Hacking to Save Endangered Species: The London Zoohackathon

Dec 11, 2017 10:15 AM ET

Originally posted on: techatbloomberg.com

The lives and work of software engineers and conservationists might seem worlds apart. However, last month the two came together at the Zoohackathon, hosted by ZSL London Zoo, in collaboration with Bloomberg and the U.S. Embassy London, to develop technological tools to protect endangered species around the world.

The London Zoohackathon is part of a larger global initiative held at zoos across the globe that is aimed at finding innovative tech-driven solutions to help tackle illegal wildlife trade. Now in its second year, the initiative is organized by the U.S. Department of State and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

In addition to sponsoring this year’s Zoohackathon, Bloomberg invited nine of its London-based engineers to volunteer their time and talent and participate on different teams in the event. Through the company’s philanthropy and engagement program, Bloomberg employees are offered a range of skills-based volunteering opportunities to enable them to apply their expertise to support non-profit organizations in contexts outside their day-to-day responsibilities.

With more than 5,000 engineers and data scientists globally, and 800 in London alone, support and participation in social hackathons is a key strand of the company’s philanthropy and engagement program. By harnessing these talented engineers’ skills and resources, the company is able to help benefit society and also expand its employees’ ongoing professional development.

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