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Impossible Minds: Pedro Couto e Santos

May 21, 2020 · 4 min read

Our Impossible Minds series profiles the individuals who are building new possibilities for the future across technology, design and culture. This time we talked with Pedro Couto e Santos, our Design Director at Impossible, who is obsessed by quantum physics and is proud to be able to improve people’s lives and happiness.

What’s fascinating about your role at Impossible?

I think I am mostly fascinated by the strong connection I feel towards Impossible as a whole, not necessarily by any specific thing related to my role. Or perhaps it’s exactly my role that feeds that fascination, since I am in a privileged position to see a bit of everything that goes on.

Be it making sure my team is doing ok, that our clients are getting our best work, planning and pitching a new project, kindling our relationship with our awesome US team or simply sitting back and enjoying everyone’s success and happiness within the company, this is what makes me feel like I belong.

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What problem are you solving now?

There are way too many challenges going on for me to say I’m solving any one problem. Also, we are a collaborative company so, when one individual sets out to solve one problem, they end up just creating five more. It’s not up to me to solve anything, just to support, motivate, inspire and collaborate with everyone else to nudge us closer to our goals a bit each day. Be it having a happy and productive team who are proud of their work, imagining our future in ways big and small, or tackling the challenge of taking global goals — social, economic, environmental — from beautiful ideas, to actionable achievements you can point to and say: “it works!”

What are you currently obsessed with and why?

Quantum physics. Being from an art background, I certainly lack the mathematical base to fully understand such complex science, but as a human being, I have an absolute fascination with the inner workings of the Universe. Sometimes I feel very close to the very essence of everything and that’s truly exhilarating. I can’t get enough.

What kind of future do you want?

A faster one. We live under poor leadership, but we also have a great difficulty in putting our name in the hat to take those spots. There is definitely a wide group of people in the world who are committed to improving our future with science, engineering, art, economics… but they are not in charge.

So we remain under the management of people whose agenda is slow and destructive. We will move towards a more advanced technological future, a cleaner economy, vastly improved health outcomes, space travel… but we might be too late, we need to move faster.

In a nutshell, I’d say we may indeed need a global revolution.

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Pedro Couto e Santos at the annual conference of the BCSD — Business Council for Sustainable Development

What are you most proud of?

Being part of the Impossible Lisbon Studio leadership team. Mostly because it’s made up of a small group of great people who really work hard at improving people’s lives and happiness. Most of our conversations are around our teams, and most of the problems that arise are dealt with by asking “what can we do for them?”

It’s sometimes very difficult, even frustrating, but most of the times it’s enriching and motivating to see so many different people be held together by shared values and culture.

What’s your favorite thing about working at Impossible?

Definitely the people. It’s all about them.

We have truly great people in the company, but I think that also comes from the company bringing out the best out of people. And because “the company” is simply the people who work there, I guess the whole thing becomes a loop. We are a group of people who are passionate about our culture and are always eager to bring someone else into the fold.

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