Design hackathon is an event where diverse teams come up with innovative solutions to real-life problems, putting end users at the core. On April 12, a group of Kemira experts travelled to Rovaniemi, Finland, to mentor five teams participating in Dash Lapland, the northernmost design hackathon in the world. The teams worked intensively during the weekend to come up with solutions to our 1.5. degree challenge.

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Hacking away the problem
A hackathon brings together creative and inspiring minds across different backgrounds to tackle a challenge. ”Kemira is always looking for unconventional ideas, new solutions, innovative thinking, and sources of inspiration for our work. We wanted to explore how design thinking can be used to better prepare for the needs of our future customers and see what kind of innovations we can develop and choices we can make to ensure a better everyday,” says Rasmus Valanko, Head of Corporate Responsibility.

Kemira’s challenge in the hackathon was built around climate change and the 1.5 degree stretch goal set by governments around the world in the so-called Paris Agreement. “We challenged the teams to come up with ideas related to chemistry’s role in our everyday life as well as solving climate change and how digital solutions could possibly contribute to the solution,” Rasmus explains.

Awareness through data visualization
The winning team’s idea was to raise awareness and create demand for sustainable solutions by visualizing water and energy use data created by water treatment facilities. Utilizing informative visualizations can make end users more aware of their consumption and inspire change in behavior.

The teams had external mentors, but also Kemira employees were there to support them in their development process. ”It was great to see the enthusiasm and innovative thinking the teams had”, says one of the mentors, Jani Saarinen, Senior Manager from Kemira R&D. ”Considering they only had a few days to get to know each other and work as a team, the results were really impressive,” Jani continues.

In the close future, we will be working together with the winning team to develop the idea further and find out if we can find a way to integrate it alongside our existing solutions.

Dash Lapland was organized by Lapland Design Group which aims to promote design thinking in Northern Finland and enhance design knowledge in our society.

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The winning team.