Menu

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

Data

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.

Visualization

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."

Anisa is a masters student studying interactive journalism at City, University of London. She has previously worked as a data journalist in Berlin and has degrees in economics and graphic design from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Learn more about Anisa's work at anisacoletteholmes.com.
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."

Anna Jacobson is an engineer by training, project manager by experience, and data scientist by aspiration. As a student in UC Berkeley's Master of Information and Data Science program, Anna is rigorously pursuing the study of many facets of data analysis, while also serving as a student representative for both the MIDS Social Good initiative and the Women in MIDS initiative.
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."

Evan Snary is a 21-year-old commerce student currently attending McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Previously, he participated in small business management and is interested in the broader world of data science. Google Data Studio has contributed to a successful internship where Evan presents vital data in a meaningful way.
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."

Kelsey is a junior at Stanford University studying math and computer science. On campus, she is co-president of the Stanford Association for Computing Machinery and has also been involved with Code the Change, Stanford Splash, and Girls Teaching Girls to Code. Kelsey co-founded Teens Exploring Code, a teen-led organization that promotes accessibility to computer science education and diversity in tech.
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."

Sarah lives in Toronto, Canada, and attends McMaster University, where she is working towards a bachelor of commerce, majoring in marketing. Sarah was introduced to Google Data Studio through her work internship, where her main responsibilities are marketing, analytics, and sales. With Sarah's love for animals and passion for the environment, she was excited to create a visual story that would drive awareness to these important causes.

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.

Interactivity

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.

Accessibility

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

FAQs

The Visualize 2030 contest is for college and graduate students aged 18 or older (or the majority age in your country of permanent residence).
To be considered for the contest, you must be an active and enrolled student with an accredited university or college. As long as you’re actively enrolled and can prove it, you can participate.
Data Studio is a free online visual analytics and dashboarding service. You can learn more about Data Studio by reviewing the product overview page and help docs.
Visualize 2030 is a US-based contest, but students from other countries can participate so long as they live in a country in which Google Data Studio is available and they meet the full list of eligibility criteria. The official rules contain the eligibility criteria in full.
The application and data story must be in English. If English is not your first language, feel free to note that in your application as we will take that into consideration when assessing your submission.
Applicants are allowed only one submission. Multiple submissions will result in the applicant being automatically disqualified.
We will be selecting a total of five winners, each evaluated objectively and holistically against the judging criteria outlined above.
Each winner will receive a gross $10,000 (USD) cash prize. Google will not be responsible for claiming, paying, or otherwise handling any applicable taxes in your permanent country of residence. See the official rules for details.
First, please see the official rules to see if your question is answered there. Otherwise, please log into the Google Group and contact the administrator.