Deep In Thought

Published: 10 Jul 2018

Creative Steps 2.0 responds to the challenges of a globalised world

Creative Steps 2.0 is an innovation Model for business idea development in the context of international and cross-border collaboration between companies, students and business experts. The final report on this activity ‘Creative Steps 2.0: Final Report’ has now been published.

Building the Creative Steps 2.0 Model is a response to the challenges of a more globalised world, contemporary working life and the changing nature of business that requires a creative and innovative mindset and the ability to work across distances using modern technologies.

 The Creative Steps 2.0 Model has been developed through ‘a creative momentum project’ and it is based on a previous Creative Steps Model developed during the Creative Edge project (2011–2013).

The first implementation of Creative Steps was considered to be a success. However, there appeared to be a need to further develop the concept during ‘a creative momentum project’ to go beyond local business development towards a more international collaboration of companies and business developers. Moreover, there is a need for an innovation Model that will enhance the active use of online collaborative tools to help creative companies located in remoter regions of Northern Europe to connect, collaborate and innovate across borders.

The Creative Steps 2.0 Model was developed by using the service design approach, involving actual stakeholders.

One of the targets of ‘a creative momentum project’ is increased internationality and, therefore, this new Creative Steps 2.0 methodology offers an even more efficient and systematic process for working in an international environment, taking into account the development of remote working skills. Compared to the previous Creative Steps model, which focused mostly on local, single business development, the focus of the new Model has been on remote business collaboration methods with creative use of virtual tools.


Creative Steps 2.0 Work Method

The Creative Steps 2.0 Model involves two companies from different countries matched to undertake innovative collaboration and joint product development. They both can be from the same creative sector or different sectors, depending on the needs of the companies. These companies work on joint business idea development with the help of Creative Teams – groups of students with an international and multidisciplinary background.

The work is based on a so-called ‘Business Case’ formed by mirroring the challenges of the businesses with the aim of creating added value for both the matched entrepreneurs. Business experts are involved in providing feedback and suggestions to the Creative Teams. The entire Creative Steps 2.0 workshop results in a prototype of a new product, service or process. The Creative Steps 2.0 workshop consists of 10 steps and is implemented over a time period of ten working days or can be adapted to a longer or shorter period.

The Creative Steps 2.0 Model was implemented four times – in Finland, Sweden, West of Ireland and Northern Ireland – over the course of ‘a creative momentum project’.  A total of 22 entrepreneurs and 45 students participated in these four iterations of the Model.

Key Lessons Learned

Piloting of Creative Steps 2.0 showed that it is a very valuable innovation, networking and cross-border collaboration methodology. It has 10 clear steps, however participants suggested that even simpler and clearer steps could be developed in the future.  Online collaboration and working with teams was a rather new approach for many of the participants and is an extremely relevant skill in the era of digitalisation.

It can be concluded that CS 2.0 has been a valuable and useful tool with mainly positive feedback from all participants, while certain future development recommendation were given.

The actual implementation and testing of the Creative Steps 2.0 Model gave us great confidence about the usefulness of such methodologies for business-academia intensive cooperation, for better entrepreneurial education for students and multidisciplinary cooperation with real outcomes for beneficiaries: companies and students.

The full report and a summary of ‘Creative Steps 2.0: Final Report’ can be downloaded from the Knowledge Centre, or download directly

SUMMARY: Creative Steps 2.0 Final Report’ (PDF, 1.2MB)

Creative Steps 2.0: Final Report’ (PDF, 3.7MB)


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