London 4 Acumen Welcomes ACUMEN 101

London 4 Acumen held its first Fall 2011 event on October 6th at the HUB Culture in the centre of London.  ACUMEN 101 attracted over 80+ guests for an introductory session to social entrepreneurship and patient capital.  It was also the first opportunity for the London community to meet in-person with the new staff of Acumen Fund London – Vinay Nair and James Wu.

The atmosphere in the room was great and people started chatting the moment they came through the door on a cool autumn evening.  Some guests re-connected after the DIGNITY London event in June and new welcomes were also made to newly-relocated Acumen fans.  Some of our event volunteers had moved to London from New York and Vancouver and it was their first chance to meet the L4A team and bring in their NYfA and Van4Acumen experiences.  Even before any presentations were made, the event really brought on a sense of connectedness in this global world of ours.

Vinay provided an introduction of What is Acumen Fund and who is Jacqueline. James then went on to illustrate an example of patient capital through Acumen Fund portfolio company, WaterHealth International.  The Global Fellows Program was also introduced to the London crowd and applications were encouraged.

We ended the evening with a Question & Answer session and a networking session, which extended our booking time in the HUB causing the event to overflow into the restaurant downstairs. Many thanks to London4Acumen chapter supporters – Origen Group, Hub Culture and Open Films – and to James and Vinay for leading the session.

A week after ACUMEN 101, on Oct 13th 2011, Gavin McGilivary Head, Private Sector Department at DFID came to Cambridge University to give a talk as part of the Gates Scholar Society Distinguished Lecture Series. Gavin talked about why DFID works with the private sector, how and what results will transform the business environment. He also spoke highly about Acumen Fund and the power of impact investing.

The message of patient capital is clearly spreading in London and across the country in the UK and in Europe.  Welcome again Vinay and James, we’re happy to have you here!

If you’re interested in joining the conversation and the community, please visit our page on Acumen’s Community site.

Julia Fan Li volunteers for London 4 Acumen.  She is currently completing her doctoral research on financing global health at Cambridge University.  Twitter: @juliafanli


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]