Aekta is a Participatory Data Science, Human-Centered Design, and Technology Design Specialist. She is the Co-Founder of the participatory technology tool Streetwyze, and has studied, taught, and worked to engage diverse communities in authentic ways for over 15 years. She is an experienced technology and data leader—with expertise in data science approaches including GIS, Big Data, Real-time data, Crowd-sourced data, NLP, etc., who strives to advance innovative methods and tools to understand diverse communities’ needs, behaviors, and emotions, and gather new insights that can inform the design of research, tools, programs and policy.
She has led multi-disciplinary teams on community-driven design projects with partners including: Google Street View, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Oakland Unified School District, UCSF’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, Maori youth in New Zealand, and beyond. Aekta recently completed her Ph.D. at Stanford University where she was the recipient of the prestigious Stanford Graduate Fellowship. She has been recognized for her leadership by President Obama, Knight Foundation, Rockefeller, the Atlantic’s CityLab, The Root, Aspen Institute and has presented for the UN internationally. Aekta holds Masters from Harvard and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.