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InnovateMA and the AI for Impact Co-op

In the AI for Impact Co-op Program, students work full-time on experiential AI projects for social good. In the Spring 2024 semester, twelve AI for Impact students are working alongside the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as part of InnovateMA, using generative AI to support the MBTA, MassHealth, The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and MassDOT with impactful projects that will improve the delivery of services and programs for Massachusetts residents. 

In this pioneering “product-based learning” program, teams wield AI as a tool for transformative innovation, turning ideas into measurable impacts in collaboration with the communities they are serving and under the expert guidance of seasoned professionals. This program builds on our twenty-years of experience building civic technologies with governments, civil society organizations and communities.

How this Experiential AI Program Works

Students use artificial intelligence and human-centered design to deliver cutting-edge projects that improve lives.

  • Six month, paid, full-time job
  • Projects centered around social change
  • In collaboration with public interest partners
  • Human-centered co-design with impacted communities
  • Professional technology, product and community engagement mentors
  • Deep-dive skill-building workshops to build the AI talent pipeline

Our goal? To deliver working products in six months and create the next generation of AI-enabled leaders.

News from AI for Impact

  • Healey admin’s AI blueprint for Massachusetts starts to take shape

    Governor Maura Healey highlights the Burnes Center’s AI for Impact co-op program during a visit to Northeastern.

    Jul. 19, 2024 | Steph Solis | Axios Boston
  • ‘AI will transform every aspect of our life,’ Gov. Healey says at artificial intelligence task force meeting at Northeastern

    Governor Maura Healey highlights the Burnes Center’s AI for Impact co-op program during a visit to Northeastern

    Jul. 18, 2024 | Cyrus Moulton | Northeastern Global News
  • Northeastern University Student Projects Improve Government With AI

    The AI for Impact program gives a dozen students full-time work experience applying generative AI to public-sector problems such as transportation services, health care and…

    Jul. 01, 2024 | News Staff | GovTech

Project Gallery


Assisting low-literacy and immigrant families the ability to translate, summarize, and ask questions about Individualized Education Programs (IEP) for children with disabilities.
Partner: Innovate Public Schools/AI-EP


Using AI to improve how members of Congress communicate with constituents.

Partner: PopVox Foundation/The GovLab


An AI-enabled chatbot to guide families through the process of enrolling in the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program that enables low-income households to save on the purchase of a computer and Internet access.

Partner: Fair Count


Using AI to make it easier to create well-researched online engagements. This national engagement asks families to identify why we are struggling to teach kids to read in the United States.

Partner: Museum of Science, Citizens Foundation

The RIDE Guide AI

Paratransit helps 44,000 residents obtain access to work, healthcare, and community. This tool helps serve them faster and more accurately.

Partner: MBTA – The Ride

MassHealth Helper

Assisting residents to obtain health insurance, this chatbot gives public professionals efficient access to comprehensive information to speed their responses to the public.

Partner: MassHealth

The Grants Navigator

Giving farmers, businesses, and communities faster and easier access to a wide array of grant opportunities.

Partner: Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)


Making some of the nation’s busiest highways safer by supporting MssDOT design engineers with a chatbot for efficient information retrieval.

Partner: Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)

Generative AI Sandbox

Providing state government employees with a secure environment to explore and innovate with AI models, ensuring data privacy and simplicity.

Partner: Executive Office of Technology Services and Security


Inefficiencies and complexities in the application process for Internet Connectivity Benefits hinders access to essential digital services for eligible individuals

Partner: Fair Count

The Course Catalog/MA Course Navigator

An ai-driven platform that mines and aggregates publicly available program offerings and course catalog information from the Commonwealth’s 24 community colleges and state universities.

Partner: Massachusetts AI Collaboration for Higher Education (MACH)


Increasing diversity and competitiveness and creating jobs by helping Massachusetts businesses navigate state procurement.

Partner: Operational Services Division (OSD)

Business Resources Hub

Helping Massachusetts residents grow their businesses and create jobs by making it easier to find state grants, incentives, and opportunities.

Partner: Executive Office of Economic Development (EOED)

Build for Mass

Assisting Massachusetts municipalities, environmental justice groups, rural towns, and historically-underserved communities to apply for state grant, grant-matching, and tax-break opportunities.

Partner: Executive Office of Administration and Finance

A Healthier Democracy AI

Helping low-income Massachusetts residents apply for $80 billion dollars of unclaimed Federal Aid benefits in a healthcare setting.

Partner: Link Health

Key Statistics


students working on real world generative AI projects


seasoned mentors, including the former tech advisor to the CEO of Google and the CEO/President of


client projects

AI for Impact Co-Ops

  • Temi Akinyoade

    AI For Impact Co-Op
  • Jake Ashkenase

    AI For Impact Co-Op
  • Rui Ge

    AI For Impact Co-Op
  • Suvir Ghai

    AI For Impact Co-Op
  • Diane Grant

    InnovateMA Co-Op
  • Serena Green

    AI For Impact Co-Op
  • Dhruv Kamalesh Kumar

    InnovateMA Co-Op
  • Sarah Klute

    AI For Impact Co-Op
  • Leadora Kyin

    AI For Impact Co-Op
  • Claudia Levi

    AI For Impact Co-Op
  • Deepikasai Mettu

    AI For Impact Co-Op
  • Khushi Patel

    AI For Impact Co-Op
  • Prasoon Raj

    AI For Impact Co-Op
  • Sai Panindra Santosh Kumar Majji

    InnovateMA Co-Op
  • Rishabh Saxena

    AI For Impact Co-Op
  • Alayna Schwarzer

    InnovateMA Co-Op
  • Shreya Thalvayapati

    AI For Impact Co-Op

AI for Impact Team

  • Beth Noveck

    Director, The Burnes Center for Social Change
  • Santiago “Santi” Garces

    Technical Director and Senior Fellow
  • Steven Kadish

    Senior Fellow
  • Róbert Bjarnason

    Senior Fellow
  • Henri Hammond-Paul

  • Anirudh Dinesh

    Research Fellow
  • Cory Ondrejka

    Senior Fellow
  • Dane Gambrell

    Research Fellow
  • David Fields

    Professor of Practice and Senior Fellow
  • Sofía Bosch Gómez

    Assistant Professor and Fellow
  • Dan Jackson

    Senior Fellow and Director of NuLawLab

Are you an employer interested in developing an AI for Impact project? Reach out to David Fields at [email protected] 

Are you a student interested in applying?
Reach out to Henri Hammond-Paul at [email protected]

Are you interested in supporting this unique program? Reach out to Kristin Barrali at [email protected]

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