November 13, 2020
A conversation with Meagan Fallone, a 2018 Hillary Laureate and Harvard Business School alum shared insights on why women leaders can build a better tomorrow.
8-year-old, Meagan Fallone spent her summer holidays as a child growing up on a farm and fondly recalls of launching a road side lemonade stand to people driving by who were long distances between towns. The profits of the day would be handed over to her not so privileged young friends by way of free excess lemonade! Clearly creative thinking, spirit of service and entrepreneurship were an integral part of Meagan’s personality as a young girl. Meagan Fallone grew up to be an alum from several well respected universities and has degrees in History of modern art, fine arts and an MBA. She see herself as an ordinary and imperfect human being that dons multiple hats: mother, friend, colleague adventurer and athlete. She also happens to work a schedule that most people would be exhausted by.
Former CEO of Barefoot College she now steps into a new role working directly between social entrepreneurs, companies and communities to work towards building new economic models that can be replicated and which ensure stakeholder value for people and planet. She remains an active and engaged woman climate leaders and a champion for the inclusion of women in both climate and renewable energy sectors globally. She is also working with the Government of Fiji and Zanzibar on building the Barefoot College’s in those locations, expanding thier vocational offering and helping to co create with Government thier impact.
Meagan has worked in the remote rural areas of India trying to find creative ways to uplift women entrepreneurs . She believes women are wired for entrepreneurship because they can see the promise and constraints and have what it takes to work around those constraints
Meagan’s views about leadership are a breath of fresh air.
Having stepped down as CEO of Barefoot College by replacing herself with lateral leadership of 12 people , Meagan goes on to say that the measure of a leader is by how they empower their teams to tackle crisis . She states that if in India more people started to see ordinary communities and the women who are able to influence thought who live in rural areas, many issues would change faster for the positive. Meagan also holds that succession and transfer of power is necessary for building resilient organizations and systems.
Another interesting thought bomb comes when Meagan is quizzed about how women entrepreneurs or working women can be encouraged to flourish. Building systems that reward women’s extensive skills into professional streams and into labour force will ensure women are graded on different parameters. Thus, ensuring that systems are built equally and have a capability to encourage men as well as women to progress on the basis of what comes naturally to them .To make it easy to understand she says ” diversity isn’t only about making space at the table. Its about making space that allows each person to bring their best selves to the table without getting intimidated.
Meagan Fallone is known as an international champion for Women’s Climate, Education, Economic & Social Justice. Meagan shares a special bond with India. Being a Director of Barefoot College International whose work is in 14 Indian states and now beginning to work with the agri food sector specifically around better education delivery, her commitment to India and its rural areas continues undaunted. Meagan has worked extensively with local women’s communities on matters ranging from electricity access to education and inculcating a human rights based approach to holistic development. She is a strong advocate for private sector, social enterprise and Governments coming together to co create the programs that will genuinely meet the needs of communities and considers herself an Alumna of The Barefoot Movement for learning, unlearning and relearning.