Meet Luís Maia

The world is global and teams are global, so you you must use global tools and platforms to reach to global partners and clients, right?

Well it depends, sometimes you'll use global tools to find local partners. That was the case about Luís Maia Oliveira.

Continue to Grow bumped into Luís Maia profile on IGN (Innovation Global Network) and then realise that both were from the same city (Oporto, Portugal). Being passionate and interested in innovation, Continue to Grow invited Luís to our monthly interview.

Thanks Luís for giving this interview.

Dear Luís, could you tell us where are you from? Do you sometimes employ your origin to work in your favour and how?

Sure, I was born in Luanda, Angola capital.

I like nature and all related with it and Africa it´s about land, smells and vibration. So yes I do work with my origin placing human nature in first place.    

Please tell us shortly about your professional career.

Okay, let´s see if I can remember it. I did start working during university, doing same interior design drawings to street shops. The basic for the client visualise their living rooms or kitchens… then I teaching visual arts and design, a short experience. Later I was doing furniture for kit industries working several years as an interior designer till I got the chance to work abroad. Staying three years in Kuwait city as a senior interior designer gaining a new view about design and social inclusion, after that experience I move again back to Portugal and start my own design projects in short this is it. 

Could you please name your main career wins and lessons learnt?

Well, overcame different cultural barriers in challenging projects was a great lesson learned and also a winning situation, of course the main validation was when I won the first prize in an international competition. Been awarded by peers from different expertise in World Design Helsinki 2012 was really uplifting moment.  

What captures you about innovation management, more specifically Innovation Design?

…it was intuitive, as simple as love ;). All my focus was been able to deliver solution for people problems, regardless if it was energy related or health care, mobility, IT…and it still is. Innovation design can change life for better, it’s a fundamental tool for citizen inclusion.     

What has been in this area the latest breakthrough in your opinion?

World-wide breakthrough are vast and it’s impossible to be informed about it all, however the introduction of conceptual tools, gamification, serious play and game storming are strong indicators from how far we are the beginning on innovation design management systematization.

In what projects are you working currently? What is your expectation on them?

I´m involved in my own concept, I believe it will be a change maker in energy consumption…I do expect a major social impact!

We are arriving to our collaboration. How would you describe CONTINUE TO GROW Alliances Network and your treasure/expertise in it?

A fine tune project needs time to achieve moment. 

Win-win solution are fundamental for any partnership or alliance. That said, design thinking solutions can be a creative expertise.

If you would meet the Mr. “High costs of developing new products and services” then what would be your message to him? It is one of the business problems that we identified when initiated the solutions development. Image that one of your potential customers faces this problem. Please provide a message helping to overcome this problem. 

Sorry, your carrier is over!!!!

That will be my message to Mr. High Costs. Always apply a simple design methodology…testing it safely!  prototyping, testing, prototyping with people that actually will engage in that service or product.    

Coming to more relaxed questions. What fascinates you besides work?

Walking sea side, relaxing near nature to get that sense of easiness. 

So good to be deeply inside nature, almost a mystic experience.  

For resuming this pleasant dialog, would you be kind enough to share with us a personal quote.  It could resumes your main values on life and/or relate to innovation (you may refer to other citations, nevertheless please personalise them).

Mafalda by Quino! ;)

We can find all need citations there. Even better, all the ones mentioning soup. Like it or not we all had a soup experience…;)

Mother: Mafalda, soup is getting colder!!!!

Mafalda: poor mother, at least if she knew what soup does to or relation….

Just let me ask one more question. From your point of view, what is that crazy, unexpected, flying cars like innovation that you wish to see come true?

A pill to make memories available any time I need then around, a Matrix sort off….eheheh

Thank you for participating on our Alliances Network interview!


Luis works as a Senior Strategic Designer in the development of projects in collaboration with companies from Energy, IT, Healthcare. He worked with multinationals like Agility, KCPC in Portugal and abroad. Award winning concept designer, with an approach towards problem solving allows him to deliver in complex business cultures. Creativity for him is key for life. Experience using Lego serious play materials and methodologies facilitating for creative development in start-ups and workshops allowed him to engagement and mentoring with multiple audiences. In his spare moments he enjoys long walks and open air activities, watching movies in family.

If you wish to know more about Luís Maia, please visit his LinkedIn profile.

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