Sovereign Nature Initiative Winter Hackathon Challenge 2022: Creating Technology at the Service of Nature

22 teams from every corner of the globe recently gathered virtually to create new Web3 technologies at the service of nature during the Sovereign Nature Initiative (SNI)’s Winter Hackathon Challenge 2022 held from February 4–6. The larger topics at hand were regenerative finance, governance and environmental sensing NFT’s for nature.

According to Andrea Leiter, SNI Director of Research, ”The biggest riddle that we are trying to solve is that the economic interests are driving the destruction of the planet with a force, with a power and with a speed that no conservational project can keep up with. How can we flip the economics? How can we bring all of our understanding of the problems with the current capitalist economy to bear on developing a system that operates differently, at the same speed and same force?”

Regarding the weekend’s outcomes, Ed Hesse, SNI Co-Founder, shared:“There were a couple of ‘wow factors’ that came in. The teams I saw on the winning side could become a company. The ideas that have been presented here should become reality. We can now go back to the grander blockchain ecosystems like the Kusama Treasury and Ocean Protocol to apply for grants to fund these ideas further.”

SNI’s magical new custom-designed metaverse
The hackathon took place in SNI’s brand new metaverse in Momentum, and included a tailor-made soundtrack. The underwater space was full of water lilies and customized meme jellyfish swimming by. Definitely not your average hackathon environment.

Alessandro Mazzi, SNI Head of Partnerships, observed: “Having our own metaverse environment helps us define SNI’s identity in some ways. It also helped teams dive into a certain mindset during the hackathon that we were now building for nature. The music and designed environment makes it feel like you are underwater. To me, the connections between the teams felt like a mycelium network.”

For the team behind Momentum the hackathon was a great opportunity to get user feedback and give support on Momentum while working on the hackathon challenges themselves. Just before the hackathon two major features were implemented; Social UI and new navigation.

On the topics of the Social UI and new navigation features, Alessandro shared: “The platform and new social features made it so easy for teams to find each other to know where to go. To literally just self-organize their weekend experience.[…] Some people just jumped in for the first time and 5 minutes later they were flying around.

A digital twin tree in the metaverse
The Momentum team, together with Olav Huizer from Werc Studio, created a digital twin of a living tree in the metaverse. Or should we say, the tree claimed it’s spot in the metaverse — bridging the gap between the physical and digital world.

Olav Huizer, Werc Studio Owner shared: “At Werc, we generate biomimicry patrons with the help of technology. For this hackathon we succeeded in making the data from the sensors (Pixi part of the Lumo family) available on a dataportal. With this data, a digital twin tree was created. By giving the tree a place in the metaverse people from all over the world could monitor its health through a smart contract which would take care of maintenance for both the digital and physical tree. If needed, people active in Momentum could signal locals to take action.”

The idea started with equipping a living tree with a variety of sensors that would send data about the tree’s experienced temperature, humidity and capacitance to the metaverse. Based on that data, the 3D tree in the metaverse would either grow or shrink. This data representation provides people from all over the world a chance to monitor the health of a particular tree. This technology makes it possible for nature to have a voice in the digital realm. Of course, this is one tree and just a micro demonstration of the possibilities, but what if a forest gets its own spot in the metaverse? Or even better, what if the entire biodome including plants gains a voice?

Want to get involved?
Are you interested in supporting SNI’s mission to achieve a thriving planet by radically reconfiguring nature’s value? Visit their website or contact them through email at Additionally, make sure to follow SNI on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Tell them what you are most passionate about in their work and they will be in touch.

Do you want to know more about Momentum or do you have a great idea to move Momentum to the next level? Go to our Discord or straight to Momentum and connect with us.

About SNI
The Sovereign Nature Initiative (SNI) fosters the exploration and development of technologies that can allow nature to become self-governing. SNI strives to achieve this by reconfiguring the intersection between ecology, economy, and emerging technologies in order to open minds to radical sustainability approaches.

About Momentum
The Momentum Web3 metaverse stack enables utilities, communities and activities to come alive, come together and thrive in live, persistent and open 3D worlds. These worlds are created and connected by the users in an activity driven social network owned by the users through a native crypto economic infrastructure. Enabling a new way for users to navigate, connect and contribute to and benefit from Web3. Our goal is to significantly increase the user base of Web3.



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