The 2019 Qonnections ‘No Planet B’ Challenge

During this year’s Qonnections, hosted another successful hackathon. This time, we challenged small teams of 3-5 people to help the United Nations devise a Qlik application which could successfully report, analyze and plan their air travel.

Air travel emissions are a pressing issue as they account for about 5% of global warming. While air travel releases more greenhouse gas emissions than any form of transportation, it remains very common and is often indispensable for organizations like the UN. The goal of the “No Planet B challenge” hackathon was to build an application that could drive the UN to emissions friendly decision-making regarding meeting location planning, airline selection, and how to cut back on-air travel when possible. Each team received two datasets comprised of UN travel data, which they could supplement with additional information.

After a few weeks to build their applications, the various teams demonstrated their applications in Dallas, during the Qonnections conference. The teams presented from 7-10 pm on May 14th and were then also asked questions about their solutions by judges. The judges included representatives from the UN, as well as Qlik team members like myself and Brian Munz amongst others. KPMG's application was awarded first place for the “No Planet B Challenge” on the mainstage during the general keynote sessions the next day. The application offered a thorough approach of air travel emissions, which included a meeting planner function and allowed for comparison of different transportation options. Applications submitted by Axis and Assure were also awarded as runners-up too.

As part of the hackathon follow-up, Qlik and the UN met with the developers of the three winning applications to get a more detailed demonstration of their applications. This consisted of, meeting with the UN in their New York HQ for further discussions around their expectations and ways we can collaborate knowledge of the various applications built to determine deployment options for the UN. KPMG’s winning application will serve as a general template for the UN as it will continue development with Qlik’s own R&D team, in collaboration with KPMG. This application will then be launched before the Global Climate Action Summit in Chile in this September and made available to the public to leverage as well at that time.


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