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Announcing two new +Acumen courses


+Acumen (www.plusacumen.org) was created to give people a meaningful way to “add Acumen” to their lives.  +Acumen is anchored by our vibrant network of 20 volunteer chapters.  Then in January, we took the concept of “adding Acumen” further by offering the Acumen Leadership Essentials course that was free and open to anyone.  We were thrilled when 3,000+ people registered from 103 countries around the world.  Over 6-weeks participants were engaged in discussions and activities that pushed them on their personal purpose, challenged them on how best to create change, and exposed them to tools such as human-centered design and adaptive leadership.  Participants say:

“I signed up for the course to learn more about Acumen Fund… What I didn’t expect was that it would push me to really think about my personal values, goals and motivations for how I really want to impact the world.”

“This course has been very enriching.  We are not the same as we were when we started it”.

Today, we are excited to announce two new +Acumen courses that are open for registration at www.plusacumen.org/courses/.

Each course pulls from the leadership training that Acumen Fellows experience.  Once again, the courses are free and open to anyone, but you must sign up as a team (min 2 people; max 6).

  • Lean for Social Impact (apply by April 22) – Calling all social innovators!  This 7-week course is modeled after the Lean Launchpad Class pioneered by Steve Blank.  You will learn how to test, validate, and adapt your vision of change to ensure you’re creating the greatest impact and investing your time in something worthwhile.   We are excited to have Bob Dorf, serial entrepreneur and co-author of The Startup Owner’s Manual, on our teaching team. Your team will also be paired with a mentor. Apply here.
  • Storytelling for Change (register by May 5) – Storytelling is a core skill for any aspiring change-maker.  This 4 week course aims to help you better connect with your audience, whether in a meeting with one person or in a presentation to hundreds of people.  We are grateful to The Ariel Group, which has worked with us in developing this course. The Ariel Group has trained Acumen’s Global Fellows in storytelling for the past five years.  Register here.

These courses are an exciting new way to dig deeper into Acumen’s work and develop your own toolkit for change. Take what you learn at +acumen and apply it in your own way.  Innovation could come from anyone, and we believe that the world truly needs you to lead.


Reflections on the India Fellows Seminar

Each year, the India Fellows Program brings together up to 20 emerging leaders from different regions, sectors, and socio-economic backgrounds in India. During the fellowship year, Fellows remain in their jobs and meet every 6-8 weeks throughout the year for 4 seminars and 2 collaborative projects, each about a week long. As the India Fellows Associate, Jacqui is responsible for supporting all aspects of the program recruitment, logistics, marketing and strategic planning. Below, Jacqui reflects on the first seminar, Foundations of Leadership. You can read more about the fellowship program here[Read More]

Adaptive Leadership in Action: Addressing Cultural Norms & Giving Women a Voice

In the fall of 2013, +Acumen launched the course Adaptive Leadership: Mobilizing for Change in partnership with the Cambridge Leadership Associates. This course is for anyone who wants to become more effective at leading their organization through change. Below, one of the course participants shared her story about how this course impacted her work and ability to affect change. [Read More]

Making Sense of Social Impact in Action: The Value of Educating Our Youth

At Acumen, one of the most common questions we get is how we measure social impact. Our newest +Acumen course – Making Sense of Social Impact: Acumen’s Building Blocks for Impact Analysis. – will provide an entry point for how to think about impact and we’ll share frameworks that help us define what to measure and why. Makoto Matsuura, founder of cobon a not-for-profit focused on youth education in Jakarta, Indonesia and Osaka, Japan, took a pilot version of this course and shared his reflections with us. [Read More]

Good news for philanthropists in the U.K. and Europe

We are excited to announce that Acumen now holds a CAF Charitable Trust in the United Kingdom. CAF, the Charities Aid Foundation, is a registered U.K. charity. By donating to Acumen through CAF, you can use Gift Aid if the amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax you’ve paid for the tax year in which you make your donation is at least equal to the amount of basic rate tax  [the charity or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) and any other charities or CASCs] you donate to will reclaim on your gift. CAF will reclaim 25% Gift Aid from HM Revenue & Customs and pass this through to Acumen.  The donor can claim higher rate tax relief (for more information, please refer to CAF’s online resource, What Is Gift Aid?). [Read More]

d.light Leaders Named 2014 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year

We are thrilled for our portfolio company d.light and Donn Tice, Chairman and CEO, along with cofounders Ned Tozun, President, and Sam Goldman, Chief Customer Officer, for being named Social Entrepreneurs of the year 2014 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. d.light is a for-profit social enterprise that manufactures and distributes solar lighting and power products with primary markets in the developing world, today announced that d.light, along with 37 other individuals and organizations in the 2014 class, will be fully integrated into the events and initiatives of the World Economic Forum. [Read More]