An update from MEST Nairobi

At around 3pm on January 15th, 2019, a group of armed militants launched an attack on the 14 Riverside Drive complex in the Westlands district of Nairobi, Kenya, which houses the DusitD2 Hotel and a number of offices.

A large part of our team from across Africa is in Nairobi right now. We can confirm that all immediate members of the MEST and Meltwater community are safe and have been accounted for. Mettā, located in one of the buildings in this complex, was for a time home to our family in Kenya. We can also confirm the Mettā space was safely evacuated.

However, a very close friend and partner to MEST, I-Dev International CEO & Managing Director Jason Spindler, was not as fortunate. It is with heavy heart that we report Jason was a victim of yesterday’s attacks.

In a note to the MEST family, our MD Aaron Fu said: “Jason was a close personal friend to me and many others across the world, and I know he had great relationships with many of the team and our MEST community. I am sure all of our thoughts and prayers go to his family, together with our condolences for their loss of a son, a brother, an uncle, who had the most infectious and goofy laugh, more energy than the sun, and who was equally generous with sharing it with all those around him. Jason had beautiful and big dreams to bring change on the continent through economic tools, stronger investment flows, and world class business practices.”

Jason’s friend and colleague Patricia Chin-Sweeney said: “Jason believed in fighting for economic opportunity, strengthening emerging markets, boosting small businesses and startups to drive greater opportunity for all…and ironically, with the intention of growing these things to combat the drivers of terrorism, warring and hatred.” The rest of the I-Dev team is reportedly safe.

We are grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to work with Jason and be a part of his incredible vision at I-Dev. Jason and his team helped to write the book on impact investing in emerging markets, and so many can learn from the incredible work they’ve done.

Jason is unfortunately not alone, however, and we pray for the friends and family of all victims.

We would like to offer in response to this a message of hope, of strength and of perspective. In times like these, it is important to remain hopeful for a brighter future through the work we’re doing together, to continue to lean on one another for the strength we need, and to reflect on what really matters to every one of us.

We will continue to follow the events in Nairobi — our thoughts remain with those affected.

Jason at MEST Guest Lecture Weekend in 2018