Social Innovation Management Hybrid Edition – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Program Questions

The duration of the program is one of the defining elements of our methodology and is central to our success. It is split into a three month, digital foundation phase followed by a three month in-person phase in Kenya. The length of the program is important in that it allows for the mastery of different skill sets, not just one or two.
During the initial 3 months online foundation phase and the immersion phase you will build personal branding skills and acquire CV-worthy professional work experience in the social change sector.
A three-month immersion phase with an apprenticeship allows for a much more profound experience than conventional internships that are part of degree programs. You will gain practical experience, either through an on-the-ground apprenticeship or through your existing venture or job. Regardless of whether you will do an apprenticeship or work on your own venture – during this time you will acquire an in-depth understanding of the possibilities, challenges and complexities of what it takes to do work that changes the world. This will help you develop and anchor new habits and skills central to long term success and ensure that you can build a global network and better understand your personal and professional journey as a changemaker. Our program differs from others in how we will facilitate your entire learning experience during your internship in order to get the most out of it.
Finally, we believe that a sustained experience is critical for personal growth as it builds your stamina for international development work. There will inevitably be moments of ups and downs, which we and the entire Amani Institute Fellows community will help you to get through, enabling you to be a stronger and more resilient professional.

The 2022 immersion phase of the program runs in a major hub of social Innovation: Nairobi, which is a cosmopolitan city with a unique vibrant culture, a never-ending choice of social activities, and beautiful surrounding countryside. Fellows will find a global center for entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainable development. Throughout the program, students will be able to interact with a wide array of actors and learn about the history, society, and state of development in the country. Hundreds of major non-profit organizations, UN programs and social businesses are headquartered in Kenya’s capital city, addressing the entire range of social problems from poverty alleviation to human rights to climate change.

Our partner organizations range from large to small-scale social enterprises and community NGOs, to for-profit impact investing and consulting firms. We will work with you to ensure that apprenticeship meets your skills, learning needs and interests. You will obtain more information on the placement process during your application process and during the foundation phase.

As the old Confucian expression goes, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Learning by the book provides information that too often doesn’t result in true knowledge or skill building. Adults learn best through experiential learning – at the edge of their comfort zone, facilitated and monitored by coaching/mentoring both by professional mentors as well as peer coaching, something you will engage in consistently throughout the SIM course. Through our program, you will also learn from accomplished guest speakers and instructors who impart invaluable knowledge from the field and share real-world case studies and projects.

You can expect to fully immerse yourself in an exciting and challenging learning process. We believe it is necessary to train intensely for your career as a change maker, the way a doctor or athlete or someone in the military trains – a mix of sustained immersion, the development of specific capacities, and deep personal awareness and growth.
During the Foundation phase, the expected time dedicated to the program is approx. 15-20 hours a week in a flexible format. During the Immersion phase (3months in Nairobi) the expected time is 50 hours a week (roughly 25 hours for courses and 25 hours for the apprenticeship/work, assignment preparation and other projects).

If your work allows you to focus your time on the first three days of the week, or to work remotely during this time, it is possible to continue working. Please note that the SIM program is intense, and taking the decision to continue with work will be challenging; this decision should not be made lightly. Please reach out to us if you would like to discuss this further.

English is the only required language for the program. However, we encourage and offer the possibility for you to take Kiswahili classes, on your own time and cost. Kiswahili is spoken across all of East Africa and serves, next to English, as the “Lingua Franca” in the region. We will provide more information on Kiswahili classes on your arrival, or start learning today by yourself.

We don’t believe in grades but in action – there is no traditional final exam but a presentation of the innovation projects you have been working on during the Immersion phase. The final field trip also serves as a closing trip in which we evaluate how your personal and professional development has increased throughout the program and how you can move forward using the tools you have learned.

Value of the Program

If you have a desire to follow your passion in changing the world and are eager to build your professional and personal skills for doing so, this program is right for you.
Traditional higher education programs as well as short professional training provide us with useful knowledge but cannot yet provide the development necessary to be a successful changemaker in the fast-changing world we live in. Please check out our Values section to learn more and see if you resonate with our values and approach, and feel free to contact us to learn more. Link here:

Our methodology and approach, and therefore our selection process, is designed for diversity. We help professionals from the private sector cross over to the social change sector, support professionals in the social sector become better in what they do and provide post-graduate training for recent graduates looking to build a career in the social change sector. Since the inception of the SIM program in 2013, we have had over 600 Fellows of all ages, from 70+ different countries on 5 continents, all representing different places on the socio-economic, religious, and professional spectrums.

Through our partnerships with Universities, the Amani Institute Certificate in Social Innovation Management counts 25% towards an MBA in Social Innovation Management at Lynn University (see below for more details) and 80% towards a Diploma in Social Innovation at the Center for Executive Education of the United Nations Mandated University for Peace.
In addition to that, the Amani Institute Certificate in Social Innovation Management is acknowledged, approved and endorsed by our existing network of partners who highly rate and frequently hire Amani Institute graduates.
In March 2017, we received the Ashoka U – Cordes Innovation Award for innovative changemaker education. Our work has been featured on Social Stanford Innovation review, among others.

The Amani Institute provides a platform that exceeds the typical internship and education process, enabling you to establish relationships and networks within the field. We cannot guarantee a job placement after the completion of the program but we can be certain that you will have a competitive advantage over your peers as you will have completed a training program endorsed by several leading employers and you will possess highly-valued, 21st-century professional skills. This is reflected in the fact that many world-class organizations have already committed to prioritizing resumés of Amani Institute graduates.

You will have developed professional skills essential for long-term success and highly valued by employers around the world.
You will have gained a greater understanding of how social innovation actually happens on the ground, what challenges and opportunities exist in the field, and how they relate to your interests.
You will have built a global network of new friends and professional contacts.
Perhaps most importantly, you will have a clearer vision and understanding of who you are and what you can do to follow your passion and dreams of creating social change.
Furthermore, you will profit from our Alumni network and resources ( You can continue your education at Lynn University to receive an MBA in Social Innovation Management or at CEE UPEACE to obtain a Diploma in Social Innovation.
The rest is up to you. We look forward to cheering you on!

Sightseeing and Travel in Kenya

During the Immersion phase, there are no official breaks but during the weekends that do not have classes (sometimes, classes might take place on a Saturday), you may plan to explore the country. For longer excursions, we recommend you stay longer after the Immersion Phase to travel around the country.

All course field trips are embedded in the overall design and cost of the program and your attendance is expected.
Optional field trips will be clearly designated as such.

For all program-organized trips, transportation will consist of contracted vans and drivers. Otherwise, Fellows will be expected to utilize the widely available public transport in Nairobi for local travel.
The most common forms of public transport are buses and “matatus” (van-sized public vehicles), taxis (we have several app based operators available in Nairobi) and motor bike taxis. The matatu/bus lines have numbers and are following mostly a star pattern – from the Central Business District in town (CBD) towards the different neighborhoods. Prices vary depending on the time of the day/night and range between 20 KES to 100 KES (Kenyan Shillings – roughly equivalent to 20 cents to 1$).
We recommend international Fellows to use Uber or other similar app based services operating in Kenya, but we don’t recommend motorbikes.More information about local public transport options, costs and security considerations will be provided during orientation.

Kenya successfully conducted peaceful elections in 2013 and 2017 but has had to deal with a difficult blow against its internal security later in the year, which received widespread international media attention. 2022 is an election year and we have scheduled the program with consideration of the election dates and its associated events. We will continuously monitor the situation and update you should there be any arising concerns.
Other than that, Nairobi is similar to most large international cities in that petty crime is a common concern and you need to be extra careful when using public transport or walking around the city. During orientation, you will be briefed on all issues concerning your security. You may also schedule a call with Amani Institute staff if you have specific questions not addressed here.

Preparation Before the Program

The Amani Institute will conduct pre-arrival webinars prior to the start of the program. At these meetings, faculty will present materials and lead discussions concerning the current context in Kenya as well as exploring pertinent cultural practices and local knowledge.
As you will venture on a quest to find out more about your own empathy, courage, vision and changemaking we encourage you to take some time to reflect on your journey so far, where you currently stand and where you would like to go from there.

Students will make their own flight arrangements for travelling to Nairobi. There is an abundance of online websites where you can book your travel tickets, as well as travel agents in your residence city. The Amani Institute will be delighted to arrange a complimentary airport pick-up and transfer to your accommodation.

Health care facilities in Nairobi are relatively high quality and easily accessible. However, please make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. If your current health insurance does not cover your time in Kenya, there are several independent and online providers who provide affordable health insurance.
The Amani Institute will provide information about health care, and vaccinations during the preparatory meetings. Please make sure to also check with your Ministry/Department of Foreign Affairs for their current advice on travelling to Kenya.

There are plenty of rooms and apartments either on Airbnb or on dedicated facebook groups and we will share a list of these with you during the online phase of the program.
If you have family or friends in Nairobi, or otherwise prefer to arrange your own accommodation, you are free to do so. In this case, please check back with us to discuss logistical questions to see if this accommodation will adversely affect your participation in the program.

Students will receive an orientation upon their arrival. After this initial orientation to the city, you will be expected to provide for your own transport, food, and entertainment. However, Amani Institute staff will be available to help you troubleshoot issues that may arise during your stay in Kenya, and will provide regular guidance on how to get the most out of your field experience.

During our preparation meetings you will obtain tips on clothing and other useful items you may want to bring to Kenya.

Yes. In our current and future digital age, having your own laptop will be important to your participation in the program.

Emergency contact details will be provided to you during your registration.