A Challenge-Based Idea Accelerator


EXPAND is a 3-year Erasmus+ project.
This is a challenge-based accelerator program & toolbox for university students and teaching staff, focused on tackling major societal problems. 

The main goal of EXPAND is to develop a 4-month idea accelerator program for future entrepreneurs tackling systemic problems in society. After embedding all the learnings of the first Idea Accelerator, the project will disseminate a practical toolbox with the best practices to replicate the accelerator in other universities or institutions.

The toolbox will be available to teaching staff worldwide and it will include a viable, replicable and scalable methodology for implementing a challenge-based idea accelerator.


« We have co-developed a hands-on toolbox to help HEI teaching staff with the development of a challenge-based social innovation course in your own institution. In this toolbox, you will find all the information about the programm description and programme components, including how to define a social challenge. Moreover, you will discover detailed implementation guidelines and evaluation processes as well as relevant resources and materials for your course. An e-learning library, with exclusive videos from experts and teaching staff, is also available on demand. »

Thierry Sibieude, Professor at ESSEC,
Founder of the Chair of Social Innovation


This toolbox was created to help support HEI teaching staff on the development of a challenge-based social innovation course.

If you are planning to actively involve your students in a process of creating solutions to today’s greatest societal challenges
by collaborating with local and national partners, then this toolbox is for you.

Design led by ESADE & ESSEC and co-created by the EXPAND Partners

10 Weeks To Build A Social Innovation: Homelessness

Through its pilot year, the first Expand Idea Accelerator will focus on addressing the challenge of homelessness.

In the last available global survey, about 100 million people worldwide were estimated to be homeless, with as many as 1.6 billion lacking adequate housing. Social entrepreneurship can be a valuable help, bringing the best out of diversity, innovation and problem-solving potential.

The objective of this 10-week course is to accompany students in the building of a social innovation responding to one of the 6 challenges proposed linked with homelessness :

  • Access to housing
  • Hygiene and health
  • Lack of social ties
  • Safety and security
  • Access to information
  • The need for social integration.


Several Ways Of Learning Designed For Students

A Three-Part Course Inspired By Design Thinking Innovation Methodology




Analysis, understanding of the problem, choice of the challenge to solve




Research and definition of solutions in team




Building and testing the solution in the field, presentation in front of a jury


ESSEC Business School

Teams & Projects


Teams & Projects

EXPAND Steering Comittee

The EXPAND Steering Committee is composed of a multidisciplinary team of experts, actors from the public and private sectors, and associations who bring their expertise, guide and feed the reflections on the theme of the Expand 2022 program: homelessness (strategic advice, potential synergies…).



Eric Pliez, Mayor of the 20th arrondissement of Paris.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Alain Regnier, Prefect, Interministerial Delegate for the reception and integration of refugees.
Victoria Mandefield, Founder and Managing Director of Solinum.
Valérie Pélisson-Corlieu, Executive Director of the association ESPERER 95.
Thierry Sibieude, Chaired Professor of Social Innovation.
Jérôme Schatzman, Executive Director – Social Innovation Chair​.

Program Partners