At SOUL, we believe that

Human Centered Design & Participatory Technologies  can improve the lives of our Nation’s Most Vulnerable Populations

At SOUL, we believe that

People-powered Place-making can help you create a more just and sustainable world

At SOUL, we believe that

Experts ranging from public health, medicine, biology, Africana studies, ethnic studies, gender studies, sexuality studies, CPBR, Big Data, and participatory technologies, work side by side with community members, artists, and activists, to invent—and reimagine— how biomedical and health promotion research can improve the lives of everyday people.

At SOUL, we believe that

Racial, Spatial, Health and Neighborhood Innovation can fix broken cycles of gentrification and displacement.

At SOUL, we believe that

Community-Driven Data can usher in a new era of equitable community development.

The Social Innovation and Urban Opportunity Lab (SOUL), is the first joint research lab between San Francisco State University (SFSU) and the University California, San Francisco (UCSF). At SOUL we use CPBR, Participatory Technology, Big Data, and geospatial approaches to address Biomedical research questions that are relevant to local communities, alongside SF State and UCSF faculty and student investigators.  Our goal is to build Power and Self-determination with Vulnerable Populations though Social Medicine, Social Media, Biomedical Research, Big Data, Participatory Health, CPBR, and Emerging Technologies.


Pushing the edges of innovation:

Ground-Truthing Air Quality to Reverse Asthma with Vulnerable Populations

Using emerging technology to gather data on hyperlocal air quality.

Humanizing Homelessness

Demystifying Oakland Homelessness

The Geography of Homelessness project is crafting a geonarrative approach that will highlight the choices homeless adults make when negotiating public and private space, in order to improve service delivery for one of our nation’s most Vulnerable Populations.  

The Bigger Picture:

Changing Conversations about Diabetes

We are partnering with Youth Speaks and UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations (CVP) to design an innovative health literacy and communications campaign that merges public art with public health.


Training the next generation of faculty and students in Big Data, Participatory Technology, and Human Centered Design   to tackle some of the world’s greatest health challenges.

Understanding Our Impact

Our highly skilled team has years of experience in combining the latest innovations in Biomedical and CPBR research along with integrating Big data with community-generated data that can be integrated with predictive analytics to solve the root causes of heath inequality. At SOUL our vision is a world where local knowledge powers heath justice and sparks innovation with Vulnerable Populations so that people do not have to leave their communities in order to live, learn, work, and thrive.

Building Power and Self-determination with Vulnerable Populations through Social Medicine, Social Media, Biomedical Research, Big Data, Participatory Health, CPBR, and Emerging Technologies.


395 Science Building,

San Francisco State University (SFSU)

1330 Broadway, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)



Photographs appearing on this site are the property of Eric Arnold, Kris Tyler and SF BUILD. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of SOUL Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved.