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, 264 million boys and girls are denied access to education, and of the 5-17 year olds attending school, only 45% will finish secondary school. The Education Initiative for Development (EID) is a new IdeaLab that explores best practices to improve access and quality of education for children in developing countries. Through seminars and forums, we connect undergraduate and graduate students to world class experts to discuss challenges with current interventions, possible solutions, as well as intersecting social issues, for improving education. In addition, our Idealab will brainstorm possible impact projects to implement with guidance from academics and practitioners in the field. Education is the key to development–join us in working to ensure quality and inclusive for all!
Meeting Times for Spring 2018: Fridays, 4:00-5:30 – B100, Blum Hall 
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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