Linköping Science Park, Sweden
“Brilliant Mentors of the Future”
The Brilliant Mentors of the Future is a reversed mentorship program that connects business leaders with university students to create connections for sharing knowledge and experience. The aim is to increase companies' ability to attract young talents and for students to learn more about local businesses.
Purpose of the solution
In today's competitive business world, companies struggle to find and retain top talent. One solution to this issue is to increase the awareness of young talents in companies and retain students from universities in the region after graduation. The Brilliant Mentors of the Future program addresses these challenges by matching knowledge-based companies at Linköping Science Park with students from Linköping University. Through the Reversed Mentorship program, younger talents act as mentors for more experienced professionals, creating a platform for intergenerational learning and knowledge sharing. The program offers a unique opportunity for students to gain valuable experience and insights into businesses, while also allowing companies to discover and develop the next generation of leaders. We are proud to say that our program has caught the attention of former Prime Minister Stefan Löfvén, who has supported the concept.
Brilliant Mentors of the Future is a collaborative project between Linköping Science Park and the city of Linköping. The first pilot was conducted 2021-2022 with eight mentor pairs, the response was positive from both the participating companies and students. This year, the program has attracted 13 companies and over 40 applications from students, demonstrating a growing interest.
The program has helped to improve communication between companies and the younger generation, providing them with a deeper understanding of what is important for young talents when they start their careers. Listening to the stories from the mentors and mentees we can also see the impact the project has.
The success of Brilliant Mentors of the Future has attracted the attention of other organizations, and the program's structure and documentation have been shared. The handbook that supports mentors and mentees has been a useful resource for other organizations interested in implementing similar mentorship programs.
What is innovative about it?
Reversed mentorship is a concept that takes a twist on traditional mentorship where more experienced people share their knowledge and support with a younger person. The key concept of reverse mentoring is exactly what it sounds like: the younger talent takes on the role as a mentor for the more senior person. It is an opportunity to learn from each other and share valuable experiences, bring new perspectives, and knowledge to decrease the gap between generations.
The first known example of reversed mentorship comes from General Motors in 1990, where this type of mentoring was used to get senior people in leading positions to learn about the internet from younger people within the company. Today, the concept has developed towards focusing more on leadership, innovative thinking and organizational perspectives, and there are several successful programs within large companies. To organize these mentorships on a larger scale with different companies and students is a further development of the reversed mentorship model.