About Our Chapter
Founded in October 2012 by Rikki Tidemand and Hanne Brynildsen, Oslo+Acumen is a self-organized, volunteer led chapter, passionate about Acumen’s mission: To create a world beyond poverty by investing patient capital in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas. Oslo+Acumen is the first +Acumen chapter in Scandinavia, and second in Europe. Our dedicated team is eager to spread Acumen’s values in Norway and beyond. Unique about our chapter is the age diversity, allowing us to provide a range of perspectives on how to best combat poverty and give back to our local and global communities. Oslo+Acumen consists of talented and passionate individuals, creating inspiring events tailored to the Nordic environment. We seek to educate, serve and fundraise. Our focus is on how development work can be most effective, and what role business may play to achieve tangible change with scalable results.
Meet the team
Rikki Tidemand - Advisor
Rikki met Jaqueline Novogratz at the Partnership for Change conference in Oslo, 2011. An inspiring meeting founded the idea of developing an +Acumen Chapter in Oslo, Norway. She found Acumens approach to solving global poverty most unique and powerful. Through their work, combining philanthropy and business, Acumen achieves great results, and Rikki wanted to be a part of this impact. Working through an +Acumen chapter gives her the possibility to promote patient capital as an effective complement to traditional aid. Working as a teacher for many years, Rikki is a firm believer in information and education for making positive changes. However, she believes that knowledge is of little use unless you can share it with others. Oslo+Acumen is a place for this.
Nicholas Favero - Co-Chair
To Nicholas, Acumen means giving people the dignity they deserve through investment and accountability. Giving others the opportunity to be consumers helps bring economic opportunities to all and the creation of self-respect and self-worth; fundamentally helping change the way we eradicate poverty and lift others up.
Nicholas is originally from the United States and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a Master’s degree in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oslo. Nicholas also works at the American College of Norway as the Marketing and Activities Coordinator. Nicholas is also serving as one of the Co-Chairs for Oslo+Acumen in the 2017/2018 year. Additionally, Nicholas has been volunteering with Oslo+Acumen since April 2015, helping spread the Acumen mission and the concept of social entrepreneurship through social media channels and correspondence throughout the Scandinavian region.
Jørgen Henrik Gjelsvik - Co-Chair
Jørgen currently serves as one of our Co-Chairs for the 2017/2018 year. Additionally, Jørgen has been a member of Oslo+Acumen since April 2015. He got involved with the organization to engage his passion for social enterprises and act on his belief that the social entrepreneurial model will be an increasingly important platform for innovation, job creation and securing basic and dignified living conditions for vulnerable populations.
He has a Master’s degree in Operations Management from the Norwegian School of Economics. In addition to managing projects at Oslo+Acumen, Jørgen works as an advisor with KPMG, primarily on IT- and supply chain projects in the health care sector.
Ida Kristine Haavi - Event Coordinator
Ida joined Oslo+Acumen in August 2015 and holds a BA in International Studies and Economics from the University of Oslo.
Ida has working experience with Partnership for Change (PfC), including a one-year experience as Managing Director for PfC’s Knowledge Sharing Center in Myanmar, a social business offering business and English training programs for youth. She has experienced first hand the importance of investing in people for sustainable development. Ida joined Oslo+Acumen as a strong supporter of their simple model of investing in people and their personal empowerment to solve the world’s challenges.
She believes there is a whole world of opportunities that arise when giving local communities the confidence and resources to develop innovative solutions for sustainable development.
Alyssa Rivera - Blog Coordinator
Alyssa joined Oslo+Acumen in June 2016. She holds a BA in Economics from the University of New Mexico and an MA in International Economics from the Berlin School of Economics and Law.
Alyssa has over 5 years’ experience in the field of development, social entrepreneurship, and sustainability. She worked in London briefly at the Institute of Economic Affairs, before moving to Berlin for her Masters and subsequently spending 5 years as a consultant with Berlin-based Endeva and London-based Inspiris.
In late 2015, Alyssa moved to Oslo to work with Gelato, a company applying the sharing economy to the printing industry, with the mission to improve environmental sustainability in that space. She believes that the private sector is a key player in creating innovative and scalable solutions to development and sustainability issues, which is why she is so enthusiastic about the Acumen mission!
Elizabeth Calkins - Communications Contributor
Elizabeth serves as a Blog Contributor for Oslo+Acumen. She has been a member of Oslo+Acumen since 2015. As a former Fulbright Scholar, Elizabeth is passionate about combining and using business and social entreupeurnship as a means to challenge issues of poverty and create lasting impact.
Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s in Comparative and International Education at the University of Oslo. In addition to studying, Elizabeth works on organizational change projects, leadership and people development at Norsk Hydro.