Are you an advocate for social change? The Rockefeller Foundation shall open its doors to international innovators through its Acumen Food Systems Fellowship. Read more about the opportunity below.

The Rockefeller Foundation – Acumen Food Systems Fellowship is an intensive, one-year leadership development program done in partnership with Acumen Academy, which is known for being the world’s leading school for social change.

Application deadline: December 1, 2021





Benefits of the Rockefeller Foundation – Acumen Food Systems Fellowship

The Food Systems Fellowship shall offer foundations on moral leadership, grounded in the context of global food systems. Furthermore, it aims to introduce the concepts to a globally diverse cohort of 20 food systems leaders who are creating more inclusive, nourishing, and regenerative food systems.

Fellows under the Rockefeller Foundation and Acumen Academy shall be able to join several immersive seminars, workshops, and self-directed leadership experiments.

The one-year fellowship opportunity shall be done in a combination of in-person and virtual learning over the course of the program’s duration. After the year is over, fellows shall be allowed to participate in Acumen Academy’s international community of social innovators building a world without poverty and injustice.

The following topics shall be discussed in-depth under the Food Systems Fellowship:

  • Adaptive Leadership
  • Authentic Voice
  • Good Society Readings
  • Managing Polarities
  • Systems Thinking

Eligibility Criteria for Africans

In order to qualify for a fellowship under the Rockefeller Foundation, interested participants must adhere to the following requirements and meet the standard of what makes a Food Systems fellow:

  • 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.

Acumen will select 20-22 Fellows from across the world for the first year of the Food Systems Fellowship.

Upon application submission, the Rockefeller Foundation’s selection team will carefully review submissions and participation at each stage of the process, and select candidates who will advance to the next stage. At each stage of the application process, all candidates will receive communication from our team about the progress of their application.

How to Apply for the Fellowship

The Rockefeller-Acumen Fellowship’s three-stage online selection process is designed to understand your capacity, willingness, and potential to grow as leaders who will be at the forefront of systems change within food systems. The entire process is outlined below:

  • 1

Apply — tell us about your journey in food systems work so far and your vision moving forward. 14 Oct – 1 Dec 2021

  • 2

Complete Assignments — show us your capacity for leadership and the impact of your work. 3-17 Jan 2022

  • 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. 12-13 Mar 2022

  • 4

The Rockefeller Foundation – Acumen Food Systems Fellows 2022 Cohort Announcement — Apr 2022

  • 5

Immerse Yourself in the Food Systems Fellowship — Apr-Oct 2022

To start your application, please use the online application portal. The program overview document shall also help you understand the specifics of this opportunity. For further information, please visit the official Food Systems Fellowship webpage.


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