The future depends on a new breed of leader, ready to solve the world’s most challenging problems.

Passion and purpose will only take you so far. Leaders need the right mix of values, skills, and experience.

Leadership Model

Acumen leaders possess a combination of financial expertise, operational expertise, and that special something we call “moral imagination.”

Acumen Leadership Model - 72dpi

Our Leadership Programs

Do you want to step up to make a change in the world? Our leadership programs provide more than skills training. They are an opportunity to dig deep into your vision, your purpose, and your self-knowledge. They bring together like-minded individuals who are as hungry as you are to change the way the world tackles poverty.

GFP Field Michael Craig

Global Fellows Program

A full-time one-year fellowship. 10-12 individuals from all over the world spend two months in New York undergoing intensive leadership training, followed by nine months working with one of Acumen’s portfolio companies.

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Regional Fellows Program

A one-year fellowship currently offered in East Africa, Pakistan or India. 20 individuals in each region participate in intensive seminars and training exercises to improve their capacity to execute on a social change project of their choosing. Participants remain in their full-time jobs while in the program.

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+Acumen

We created +Acumen to give people a meaningful way to “add Acumen” to their lives. +Acumen makes our leadership curriculum available to anyone, globally. Learn through online courses, volunteer through our chapters, or apply to lead a new chapter in your city.

Learn More +

Meet The Leaders

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-Stephanie Speirs

Gurgaon, India

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-Maira Riaz

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-Chikako Fujita

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-Sule Amadu

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-Madhukar Banuri

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-Paula Hernandez

Mumbai, India

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-Muhammad Zahoor

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-Gerald Otim

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-Shahab Siddiqi

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-Habib Ur Rahman

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-Jonathan Mativo

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-Krupa Patel

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-Faiqa Naseem

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-Naomi Inoue

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-Sanjukta Das

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-Ramya Waran

Kigali, Rwanda

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-Kirti Vardhana

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-Meghan Simkins

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-Tammy Warren

Tigray, Ethiopia

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-Shahzad Akbar

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-Prerak Mehta

“Hope is real. Local solutions can be found with patience.”

-Jay Jaboneta

Lahore, Pakistan

“Mashall is the Founder and Director of Operations of Reading Room Project”

-Mashall Chaudhri

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-Caren Wakoli

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-Jyotirmoy Chatterji

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-David Lehr

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-Joel Montgomery

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-Bryan Farris

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-Anthony Mulli

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-Calvince Okello

“Johnson is the Managing Director of Milango Financial Services.”

-Johnson Kithendu

“Self-discovery, deepening of maturity, sharpening of tools and expansion of network – what an amazing experience! It is liberating to know that I am not normal but I am sane.”

-Marion Moon

Nairobi, Kenya

“Ramadhan is the Director of the “We Are Watching You” project which engages communities through music and performances.”

-Ramadhan Obiero

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-Yousef Alguwaifli

“I never knew I had this much potential; it has been a moment of learning and self discovery, great inspiration and encouragement, every leader needs this for progress in our time.”

-Joachim Ewechu

Kampala, Uganda

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-Speciosa Mbula Nguku 

“Abubaker is the Co-Founder and Director of Village Energy.”

-Abubaker Musuuza

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-Christine Gitau

“Stephen is the Chief Accountant at Juhudi Kilimo, which provides financial services to rural smallholder farmers.”

-Stephen Mutai

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-Oliver Dalizu

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-Neha Pandya

“Leaders aren't usually the best swimmers out there, but are always the first few to take the risk of crossing river. Acumen has taught me that leading the change is worth the risk.”

-Waqas Ali

Lahore, Pakistan

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-Rajanthi Manivannan

Nairobi, Kenya

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-Saad Latif

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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-Justus Kilian

Gulu, Uganda

“Herbert is from Kigali, Rwanda and is an Analyst with KZ Noir”

-Herbert Mugume

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-Keely Stevenson

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-Samia Razaq Khan

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-Vasumathi Kothuru

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-Nicolas Guillen

Nairobi, Kenya

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-Dr. Rajat Chabba

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-Tamsin Chislett

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-Jawad Aslam

“Patricia is the Managing Director of GrowthAfrica Capital.”

-Patricia Leila Jumi

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-Tahir Khilji

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-Luis Lopez Martinelli

Nairobi, Kenya

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-Arushi Chowdhury Khanna

India

“Evelyn is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Country Director of Solar Sister”

-Evelyn Namara

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-Mario Ferro

“Zeba is the Regional Program Director of DI”

-Zeba Shafi

“Being the change I want to see in the world can be a difficult challenge. The Acumen Fellowship has provided me with a vibrant support structure and tools to do good and do well.”

-Majala Mlagui

Nairobi, Kenya

“Joan is the Regional Director for the COFTA.”

-Joan Wangui Karanja

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-Shabnam Ramaswamy

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-Vimal Kumar

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-Dennis Ochieng

“Leaders need vision: this is a starting point. They also need pragmatism and resolve to see change through. The fellowship cultivates our visions, and trains us to enable change.”

-Tayeb Noorbhai

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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-Charu Chadha

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-Syed Zaid Bin Rashid

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-Syed Usman Hamdani

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-Nandita Shetty

“John is the Executive Director of Junior Achievement in Kenya.”

-John Wali

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-Premal Desai

“Resilience and moral imagination are key in my life. Neither grants nor markets alone will solve poverty but honest engagement with the very people whose problems am solving.”

-Patricia Jumi

Nairobi, Kenya

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-Shane Heywood

“Boniface is the Project Director of Picha Mtaani.”

-Boniface Mwangi

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-Sophie Forbes

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-Havi Murungi

“The Good Society readings inspired me to be more committed to the institutionalization of core governance principles, such as sound public policy, liberty and the rule of law.”

-William Lochi

Juba, The Republic of South Sudan

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-John Mundy

Sogakope, Ghana

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-Shoaib Iqbal

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-Nicole Orillac

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-Eric Berkowitz

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-Tricia Morente

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-Bailey (Bahareh) Vaez

Hubli, India

“Hawah is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Senior Program Coordinator of Educate!”

-Hawah Nabbuye

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-Mohammad Umar Ashfaq

Lahore, Pakistan

“It takes more than passion and smarts and a good business model for a social entrepreneur to succeed. Most of all it takes guts and unshakeable commitment.”

-Nicole Iden

Nairobi, Kenya

“I am in service of creating a world where markets and capital work for us and where social entrepreneurs and traditional companies compete to deliver a bigger social impact.”

-Javier Olaguibel

“Mohammad Ahsan is the Executive Director of Rural Development Project ”

-Mohammad Ahsan

“Julienne is from Kigali, Rwanda and is the Co-Founder and Global Chief of Operations of Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE).”

-Julienne Ingabire

“Irfan is the Founder & Lead Partner of Karibu Homes.”

-Irfan Keshavjee

“Wambui is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the National Treasurer of the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists' and Dentists Union (KMPPDU).”

-Wambui Waithaka

“Julio is the Chief Operating Officer of Nuru Energy, a social enterprise that produces and distributes low-cost lanterns that are rechargeable through pedal generators.”

-Julio De Souza

“Fahad is a Project Manager with Basic Education and Employable Skills Training ”

-Fahad Afridi

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-David Gatwech Lok

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-Henry Chim

Lahore, Pakistan

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-Kahabi Isangula

“My radical idea is to change Africa’s narrative. I believe this is possible only if Africans have access to reliable energy, which will create the capacity for them to transform their lives.”

-Yannick Kala Konga

“What appeals to me most about Acumen's experiment is that it is working!”

-Catherine Casey Nanda

San Francisco, USA

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-Josephat Byaruhanga

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-Collins Mugodo

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-Achyutha Sharma

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-Jean Chrysostome Rindiro

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-Yuliya Tarasava

Nairobi, Kenya

“Edward is a Senior Business Advisor at TechnoServe Uganda, where he is leading the “Consolidating The Gains” project.”

-Edward Agaba

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-Sarah Dimson

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-Mohammad Kamran Awan

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-Richard Zulu

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-Adrien Couton

“Imran is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Rabtt”

-Imran Sarwar

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-Shafqat Iqbal

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-Sunru Yong

“Adnan is the Founder and CEO of IdeaCentricity”

-Adnan Khawaja

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-Eda Esilaba

“Ahmad is the Coordinator for the Global Citizen Corps (GCC) Youth Leadership Program.”

-Ahmad Zeb

“Through the Fellowship, I've had to step out of my comfort zone and go the extra mile to appreciate the power of risk taking and achieving things which I could never imagine before.”

-Mohammed Fahim Shelot

Kitale, Kenya

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-Sarah Matindi

“Sumaira is a Program Manager with the Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan Memorial Trust (AHKMT).”

-Sumaira Gul

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-Janet Aika Matemu

“Sarah is the Project Manager of WelTel.”

-Sarah Karanja

Nairobi, Kenya

“Hital is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Corporate Affairs Manager of CISCO”

-Hital Muraj

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-Kaushik K

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-Billow Hassan

“Naeem is the Founder and CEO of Frontier Rural Development Program ”

-Naeem Wazir

“Sarah is the Founder and Director of LettuceBee Kids”

-Sarah Adeel

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-Amit Gupta

“”

-Vitalis Kahendah

“Wangikuyu is the Marketing Coordinator for Kickstart International.”

-Wagikuyu Miring'u

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-Aliyah Kurji

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Abhijeet Barse

“Daniyal is the CEO of KaroKuc”

-Daniyal Noorani

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-Baheirah Khusheim

Hyderabad, India

“My radical idea is to ensure the success of small to medium enterprises for they are an excellent tool to fight unemployment and poverty. ”

-Tafadzwa Chiganga

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-Uthara Narayanan

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-Kathleen Berroth

Sogakope, Ghana

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-Nadaa Taiyab

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-Wendy Wallace

“Imran is the leader of a number of organizations including Dugdugi.”

-Imran Nafees Siddiqui

“"Dignity is having the self-reliance to dream and live the seemingly impossible."”

-Javed Cheema

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-Lewitt Somarajan

“Khawaja is the CEO of Tourplanner.pk”

-Khawaja Khalid

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-Eric Kaduru

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-Cherian Joseph

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-Joanne Schneider

Nairobi, Kenya

“Charles is the Founder & Director of EcoPost.”

-Charles Kalama

“Fahad is a Project Manager at Karachi Relief Trust”

-Fahad Asadullah

“”

-Yehia Houry

“Chris currently works for the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.”

-Chris Walker

“”

-Kevin Martin

“Soiya is the Founder and Executive Director of “We The Change” Foundation.”

-Soiya Gecaga

“”

-Abhilasha Sinha

“”

-Jon Stever

“”

-Kennedy Oloo

“George is from Zanzibar, Tanzania and is the Project Coordinator of Zanzibar Initiative for Youth Association (ZIFYA)”

-George Mkwaya

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-John Sebastian MJ

“Ken is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of eMobilis.”

-Ken Mwenda Gikunda

“David Okello is the General Manager of Coast Coconut Farms.”

-David Okello

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-Andrea Griffin

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-Asim Janjua

Bahawalpur City, Pakistan

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-Muhammad Sabir

“”

-Satoko Okamoto

“Abraham is the Founder & Managing Director of KiBO Foundation.”

-Abraham Temu

“I had a chance to interact with a different kind of philanthropy, one that seeks to reach out to people in need without comprising their dignity. This makes true giving conceivable.”

-Pauline Wanja

Nairobi, Kenya

“My fellowship was crucial; I have the courage to start my enterprise, honing my leadership style in training and experience at GADC and supported by my cohort and Acumen family”

-Natalie Grillon

Gulu, Uganda

“Shahid is the Founder of Interfaith Youth in Action (IYA).”

-Shahid Rehmat

“”

-Jocelyn Wyatt

“Muhammad Ali is an Ashoka Fellow and Founder & Executive Director of Roshni Helpline”

-Muhammad Ali

“I learn to see and treat each individual as a complex being with emotions, struggles and hopes. ”

-Christina Tang

Accra, Ghana

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-Sidra Qasim

“”

-Lucy Mukuria

“Isfundiar is the Program Director of the Imran Khan Foundation (IKF).”

-Isfundiar Kasuri

“”

-Rutendo Change

“”

-Rupal Nayar

“”

-Neeladri Bora

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-Millicent Obare

“”

-Suzuka Kobayakawa

Lagos, Nigeria

“The fellowship provided me an opportunity to get to know some talented young people with creative ideas about how to solve problems of the marginalized communities of Pakistan. ”

-Muhammad Saeed Khan

Islamabad, Pakistan

“”

-Brenda Wambui

“”

-Leonard Imanishimwe

“”

-S. Deepak Kumar

“”

-John Tucker

“”

-Joram Gichuki

“Dignity is the right of all individuals to be treated with equality and respect regardless of their background, color, social status, sexual orientation, gender, income or any other social determinants.”

-Ajay Sharma

“”

-Joanna Harries

“”

-Selamawit Terefe Tiruneh

“Surkhab is the Chief Operating Officer of PAKSBAB.”

-Surkhab Khan

“My radical idea is to open new pathways for marginalized people to change the world.”

-Miishe Addy

“”

-Judith Owigar

“Day after day, I take three steps forward and two steps back. Frustrating, but I embrace this journey as I can get stronger only by falling down, getting back up again, and repeat.”

-Junko Tashiro

Sogakope, Ghana

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-Shamim Akhtar

“”

-Jon Yates

“”

-Bavidra Mohan

“”

-Kanan Dhru

“”

-Ghoncheh Jafarpisheh

“”

-Sachin Gathani

“”

-John Collery

Uttarakhand, India

“”

-Kamanda Kamiri

“Usman is the Executive Director of the M.H.Sufi Foundation”

-Usman Sufi

“”

-Ishira Mehta

“”

-Asim Hussnain

“”

-Ramakrishnan Hariharan

“”

-Asad Shoaib

“”

-Raghav Raghunathan

“”

-Ram Barigela

“”

-Nivi Mukherjee

“Abid is the President of Nawabshah Disability Forum ”

-Abid Lashari

“”

-Sapna Surendran

“Robert is from Nyeri, Kenya and is the Manager of Jitunze Environmental Group.”

-Robert Wanjohi

“”

-James Kassaga Arinaitwe

Bangalore, India

“Rachel is the Co-Founder of Kuweni Serious, which is an online platform that focuses on creating a corps of everyday changemakers.”

-Rachel Gichinga

“”

-Jenpu Rongmei

“Asim is the Director of the Technology for the People Initiative (TPI).”

-Asim Fayaz

“”

-Prerit Rana

“Jamshaid is the Manager Projects at Ansaar Management Company ”

-Jamshaid Cheema

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-Ramakrishna NK

“”

-Heidi Krauel-Patel

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-Janemary Ruhundwa

“”

-Ayeleen Ajanee Saleh

“Asad is the Co-Fonder and Managing Director of the Social Innovation Desk.”

-Asad Ayub

“Safdar is a Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies & Practices (IDSP).”

-Safdar Hussain

“”

-Olawale (Wale) Ajiboye

Lagos, Nigeria

“Rabia is the Managing Director of SunShine.”

-Rabia Habib

“”

-Tabinda Baig

“”

-Kibret Abebe Tuffa

“”

-Mubarik Imam

“For me, "patient capital" has transformed from a buzz phrase to something I see creating real value. At d.light, I realize that we're not only providing lights to people, but hope.”

-Mustapha Abokede

Lagos, Nigeria

“The fellowship helped me see the world from a different angle - an angle the corporate world is not used to, but which is so important in order to make the world a better place.”

-Abbas Akhtar

Lahore, Pakistan

“”

-Manjushree Patil

“Abubakr is the Chief Coordinator of Akhuwat.”

-Abubakr Siddique

“”

-Ashish Shrivastava

“”

-Brenda Williams

“George is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Angels Initiative (AI).”

-George William Bakka

Kampala, Uganda

“”

-Daniel Tulibagenyi

“”

-Gamuchirai Chituri

“Dignity is knowing you have the freedom and opportunity to live your life as you wish and on your own terms without having to depend on anyone else for the right to equal opportunity.”

-Navin Muruga

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-Sathya Raghu

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-Benje Williams

“We came to Acumen looking for answers, yet we found that there is more value in continuing to ask the questions, that these questions often start a much needed conversation.”

-Shahd AlShehail

Bangalore, India

“”

-Swapnil Chaturvedi

“”

-Khuram Hussain

“”

-Elizabeth Maina

“”

-Samira Shams

“”

-Wangari Muchoki

“Martin is from Gulu, Uganda and is the Gulu District Local Government Chairperson, where he serves as the political head of the Gulu district”

-Martin Ojara Mapenduzi

“”

-Ashweetha Shetty

“I am in service of those people in the world whose potential is systemically constrained simply because of geography.”

-Mina Shahid

“”

-Asad Ali Shah

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-Girdhari Bora

“”

-Adedotun Eyinade

Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania

“Sameen is the Project Manager of Zara Sochiye.”

-Sameen Shahid

“”

-Salma Chaudhry

“”

-Suhani Mohan

“”

-Neha Kale

“”

-Abbas Dadla

“Mohammad is a Director at the Institute for Development Studies & Practices (IDSP).”

-Mohammad Sadiq

“I have learned to work with uncertainty within and around me.”

-R Michael Craig

New Delhi, India

“Herbert is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Chief Marketing Officer of Virtual Group”

-Herbert Thuo

“”

-Faith Nafula Wafula

“Faith is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Director of Operations of Jacaranda Health.”

-Faith Muigai

“”

-Ihitashri Shandilya

“I am in service of building stronger, more inclusive communities that help us effectively address today's big, systemic challenges, like poverty and climate change.”

-Ame Igharo

“Dignity is being able to make your own informed choices and having access to opportunities. ”

-Laura Ruiz Diaz

“Joseph is the CEO of Renewable Energy Ventures, which produces and distributes affordable solar lanterns.”

-Joseph Nganga

“”

-Birikit Terefe Tiruneh

“Maryam is the Director of the Social Innovation Lab at LUMS”

-Maryam Mohiuddin Ahmed

“”

-Karthik Janakiraman