Application Deadline: Ongoing
Practical skills meet moral imagination in this intensive leadership development programme designed to equip entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and organisation-builders in for-profits, non-profits, and government / public sector with the knowledge, skills, and community to accelerate and sustain their impact as they build a just, inclusive, sustainable world.
Each year, the East Africa Fellows Programme brings together 20 extraordinary individuals tackling poverty and injustice in their communities and equips them with the knowledge, skills, and community to strengthen their leadership, as well as the capacity of their ventures to scale and create meaningful change in East Africa.
The Fellowship begins with an intensive leadership programme, where Fellows remain in their jobs while taking part in a series of multi-day virtual seminars, paired with online group and individual assignments between seminars, all connected by group practice. This is where practical skills meet moral imagination – and the programme is designed to increase a Fellow’s capacity to lead social change and tackle problems of poverty and injustice.
After the first year, Fellows become part of Acumen’s global community of social innovators – committed to life-long learning, collaboration and accompaniment as they drive change.
- Join a diverse cohort of 20 leaders from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and Ethiopia
- Acumen Fellows are drawn from diverse sectors, disciplines, organisations, and social change journeys
- All programme costs are covered by Acumen Academy in East Africa
- Multiple virtual multi-day seminars & workshops, paired with individual & group online assignments between seminars
- Learning that is immediately applied to your life and work
- Peer coaching that challenges and accompanies you in your social change work
- Cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself and your work in a broader context
- Navigate uncertainty and embrace the meaningful process of creating change
Beyond Year 1
- Join Acumen Academy’s growing community of social innovators & builders accompanying each other from across the globe committed to a world beyond poverty and injustice.
- Opportunities to network, collaborate, as well as learn from and share experiences with other Acumen social innovators both locally and globally.
- The Acumen Fellowship is a life-long engagement and after the first year fellows take part in a range of opportunities that are designed to both further their impact and build their communities.
The fellows are extraordinary leaders who dare to embrace the difficult journey of social change. Here’s what we want from you—and what you can expect from your cohort.
- Entrepreneurs: Leaders of both for-profit and nonprofit organizations providing critical goods or services to the underserved.
- Intrapreneurs: Leaders who are bringing to life new initiatives or approaches within the organization. The focus is on designing, testing, incubating and implementing ideas that enable the organization to pursue its purpose.
- Organizational Builders: Leaders who play an integral role in building the organization. The focus is on building the internal blocks, systems & processes that enable the organization to pursue its purpose.
In the Fellowship Program You Will:
- Learn to catalyse and embrace the gradual and meaningful process of creating change at the personal, organisational, and societal levels
- Cultivate the ability to lead effectively when opposing but interdependent values are in tension
- Understand how to lead diverse stakeholders through recurring and complex challenges
- Develop the capacity to tell meaningful stories that speak across lines of difference and move others to action
- Examine your identities, values, and choices that have shaped your journey till now and cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself and your work in a broader context
- Explore the meaning of a just society and the moral and historical foundation of social change through text-based dialogue
- Navigate systemic problems and design more effective interventions using moral imagination
- Question your assumptions and beliefs about leading effective change
- Be supported and accompanied by a cohort of like-minded peers persevering in the process of driving social change
Our curriculum draws on powerful leadership frameworks, tools, and approaches, including Adaptive Leadership, Authentic Voice, Good Society Readings, Immunity to Change, and Polarities Management.
How to Apply
Our application process consists of these five stages.
- Stage 1: An online application form designed to understand why this is the right time for you to become an Acumen Fellow.
- Stage 2: An opportunity to dig deeper into the work you do through an application form & short essay questions.
- Stage 3: Final selection for the finalists. The Selection Conference day includes elevator pitches, group activities, and a panel interview.
- Stage 4: The 2022 cohort will be selected in November and 2022 Fellows announced in December 2021.
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