March 27, 2018
The Vatican called - and 120 participants worldwide flocked to its first hackathon “VHacks”. One of Jacobs University’s students, Ibrahim Ahmed Malik from Pakistan, was there. “It was a fantastic experience,” says the 21-year-old, who is studying Industrial Engineering and Management at the English-medium university in Bremen.
Finding a technical solution for a social problem in just 36 hours - that was the brief given by VHacks. Ibrahim and his team chose the theme of Migration and Refugees. They developed an app and a website that bring together refugees and their local supporters. “We kept the platform as simple as possible to make it easily accessible. The jury really liked it,” he says.
The participants of VHacks came from 60 countries and comprised not only students but also programmers, designers and project managers. “The contact with like-minded people was highly enriching,” says Ibrahim who is not Christian but Muslim. It was all the more inspiring for him to have been “so close to the heart of the Catholic faith”, as he put it. The venue contributed greatly to the significance of VHacks, which he calls an “amazing initiative”. Ibrahim and the other participants even got to see the Pope - at the traditional Sunday prayers at Saint Peter's Basilica where the Pope also praised the VHacks initiative.