SNI x Kenya Wildlife Trust
Hackathon
Calling all techno-conservationists, natural intelligence engineers, environmental data enthusiasts, Regen stewards,
and Web3-for-nature advocates!

Deadline to apply: September 12
Hackathon dates: October 7 - November 6
Location: online!
This October 2022, we will host our third online Hackathon, building on the success of our two previous competitions and our recent May 2022 Experimental Zone held at De Ceuvel in Amsterdam. We will again be inviting the most talented web3 teams from around the world to build tech in service to the health and balance of life on our planet.

In this iteration, we are partnering with the Kenya Wildlife Trust (KWT), an NGO committed to the protection and conservation of predators and their ecology, situated in the Maasai Mara National park in southwestern Kenya.

KWT and SNI have joined forces to invite adventurous labs and developers to tackle a pressing challenge: how to protect predators --keystone species in the Maasai Mara who play a vital role in maintaining the ecosystem's resilience.
How can we use web3 technology to support a synergetic relationship between herders and predators?

What technologies might we use to incentivize nature stewards for their conservation efforts?

Can new, emerging technologies be in true service to indigenous communities' cohabitation with wildlife?


Aware of the potential of emerging decentralized technologies, KWT has identified two specific problems they invite teams to tackle:
Lion identification and data management
A significant portion of KWT's resources is spent on predator identification in the Maasai Mara ecosystem. These identifications allow staff to monitor the population and create model-density estimates and distribution trends, data which is essential for conservation. Due to their physical characteristics, individual lions are more challenging to identify than other predators and the images are painstakingly screened and processed by three KWT employees.

KWT is therefore challenging tech teams to develop better, more efficient ways to identify individual lions and classify and cluster the images taken.
Predators and farmers conflict mitigation
The survival of predators in a mixed-use landscape like the Maasai Mara depends upon the goodwill of people to coexist with other non-human and undomesticated life. There, farmers and wildlife live in close proximity and predators often prey on cattle. This tension has historically shaped the culture and tradition of the Maasai herder tribes, who have partnered with the land and its inhabitants for centuries. Today, however, population growth and desertification have intensified such conflicts to the point that retaliation/persecution of predators may lead to their extinction, threatening, as a result, the collapse of the entire ecosystem.

This hackathon invites teams to harness their creativity, skills, and expertise toward building tools that can serve as facilitators of a new symbiotic relationship between human communities and predators.

Teams are encouraged to consider questions such as: How can technological and economic tools enable communities to safely cohabit with predators? Could tech create conditions for farmers to understand the importance of predators? Can a technological solution help determine the value of predators within the complex dynamics of a savanna ecosystem?
Ideal participants
We're looking for labs, startups, collectives, or companies with a heart for conservation, and ambition to build life-sustaining systems. SNI is keen to explore tools such as:
Wildlife and biodiversity data oracalization
Token Engineering - crypto native models for conservancies funds distribution
Spatio-temporal prediction modeling - wildlife mobility predictions and human-wildlife conflict mitigation
Citizen science - applications for wildlife tracking and identification
Computer vision models for wild animals recognition, identification, and tracking

Instructions to Apply and Important Dates
Applicants can choose to focus on one of the challenges or both.
Candidates should apply before September 12, by completing this form. We will let applicants know if they are selected by September 16.

During the hackathon period, participants will work on their ideas independently while periodically meeting with relevant stakeholders, including representatives from KWT, the Mara Predator Conservation Programme, and our technology partners, who will help participants empathize with the challenges and connect with relevant data. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend virtual office hours and facilitated conversations to validate their ideas with other team members and explore synergies with other teams.

The last 48 hours of the hackathon will be the swarming sprint, where all participants, advisors, and judges will interact and collaborate to finalize the technology developed throughout October.

Our Partners


One last note - Nature doesn't care about ownership.
In the spirit of open collaboration, all software developed during the SNI x KWT Hackathon should be published on open repositories and licensed under open source licenses.
Any questions big or small?
Contact alessandro@sovereignnature.com