On 28 February 2020, the global community lost Caleb Meakins. The FIGT community mourns the social entrepreneur and global poverty ambassador, who as FIGT2019 Keynote Speaker inspired us to “change the world”.
By Ginny Philps, Communications Co-Director
Caleb Meakins was an outstanding human being. The kind of person you would most fervently have voted for if he had ever gone for office. He exuded a calm, a humility, a presence, and a passion for life that was palpable. How shocking then that his life on earth has come to an end.
I first ‘met’ Caleb during our pre-conference interview. He was seated in the café in his entrepreneurial hub in Addis Ababa. The place was bustling, sparky, alive. It was the kind of environment that many would have found distracting. Yet Caleb remained totally focused. He was sitting in the beating heart of his mission – doing everything he could to support Ethiopian business, innovation, and progress, and you could see how it fuelled him.
At FIGT2019, people seemed to part when Caleb walked through the corridors. They seemed to stop and just absorb when they were fortunate enough to get some time with him. It was as if everyone just wanted a part of Caleb. As if everyone felt his energy and positivity and realized what a rare human being they were sharing space with.
The beauty of Caleb’s Keynote at FIGT speaks for itself, as do all of his witty and meaningful challenges. As of course does the TedEx talk where he describes his faith and how he dealt with losing his father. In essence, everything that I saw Caleb do came from a place of deep gratitude, clarity of faith, and purity.
The global and extensive FIGT community reeled when they heard the news of Caleb’s passing. Some had lost a very close friend. Others had lost one of the most inspiring young men they had had the fortune to meet. Without a doubt, everyone who knew Caleb would have felt a deep sense of loss for humankind.
I tuned into the livestream of Caleb’s funeral and spent over an hour connecting, floating through deep emotion. I happened to hear his sisters speak. The grace, power, and beauty with which they described their brother was enough to stop me in my tracks, make me sit down, draw breath, listen closer.
May we be grateful for having met and known Caleb. We send his family all of our love and support for the years to come.
MORE: Caleb talked with us in the lead-up to FIGT2019. His FIGT2019 Keynote Speech is below.