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Democratizing access to social impact skill-building

We believe the potential for public problem solving resides in anyone, and the power of social change rests with everyone.

The Burnes Center runs training and coaching programs to help individuals and organizations in 99 countries to advance their social change projects from idea to implementation.

The Burnes Center curriculum offers a radical rethinking of how institutions and individuals can solve contemporary challenges together. Our Burnes Center curriculum blends the use of digital technologies, big data and community wisdom to define problems, identify and implement innovative solutions and scale what works. We emphasize inclusive processes of democratic participation and equitable engagement

By actively democratizing our approach to public problem solving and building the field of public problem solving study, we will teach, train, and empower people to deliver real-world solutions while redesigning public-interest institutions.


Current Projects: Education

  • Are you a Northeastern student?

    Through courses and experiential learning opportunities, we teach the next-generation of public problem solvers with our Solving Public Problems changemaker curriculum.

  • Are you Northeastern faculty or staff?

    We are collaborating with Northeastern faculty to offer programs by faculty for faculty designed to advance real-world impact.

  • Are you a public servant?

    With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Luce Foundation and Google and in cooperation with the National Governors Association, we train and coach public officials in the United States through our Innovate-US program.

  • Are you a mission-driven leader?

    The center is partnering with the GovLab and its Innovate US project to offer free, online skills training to public servants. This builds on extensive research on Join participants from 80 countries, come take our free online course Solving Public Problems.

  • Are you a legal innovator?

    Our first-of-its-kind Open Justice course teaches how to use technology, data and innovation to improve our legal system. It showcases innovative open justice projects from around the world and explains how to create your own.

  • Are you a business professional?

    The Burnes Corporate Accelerator will introduce private sector participants to the broader landscape of social change and impact. Coming in Fall 2022


Coaching to Take Impactful Projects from Idea to Implementation

  • Data-Driven Education Reform Accelerator

    With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, we will incubate and support global changemakers working on projects designed to enhance equity and improve outcomes in education. Selected participants will receive online and in-person coaching, mentoring and skill-building designed to prepare them for philanthropic funding and impact investment.

Delivery Partners

  • Monash Sustainable Development Institute – We are collaborating with MSDI and the Australia New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) to deliver training and coaching in digital, innovation and public solving skills to public servants Down Under.
  • School of Collective Intelligence, University Mohammed VI – Our colleagues at the School of Collective Intelligence use our curriculum (in French and Arabic) to train mission-driven leaders and public servants in Morocco.
  • TransparencIT – A civic tech organization fostering courtroom openness, social justice and citizen engagement in Nigeria uses our curriculum to train their civic changemakers.

Need support with your impact project or to find an impact opportunity? Contact us at [email protected].

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