Hack the Zoo!

Or, better still, hack at the zoo. Korkeasaari Zoo and U.S. Embassy in Helsinki are proud to host the first ever Zoohackathon in Finland and in the Nordics.

The Zoohackathon is a computer coding and technology intensive event that brings together developers, designers, project managers, and subject matter experts to create applications, systems, and tools to help reduce demand for trafficked wildlife products.

Korkeasaari will provide some inspiring behind the scenes activities for breaks throughout the days and you will be coding right next to brown bears. Registration is free of charge and the space is limited, so scroll down and register now!
Winning team will be rewarded with 2 000 €, and there’s a chance to win global pizes as well!

At the Korkeasaari Zoo, Helsinki, Finland

November 9 – 10, 2019

2 000 € for the winning team, offered by Ambientia Oy

Full schedule of the Zoohackathon weekend

Saturday November 9

08:30 a.m. Registration starts, participants arrive at event venue (breakfast)
09:00 a.m. Opening Ceremony and introductions to the theme by partners (streamed online)
10:30 a.m. Coding starts
01:00 p.m. Lunch + behind the scenes refresher
2:30 p.m. Coding continues
Snacks, coffee and refreshments will be available throughout afternoon and evening.
8:30 p.m. Coding ends for the day, venue closes

Sunday November 10

08:30 a.m. Participants arrive, coding continues (breakfast)
12:30 p.m. Coding ends, lunch and prepare for demos/presentations
01:30 p.m. Demos to the panel of judges (approx. 5 mins)
02:30 p.m. Closing ceremony, announcing the winner

Experts and judges

Nina Trontti, Director of Animal Care and Conservation in Korkeasaari Zoo
Nina Trontti
Nina Trontti is the Director of Animal Care and Conservation in Korkeasaari Zoo. She is responsible for development of animal welfare, animal husbandry and international co-work with zoos and different reintroduction projects. In 2016 Korkeasaari Zoo arranged a meeting for Finnish authorities about animal trade and transportation, and Nina became very interested in animal transports, CITES regulations and border control in EU. Since then she has been dealing with unexpected illegal wildlife trade cases in Finland, like with fennec fox, different tortoise species, raccoon and other exotic animals. She is excited of joining Zoohackathon and is hoping of seeing unique and easy to use solutions for monitoring illegal wildlife trade.

Nina is a biologist with hands on experience with a large variety of endangered species, and she is a member of different species committees in EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) – like Asiatic Lion, Amur Leopard, Amur Tiger Pallas Cat and Kulan. She has been working also as a nature school teacher and a guide and loves to share Korkeasaa Zoo’s mission and vision about conserving endangered species and biodiversity.

Dr. Enrico Di Minin, Associate Professor in Conservation Geography
Dr. Enrico Di Minin
Dr. Enrico Di Minin is an Associate Professor of Conservation Geography at the Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, where he leads the Helsinki Lab of Interdisciplinary Conservation Science. He was recently awarded the prestigious European Research Council Starting Grant for a research project that aims to investigate illegal wildlife trade from digital platforms using methods from artificial intelligence.

Di Minin is excited of joining the Zoohackathon event at Korkeasaari Zoo because his research team is developing and applying methods to automatically monitor illegal wildlife trade from online platforms, including to understand sentiment and opinions of wildlife products users, and wants to create a leading environment for this kind of research in Finland. He is an interdisciplinary conservation scientist with research interests ranging from economics to computer science. His research background and expertise are relevant to investigate the interactions among biosphere, society and economy, which affect sustainability. Di Minin has been among the first conservation scientists to use big data mined from digital platforms to help reverse the biodiversity crisis.

Sampo Marjomaa, representative for Team Rokka detection dogs
Sampo Marjomaa
Team Rokka works in East Africa to catch ivory smugglers and to teach local officials how to train dogs to find ivory. The team founded by police officer Toni Lahtinen, together with dog trainer Maija Hietanen and Senior Constable and special dog trainer Miikka Ounila in 2012. Finnish Ivory sniffer ”Rokka” has also seen showing his skills in the documentary film The Ivory Game, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio!
Aki Salmi, Senior Software Architect in Ambientia Oy
Aki Salmi
Aki does not believe in magic, he makes it happen. In all his professions, which are many; Hiking Guide, Communication Trainer, Software Crafter.

He started as developer in test and later has worked as Scrum Master and software crafter. While doing the techy side of work, Aki is test-driving the code – already since 2006. While being with people, Aki is well known for his listening skills giving the greatest gift he can give – feeling of being listened to.

Professionally, he travels all around Europe to speak, to share and to learn with crafters on what the community has learned. Also, Aki organises conference(s) himself, like CodeFreeze.
Meet a man who is living his dream.


Registration will close on November 5, 2019. You can register either as an individual or as a team (of 3 to 6 people per team).  If you register as an individual, you will be placed into a team at the start of the event. Participants must bring their own laptops.