Antwi Akom, Ph.D.
Professor & Founding Director, UCSF & SFSU Social Innovation and Urban Opportunity Lab (SOUL)
Co-Founder & CEO Streetwyze
Dr. Antwi Akom is a Professor of African American Studies and Founding Director of the Social Innovation and Urban Opportunity Lab (SOUL)—the first joint research lab between the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and San Francisco State University (SFSU). Dr. Akom is a nationally recognized research scientist who in 2015 was named by the United States Department of Science and Technology as an innovation fellow for his work with the Opportunity Project, and in 2016 Dr. Akom was selected by President Obama as one of the top innovators in the world at the first annual Frontiers conference held at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh PA. Currently Dr. Akom is a core investigator on a $17 NIH grant aimed at creating then next generation of biomedical researchers from low-income communities and communities of color. He is also Co-PI on a $1 NIH Big Data grant aimed at enabling full representation in biomedical Big Data science, participatory technologies, and community generated data. In addition to his NIH and NSF research grants, Dr. Akom has raised over $10M dollars in philanthropic grants related to healthy buildings, healthy housing, and realtime data on the social, environmental, and biological determinants of health. Dr. 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 data literacy, health care delivery, and promote equitable community development with vulnerable populations. Prior to joining UCSF/CVP in 2016, Dr. Akom Co-founded and launched a series of technology startups in the San Francisco Bay area, including Streetwyze, which has been recognized and/or collaborated with Google, Aclima, The Center for Social Inclusion, PolicyLink, EcoDistricts, Mithun, Perkins + Will, USGBC, Enterprise Community partners, Green Schools, countless grassroots organizations, and the Rockefeller Foundations 100 Resilient Cities to name a few. Dr. Akom’s work has also been featured in award winning publications such as: the Atlantic's City lab, The Root, Tech Republic, Green Biz, and was recently named by PolicyLink as one of the top new health equity tools and mobile platforms designed to build power and self-determination with vulnerable populations http://nationalequityatlas.org/sites/default/files/10-Design-Principles-For-Online-Data-Tools.pdf. His most recent TEDx Talk is called Innovation Out of Poverty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvrLFgikLZQ. He holds a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, M.A. from Stanford University, and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and was trained in Geospatial Technologies and Data Visualization at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.