Press Releases


DIGNITY Boston – an exciting launch for BOSTON+acumen

+acumen chapters – self-organized, volunteer-led groups in cities and schools around the world – are actively supporting Acumen Fund’s mission to create a world beyond poverty through education, fundraising and service.  To start a +acumen chapter in your city, contact Jo-Ann Tan at You can learn more about +acumen chapters on our website.


The BOSTON+acumen chapter, led by a small group of volunteers from the business and nonprofit worlds, slowly started taking shape last June 2011. With a mission to inspire and empower like-minded individuals in the greater Boston area who are passionate about supporting Acumen Fund’s mission, the chapter held a series of educational sessions and social events including a Generosity Day event with Catchafire.

On March 3rd 2012, BOSTON+acumen created a new realm of possibilities and exposure. The DIGNITY Boston photo event held inside a vibrant coffee shop/art gallery, Voltage Coffee,  in Kendall Square gathered over a hundred energetic people and raised over $31,000 (including a generous $25,000 contribution from General Electric Corporate Leadership Staff). DIGNITY events are one-night photo auctions and sales organized by +acumen chapters in partnership with Nuru Project, featuring prints portraying the idea of dignity from the regions where Acumen Fund invests.

Talks were shared by Jo Ann Tan, lead architect of +acumen chapters, and Noelle Foot from Root Capital, a Cambridge-based social investment firm, on promoting development through dignity and empowering individuals like small scale farmers in war-torn northern Uganda, or rural Indians without access to electricity.

We left the event with a strong desire to cultivate this community of like-minded individuals who connect with market-based approaches to solving poverty. We are now officially a part of the 15 +acumen chapter network around the world who are changing the way world tackles poverty (read more about this network of chapters here).

BOSTON+acumen’s next goal is to recruit a group of energetic, creative, fun people who are passionate about Acumen Fund to help us expand our chapter through dedicated leadership. Our Leadership Team applications are actually due TODAY!

Apply here if you are interested in supporting the growth of BOSTON+acumen and spreading the idea of patient capital and Acumen Fund’s values in the greater Boston area.

Elly Brown is a Project Consultant at Root Cause, a staff writer for NextBillion, and part of the leadership team for BOSTON+acumen. Visit BOSTON+acumen’s website, contact them via email , and follow them on Twitter @BOSplusacumen


Questions for Aspiring Leaders

Bavidra Mohan, Acumen’s India Fellows Manager, attended this years Aspen IDEAS festival as a Scholar. The Scholarship program was established to invite guests from around the world to bring a diverse set of experiences, voices and perspectives to the rich conversations that take place at the IDEAS festival each year. [Read More]

10 Books We’re Reading This Summer

What are you reading? It is a common question here at Acumen, an organization full of avid readers constantly trading favorite book titles that discuss leadership, impact, development and branding. Here are 10 stellar books we’re reading this summer. These books and others provide a framework of thinking, a spark of new ideas, a platform for debate. So, what are you reading? [Read More]

How Acumen Brought Back my Fire

Eda is an East Africa Regional Fellow from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Founder and Director of Halisi Trust, an organization that seeks to challenge the vices that plague society and encourage transformational development in Kenya’s youth. When Eda applied for the East Africa Fellows Program, she felt disillusioned and stuck. Below, Eda discusses how Acumen’s Regional Fellowship Program brought back her fire. Now, Eda has engaged nearly 6,000 people through outreach events and the Mkenya Halisi movement continues to grow. Acumen is currently accepting applications for the next class of East Africa Fellows. APPLY TODAY! [Read More]

Imagining the world as it could be

Christine Gitau is an East Africa Fellow and an enterprise coach at Craft Afrika, which provides business support services to craft entrepreneurs, enabling them build viable and thriving businesses in Kenya. At Acumen we often use the term “Moral Imagination” when talking about leadership. Christine wrote a reflection on how this concept has shifted her thinking. We could not be more proud of what she is building! [Read More]

How two Acumen Fellows are disrupting the education model in India

Whether its running youth soccer programs, providing vocational training services, or transforming the education system in India, Acumen India Fellows are driving real change in their communities.  Abbas Dadla and Abhilasha Sinha are India Fellows who are addressing the teacher shortage in India through the use of technology and peer collaboration. Find out what they are building below.  If you have grit, resilience and a commitment to creating change in your community in India, East Africa or Pakistan, we encourage you to apply for the Regional Fellowship Program! [Read More]

Meet Manjushree Patil, Founder of Aatman Academy

This month saw violent tragedies in Pakistan and Kenya, regions where Acumen works and which five classes of Acumen regional fellows call home. Among them there are dedicated teachers like Acumen India Fellow Manjushree Patil, crusaders against sex trafficking, builders of government, creators of liberating mobile medical technologies, and curators of slum sports programs. The need for strengthening the connections between those who are working for positive change against seemingly impossible odds has never been greater. We at Acumen have never been prouder to be the thread tying together these courageous individuals. Read more about Manjushree and how she is changing her community in India below! [Read More]

No, not silence again!

The Acumen Fellowship’s Cambridge Leadership Associates (CLA) training is notorious for digging deep, breaking Fellows down to reveal their deepest fears, identifying the sources of resilience that will fuel them with the tenacity to continue along the path to social change. Kahabi G. Isangula is an East Africa Regional Fellow living in Tanzania and recently participated in our CLA training. Get an idea of what it is like, below!  [Read More]

Announcing the Class of 2015 Acumen Global Fellows

Acumen Global Fellows are architects for the impact sector. They are innovators, game changers, visionaries, with various professional experiences looking to make substantial change in the world. They have thrived in companies such as Google; they have started their own companies in Sri Lanka, Canada and Malaysia.  They are choosing the challenge of working alongside our portfolio companies and immersing themselves in a rigorous leadership training. [Read More]