Acumen, a global non-profit organization, hosted an in-person gathering for its community of social entrepreneurs in South East Asia. It aimed to strengthen its community’s connection and facilitate collaborations to scale the impact of its community in South East Asia. Taking place in Cyberview Resort, Cyberjaya from 22nd - 24th June 2023, the gathering brought together social entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders and corporate social intrapreneurs from across the region.
Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. It invests patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $149 million in 157 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States. In 2015, Acumen was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies. Additionally, through Acumen Academy, it is unleashing a new generation of social innovators and leaders with the character and competence to build a more just, inclusive and sustainable world.
Acumen Academy is the world’s school for social change. Blending the best of online and offline learning, it offers anyone, anywhere access to the practical tools, practices, resources and supportive community they need to achieve positive social change. Acumen Academy’s globalcommunity of 1,300+ Fellowship and Accelerator alumni along with 1.1M course takers in 193 countries, represents a new generation of social innovators and leaders committed to doing what’s right in a world that loves easy.
The Acumen Academy SEA Gathering provides a platform for South East Asia’s social innovators to connect and collaborate to scale their impact in the region. Through inspiring keynote speeches, engaging discussions on topics such as the intersection of artificial intelligence and social impact, and thought-provoking deliberations on our climate future, the event seeks to inspire attendees to drive positive change within their communities.
Acumen Academy’s community in South East Asia comprises more than 100 alumni which include over 50 Fellows from Malaysia. Some of the attendees from this community are: Dato’ Hartini Zainuddin from Yayasan Chow Kit (Malaysia), Tharma Pillai, co-Founder of UNDI18(Malaysia), Cheryl Goh, Head of Marketing and Sustainability of GRAB (Malaysia/Singapore), Jimmy Pham of KOTO (Vietnam) and William Hendradjaja of Skilvul (Indonesia). Joining this community of social innovators are philanthropists and partners such as the Lam Nguyen Phuong Family and Kathleen Chew from YTL Foundation. Navin Murugamoorthy, Acumen’s Associate Director in South East Asia says: "The Acumen Academy SEA Gathering is an embodiment of our community’s determination to build a more just and sustainable ASEAN region. By facilitating deep connection and collaboration in our community, we aim to scale their solutions to the pressing social challenges in this region."
The event showcases the inspiring stories of Acumen Academy’s South East Asia alumni, who demonstrate the character and competence necessary to drive meaningful change. Their experiences and journeys highlight the power of empathy, innovation, and patient capital in transforming communities.
Devasharma Gangadaran, CEO of MySkills Foundation, also a 2021 Acumen Fellow says: “In this industry, it is very easy to be very passionate, but it can also lead to burnout. It’s veryimportant for us to have these sacred places and friends to connect with.”
The Acumen Academy SEA Gathering stands as a model for building equitable societies, emphasizing the importance of unity and collective purpose in driving social change. As our societies become increasingly polarized, this gathering serves as a reminder of what can be achieved when diverse perspectives come together to address shared challenges.
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