AI for Changemakers

Change Agent builds AI-powered products
for the people and organizations
making the world a better place

Why Change Agent?

Changemaker-Centric By Design

Each Change Agent team member has a background in both technology and organizing so that we generate high-quality technology that tightly aligns with the work of causes and campaigns. We make a point of collaborating with partners at every stage of development to ensure we develop products that serve the needs of non-profits, labor unions, electoral campaigns, PACs, and other purpose-driven organizations.

A Progressive Language Model

Language models have biases and characters—we are dedicated to making Change Agent biased towards a progressive perspective and to embody a character that mimics a movement organizer. To achieve this, we retrain open-source foundational models at every layer to ensure that we do not perpetuate harmful bias and that our base voice inflames passions and inspires people to action. We have a team dedicated to constantly testing our model to detect and stamp out any discriminatory or derogatory language whether explicit or implicit. Furthermore, we seek input and collaborate with partners–clients, academics, movement practitioners, and others—to deepen and diversify the perspectives we draw on to be as inclusive as possible.

For Causes and Campaigns

Change Agent AI is dedicated to serving causes and campaigns, particularly those that support marginalized communities. We center their needs in our development roadmap, pursue business models that enable us to discount rates for those who need it, and otherwise seek to align our products and services with the needs of movement organizers. We will not work with organizations that do not match our values.

Ethical & Responsible

Change Agent AI embraces the ethical use of AI. We acknowledge that the rapid developments in generative AI require that we regularly reconsider what “ethical use” means, but we are guided by the following principles. 

  • Client data belongs to our clients. Change Agent commits to protecting the privacy of client data and will not use it to train our model unless specifically invited to do so. We will never sell data to third parties.
  • The less data we have the better. Change Agent commits to data minimization and actively seeks to limit the amount of data that we collect.  
  • Transparency builds trust. Change Agent commits to providing relevant information about our data practices to our clients and will proactively reports any data breaches that we become aware of. 
  • Accountability makes us better. Change Agent is committed to being accountable to our clients and the communities they serve. Generative AI is still new so we actively encourage our partners to suggest improvements to how we do business. If you have any ideas for how to improve Change Agent in any way, please contact us at [email protected]..

The Team

Craig Johnson | Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Technology & Solutions

Craig geeked out on computers in his native Arizona before eventually coming to D.C. and applying his nerddom to communications roles at Unfiltered Media, the Census Digital Organizing Group, Americans for Tax Fairness, and the Alliance for Retired Americans. He started developing AI solutions three years ago, starting with Foreteller AI, an advanced social media analytics tool, before moving on to reply management application Inbox Zero, and now our generative AI chatbot Change Agent. When he’s not rewiring AI models in his basement, Craig is likely adoring his wife and son.

Aram Fischer | Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Business & Operations

Aram has managed to have a career that blends political organizing and communications consulting, implementing enterprise applications, managing a media company, promoting open source technology, and documentary filmmaking. The good news for Change Agent and its clients is that he has a whole bunch of experience in both communicating powerful stories and operationalizing technology within an organization.

Tyler McFadden | Co-Founder & Chief Content Officer

Tyler leads Change Agent’s model decolonization efforts. She brings deep expertise in progressive organizing and technology policy. Through her work, she harnesses the power of digital media and storytelling to amplify the voices and demands of communities whose voices are too often marginalized, and works to hold corporations, politicians, and media accountable for their actions and policies. Tyler is passionate about creating innovative and engaging campaigns that leverage data, technology, and creativity to inspire and empower people to fight for a more equitable and inclusive society.

Michael Phelan | Co-Founder & President

Michael Phelan loves email. Between managing email programs at Strategy & Hustle and his email acquisition network Progress America, he has built a client list that includes five 2020 Presidential candidates,  the Squad, Social Security Works, Amazon Labor Union, Blue Future, Other98, Data for Progress, and more. Most of our best ideas emerge when Michael complains about how hard something is that really should be simple. When he complained about how hard it is to sort replies to the email programs he manages for clients such as Social Security Works, our team built Inbox Zero. Then he complained about drafting emails so Craig built Change Agent. What will Michael complain about next? Stay tuned…

Cheryl Contee | Senior Advisor

Cheryl Contee is Chief Executive Officer at The Impact Seat Foundation, which is working to create a world in which women can succeed as business leaders. She was also the award-winning Founder and Chair of Do Big Things, a digital agency that creates new narrative and new tech for a new era focused on causes and campaigns. She is the author of the Amazon bestseller Mechanical Bull: How You Can Achieve Startup Success. Cheryl is co-writing a new book on AI for Nonprofits & Impact with Darian Rodriguez Heyman with 50 AI experts committed to interviews intended to help nonprofit leaders adapt. Her hot new podcast Make The Most is currently in production. Cheryl was a co-founder of social marketing software at Blackbaud, the first tech startup with a black female founder on board in history to be acquired by a NASDAQ-traded company. Her company Fission helped write the early source code for Crowdtangle, earning sweat equity in a successful social enterprise startup acquired by Facebook in Dec 2016. Cheryl is proud to be a co-founder of the tech inclusion initiative #YesWeCode (now DreamCorps Tech).

Alan Rosenblatt | Senior Advsior

Alan Rosenblatt, Ph.D., is a digital political strategist, organizer, and thought leader with over 35 years’ experience. He is an Advisor to Change Agent as well as a Partner at Unfiltered.Media, a digital organizing and campaign strategy firm. Alan advises progressive organizations and Democratic candidates to influence public affairs, policy, and elections more effectively, including the best ways to use AI and data. Alan prefers creating sustainable, enterprise, data-driven digital programs that build long-term power and win short-term battles, and he recognizes the powerful role AI will play in those efforts. Alan teaches digital political strategy courses at Johns Hopkins, George Washington, and American Universities.

Nicolai Haddal | Software Architect

Nicolai serves as Change Agent's Software Architect and the Director of AI Research for Unfiltered.Media. Nicolai entered the field as a progressive organizer first, including running digital grassroots campaigns with the Coalition on Human Needs. Nicolai spent the AI winter studying the philosophy of language, theory of mind, and computational linguistics and brings key AI development skills to our team including machine learning, natural language processing, all things data, and Python. Nicolai also speaks Polish, which has been surprisingly helpful to testing which translation models excel with less commonly spoken languages.

Peter O'Donnell | Lead Programmer

Experienced and detail-orientated engineer and computer programmer with a great attitude and exceptional work ethic. Strong track record of positions with increasing responsibility, accelerated achievement of certifications and managing large crews on multi-billion dollar payloads. Excellent oral and written communication skills and a proven ability to function well independently and in a team environment. Shown a history of exceptional work through the reception of several department level awards and one NASA program award. Interested in working in the software development industry as a software engineer or programmer.

Andrea Haverdink | Chief of Staff

To understand why we are so thrilled to have Andrea as our Chief of Staff, consider this: she organizes and mobilizes a vibrant online community around… progressive tax policy. She applies this uncanny capacity for making the seemingly impossible possible to a wide variety of roles at Change Agent, including consulting, operations, design, and more. Andrea came to D.C. from her small town in West Michigan and has worked for Unfiltered Media, Americans for Tax Fairness, and Mike Lux Media, as well as being a Democracy Partner.

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