Acumen | Program Details -

Program Details

Building a pipeline of leaders who understand what it takes to create lasting change

Application details

Program Overview

The Acumen Fellowship program is an intensive leadership development program cultivating a pipeline of tomorrow’s social changemakers. Over the course of a year, Fellows remain in their jobs while participating in five in-person, multi-day immersive seminars and engaging in online content between seminars. Currently operating in Colombia, East Africa, India, Pakistan, and West Africa, the Fellows Program equips leaders from across the country or region with the knowledge, skills and community to become more effective, collaborative agents of change.

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Our Program In A Nutshell

In-person Seminars

Our Fellows Program centers around five in-person seminars design to improve individuals’ capacity to innovate and drive change while remaining in their full-time jobs.

Virtual Content

Our unique virtual content enables Fellows to connect with peers and continue developing the skills to make lasting social impact between seminars.

Self-Reflection

We provide the space and security for Fellows to practice self-reflection, broaden their perspectives and identify areas for personal development.

Focus on Real-World Applicability

We design content that is focused on being relevant and applicable to Fellows’ everyday lives and social impact work.

Our Core Curriculum

Adaptive Leadership

Based off the work of Harvard Professor Ron Heifitz, Adaptive Leadership is a practical leadership framework that helps individuals and organizations adapt and thrive in challenging environments. The content supports Fellows’ ability, both individually and collectively, to catalyze and embrace the gradual and meaningful process of change.

Authentic Voice

Building off the work of Marshall Ganz, Fellows develop their capacity to articulate their story of self, us and now. Fellows are equipped to articulate a hopeful vision, speak across lines of difference, and move others to action.

Good Society Readings

The Good Society Readings explore the meaning of a just society and the moral and historical foundation of social change through a series of curated readings of great thinkers such as Plato, Amartya Sen and Nelson Mandela. Fellows reflect on core human values, seek common ground and cultivate a richer understanding of their social change work in a broader historical context.

Managing Polarities

Fellows are taught decision-making methodologies that empower them to embrace competing goals and navigate the tensions between them. In an increasingly interconnected world, the ability to navigate ambiguity and cross lines of difference is critical.

Systems Thinking

Fellows explore the concept of Systems Thinking through frameworks and on the ground application by working collaboratively on live challenges. Fellows are provided with frameworks to better understand larger, systemic problems and design more effective interventions.

Qualifications

Our Fellows are individuals who dare to do what’s right, not what’s easy, to create positive change in their region. Fellows can come from diverse cultural, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds and work in any sector, and they must be committed to ending poverty in their community through their work. They are individuals who are making a long-term play at system-level impact and are seeking the leadership skills and moral imagination to make it happen.

The Fellows we seek are:

  • Social entrepreneurs, social intrapreneurs, and organizational builders.
    • Social entrepreneurs: Have have launched or lead their own social change initiatives.
    • Social intrapreneurs: Are running a social change initiative within an existing organization.
    • Organizational builders: Are an integral part of building a social change organization, but do not play a founding role.
  • Individuals who have a demonstrated history of impact, commitment and concrete connection to the region.
  • Leaders with strong personal integrity, unrelenting perseverance and moral imagination.
  • Committed individuals ready to undergo an intensive year-long personal transformation and leadership journey followed by an induction into the larger Fellows Community.
  • Individuals of all ages and education levels who are able to participate in a program conducted in English.

The Acumen Fellowship Program is currently offered in five regions

Find your region

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