Another Radical Idea from Acumen

by Kim Sokolnicki on May 1, 2013


Photo by Acumen

Well, it’s not really radical (especially compared to all the bad ass ideas and innovations they’ve supported in the past, but it is pretty unique and super cool. Acumen recently launched their new manifesto, and a beautiful new visual identity to go with it.  The manifesto is great because it explains not only what the organization is doing (normally found in a mission or vision) but also what they’re learning. So important!

If there is one thing we encourage our clients to do over and over it is to share what’ve they learned. Share the journey, the lessons, the successes the failures. Share and we will all grow. Check out Acumen’s new manifesto and you’ll see what I mean:

“It starts by standing with the poor, listening to voices
unheard, and recognizing potential where others see despair.

It demands investing as a means, not an end, daring to go
where markets have failed and aid has fallen short. It makes
capital work for us, not control us.

It thrives on moral imagination: the humility to see the world
as it is, and the audacity to imagine the world as it could be.
It’s having the ambition to learn at the edge, the wisdom to
admit failure, and the courage to start again.

It requires patience and kindness, resilience and grit: a
hard-edged hope. It’s leadership that rejects complacency,
breaks through bureaucracy, and challenges corruption.
Doing what’s right, not what’s easy.

Acumen: it’s the radical idea of creating hope in a cynical
world. Changing the way the world tackles poverty and
building a world based on dignity.”


This idea of being on a journey continues through their new logo which is an unfinished A. According to an email from founder Jacqueline Novogratz to their followers, the logo symbolizes “that our work is never finished, that we don’t have all the answers, and that we can’t do this work alone.” I’d say that’s true of pretty much every problem we face as a society and it’s great to see such an important and influential organization take such a visual stand to make that point.

We know that purpose-driven organizations are the ones that will thrive in the 21st century and it’s exceptional to see an organization take things to the next level by clearly articulating their values, in a meaningful way, to all their stakeholders. Kudos to Acumen, we can’t wait to see what great ideas you spread next!

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