Cali Livingstone

As a lifelong traveler, I am most inspired by the passion, resilience and laughter I encounter even where people have much less than myself. While completing my bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Mandarin at Colby College, I enrolled in a class that centered around C.K. Prahalad’s preeminent work, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, which details how business can and should be leveraged to incorporate and lift-up those who are traditionally excluded from global and local commerce. This was my first insight into the important role enterprise has in providing the tools and the pathway out of poverty.

After college, I worked for Mercy Corps, a large international NGO, on programs that harnessed the power of the markets to transform how rural agrarian communities could access better farming inputs; more substantial buyer contracts; and improved incomes, education, healthcare, and lives. The work was deeply meaningful to me, but I wanted to have even broader impact at scale. I chose to pursue my MBA at Vanderbilt because I felt that the corporate world was the best avenue for affecting this type of change

My role with TFC has been essential in my ability to bridge my two worlds, learn from my classmates about their failures and successes in this space, and build lifelong friends dedicated to leaving the world a better place.

 

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