UPSHIFT Virtual Edition: That Time Ibrahim Mentored a Team to a Victory!

Being a mentor or mentee is a big part of our culture. We’ve all been in both roles, multiple times. To pass on or receive mental goodness is quite rewarding.

The minute we received an email from Leila (Association “Laboratorium” Tuzla), inviting members of our community to be mentors on the project UPSHIFT – we said yes.

Why is This Exciting?
  • It was the first full-digital version of UPSHIFT. And we really like to participate in pioneering editions.
  • UPSHIFT is a highly competitive workshop. And we like competitive surroundings. Hands down, they’re fun and dynamic, all at once.
  • Our Ibrahim Muzaferija volunteered as a mentor. And Ibrahim is one of the coolest guys you can meet.
  • Young mega minds from all over BiH attended. And that’s always inspiring.
The UPSHIFT Program 

is about adding value to societies with great ideas.  It’s an international program, ran in 22 countries so far. 

With limited time and budget, teamwork and great mentors play a key role in the concept. Mentors help teams with:

a.    identifying problems in their own communities
b.    designing  prototype solutions

Our experienced Data Scientist Ibrahim Muzaferija, who got a few gold medals of his own, took on a challenge to mentor one of the UPSHIFT’s teams. He said that this experience was one for the books as he took the team to victory, helping them earn 3000 BAM.

UPSHIFT Event Breakdown 

By moving to the virtual space, UPSHIFT BiH became the first in the world to be implemented fully online! And may we add – quite successfully. 

Out of 88 teams that applied, 9 entered the competition (a total of 31 participants from Sarajevo, Visoko, Zenica, Tešanj, and Tuzla). Their virtual journey (from meeting the team, brainstorming to prototyping) lasted 7 days. 

On the eighth and final day, the jury of three experts, Renata Gojak (UNICEF), Amira Vejzagić-Ramhorst (UNDP), Sejdefa Bašić (Foundation Mozaik) chose 5 TOP teams who received the grant. 

Ibrahim’s Team: Their Solution

Ibrahim’s team (Elma Slabić, Nezir škaljić, Selma Salman, Affan Saračević, Harun Kološ) offered a practical solution to the question of student career counseling in their pitch.

In only a week, they’ve come up with a website mockup providing different resources and tools to assist scholars while searching for the best fit.

As the mockup will develop further in weeks to come, we cannot share more information about the product. However, we’ll make sure we do, once they finalize it.  

‘As a Data Analyst, I enjoyed observing and assisting with the processes behind the scenes. The way teams assessed the problem with critical thinking, defining similar social patterns in communities – was intricate and inspiring. Winning teams or not, I believe this was a win-win game for every single young person who participated.’ Ibrahim states.

Here’s a Little Secret

When asked about the general experience as a mentor and why other young people should apply for UPSHIFT, Ibrahim gave us an answer and revealed a little secret: 

‘The overall experience of UPSHIFT was excellent; the young people were so driven and sharp, and it was amazing to see the processes behind the final result. To all the students who are in doubt: Please apply! New professional connections, new friends, and such a worthy experience, are just a part of this unbelievable mix! Let me reveal a little secret for you – another UPSHIFT might take place in the second half of 2020!’ 

To all of you who participated in UPSHIFTbravo! 

To the organizers – thank you for making wonderful spaces for youth to develop their full potential. 

*The UPSHIFT program was held within the Joint Regional Program “Dialogue for the Future”, implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia by UNESCO, UNICEF, and UNDP.