Antwi Akom, Ph.D.
CO-FOUNDER | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Dr. Antwi Akom is a sociologist, technologist, and Smart cities visionary, 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 communities smarter, more equitable, just and sustainable. Currently, Dr. Akom is the Founding Director of the Social Innovation lab — the first joint lab between the University of California, San Francisco, and San Francisco State University that focuses on the integration of community-generated data with Big Data and predictive analytics (http://soullab.co/). He is also a faculty member (affiliate) with UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations (CVP) at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where he builds and deploys new health information communication technologies that improve health literacy, health care delivery, and promote equitable health outcomes for vulnerable populations. Prior to joining UCSF/CVP in 2016, Akom co-founded ISEEED and launched a series of technology startups in the San Francisco Bay area, including, Streetwyze, which has partnered and collaborated with Google, Aclima, CMG, DLR, Perkins & Will, Race Forward, PolicyLink as well as recognized by the White House (Presidential innovation/Opportunity Project), the Rockefeller Foundation, RWJF Foundation, and the Knight Foundation. Dr. Akom’s work has been featured in the Atlantic’s City lab, The Root, Tech Republic, Green Biz, CIO Digital, Ed Weekly, the Pittsburgh Gazette, and other award winning publications and his most recent TEDx Talk is called Innovation Out of Poverty.
Antwi Akom Ph.D. is a nationally recognized thought leader on urban acupuncture – which combines people-centric design with cutting-edge technology in order to achieve new standards of affordability, mobility, sustainability, equity, and economic opportunity for all.
Named a 21st Century Smart Cities Visionary, what makes Dr. Akom’s work unique is that his approaches are rooted in racial, spatial, health, and neighborhood innovation. His work focuses on integrating community voice into the heart of urban planning processes and to support local driven strategies towards equitable community development and neighborhood transformation. Informed and inspired by the idea that ‘the people closest to the problem are also the people that are closest to the solution,’ Dr. Akom works with community members, designers, architects, planners, engineers, artists, activists, and businesses, to bridge the gap between local knowledge and professional knowledge, in a way that builds power and self-determination and helps to restore the long-term economic, educational, environmental, artistic, and social health of our cities.
Dr. Akom is a Master facilitator who has shared best practices, tools, trainings, and conducted over 150 community engagement workshops world wide that have catalyze improvements in community assets, land use, transportation, housing, health, social services, arts, culture, environment, education, energy, sustainability, and the social determinants to holistically transform urban systems. He is currently the Principal for contracts focusing on Equity and Engagement with the City of Oakland, Berkeley and Memphis.
In 2014, Dr. Akom Co-Founded Steetwyze a human-centered and participatory technology design firm that helps cities and communities enhance their use of community-generated data, location-based data, and Big Data to improve services, inform local decision-making, and better engage local residents. Streetwyze’s multi-disciplinary team of experts combines people-powered place-making with next gen digital engagement platforms and processes to the fields of architecture, design, data visualization, data democratization, land-use, health, housing, urban, suburban, and rural planning.
Over the years, Streetwyze has partnered and collaborated with Dover Khol, CMG, Perkins and Will, Populous, DLR, Race Forward, PolicyLink, Google, Aclima, Hospitals and Health care providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, as well as small-medium- and large grass roots organizations and service providers.
Dr. Akom’s work is often featured in award winning publications such as: the Atlantic’s City lab, The Root, Tech Republic, Green Biz, Tech Crunch, the Nation, and other award winning publications. He is currently Co-Founder and CEO of Streetwyze and a Professor and Founding Director of the Social Innovation lab (SOUL), the first joint lab between the University of California San Francisco’s and SFSU that focuses on the integration of community-generated data with Big Data and predictive analytics. His most recent TEDx Talk is called Innovation Out of Poverty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvrLFgikLZQ.)