Sustainable global future without poverty, hunger and greed requires good governance along with out-of-the-box thinking like social business.
These observations were made at the inaugural session of the two-day 9th Global Social Business Summit which started at Autostadt Wolfsburg in Germany on Thursday morning.
The theme of this year's summit is 'Building a New Civilisation' while the main topics for discussion and debate are 'Plastic & Circular Economy', 'Mobility', 'Solidarity', 'Sports & Social Business' and 'Food & Its Value'.
In his opening remarks, Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus called for far-reaching actions to reduce the environmental pollution, reverse the course of incremental wealth concentration in a few hands and check the expansion of artificial intelligence (AI).
"World will fall apart if we fail to take these actions immediately," he said adding that the current capitalist system went very wrong by interpreting human being as selfish.
"Human beings . . . are not profit-driven money-making monsters," he added.
Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and a pioneer of micro-credit, also said that old roads lead to old destinations and so it is time to take new roads to build a new civilisation keeping people and planet in focus.
He mentioned that current production system is fueling pollution across the world by producing waste.
Social thinker Hans Reitz, co-founder of Grameen Creative Lab and head of the global social business summit, said that power of solidarity and creativity is a must to work for building a new civilisation.
An official keynote on behalf of German government was delivered by Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. In the keynote she said that the social business summit reflects the importance of SDGs (sustainable development goals).
Volkswagen Group is supporting the summit for the third time since its inception in 2009. In this connection, Gunnar Kilian, a member of Volkswagen AG's management board, said social responsibility is a part of Volkswagen's DNA.
Lamiya Morshed, Executive Director of Yunus Centre, presented an outline of the next five years of social business activities.
Leonhard Nima of Grameen Creative Lab Alumni moderated the session.
Roland Clement, CEO of Autostadt, welcomed all in the summit jointly organised by Grameen Creative Lab and Yunus Centre. About 700 people of different professions are participating in this event.
Monica Yunus, daughter of Muhammad Yunus and a board member of Grameen Creative Lab, sang a Bengali song in the opera style.
Social business model is developed by Muhammd Yunus which asks the investors and entrepreneurs to do business to address some social problems. But they are not allowed to take dividend from the profit generated through their business. Only original investment can be taken back while profit has to be reinvested to expand the business.
Professor Yunus, however, makes it clear that the model is not calling to replace the profit-generating business but encouraging the businesses to do some social business and contribute to the poverty alleviation process effectively.
The two-day summit includes a number of activities including discussion on the main topics, exchanging ideas and networking. The summit ends this (Friday) evening. Two associated events - academia conference and young challengers meeting- took place at the same venue on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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