West Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies – yet it will require a different type of leadership to ensure that the fruits of this growth are felt by all. It will require leaders grounded in integrity, and relentless in their pursuit of equity and justice.
Each year, the Acumen Fellowship in West Africa selects ~20 Fellows from across sectors, countries, and backgrounds who are tackling issues of poverty and injustice, and equips them with the practices and community needed to deepen and sustain their impact.
The Fellowship begins with a year-long fully-funded leadership programme, where Fellows remain in their role while taking part in a series of immersive seminars, workshops, and group practice. This is where practical skills meet moral imagination. The programme is designed to equip Fellows with the tools, mindset, and community to tackle poverty and injustice in their communities.
After the first year, Fellows become part of Acumen’s global community of social innovators – committed to lifelong learning, collaboration and accompaniment as they build a world based on dignity.
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: 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, and 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 until 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 four steps.
- 1Step 1: Apply online — Applications open 1 June and close 12 July
- 2Step 2: Receive your online assignments in August
- 3Step 3: Attend the Selection Conference in November 11 & 12 November
- 4Step 4: Our Fellows are selected in December
For more details visit Acumen West Africa