Current IdeaLabs

Anti-Trafficking Coalition at Berkeley

The Global Slavery Index estimated that there are nearly 36 million people trapped in slavery worldwide. The Anti-Trafficking IdeaLab brings together academic researchers, students, and community partners to educate the campus community about the complexities of slavery and human trafficking, and to engage in interdisciplinary and cross sector scholar-activism. We are committed to looking at the intersecting social issues that inhibit human freedom and dignity such as poverty and gender inequality. We encourage discussion between people with different conceptions and experiences of human trafficking, we aim to present best practices for engaging in anti-trafficking work, and to connect with local organizations leading the anti-trafficking movement. Together, we are committed to eliminating all forms of human trafficking in the Bay Area, United States, and the world – Join us! No experience necessary, just an interest and willingness to learn!

Meeting Times for Fall 2017: TBA
Contact: Kathy Brasil, co-Director (
Connect: The Berkeley Anti-Trafficking Coalition on Facebook

Berkeley Water Group

Are you passionate about water issues? The Berkeley Water Group, now in its third year as an IdeaLab, focuses on issues, projects, and ideas related to clean water, sanitation, hygiene, and international development. The group links undergraduates with graduate student mentors and faculty; supports student work for the Big Ideas competition and other social ventures; collaborates with faculty to start a Water Science, Sustainability, and Policy minor; launched a weekly digital newsletter on water news and employment opportunities; forges new relationships between campus and community entities; and is working to produce an academic journal with student papers on water-related topics. Reach out for more information, including regular meeting times.

Meeting Times for Fall 2017: TBA
Contact:  Liz DeBramo, co-Director (
Connect: Berkeley Water Group on Facebook

Education Initiative for Development

According to the UN, only 45% of the 5-17 year olds currently attending school will complete secondary education. Are you interested in learning why this is the case and what can be done to change it? Join the Education Initiative for Development (EID)! We’re a group of undergraduate and graduate students from diverse majors and backgrounds who believe education is the key to development. We connect students to experts in this field to spark new dialogues and discuss challenges with current education interventions, possible solutions, and intersecting social issues. Our IdeaLab also consults for organizations working on education in developing countries.

This semester, we’re consulting for a nonprofit in Rwanda that’s teaching girls how to code. We’re helping them improve their coding curriculum and develop overall organizational strategies for sustainability.

Meeting Times for Spring 2018: Tuesdays 8-9pm Blum Hall B110
Contact: Paige Balcom, Director (
Point of Care Diagnostics (PoCDx)

The Point of Care Diagnostics (PoCDx) IdeaLab aims to foster an interdisciplinary community that is passionate about inventing novel solutions to the challenges of remote diagnostics. We understand this innovation must come from a concerted effort across fields, and our members represent a wide spectrum from engineering, biology, chemistry, public health, medicine, and public policy. We provide a forum for members to share their ideas and technologies with the group, and to learn more about the state of the art in the field from our world-class guest speakers. Visit the PoCDx IdeaLab website to learn about upcoming seminars and other opportunities to get involved.

Meeting Times for Fall 2017: TBA
Contact: Marc Chooljian, Director (

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