Addressing carbon removal knowledge gaps with an interactive database

How Frontier used Softr and Airtable to create an extensive database of carbon removal knowledge gaps to foster collaboration among experts from all over the world

frontier's carbon removal gaps knowledge base

Frontier is an advance market commitment (AMC) by Stripe Climate that aims to support the development of carbon removal technologies. It is funded by Stripe, Alphabet, Shopify, and tens of thousands of other businesses that use Stripe Climate.

One of Frontier’s latest projects has been the database of carbon removal knowledge gaps, where they would collect a dynamic list of knowledge gaps that would be categorized by their industry, impact, needed skillset, and a variety of other parameters. So, they needed a way to organize the whole database as well as present it in a way that would allows the users to filter the items by all the different parameters, upvote the items they consider important, comment on items, and, lastly, submit new gaps themselves and be able to edit them in the future.

database of gaps

Building a UI for the database

The Frontier team knew that Airtable is a great tool for building such databases, but they also needed a UI solution on top of Airtable that would allow them to provide all the features mentioned above. This is when they reached out to Steven Zhang, who is an Airtable employee and has been actively involved in various climate initiatives.

“They needed a simple way to quickly create a configurable UI on structured data, and I knew that Airtable was the best way to store that data and Softr was the easiest way to build on that.”

Steven Zhang, Software Engineer, Airtable

Steven had already built using Softr and Airtable, so he was well-familiar with Softr’s capabilities and knew how to achieve what Frontier needed.

As a result, Steven and the Frontier team were able to launch the project really quickly, and now the database is available to all the subject matter experts, who can get familiar with the existing issues in the field as well as contribute themselves.

gap category overview

Results and next steps

It’s been over four weeks since the database was launched, and it has already received hundreds of upvotes on different items as well as 50+ new submissions, which have been incorporated into the database. Moreover, the project has received interest from several organizations including Google, Grantham Foundation, Marble, and others who intend to use the database to launch targeted funding programs, which was the initial goal of the project.

“For us the gap database is only the beginning. We envision the tool to grow and evolve over time and have some good indications that it is working.”

Frauke Kracke, Science Lead, Stripe Climate

Frauke and the team will be taking the tool on a roadshow to intended users (entrepreneurs, scientists, and philanthropists) to pressure test its effectiveness and motivate potential users to participate and “fill in the gaps.”  The feedback and learnings that will be collected as a result of these interactions will be used  to improve the database and incorporate additional functionality.

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