Caleb Morse ’03 has a vision: “I think you can have development in beautiful places that doesn’t involve unsightly power lines and the use of oil.”
To that end, Morse has worked tirelessly in countries like Uganda and Kenya to create sustainable economies. He is currently a joint MBA/Masters in Science (Energy and Clean Technology) candidate at Stanford University.
He credits his experience at Webb, especially travelling to Spain with Spanish teacher Javier Valera, with broadening the appeal of international travel: “Because of that trip, I became more open to studying abroad in college,” said Morse.
After completing his undergraduate degree at Pomona College (with a major in Economics with an emphasis in mathematics and a minor in International Politics), he travelled to the coast of Kenya, to the countries of Uganda and Rwanda for five months with the intent of starting a non-profit.
Upon his return to the U.S., Morse went to work for Green Dot Corporation, rising to Senior Business Manager of Major Accounts. Green Dot helps to demystify the process of opening a bank account by offering pre-paid “credit cards” at sites such as Walgreens and CVS, providing much-needed banking solutions to financially underserved populations.
But with each vacation, Morse returned to Africa to help communities in Kenya promote cultural tourism and reduce the destruction of the mangrove forest (productive and complex ecosystems that provide protection and shelter against extreme weather events, such as storm winds, floods, and tsunamis), as well as depend less on the fishing trawlers that were decimating the sea-life population. He lived in a little hut near the village and helped run an ecotourism backpacking resort in Ngomeni, Kenya. The women of the village even developed a clothing line that Morse marketed in the United States. And he did start a non-profit, World Wide I.M.P.A.C.T., a micro-finance organization that endorses community development projects. In 2012, Morse joined the company TechnoServe and spent the summer in Uganda helping to build irrigation channels to increase local farmers’ self-sufficiency.
As he nears completion of his studies at Stanford, Morse looks forward to new endeavors such as bringing light to the developing world, especially figuring out how to do that in places where there is no electricity. And he will continue to engage in the often at-odds issues of poverty reduction and climate change – with the ultimate goal of leaving the world in a habitable state.