9 June 2017
Life after Neste's first Hackathon
More photos of the event here.
Neste organized its first ever 24-hour Hackathon on May 23rd and 24th simultaneously in Helsinki, Finland, and in Singapore. Ten teams came together to work on what they hoped would become the winning concept for improving and digitalizing Neste's Supplier Due Diligence System. The event culminated in the announcement of top three concepts, and ultimately the winner of the 10 000 euro cash prize for a concept to help Neste engage its suppliers digitally on their sustainability progress. End of story.? Well, luckily not quite.
What, when and where?
- At Slush Helsinki in December 2016, Neste presented an open invitation for all to help Neste develop and digitalize its Supplier Due Diligence System.
- On April 21st, a Pre-Hack Event was held to enable networking and matchmaking among interested participants and teams.
- After May 11th deadline to register ideas, ten teams with ideas offering the most development potential were invited to the main 24-hour-long Hackathon event.
- On May 23rd, 7 teams in Helsinki and 3 in Singapore gathered to work on their ideas with Neste mentors; members of Neste's top management team also engaged with the teams.
- On May 24th, after nearly 24 hours of development, the teams took 3 minutes each to pitch their concept to the Hackathon jury consisting of SVP, Sustainability and Public Affairs Simo Honkanen and Chief Information Officer Tommi Tuovila from Neste, Tiina Pursula from Gaia, as well as NGO representatives Sonja Vartiala from Finnwatch and Anna Bexell from Proforest.
Congratulations to all the winners!
1st place: Team Fute (aka Future Technologies)
"We did a lot of work but still feel anxious and nervous", Team Fute members Thanh Dao, Yuexin Du and Khanh Nguyen sighed after having pitched their concept to the jury. "We'll probably get 'the Most Annoying Team' award as we asked so many questions from the mentors", Yuexin Du said laughing and added she had been too nervous to sleep more than 2 hours prior to the pitching of the final ideas.
These three Finland-based students from China and Vietnam not only utilized Neste mentors efficiently but also relied successfully on their combined know-how from the areas of business analytics, supply chain management, sustainability and software development to produce "...a digital communication and collaboration platform that helps Neste teams engage the suppliers efficiently on their sustainability progress." The concept earned Team Fute 10 000 as a grand prize.
"Team Fute clearly listened to our needs and combined this knowledge with their own views in a value-adding way. The team was very hungry, it really wanted to win", Neste's Sustainability Director Johan Lunabba complimented.
"Team Fute's idea was well-rounded and realistic. They efficiently incorporated already existing data into new means to engage Neste's raw material suppliers", says Simo Honkanen, SVP Sustainability and Public Affairs at Neste. "The concept introduced a very visible process to help draw attention to the potential risks in the supply chain."
Neste's Hackathon will most likely not be the last one for Team Fute. "We are going to think about what we can do to improve as a team", Thanh Dao says.
2nd place: Team Openfeel
Team Openfeel receiving 2nd place was the only one of the Singapore-based teams to place in the top three. Team members Rosemary Wong and Oh Chye Yong described their concept as a "...holistic system to integrate Neste, Suppliers and Public stakeholders, strengthening Neste's commitment to global sustainability with a path to expand the internal sustainability processes to become a new business for digital sustainability marketplace." According to Neste mentors, the team paid particular attention to the engagement of suppliers by putting them in the center of the system as key users.
3rd place: Team Lichens
"We didn't know each other that well beforehand but are very satisfied with our idea and our pitching", said Team Lichens' members Camila Barragán, Nidia Obscura, Babi Brasileiro, Ville-Matti Tanninen and
Jami Valorinta. The team placed 3rd by combining the skills of a graphic designer, as well as math and computer scientists - some Hackathon enthusiasts, some first-timers - to produce a concept described as "... an effortlessly growing network of suppliers, with a platform to connect them in a traceable and transparent way, enhanced by the Sustainability flower: a unique and intuitive way to visualize sustainability."
Honorary mention: Team Nortal
The jury additionally gave an honorary mention to Team Nortal for providing a fresh concept for a "Neste ecosystem for sustainable suppliers" which put great emphasis on openness and transparency. The team members included Erik Mashkilleyson, Kalle Mattas, Mari-Liis Kärsten, David Castillo, and Juha Virko.
And what will happen next?
"The enthusiasm and curiosity of all the the teams and the detail of their ideas was simply amazing," compliments Adrian Suharto, Sustainability and Communications Manager at Neste who managed the Hackathon process from Neste's Singapore office.
According to CIO Tommi Tuovila, Neste is in the process of combining what it learned from Hackathon with the ideas and requirements the company had listed for its Supplier Due Diligence System prior to the event. "The winning concept will not necessarily be the only one utilized in the development. We hope to efficiently utilize all the best parts of Hackathon-rooted ideas", Tuovila says. "For example, the two proposals based on Blockchain technology brought new perspectives into how confidentiality and openness can be combined into a manageable entity."
For Sustainability Director Johan Lunabba, the pure excitement and energy of the event was the most memorable part: "The positive energy enveloped us all, the participants, us organizers, our enthusiastic partner Gaia, the technical team. I am very proud that we had the courage to do things differently! As we do not have all the wisdom inside Neste, we need to continue reaching out to our stakeholders to accomplish great things together."
Johan Lunabba, Director, Sustainability, tel. +358 50 458 0795, johan.lunabba(@)neste.com
Neste in brief
Neste (NESTE, Nasdaq Helsinki) creates responsible alternatives for transportation, business and consumer needs. Our global range of products and services allows customers to lower their carbon footprint by combining high-quality and low-emission renewable products and oil products to tailor-made service solutions. We are the world's largest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and residues, and we are also bringing renewable solutions to the aviation and plastics industries. We want to be a reliable partner with widely valued expertise, research and responsible practices. Neste's turnover in 2016 was EUR 11.7 billion, and we continued to be on the Global 100 list of the world's most responsible companies. Read more: neste.com