What are our goals?
The goal of Academics for Development is offer students the possibility to have social impact in a durable and meaningful way, by offering them the opportunity to contribute to real life issues in developing and developed countries.
This goal is based on the belief that students have valuable skills, time and knowledge that can be used in a meaningful way to achieve social impact.
With this opportunity, AFD aims to demonstrate to students that they can make a real difference in people’s lives regardless of their (academic) background. To live up to this goal, AFD supports students to develop themselves by gaining practical and international experience so as to enhance their capability to make a difference in the future. To conclude, AFD also has the ambition to familiarize students with all sorts of topics related to topics related to development cooperation and social entrepreneurship.
How do we achieve our goals?
To realise the aforementioned goals, AFD undertakes a number of activities. First of all, AFD organises projects in which a multidisciplinary team of students work together throughout an academic year with a partner organisation on an issue that the partner has put forward. During the first phase of the project, the students prepare, analyze and elaborate with their partner(s) on possible solutions and ideas in Leuven. Subsequently, during the second phase the team is given the chance to implement their ideas and/or solutions on sight. The ultimate goal of each project is to realize durable and meaningful social impact.
AFD also aims to achieve its goals by organising events for students, and to bring topics related to social impact closer to the broader student society, to inspire them and to enhance the capability of students to have social impact. Furthermore, AFD endeavors to be a platform of support for young, entrepreneurial individuals with inspiring ideas regarding issues which on support development all over the world.
What are our underlying principles?
What we do at Academics for Development is based on four underlying principles.
First of all, we aspire to be an organization that cooperates a lot with others but is always its own and fully independent organisation. This principle especially applies to the organisations financial position, its philosophy, its goals and vision and in its cooperation with (project)partners.
Secondly, AFD will always strive to be innovative in all its aspects, meaning that it distances itself from ‘classical’ views on development and attempts to stimulate and promote new and ingenious views on how to tackle development issues and have social impact. This also means that AFD’s mission is to continue reinventing itself, and should never take its vision, goals, structure or operations for granted.
Thirdly, durability is of the upmost importance for AFD, and should be omnipresent in every aspect of the organisation. From our daily operations to our events, projects and partnerships: AFD has the obligation to always assess every decision on the basis of its lasting and enduring consequences.
Lastly, AFD should be a transparent organisation, offering those involved as well as outsiders the possibility to be informed on and participate in the organisations (daily) operations.
Jannis is an ambitious former master student of Economics at the KU Leuven now following the Master in European Studies: Transnational and Global Perspectives programme. He used to satisfy his passion for international affairs by visiting different Model UN conferences across Europe and then decided to take the next step from debating to actually influencing development in “the South”. After having gained some first hand experience as a project student in Zambia he hopes to support the next generation of students as the project coordinator while also gaining further insights into the inner workings of ambitious development projects.
Alexander is a determined master student Business Engineering at the KULeuven. During his exchange at the Montpellier Business School, he developed a strong interest in social entrepreneurship and international business. He sees Academics for Development as the perfect environment to further sharpen his leadership skills and to have meaningful impact in the South. In his spare time you can find him playing football and traveling.
Sophie is a very enthusiastic and motivated Master student in Entrepreneurhsip at the KULeuven. Obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Business economics at the UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain, was not only a very interesting experience but also allowed her to enhance her French considerably. Sophie is always up for a new challenge and enjoys working in a team. During her free time she already gained some hands-on experience participating in the organization of several festivals and events. She loves to hike and having a drink with friends from time to time.
As the board for Communications and marketing, I am responsible for all internal and external communications. My passion for this department in organisations grew throughout my studies at KU Leuven. I started with a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Literature for Dutch and French and ended with a Master in corporate communications. Currently I’m attending EHSAL Management School where I’m doing a postgraduate in digital marketing.
Idris is a Master student in law at the Catholic University of Leuven. His main interests are international relations and international Law. Idris recently undertook an internship at the office of the minister of Justice Koen Geens, where he worked on foreign funding of religions in Belgium. Idris has an interest in projects treating of civil rights, economic empowerment and education.