Investing in the next generation of leaders who are driving real change in their own communities around the world.

When Fellows join the Regional Fellows Program, they embark on a leadership journey. Over the course of the year, Fellows engage in deep reflection, challenge their assumptions about the world, and strengthen their moral compass. Through these programs, we hope to create an interconnected web of global leaders who share values, collaborate with each other, and drive change.

Regional Fellows Training

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. In addition to the three core areas of Acumen’s leadership model, Fellows also meet with prominent leaders from across sectors, and create strong relationships with their cohort and Acumen Fellows Alumni around the world.

DSC00617Foundations of Leadership Seminar

Fellows learn about Acumen’s model and leadership philosophy, explore the philosophical roots of a just society through discussions based on the Socratic method, and set leadership goals for the fellowship year.

Moral Imagination Seminar

The core of this seminar is a multi-day workshop focused on adaptive leadership facilitated by the Cambridge Leadership Associates. Through this training, Fellows evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, clarify their purpose in life, and apply the concept of adaptive leadership to changing the world.

Fellows Financial TrainingFinancial Skills Seminar

Fellows learn key financial tools for social impact leaders – including personal finance, basic business economics, and ethics. During this seminar, Income/Outcome leads a business simulation designed to engage individuals at any level of financial skill.

Operational Excellence Seminar

This seminar features a design thinking workshop facilitated by in which Fellows apply the human-centered design process to a real-life social problem. Fellows also learn about project management, organizational structure, and best practices in scaling social impact organizations.

Collaborative Projects

Over the course of the fellowship year, Fellows design and implement two different collaborative projects: a Learning Trip and an Innovation Conference. These projects provide the Fellows an opportunity to put the skills developed during the fellowship into practice, and guide their own learning.

Learning Trip

At the midpoint of the fellowship year, Fellows organize a Learning Trip, in which Fellows explore different models of social change and development in their region. Fellows determine the location and manage everything from transportation and lodging, to site visits and reflection activities.

Innovation Conference

At the end of the fellowship year, Fellows organize an Innovation Conference. The purpose of this conference is to create a forum to showcase innovation in the social impact sector and to host a dialogue to bring together key players in the region. Fellows are completely responsible for the theme and logistics of the conference.

Beyond the Fellowship

The fellowship is more than just a one-year program – it is the start of a lifelong leadership journey and the beginning of a lasting relationship with Acumen Fellows Alumni around the world.

Alumni Network

After graduating from any of our Fellows Programs – either East Africa, Pakistan, India, or Global – all of our Fellows join a single, united Fellows Alumni group. Acumen understands that leadership can be a lonely journey, and the Alumni body acts as a support system where Fellows can not only push each other but also collaborate to achieve their goals. Alumni are also actively involved in selecting future cohorts, get exclusive invitations to Acumen events, and receive a quarterly Alumni Newsletter. In addition, there are a number of examples of Alumni working together on new businesses and social impact initiatives.

Acumen’s Global Community

Alumni not only maintain their connection to their fellow Fellows, but also to Acumen’s extensive global community of advisors and peer organizations. Alumni have been able to leverage our network to gain connections to investors, job opportunities and mentors.

Click here to check out the latest Alumni Newsletter.

How to Apply

Who Becomes a Regional Fellow?

  • Entrepreneurs and leaders within organizations (for-profit, non-profit, and government) with a compelling social change project that has been operating for the last 2-3 years
  • Individuals who plan to continue developing their initiative for the duration of the program
  • Individuals with a deep passion and commitment to their region
  • Individuals with a proven track record of leadership and management responsibilities
  • Individuals with unrelenting perseverance, personal integrity and critical thinking skills

The Selection Process

The selection process for this program is very rigorous and highly competitive. Here is a general timeline of the process:

  • The applications for the Regional Fellows Program are closed now. Applications for the class of 2015 will go online in July/August 2014.
  • Telephone Interviews: October 2014
  • In-Person Interviews: November 2014
  • Final Selection: December 2014

The Application Process

The online application consists of:

  • Background information
  • Resume/CV
  • Two references
  • Short & long answer questions

Application Instructions: For more guidance on how to answer the application questions, please click here.

Frequently Asked Questions: For a list of Frequently Asked Questions and their answers, please click here.

Regional Fellows Programs

Acumen Fellows are leaders who are tackling the most challenging social issues and bringing real change in their own communities. Click on the images below to apply to one of our Regional Fellows Programs.


East Africa

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