Climate protection through digital technologies – CSR at QualityMinds

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The man-made climate change is probably the greatest social challenge of our time. Just recently the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced, that if the global greenhouse gas emissions do not drastically decrease, the compliance of the Paris Agreement goal of 1,5 degree will not be possible. We, as a society, whether regarding politics, economy, or individuals, must think our actions profoundly through and take measures to avoid this development. At QualityMinds we are fully aware of this responsibility. Our actions have an impact which we want to shape as positive as possible. We want to contribute with our know-how to master the challenges of the climate change. That is why we commit ourselves to valuable projects which allow us to use our know-how in a relevant way. Let me introduce you to one of such projects: SCIARA.

SCIARA – short for Society Climate Interaction Analysis with Real Agents 

SCIARA is a scientific online game which allows to execute social experiments within the climate impact research. It is an ambitious interdisciplinary project integrating IT, social science, and earth science. The goal is to connect people and to anticipate their interactive behavior in simulations that are realistic and representative, offering them a chance of a virtual time travel into the climatic future.

The users of the application are asked to make several decisions concerning their lifestyle, such as their personal consumer behavior, eating habits, investments, travelling, mobility etc. Based on the reactions of users on different environmental states and climate policy measures, such as the introduction of a carbon tax, it will be possible for decision taking people in politics, economy, and society to adopt effective measures against climate change. The collected data and created models being can help measure the level of social acceptance on climate effective decisions and measures. For instance, the observed consumer behavior of the participant can help get an idea of how different climate change indicators would turn out if all people on Earth lived and acted just like they do now. Another option to model these climate change indicators, such as global warming or the increasing sea level, is to follow the behavior of all users participating in the simulation. The result is a value-free and scientifically based analysis which could actively strengthen the awareness of what the climatic change and its consequences mean for every single member of the society and encourage to reflect on one’s own actions.

Our Engagement in climate research at SCIARA

SCIARA is a non-profit merger of six medium-sized IT companies under the guidance of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. We are proud to be a part of this joint venture from the very beginning.

With the engagement in the SCIARA-Project, QualityMinds contribute with our core competencies to developing and implementing effective actions against the climate crisis. Currently our Mind Quyen is working in the project. As a software tester, she is responsible for the quality of the product and deployment on different stages. Her tasks include manual testing for new features and their interactions with existing ones, as well as analyzing user stories and requirements for feasibility, validity, detecting issues and inconsistencies. Besides her daily testing activities, she also occasionally provides support for the Community Management team with setting up the appropriate configuration for experiments with real participants. Recently, Quyen took on a new responsibility of designing and developing UI automation scripts.

What’s next?

In the following months the SCIARA-Team wants to further improve the functionality and usability of the application. Furthermore, they want to test the simulation with additional groups of selected people. The German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU) already approved this notion in September, which guarantees continuation of the SCIARA app development. The app should be functional in the beginning of the next year and deliver further scientifically relevant results and insights.

I have asked Quyen for her own personal hopes and wishes regarding the project. The answer speaks for itself and shows how much she identifies with the project:

“I hope that SCIARA will be more widely known and supported so that the project can continue working towards its great missions. With so much potential, I hold a firm belief that not only Germany, but also other countries can benefit from this product”.

Quyen Phan, Test Consultant at QualityMinds


written by

Patrick Werner