Have your say
By Graça Barbosa*
I accepted the invitation to voice my reasoning, or lack of, on the growth of INESC Porto.
The title of this article reveals my feelings straight away in relation to this growth: I had not wished for it, it concerns me and I do not always understand why it continues. But just like the growth in an adolescent, it is a natural process that I will have to deal with. This comparison with the growth of an adolescent came to mind when reflecting on this subject and I believe it is a good way of approaching the issue and could help confront it with more serenity.
When I began working at INESC, now INESC Porto, it was not yet an autonomous laboratory and can be compared to the growing foetus. Once born, it was given the name INESC Porto and it grew like a healthy child, well behaved under control and it did not give its “carers” too many problems.
Then the child became an adolescent and began to grow rapidly. At this stage, the growth of the young INESC Porto was not always harmonious, it is the clumsy phase when some parts grow quicker than others, changes take place and external pleas multiply. The young INESC Porto found it difficult to live in the new body that at times did not seem to belong to it and at times it secretly wished to be small again. It does not know how to react with others and respond to their external requests. One thing is true: it is no longer the well-behaved child that is was before. At times it is contradictory, it does not know what it wants, it wants to try everything, make the most of all of the opportunities, go everywhere, know everyone, bring friends home, make them part of its family. And now it wants to form a group of friends and give them a cool name.
The “carers” have lost their heads, they cannot accept so many changes so easily, so many projects, so many new friends. They realise that the young INESC Porto is no longer controllable as it was when it was young. Bit by bit they begin to understand that they cannot claim to know everything that is happening with it, they cannot follow it everywhere and protect it from bumping its head… And finally they conclude that they have no alternative but to change themselves, take a different approach to it: laying down in principles, strengthening values, establishing basic rules and the boundaries in which the youngster can be autonomous and hopefully responsible…
…and serenely awaiting the age of reason.
*Collaborator of the Department of Information and Logistics (DIL)