In this interview, we talked to Harald Lepisk — moderator, online teacher, inspirator. He’s an entrepreneur and trainer, with years of experience developing the next generation of innovators and empowering individuals to find their creative potential. 

Harald has spent 6 weeks in Cascais on two separate occasions, moderating the European Innovation Academy in Cascais, Portugal. In this article, Harald discusses what makes Cascais perfect for relaxation, traveling, and learning about business. 

What do you like most about Cascais?

The greatest thing about Cascais is the proximity to the ocean. The ocean builds the atmosphere — it’s the epicenter of the whole EIA program. 

What surprised you about Cascais?

I liked the atmosphere in Cascais. It was great to go to the Estoril Congress Center all day and then enjoy the surroundings. For a conference, it’s a very optimal place to be for a longer period of time. 

What’s the benefit of going to Cascais on an extended trip?

The value of staying longer was that I got to take a lot of different walks between the neighborhoods and the seaside. The value was discovering those around the corner places that were filled with people and then — at the same time on another day — were empty. It feels like a secret place. I’ve gone to the cliffs at different times, and it’s full of people sunbathing. Then you go there another day, and it feels like a hidden place. It’s something I can uniquely experience.

If you could eat one Portuguese dish for the whole EIA program, what would it be? 

Some of my favorites were the Pastel de nata, the local ice cream parlors with many different kinds of ice cream. I also really liked the seafood in the local restaurants. I’ll take seafood for lunch, have some ice cream for breakfast, and Pastel De Nata for dinner. 

If Cascais were a 90’s song, what would it be?

If it were a genre, it would be jazz or groove. Something uplifting and positive — but at the same time — something that makes you feel like you have time. For me, Cascais is a symbol of relaxation and summer. That’s the atmosphere. 

How does Cascais fit into the EIA program?

If you work for a long time — very intensely — you need to go outside and have the opportunity to choose a different pace. You can go and observe the ocean to calm your mind and clear your mind. Since most of the work takes place in the Estoril Congress Center, then I think it’s perfect for student programs.

Why would you choose Cascais to live and start your business? 

If I see local mentors that are established entrepreneurs living in the Lisbon and Cascais region, it’s a nice thing that when you go through this program and meet the local mentors, you already have some friends in the area. 

Anything left to add?

I’m just looking forward to being back in Cascais. I have a lot of positive memories of my time there.