Ideas without limits: Global Hackathon 2019

Kuehne + Nagel held an international Hackathon in Hamburg for its employees worldwide. The internal event saw 50 participants from various departments and nine different locations as far away as Dubai and Hong Kong, who came together to work on ideas they suggested and selected themselves. The cross-departmental Hackathon was open for members of all areas, explicitly not composed as an IT event.

Hackathons build bridges, and they strengthen connections and exchange between departments and locations. Bringing together different perspectives enables fruitful discussions and cross-departmental problem-solving, as participant Ulrike Jürgensen, Kuehne + Nagel, Germany, explains: “It’s exciting to see how IT colleagues think and work. Coming from a business unit myself, this is one of my biggest learnings.” Such events encourage creativity and foster intrapreneurship as well as an innovation-friendly mindset in the company. Recurring participant Julie Cooreman, Kuehne + Nagel Belgium, agrees: “I really like the Hackathon; it’s always good to step out of our daily jobs and to stimulate creativity.” Another advantage is the attractiveness and motivational factor for current employees and potential external candidates.

The selected topics showed a variety of interest areas including automation, gamification, knowledge sharing, and open source. The winning team presented a game that serves as an ice breaker, team building and gamified learning session – all at once. Joachim Albers, SVP Global IT Products, summarises: “At the KN Hackathon, colleagues from different departments and different countries come together to explore ideas and learn. I am impressed by their creativity, collaboration and commitment.”


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