A community of leaders to drive the transition to a more inclusive, sustainable society

Chapter 4

The Next Five Years

Over the last decade, almost half a million individuals have come to Acumen seeking the skills, experiences, and relationships needed to drive change in the 21st century. And it’s through these individuals that we have learned what it takes to build communities that support leaders on their quests to solve significant problems of poverty.

We know that today’s emerging leaders best flourish when they participate in tightly-knit cohorts, armed with a strong curriculum, focused on hard skills and grounded in the values of moral leadership. And we are learning to empower a diverse array of individuals with skills and a sense of fellowship online. In the next 5-7 years, we intend to integrate the best of the Fellows Program and +Acumen to unleash a community of builders who will drive a transition to an inclusive and sustainable society.

To prepare for our next chapter, we are testing and implementing a suite of programs including leadership boot camps, accelerators, and communities of practice. Each experiment brings participants (both +Acumen learners and Fellows) together to learn in virtual settings with peers from across the globe, with an emphasis on local application of the prototypes and ideas they develop and test together. The boot camp enables participants to develop a common language, shared values, and an understanding of the leadership tools available to change agents of the 21st century. The Nonprofit Earned Income Accelerator focuses on building technical capability. It enables nonprofits leaders to transition from a purely nonprofit model to develop a social enterprise model.

In 2019, we aim to build more boot camps and accelerators. We will also create communities of practice to enable people working in specific fields to share knowledge, experiences and collaborate. And we will test how to engage leaders working in similar sectors across the globe to create change in their local communities. By developing and sharing knowledge, practices, rituals and experiences, we will build a strong community of innovators and builders. Through deliberate skill-building, we aim to accelerate the strongest and most committed builders from our community.

Of course, we have a great deal to learn. Over the next year, our work is to answer one critical question which predicates our growth. How can we optimize the best of in-person and online learning at scale while maintaining quality and diversity of leaders? We will identify the right combination, one which allows us to retain the depth of in-person transformation while leveraging the capacity to reach thousands.

Our vision for the future is to build a movement of 10,000 leaders: a community of builders who will drive a transition to an inclusive and sustainable society. These are individuals across the world who commit to a lifetime of learning based not on a winners-take-all definition of success, but one defined by the service we give, and even more, the energies of other human beings released in the world. They are social change agents committed to the path of moral leadership, one in which they see their work in service of a greater purpose and with integrity and resolve.

Go To Next Page