Tell a data story. Visualize a better world.

In collaboration with the World Bank, the United Nations Foundation, and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, Google Cloud hosted a data storytelling contest called Visualize 2030.

The 2030 Agenda

From ending poverty to preserving biodiversity, The 2030 Agenda is made up of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that define a plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity. These goals seek to meaningfully transform three critical areas: ending poverty, helping society, and preserving the environment.

The challenge

To tell a data-driven story that reveals how at least two SDGs influence each other and what actions might be taken in order to reach those goals by 2030.

The reward

The top five eligible submissions receive:

  • $10,000 (USD) cash prize
  • Announcement during the
    World Economic Forum at Davos
  • Publication by Google Cloud

The toolbox


Contestants had to use data from at least one of the newly available BigQuery public datasets provided by the UN Statistics Division and the World Bank.


Contestants used Google Data Studio — a free service for analysis, visualization, and reporting — to visualize the data and create their data story.

Confetti Trophy

Meet the winners!

Congratulations to the five winners of the Visualize 2030 contest who brought their passion for social and environmental impact to life with data visualizations. Learn more about the winners and their data stories below.

Anisa Holmes

Anisa Holmes

City, University of London

Women in Government for Strong Institutions, Peace & Justice

"I focused on the relationship between increased female participation with reduced corruption and stronger institutions."

Drive accountability

Anna Jacobson

University of California, Berkeley

The Building Blocks of Gender Equality

"The hypothesis for my data story was that a country's progress toward reaching the goal of gender equality would intersect with its progress toward reaching other SDGs, specifically on health, education, and employment."

Take control of your costs

Evan Snary

McMaster University

Poverty | Climate Action: An Inverse Relationship

"In order to accomplish the SDGs of Ending Poverty and Taking Climate Action, it is essential that we find a solution that ensures emission stability in rapidly growing nations, while encouraging their continued economic growth."

Intelligent insights for smart spending

Kelsey Wang

Stanford University

Inequalities of Today and Tomorrow

"In my data story, I explain to an imaginary character, Emilia, how necessary education is to develop solutions to both poverty and climate change."

Intelligent insights for smart spending

Sarah Liou

McMaster University

Earth, Water, Air, and Rising Temperatures

"While I started off exploring the relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and livestock production, I was surprised to discover the negative impacts agriculture has on our freshwater supplies and land availability as well."

Meet the judges

Experts in multimedia storytelling, data analytics, sustainable development and journalism, the judges used their knowledge, along with the assessment criteria, to select the five contest winners.

Richard Curtis

Rajesh Mirchandani

Chief Communications Officer, United Nations Foundation

Simon Rogers

Claire Melamed

Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

Rajesh Mirchandani

Haishan Fu

Director, World Bank's Development Data Group

Haishan Fu

Richard Curtis

Writer, Director, Co-Founder of Red Nose Day and UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate

Cindi Howson

Cindi Howson

Research VP, Gartner

Fausto Ibarra

Fausto Ibarra

Director of Product Management, Google Marketing Platform

Claire Melamed

Simon Rogers

Data Editor, News Lab at Google

See what makes a winning story

Data first

Start with the data. Approach it as a scientist would: observe, hypothesize, and test your hypothesis against the data. The data should dictate the visualization, not the other way around.

Narrative arc

Build a narrative framework around your findings. What is the exposition? The rising action? The climax? And finally, propose a solution that may help achieve two or more of the SDGs by 2030.


Invite audiences to engage with your data story and ask their own questions of the data. This adds a sense of discovery to the interrelated threads and findings.

Design language

Maintain a unique look and feel throughout your work. Make font, size, alignment, and color purposeful. Ensure that the design guides your audience along your narrative arc.


Ensure access to your insights by designing your data story with a global audience in mind. In order to achieve the 2030 Agenda, your visualizations and story need to be easily understood by all.

Spread the word and share your story with #visualize2030

Data Solutions for Change

Visualize 2030 is an extension of Google Cloud’s Data Solutions for Change initiative, where nonprofit organizations and NGOs have the opportunity to apply big data to real-world challenges.

Learn more