Creativity and Innovation Management in Higher Education


Experience Report CESIE Italy

The CIM learning programme is implemented at CESIE, a non-profit organisation active in the education and training sector. The CIM learning programme has been integrated into the internship in Project Management at CESIE which is characterized by learning by doing approach and which gives the opportunity to our interns to work on a variety of different tasks to experience many areas of our work as European project managers

The target group of the CIM learning programme are interns at CESIE. They are university and postgraduate students from Italy and abroad who are required to do an internship within their study curriculum. The internship has a length of 400 to 800 hours. They can also be interns in the framework of European and national training programmes such as: European Voluntary Service, Erasmus+ Traineeship, Youth Guarantee, Civil Service, VET mobility, etc.

The educational background of the interns may vary, e.g., European studies, international relations, languages, political sciences, education. The CIM learning programme was delivered with three interns who already started their internship period at CESIE. Together with the interns are working members of the staff, project managers with experience in applying Design Thinking techniques and members of the HR office.

The aim of the CIM learning programme is to complement and enrich the basic traineeship experience at CESIE, focused on Project Management, with learning activities aimed at developing specifically Creativity and Innovation skills of the interns and the staff. At the end of the learning programme, the interns will have acquired a set of transversal CIM competences in line with the most recent job market requests that will therefore increase their opportunities for employment.

The interns involved in the CIM program are CESIE interns that in their day by day duties support the project managers of the office in a mix of different types of activities which includes project writing (from the reading and analysis of calls for proposals to the finalization and submission of an application form, in compliance with provisions of each specific call), management of activities at local / international level (research, group welcoming, training, networking, etc.), general management of daily activities of the organisation.

All these activities already contribute to develop part of the CIM competences:

  • Project design
  • Project management and implementation
  • Team work

Through the specific CIM learning programme they will have the possibility to reinforce the above-mentioned skills and develop also one more competence:

  • Design Thinking

The main resources of the CIM leaning programme included:

  • CESIE staff with expertise in Design Thinking, HR staff
  • Design Thinking manual, presentations
  • Online platform MIRO, Skype, Google Drive shared folder

CESIE actively involves youth in projects’ development and implementation. Thus, we provide trainings on project development and search for innovation potential after trainees’ arrival to CESIE.

These trainings are based on F2F meetings and reflection sessions.

Our challenges were linked to COVID-19’s pandemic. We were fostered to innovative training phases and engagement practices based on digitalisation tools. Moreover, we were looking for solutions how to keep the level of some aspects at high level, for example:

  • How to manage distractions and time management
  • Staying motivated.
  • Spur in-person interaction, etc.

To empower trainees to innovate, etc.

Please check our story (in brief) here 😊:

Design Thinking and smart working: creativity and innovation at work (ENG)

Design Thinking e smart working: creatività e innovazione nel lavoro (ITA)