Socialbnb wins the "Changemaker Challenge"

  • The startup from Cologne, Germany facilitates the booking of overnight stays with local aid organizations 
  • "Changemaker Challenge" from Lufthansa Innovation Hub, Lufthansa Group, Expedia Group, Google, and Uber awards digital solutions for more sustainable travel and mobility 
  • Six finalist teams presented their innovative ideas to a top jury of experts

Six finalists of the "Changemaker Challenge" presented their digital solutions for sustainable travel and mobility to a top jury of experts and several hundred guests at the Lufthansa Group "Innovation Forum" in Frankfurt am Main on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. The winner was Socialbnb, a startup that facilitates the booking of sustainable overnight stays. The team impressed the jury with its innovative approach to sustainable tourism. Socialbnb's booking platform allows travelers to book overnight stays directly with local aid organizations, while supporting them financially. In total, there were over 150 submissions from 41 countries. 

"We are very pleased about the great success of the ‘Changemaker Challenge’, which has featured a lot of inspiring ideas. The six finalists presented compelling digital innovations along the entire travel chain. The broad spectrum of themes in the submissions – ranging from the creation of more transparency on the sustainability of travel to urban mobility and the reduction of our social and ecological footprint – clearly demonstrated the enormous potential of digitalization in our field with respect to sustainability," says Gleb Tritus, Managing Director of the Lufthansa Innovation Hub and member of the “Changemaker Challenge” jury. 

The second and third place winners were:

  •  Kind Traveler, a hotelbooking platform that donates $10 to local nonprofit organizations with each booking.
  • Breeze Technologies, a company that optimizes urban infrastructures via artificial intelligence, air sensors, and big data to improve air quality and traffic flow.

The other finalists included:

  • Pinc, a booking platform that offers culturally and ecologically more sustainable travel off the beaten track.
  • Green Tickets, a travelplanning portal that offers travelers sustainable travel options in Europe. 
  • AeroDelft, a company that makes flying more sustainable through the development of a hydrogen engine.

The "Changemaker Challenge" is the first global competition for sustainable ideas in the Travel & Mobility Tech sector. It is organized as part of the "Innovation Forum," the largest internal innovation event of the Lufthansa Group. This year's expert jury included David Krieger (Senior Director Strategy & Business Development, Expedia Group), Wieland Holfelder (VP Engineering Germany, Google), Christoph Weigler (General Manager Germany, Uber), Claudia Hügel (Senior Director Group Strategy, Lufthansa Group), and Gleb Tritus (Managing Director, Lufthansa Innovation Hub).

The aim of the competition is to explore the potential of sustainable digital solutions along the entire travel chain that can have a positive social or environmental impact. The "Changemaker Challenge" wants to raise awareness about these solutions and promote them further. Prizes totaling 30,000 euros were awarded.