Acumen is a well-regarded venture philanthropy nonprofit organization that funds social innovations in the developing world. +Acumen (Plus Acumen) is the community network arm of Acumen, and has been offering its leadership development curriculum as MOOCs (see this article for further details). +Acumen is still at it, making the courses better each time. Here is the latest schedule of +Acumen MOOCs, get involved and get excited!
Truth, Trust, Tribes & Trial: Marketing with Dignity at the Base of the Pyramid
In this course, we’ve distilled our lessons from more than a decade of experience investing in social enterprises that serve customers at the base of the pyramid (BoP). Sign up to learn our framework of the Four Ts – Truth Trust Tribes & Trials. Create a deeper impact than the traditional 4Ps of marketing.
Starts: Oct Oct 8, 2014 (4 weeks, 4 modules)
Design Kit: the Course for Human-Centered Design
Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation is a seven-week course that will introduce you to the concepts of human-centered design and help you use the design process to create innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions for social change. No prior design experience necessary.
Starts: Oct 14, 2014 (7 weeks, 5 modules)
Board Strategy for Social Enterprise: Best Practices to Maximize your Impact (with Accion)
This course is for early-stage social enterprises or non-profits that are just starting out and are in the early-stages of forming a board for their companies. Having a functioning board early on can be a key driver of an enterprise’s success over the longer term. As investors, both Acumen and our course partner, Accion Venture Labs, often sit on the boards of such companies. But more importantly, we support our entrepreneurs through the process of creating the “right” board.
Starts: Oct 22, 2014 (5 Weeks, 5 modules)
Adaptive Leadership (with Cambridge Leadership Associates)
Adaptive Leadership is a practical leadership framework developed by Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The Adaptive Leadership course is designed to help individuals and organizations through consequential change in times of uncertainty when there are no clear answers. It teaches leaders to identify and tackle systemic change through a process of confronting the status quo and identifying technical and adaptive challenges.
Starts: Nov 4, 2014 4 Weeks
Making Sense of Social Impact: Acumen’s Building Blocks for Impact Analysis
What does it mean to create impact? How do you go about it? Why measure and what to measure?Together with Acumen’s Impact Team, we’ve developed this course to help answer these questions. At Acumen, we define our impact as changing the way the world tackles poverty. We do this by investing in companies that bring life-changing goods and services to the poor at scale. While Acumen also invests in leaders, this course will focus on how we measure impact in our portfolio and how you can apply those tools in any context
Starts: Nov 11, 2014 (5 Weeks, 5 modules)
Financial Sustainability: the Numbers Side of Social Enterprise (with Erik Simanis)
The course will show you how to think about and build a basic financial model from the ground up, starting from a single “business unit”—a stand-alone profit-center (like a branch, sales office, or individual franchise) that is replicated when you scale. The course will then explain how to connect the business-unit financials with the “home-office” and its associated costs—these are the supporting operations and administrative structures that have to be put in place in order to scale a business. This approach helps ensure that your product or service can be realistically commercialized, and that the business model is built for scalability from the start.
Starts: Nov 18, 2014 (5 weeks, 5 modules)
The Good Society Sessions: Identity
This is a NEW mini-course examining the themes of Identity and Moral Imagination. It is based on one of Acu1men’s Good Society readings – a training first developed by the Aspen Institute and adapted for Acumen’s Fellows programs. The Good Society Sessions are repeatedly cited as a highlight of the Fellowship year and we are excited to be able to share a piece of this with you!
Starts: Fall 2015, 2 Weeks
Acumen Essentials I: Intro to Moral Imagination
This is a 6-week introductory course that will take you through a variety of materials Acumen has designed to train leaders who wish to change the way the world tackles poverty, and build a world based on dignity. This course is for beginners, new to the social impact space and interested in learning more about entrepreneurial approaches to poverty alleviation.
Starts: 2015 6 weeks
Storytelling for Change
Storytelling for Change is a 6 module course that will help you better connect with your audience, whether in a meeting with one person or in a presentation to hundreds of people. The course is 7 weeks long as one of the modules requires two weeks to complete. Acumen and The Ariel Group have created a hands-on course to help you develop your practical skills as a storyteller. Whether you work in an office, making presentations in the boardroom, as a teacher with 30 to 300 students, interacting with customers, or one-on-one with individuals, using the elements of story bring you closer to your audience.
Starts: 2015 (7 weeks, 6 modules)
Lean for Social Change
Lean for Social Change is a 8-week course inspired by the Lean Launchpad Class pioneered by Steve Blank. In this course you will learn how to test, validate, and adapt your vision of change to ensure you’re creating the greatest impact and investing your time in something that truly meets your stakeholder’s and customer’s needs. Lean for Social Change draws on the latest thinking in Silicon Valley on how to build companies that maximize customer value while minimizing wasted effort and makes it relevant for social innovators.