Climathon Stories

'' Offers Solutions for Reducing Air Travel Emissions in Zurich

Calling all citizens! The city of Zurich wants you to act against climate change. This was the challenge posed by the Zurich Climathon, organized in partnership with Impact Hub Zurich.


Calling all citizens! The city of Zurich wants you to act against climate change. This was the challenge posed by the Zürich Climathon, organized in partnership with Impact Hub Zurich. The global 24-hour climate hackathon called on activists and innovators to conceive transformative campaign ideas for driving decarbonisation and civic engagement.

The Challenge

Over the past 25 years, citizens of Zurich have reduced their average greenhouse gas emissions by 30% to 4.4 tons of CO2 annually. However, effective climate change mitigation means reducing this number to less than 1 ton of CO2. We all must take collective action in reducing our individual food, housing, and mobility consumption, but how do we motivate people to get onboard?

In the spirit of the global climate strikes, the city was in search of a communication and action campaign that would mobilize citizens and promote climate-positive behaviour. Perhaps, an effective place to start would be air travel - a personal choice of transportation that accounts for 2.5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

The Solution

Traveling to exotic destinations is now a thing of the past. With 'closeBy', stunning places are just around the corner. The web platform,, allows users to search for potential travel destinations in Switzerland side by side to their well-known sibling. Instead of flying close to 9,000 kilometers to Venezuela for a glimpse of Angel Falls, why not visit the 72 waterfalls that gush down into the nearby Lauterbrunnen Valley?

“[The mindset is] the further away I go, the more adventurous it is, but we want to break from that idea. It isn't how far you travel away, it's what you make of it,” explained Karin Rey, team member of the winning Climathon solution.

Each trip query produces key metrics of the copycat destination displaying the total time, money and CO2 saved. Thus, travellers can explore nearby points of interest on a reduced budget and carbon footprint without compromise. Sporting a stunning user interface and user-generated content, aims to be the 'Tinder' of traveling.

Meet The Team

The Swiss team behind the solution is comprised of Karin Rey, Maja Haus, Norina Braun, Sandro Tanner, Adrian Auerbach and Lukas Schönbächler. Together, they embody the perfect balance between storytellers and developers and share ties to Switzerlan'’s Young Green Party. If they win the grand prize of up to €10,000, the team will invest in creating more high-quality content, building an online community, and begin marketing the platform.


The top 10 winning solutions and five forward-thinking cities have been nominated for the Climathon Global Awards, which celebrates an international movement that brought citizens and cities together to co-create and solve the local climate issues. EIT Climate-KIC's Climathon programme fosters a new generation of entrepreneurs and climate leaders to realise a zero-carbon economy.

This site uses cookies. Read more here. By accepting cookies you can optimise your browsing experience.