held last week in Exponor. He said that, despite the economic crisis, with the "correct leadership", Porto has the potential to become a "mini Seattle", attracting business entrepreneurs and innovators.

"The problems facing Portugal have little to do with the quality of its assets in knowledge and innovation", said Mal Fletcher. These are the two variables he considers to be fundamental to the global economy.

In essence, according to the founder of the UK's 2020Plus, a think tank dedicated to innovation and social change, the problem for our country, finding the right strategies, is "nothing that universities, knowledge centers and companies cannot help solve."

However, for Portugal and Europe to boost their roles in globalization, it is necessary to attract "new and innovative companies" and to see "business and political leaders become change agents and architects of the culture," said the international consultant.

Fletcher also considered Porto and the North as a true "land of opportunity" in areas such as "technology, industry and health".

He argued that the region has the potential to be the "European version of Seattle", since it offers the right conditions for a "hub of innovation and knowledge, combining cultural tradition, quality of life and a critical mass in research and postgraduate education."

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