Digitally Democratizing the Big (and Little) Data Revolution: How Technologists, Health Care Providers, Designers, and Community Members are Working To Build Healthier, More Equitable Places w/ Our Nations Most Vulnerable Populations

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 16:00
HH 206
Aekta Shah and Dr. Antwi Akom

Research shows that where we live is a critically important determinant of our overall health and well-being. For example, in New Orleans, average life expectancy varies by as much as 25 years in communities only a few miles apart. Big data providers need to take a more active role in addressing these disparities by partnering with and investing in the professionals, industries, and community groups that shape, build, and operate the places we each live, learn, work, and play. In this talk Dr. Antwi Akom and Aekta Shah will highlight the power of their Community-Driven Big Data platform called Streetwyze. Streetwyze uses state of the art data visualization, mobile technologies, and community-generated data that can be integrated with Big Data and predictive analytics to solve the root causes of social inequity and lift up invisible community assets so that they can be leveraged for social good. The Streetwyze platform and process transforms how people access, share, and leverage information about their communities and neighborhoods. Dr. Akom and Shah will describe their internationally recognized work partnering with Big Data providers such as Google, Aclima and others focusing on transforming food deserts into food oasi and promoting healthy eating and physical activity.


Dr. Antwi Akom is an urban technologist with an extensive background in collaborative, community-facing technology projects, designing for the public good, and developing new models of urban innovation in the 21st century that make cities smarter, more equitable, just and sustainable. Dr. Akom is Founding Director UCSF & SFSU’s Social Innovation and Urban Opportunity Lab (SOUL) a joint research lab between the University of California San Francisco and SFSU. Akom is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for Vulnerable Population located at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, where he researches and deploys new health information communication technologies that improve health literacy, health care delivery, digital literacies, and promote equitable health outcomes for vulnerable populations. Currently, Dr. Akom currently teaches Health, Medicine, and Nutrition in the Dept of Africana studies at SFSU and is Founding Director of the Social Innovation Lab with UCSF.  Professor Akom has held academic appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  He holds a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, M.A. from Stanford University, and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Aekta Shah is the Co-Founder of Streetwyze and has studied, taught, and worked to engage communities in authentic ways that lead to real community transformation, for over 15 years. Aekta’s areas of expertise include research and development on issues of participatory technology, GIS mapping, and sustainable community development. Aekta is also currently pursuing her Ph.D in Technology Design at Stanford University and is the recipient of the prestigious Stanford Graduate Fellowship. At Stanford her research and work range from running Design-thinking workshops at the Stanford d.School to developing new social impact technology start-up ideas at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She has been recognized for her leadership by organizations such as the Aspen Institute, Green for All and Bioneers, and has presented for the UN internationally on issues of sustainable development. Aekta holds Masters from Harvard and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.