Call for Problem Statements! Zoohackathon 2017

The 2nd Zoohackathon will take place on September 22-24 and October 6-8!  Similar to last year, the Zoohackathon will bring together volunteer coders, technologists, designers, and wildlife experts to develop technology solutions that will help combat wildlife trafficking. 

The global threat of wildlife trafficking continues to grow.  Iconic species are being decimated by poachers, fueling transnational criminal organizations.  Technology is a crucial way in which we can meet this devastating challenge. 

Does your organization need help developing a technology solution that can advance your wildlife conservation work?  If so, submit a proposal for a problem statement to Victoria Peabody ([email protected]by Monday, August 28!  The problem statement proposal template is attached.  The problem statements are the challenges that will be given to all of the participants to solve during the Zoohackathon.  If you submit a problem statement, we request that you are available during both dates of the Zoohackathon to answer questions from the participants.

Last year, we received problem statements that addressed a range of issues including demand reduction, raising awareness about illegal wildlife trade, and reducing habitat loss and alteration.  The problem statements included potential types of technologies that could help solve these problems.  For example, gaming software that educates the public about the illegal wildlife trade, smartphone apps that allow tourists and locals to easily report wildlife trade, and mobile apps that allow users to input a destination and view wildlife products that they should avoid while traveling in their selected destination.  To view last year’s problem statements, please see the attached document or go to http://www.zoohackathon.com/pastevents/.

Two of the solutions that were created during last year’s Zoohackathon are currently being developed – WildTrack and Safe Souvenirs!  WildTrack helps the public report poaching activity to the SMART system and Safe Souvenirs is a mobile and web app that provides tourists with information on what products are illegal to import into the United States.  In addition, it provides tourists with souvenir options that are safe to bring home from their destination.     

Please let us know if you have any questions.  The U.S. Department of State is grateful for all of your help and support in making this conservation technology event a success again this year!

Best regards,

The State Department Zoohackathon Team

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