ACUMEN FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM 2021: Apply Now

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Global Fellowship

What is the Acumen Fellowship?

The purpose of the Acumen Fellowship is to develop a community of leaders who challenge the status quo, work across lines of difference and inspire their communities to believe in a brighter future.

The Fellowship is the start of a journey towards mastering the skills, attributes, and values of moral leadership: a combination of empathy, immersion, understanding, and action. What binds our Fellows is shared values, a common commitment to a world beyond poverty and injustice, a pledge to accompany one another, to help and celebrate one another, and to hold each other to account.

Who are Acumen Fellows?

The Fellowship is designed for individuals who are currently leading or are an integral part of building an initiative whose mission is to eradicate poverty or injustice. Our Fellows are of all ages, come from diverse cultural, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds and work across multiple sectors.

Acumen Fellows understand that poverty extends beyond income levels, and that the opposite of poverty is not income: it is dignity. Dignity is freedom. It is having control over decisions that affect our lives.

For more context on how we understand poverty and injustice at Acumen, please refer to the two articles linked below: – Lessons Learned – 15 years of tackling poverty – The Opposite of Poverty

General Fellowship Eligibility

Do I have to be working in a social enterprise to be considered for the Fellowship?

No.

Although many of our Fellows do work in social enterprises, Fellows can be working in any sector (including for-profit, nonprofit, corporations, and government).

Is the Fellowship only open to entrepreneurs?

No.

Fellows go on various career paths and personal journeys over their lives, but many of the Fellows we’ve seen over the years include: – Entrepreneurs who have founded or are leading a for-profit or nonprofit organization that provides critical goods and services to the underserved – Intrapreneurs who are creating innovative solutions to tackle poverty or injustice from within existing institutions by shifting institutional culture and building new collaborations. – Organizational builders who are supporting the growth of poverty or injustice-focused institution from within, but not as the founder or CEO We are looking for an entrepreneurial attitude, mindset, and approach – people who don’t accept the status quo.

What are the academic qualifications for the Fellowship?

There are no specific academic prerequisites.

Are there a minimum or maximum age requirements for Fellows?

No. There is neither a minimum age requirement nor a maximum age cut off.

Do I need to currently be involved in work focused on poverty or injustice?

Yes. We are looking for individuals who currently have a leadership role in an organization or initiative committed to fighting poverty or injustice on a full-time basis. We will, on an exceptional basis, consider applicants who are working part-time, as long as they demonstrate a full-time commitment to fighting poverty or injustice.

Can two people from the same organization apply for the Acumen Fellowship?

The Acumen Fellowship is a significant investment in an individual’s leadership journey. As the Fellowship is competitive and only offers 20 spots per year in each region, we aim to amplify our impact through the Fellows by asking them to take learnings from the Fellowship back to their teams and communities.

This means that in a given year, while multiple people from the same organization may apply, should you all meet our basic eligibility criteria, we will only be able to select one of you to advance in the selection process. We suggest keeping this in mind as you make the decision regarding whether one or more of you will apply in the same year.

This also means that, within a 3 year period, we will not be able to accept more than one person as a Fellow from the same organization. If somebody from your organization has been an Acumen Fellow in the last 3 years, we will not be able to accept your application this year. If nobody from your organization is an Acumen Fellow yet, we suggest keeping this in mind as you make the decision regarding which person in your organization is best suited to apply at this point in your leadership journeys.

Can I apply if I have taken +Acumen courses?

Absolutely! Taking Acumen Academy courses prior to the fellowship is strongly encouraged.

Year 1: Fellowship Year

  • Join a diverse cohort of social change leaders in a rigorous year-long experience
  • Improve your capacity to innovate and drive change with a mix of in-person and online seminars
  • Part-time — you stay in your job
  • Stay in your job while participating in four 5-day seminar in various locations across Bangladesh”
INFORMATION SESSIONS
  • To Be Announced

What makes a fellow?

Our 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: Builders from any sector tackling poverty and injustice from within by shifting the institutional culture—and building new collaborations.
  • Organizational Builders: Leaders (other than the Founder or CEO) supporting the growth of institutions combating poverty and injustice

What will you learn?

The Fellowship curriculum is centered around the principles of moral leadership:

  • Adaptive Leadership: Based on Ron Heifetz’s work, Adaptive Leadership is a practical leadership framework that supports Fellows’ ability to catalyse and embrace the gradual and meaningful process of creating change.
  • Authentic Voice: Grounded in Marshall Ganz’s life’s work, the Authentic Voice curriculum allows the Fellows to develop the capacity to articulate a hopeful vision, speak across lines of difference, and move others into action.
  • Good Society Readings: Modeled off The Aspen Institute, the Good Society Readings explore the meaning of a just society, and the moral and historical foundation of social change through text based dialogue
  • Managing Polarities: Based on Barry Johnson’s work, Polarities aims to cultivate an individual’s ability to lead effectively when opposing but interdependent and equally important values are in tension.
  • Systems Thinking: Fellows explore the concept of Systems Thinking by working collaboratively on live challenges—enabling them to better understand larger, systemic problems and design more effective interventions.

Eligible Countries:

  • Bangladesh APPLICATIONS OPEN
  • Colombia APPLICATIONS OPENING SEP 16
  • East Africa APPLICATIONS OPENING DEC 3
  • India APPLICATIONS OPENING JUL 24
  • Malaysia APPLICATIONS OPEN
  • Spain APPLICATIONS OPENING SEP 16
  • West Africa APPLICATIONS OPEN
  • UK APPLICATIONS CLOSED

Official link: https://www.acumenacademy.org/fellowship

How to Apply

Our application process consists of these three steps.

  1. 1Step 1: Apply online—applications process opens on June 5th and close Aug 8th
  2. 2Step 2: Receive your online assignment in September
  3. 3Step 3: Attend our in-person Selection Conference in early-mid November

When you will find out.

  1. 11: Our Fellows are selected in early December
  2. 22: Fellows are announced in January 2021

Apply Now

Download Application Toolkit (PDF)

When is the Acumen Fellowship in Bangladesh?

The next Bangladesh Fellowship runs from January 2021 to November 2021.

What is the Acumen Fellowship in Bangladesh?

Practical skills meet moral imagination in this intensive year-long leadership development program designed to equip extraordinary individuals with the tools, mindset, and community to tackle poverty and injustice in their communities.

  • Be a part of a lifelong fellowship that extends beyond your first year
  • Join a larger local and global global community committed to a world beyond poverty and injustice

The Fellows Program will bring together exceptional leaders from across Bangladesh who are building the solutions to tackle the toughest problems of our time. Candidates come from diverse cultural, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds, work across multiple sectors, and they share a deep commitment to create enduring social impact in their communities.




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