Acumen Academy East Africa Fellowship

Equip social innovators and community to accelerate and sustain their impact

Are you a social innovator from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia? Join the Acumen Academy East Africa leadership development program that is designed to equip social innovators with knowledge, skills, and community to accelerate and sustain their impact as they build a just, inclusive and sustainable world.

Each year, the Acumen 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 program. 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. The program 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, who are
committed to life-long learning, collaboration, and accompaniment as they drive change.

What makes a fellow?

  1. Entrepreneurs: Leaders of both for-profit and nonprofit organizations providing critical goods
    or services to the underserved.
  2.  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.
  3. Organizational Builders: Leaders who play an integral role in building the organization. The focus is on building the internal blocks, systems, and processes that enable the organization to pursue its purpose.


  1. Learn to catalyze and embrace the gradual and meaningful process of creating change at the personal, organizational, and societal levels.
  2. Cultivate the ability to lead effectively when opposing but interdependent values are in tension.
  3. Understand how to lead diverse stakeholders through recurring and complex challenges.
  4. Develop the capacity to tell meaningful stories that speak across lines of difference and move others to action.
  5. 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.
  6. Explore the meaning of a just society and the moral and historical foundation of social change through text-based dialogue.
  7. Navigate systemic problems and design more effective interventions using moral imagination.
  8. Question your assumptions and beliefs about leading effective change.
  9. Be supported and accompanied by a cohort of like-minded peers persevering in the process of driving social change.
  10. Our curriculum draws on powerful leadership frameworks, tools, and approaches, including Adaptive Leadership, Authentic Voice, Good Society Readings, Immunity to Change, and Polarities Management.


November 28, 2022
Organizer Acumen
Website Visit website
Targets Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, United Republic of
Sectors Sector agnostic
SDG (17) All