A source for job openings from members of the GIIN Investors’ Council and other impact investing leaders.

Instructional Design Summer Associate, +Acumen

at Acumen in San Francisco, CA

About the Job

+Acumen is seeking a Summer Associate to help with the design and production of online courses. This is a great opportunity for a native digital thinker with minimum of 1-3 years of experience and a strategic mindset.

About +Acumen
Our +Acumen team is building the world’s school for social change – a global learning community for social change-makers. +Acumen is a new initiative started in 2013 with the vision of equipping thousands of passionate people with the tools, insights and community to step up and create change. We do this in two ways:

  1. We offer free and low-cost online courses that help to democratize access to the best tools to change systems which keep people entrenched in poverty
  2. We find the “best” people and connect them to Acumen & each other at scale

To date +Acumen has reached 300,000 people from 190 countries through its courses. +Acumen also manages various in-person networks – such as chapters, alumni, and course volunteers – that allow our broader course community to get more involved in supporting Acumen and each other.

Where You Come In

We run a range of online learning experiences across different platforms. You will take the lead in helping to assess and optimize what we already have in place, while pitching in on new initiatives as they arise. You’re a strategic thinker who will help us deeply understand our users and how we might improve their learning experience.

More specifically, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Strategically think through the design and standardization of our courses to ensure brand consistency
  • Analyze survey data and conduct user interviews to identify critical pain points and opportunities to improve our learning design
  • Tactically assess and update the design and standardization of our courses and curriculum to ensure brand consistency
  • Help build new Master Classes on Udemy and migrate existing courses to an updated platform (NovoEd 2.0), redesign elements as necessary, and roll them out to thousands of learners
  • Success in this role will be defined by your ability to pay attention to the large and small details of building courses on digital platforms, gain a deep understanding of the learner experience, and align our courses to best practices instructional design.


Who You Are

You’re well-versed in principles of instructional design and blended learning. You’re able to respond flexibly and strategically to user insights and data. You are detail-oriented and able to see how executing small tasks well contribute to the bigger picture. You’re a team player who shares Acumen’s values. You’re a thinker-doer, skilled writer, with a mindset for flawless execution.

Preferred qualifications:

  • A strong writer with minimum of 1-3 years of professional experience
  • Native “digital thinker” with a track record of developing digital content
  • Detail-oriented project manager
  • Skilled synthesizer able to review survey data and conduct user interviews to glean actionable insights
  • Critical thinker accustomed to working, problem solving and collaborating thoughtfully in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with different colleagues and personalities, at all levels both externally and internally, and across a variety of functions and geographies
  • BONUS: background in education, instructional design, user experience design, or design thinking
  • BONUS: experience building online courses, particularly on the NovoEd and/or Udemy platforms
  • Working towards completion of undergraduate or graduate degree
  • Must be authorized to work in U.S.

Additional characteristics we look for in all roles at Acumen:

  • Commitment to and enthusiasm for the organization’s mission to change the way the world tackles poverty, and respect for our core values: generosity, accountability, humility, audacity, listening, leadership, integrity and respect
  • Ability to thrive when there is ambiguity, remain cool-headed when there are curve balls, and withstand the tests of a rapidly changing environment with resilience and resolve
  • A sense of humor (really)

$500-600 per week, commensurate with experience, for 10-12 weeks

The deadline to apply for this position is Friday, May 26, 2017 but candidates are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

To apply



Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. We invest 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 $106 million in 96 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States. We are also developing a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills and determination to create a more inclusive world. In 2015, Acumen was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies.