Food Systems Fellowship

When is The Rockefeller Foundation-Acumen Food Systems Fellowship starting?

The Food Systems Fellowship runs from April 2023 to November 2023. Learn more about the Fellowship Roadmap below.

What is The Rockefeller Foundation-Acumen Food Systems Fellowship?

The Rockefeller Foundation-Acumen Food Systems Fellowship is an intensive, one-year leadership development program offered through Acumen Academy, the world’s school for social change. The Food Systems Fellowship will introduce moral leadership concepts to a globally diverse cohort of 20 food systems builders who are creating more equitable, nourishing, and regenerative food systems. With leading food systems facilitators, Fellows will participate in a blend of immersive seminars, workshops, and self-directed leadership experiments. The program will combine in-person and virtual learning over the course of the Fellowship year.

What will I learn and do?

Embrace the gradual and meaningful process of creating systemic change within food systems at the personal, organizational, and societal levels:

Personal – Examine the identities, values, and choices that have shaped your journey until now and cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself and your work within food systems. Explore the meaning of a just society and the moral and historical foundation of social change through text-based dialogue.

Organizational – 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.

Systemic – Question your assumptions and beliefs about leading effective change in food systems. Navigate the food system you operate in using moral imagination.

Our curriculum draws on powerful leadership frameworks, tools, and approaches, including Adaptive Leadership, Authentic Voice, Good Society Readings, Polarities Management, Immunity to Change, and Systems Thinking.

What makes a Fellow?

Our fellows are extraordinary emerging systems builders who dare to embrace the difficult journey of social change in food systems. You will be joining a cohort composed of individuals who will typically be on one of the following trajectories:

Social Entrepreneurs: Founding or leading a for-profit or non-profit organization that provides critical goods or services to underserved populations within food systems.

Social Intrapreneurs: Creating innovative solutions to tackle food systems challenges from within an existing institution by shifting its culture and/or strategy, and building new collaborations.

Organizational Builders: Supporting the growth of an organization focused on alleviating food systems challenges by building the internal structures, and processes that enable the organization to pursue its purpose.

Public Sector Leaders: Reimagining public policy and leveraging the government services to drive change within food systems.

Bridge Builders: Finding and connecting organizations and leaders to discover commonalities and activate a shared vision for food systems transformation.

Check out examples of past Fellows at the bottom of this page.

Fellowship Roadmap

Our three-stage online selection process is designed to understand your capacity, willingness, and potential to grow as systems builders who will be at the forefront of systems change within food systems.

  1. 1
    Apply: tell us about your journey in food systems work so far and your vision moving forward. 16 Oct – 1 Dec 2022
  2. 2
    Complete Assignments: show us your capacity for leadership and the impact of your work. 2 – 15 Jan 2023
  3. 3
    Attend the Selection Conference: connect with food systems finalists across the world and explore why this is the right time for you to be a Fellow. 11 – 12 Mar 2023
  4. 4
    The Rockefeller Foundation – Acumen Food Systems Fellows 2023 Cohort Announcement: Apr 2023
  5. 5
    Immerse Yourself in the Food Systems Fellowship:  Apr-Nov 2023

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