Minor Innovation and Design Thinking (Invent@UCA)


Nicolas Bruno

FORMAT / Location

Campus Saint-Jean d'Angély, Nice




30 students




INVENT@UCA is a co-creation program which brings together students and professionals. It offers a diverse customized training and experiences, particularly through the work of multidisciplinary teams on real cases to create innovative, relevant and sustainable solutions.
The purpose is to provide innovation, creativity, and 21st century skills to the students while offering solutions to the challenges faced by companies and other organizations (institutions and NGO). Invent@UCA’s ambition is to create an international hub of change makers. It provides a real opportunity for students to develop their professional network, personal branding and employability.
Project teams are provided and coached by an enthusiastic and dedicated team of facilitators and experts. Innovative methodologies (such as Design Thinking and Effectual Thinking) are used.
Along with co-creation projects, workshops (Business Model, AI for Business, etc., see agenda) and creative events (Hackathon, etc.) are organized.
The program has its own creativity room, called “Espace Vernassa” (250 m²), located on Saint-Jean d’Angély campus.

> Read more about INVENT@UCA

To achieve this minor, students must attend 3 workshops chosen among a list (various workshops according to the semester) covering different topics related to innovation, methodologies for creativity, entrepreneurship, business development and marketing.

Design Thinking Workshop

Purpose :  ​
Design Thinking is the innovation process developed at Stanford, which was launched by IDEO and has fuelled a large part of the entrepreneurial culture in Silicon Valley. At the heart of the process is the notion that to innovate, it is necessary to connect with people, understand the real needs of the user and explore the whole project context with a constant attitude to research, undertaking a non-linear path characterized by uncertainty and the freedom to make mistakes and create new ideas. ​

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Effectual Thinking Workshop

Purpose :
The aim is for students to discover entrepreneurship through the lens of effectuation theory. Effectuation is a logic of thinking used by entrepreneurs to build successful ventures. It helps people perceiving the world as a set of opportunities: starting from available means allows people achieving affordable goals. Effectuation is at its heart a human problem-solving method developed through research into the mental processes used by expert entrepreneurs.​

Learning Objectives :  ​
This course is an opportunity to practice entrepreneurship and problem solving in high uncertainty environments while co-creating with stakeholders.​
Knowledge: ​
 The student is able to understand and practice the adequate posture to deal with uncertainty.​
- The student can reflexively engage in specific data driven (means) cognitive routines versus goal driven routines.​
Competencies: ​
- The student, while practicing effectuation, develops capacity to solve complex problem and to innovate​
- The student is able to tackle new challenges in the uncertain world we live in by acting with simple and effective solutions, based on the 5 principles of effectuation.

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AI for Business Workshop


Purpose : ​
The course aims to offer an introduction to the broad theme of Artificial Intelligence, with a focus on three major areas Robotics, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing. An economic (decision-making and labour issues) and management (business strategy and organizational issues) perspective is adopted in order to learn how to master this innovative technology and to figure out how it will shape our future!​

Learning Objectives :  ​
The participant will discover: ​
- the major areas of research in Artificial Intelligence and will gain insights on the way these technologies are changing and will transform our life. In the course several business cases will be illustrated.​
- how to interpret from an economic and business perspective the impact and the opportunities of these technologies. A practical framework with specific tools to understand the phenomenon will be provided.​
- how to build effective collective intelligent systems favouring an effective interaction between human and artificial intelligence.​

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Business Model Workshop

Purpose :
This course has the objective to introduce to the techniques of describing and designing a relevant business model, exploring the antecedents and consequences of business model innovation and examine issues related to the implications for strategic decision making. ​
More specifically, the course will introduce the Business model concept to students. Then, it will show how to technically describe, create and design relevant business models. The course will first offer well-tested approach of business models : the building blocks and major patterns of business models. Second, it will explain the challenges related to business model innovation: the enablers and barriers to innovation, the role and evolution of business models in entrepreneurship, the challenges related to collaborative innovation business models.​

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Identify your Talents Workshop


Purpose :  ​
The aim is for students to identity their superpower, which is a unique contribution to society based on each individuals special talents. This workshop will provide answers to questions such as: What am I naturally good at (depending on your life path, your personal background)? What skills and career path would suit my superpower? The workshop is based on a method called ISMA TALENTS, a bottom-up approach to talents extraction for shedding light on possible futures. ​

Learning Objectives :  ​
Knowledge:  ​
The student is able to practice semantic analysis. ​
The student can reflexively engage in boosting their own potential and existing talents for better social contributions. ​

Competencies:  ​
The student, while practicing ISMA TALENTS develops empathy, awareness of strengths for each individual, a strong sense of talent detection. ​
The student is able to name and formulate clearly their own strengths and choose a career that fits their talents. ​

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Game Design Workshop


The main objective of the "Game Based Learning. From design to the learner experience" course, is to develop competencies for the analysis, design, pedagogical integration and evaluation of serious games and digital game based learning activities in an educational setting. Five transversal competences are developed through this course: critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving, creativity and computational thinking

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Digital Marketing Workshop

The goal of this workshop is to better understand what is called digital marketing or web marketing. The ambition of this course is to discover this new type of marketing that surrounds and manages our digital life.

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This minor is operated by INVENT@UCA, the Université Côte d'Azur co-creation program which provides an opportunity for students to develop their professional network, brand image and value in the labour market.  

Mandatory ​for Effectual Thinking Workshop:
- Effectuation.org​
- Effectual Entrepreneurship, Ed. Routledge


To complete this minor, students must attend 3 workshops. The participation of students is required in the integrality of the workshop.
An average of the 3 marks (between 0 and 20, coef. 1) greater than or equal to 10 is required to validate the minor.
Please refer to each workshop evaluation modalities in the "Summary" tab.


Autumn 2021 (last update: June, 15)
Choose 3 workshops out of the list (mind the schedule!)




Time slot


Design Thinking Eric Guerci Oct 14 9h00-13h00
Oct 21 9h00-13h00
Identify your talents Dominique Vian Oct 14 9h00-14h00
Oct 21 9h00-14h00
Effectuation Dominique Vian Nov 4 9h00-13h00
Nov 18 9h00-13h00
Business Model Rani Dang/Florent Genoux Nov 25 9h00-13h00
Dec 2 9h00-13h00
Digital Marketing Frédéric Bossard Dec 9 9h00-13h00
Dec 16 9h00-13h00