Late 90s in the United States: design thinking becomes a reference. Yet in France, no one is using this concept yet. Jean-claude Charlet decided to import this concept to France and created the Innovative Product Creation program to help companies become more innovative and agile.

“I experienced the birth of Design Thinking in the United States in the 90s”

The idea was born in Stanford, in the late 90s, where Jean-Claude Charlet spent three years, at the time of the birth of Google and other web pioneers. Design Thinking is emerging in Silicon Valley, in the wake of IDEO.

Jean Claude Charlet
Jean Claude Charlet, Co-Founder Schoolab

Back in France, the observation is threefold:

  • companies and academic institutions live in silos
  • Design is not seen as a design discipline
  • the culture of “doing” and entrepreneurship is weak.

ESSEC, Centrale Paris and Strate College, all convinced by the collaborative approach, are embarking on this cross-cutting and multidisciplinary educational innovation. CPi was born!

With the current crisis, innovation, the user-centric approach, cross-cutting, multidisciplinarity, entrepreneurial spirit, are all key words that make up CPi’s DNA and take on their full meaning to return to the growth by moving away from obsolete models.


ME310 students in the middle of work.

The Innovative Product Creation program

Central Paris (founded in 1829) and ESSEC (which celebrated its centenary in 2007) share the same strong vision of their mission towards civil society. The development of technological progress at the service of the community for Centrale Paris (from research to technical applications). Defending the values of innovation, humanism and responsibility for ESSEC.

Since 2007-08, strate Collège, one of France’s leading industrial design schools, has been strengthened by Strate Collège, which brings its integrated and cross-cutting vision of uses and design to innovation projects.

As a result, Innovation within the meaning of the CPi Program is intended to:

  • strong societal value (innovation for innovation is useless), hence a global theme around Sustainable Development, understood in the broadest sense in its environmental, social, cultural or economic implications.
  • not restrictive to the concept of “product” but may also apply to a concept, service, or even unprocess.
  • and not compartmentalized to large industrial companies, but also opening up to the public sector, startups, SMEs and sMEs and the voluntary sector...
design thinking

More than 135 business innovations launched in 10 years

The post office launches a platform to dialogue with its users with the innovative Product Creation program

Hello is the beginning of a dialogue between La Poste and its users.

It is both a route offered to La Poste to connect with its users and a space offered to the user to easily access all the simplified services offered to him, by means of the exchange space that is his Letter Box. The postman, the face of La Poste with users, plays a crucial role in the operation and deployment of hello.

The Post Office thus becomes an actor in local and civic life and opens up a wide field of future developments and innovation.

ICC program launches internal communication app for ESSEC

A comprehensive solution to restore meaning to content, to create dynamic links between people and available information. A system in which members of the Essec Executive Education community will have an advanced and relevant collaborative tool to promote the acquisition, creation and sharing of knowledge at the heart of the training and for the world. A device that serves the group and focuses on the user. A personalized relationship built around a unique object that connects you to your community everywhere and all the time.