Speaker

Meagan Fallone

Chief Executive Officer, Barefoot College International


Responsible for Barefoot College International, Meagan Fallone is currently steering the establishment of a further six Barefoot College Women’s Vocational Training Centers throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and southeast Asia/Pacific, which will triple the size of the Barefoot College by 2018.

Additionally, she is leading a significant move by the organization towards digital integration both within the organization and, in the hands of the thousands of rural, poor, illiterate, and semi-literate women the college trains, throughout the developing world.

The “Barefoot Approach” focuses on water management, renewable solar energy, livelihood and enterprise creation, and a unique solution to rural education for rural children that has today educated more than 75,000 young people. This dedication to creating information sharing across literacy, language, cultural barriers in true South/South cooperation, is at the heart of the Barefoot College strategic vision.

Meagan has achieved significant recognition for the Barefoot Approach through creation of governmental and multilateral partnerships. She has been a field presence in more than 52 countries since joining Barefoot College, and she currently guides operations and partnerships in 72 countries. Meagan is also responsible for development, strategic planning, policy and advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, and communications. Since her joining the leadership team at Barefoot College she has sensitively been able to manage a challenging and deep organizational shift form a grass roots, India-centered entity to a vibrant global organization, working towards its own sustainability.

A champion of women in the developing world, Meagan speaks regularly on the power of women as agents of systemic change and the key to poverty reduction. She advocates for better-designed educational pathways that include mature women and allow them to realize their human potential. A donor to many projects through Asia and Africa targeted at capacity-building of women and girls enterprise and education initiatives, she has been a strong voice for philanthropy. She consults directly to private foundations and social enterprises to help heighten their impact at both ends of the philanthropic spectrum through her consulting company, Step Up Consulting, Ltd.

As an entrepreneur since 2005, Meagan has created and restructured a series of companies in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Her company MFC Art Consulting Ltd deepened her commitment to empowering mature women by mentoring rural women artisans in India, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, helping them gain unprecedented livelihood access in the luxury hotel sector. She believes strongly in developing holistic programs that respond to the voices of women in rural poor communities, through development of their competence and confidence in tandem with realistic economic opportunity.