Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus has set a 20-year timeline to build a new civilization alongside replacing the “greed-driven” society which will help remove enormous amount of “frustration and gloom”.
“Twenty years, that’s the timeline. It’s possible,” he said urging all to start the countdown to that end and act on that goal.While sharing his closing remarks at the 9th Global Social Business Summit at Autostadt on Thursday evening, Prof Yunus said any process goes fast when it once starts moving. Recognising that changes are happening in faster way in the world, he said they will see something is happening around the way a tree grows.
“If we want to build the new civilization, it will happen. Because we want that. If we want it, no force in the world can stop us,” said Prof Yunus who is still young at heart.The founder of Grameen Bank who is worried about three things — wealth concentration, environmental threats and artificial intelligence — said building a new civilization is a giant project and a big idea.
“Wonderful things have been done here to see the new civilization. We’re ready for that. We shouldn’t give up and make it happen in 20 years,” said Prof Yunus. He said this is a critical moment right now and there is enormous amount of frustration and gloom. “We don’t have to look back. We have already laid the foundation of the new civilization (through the 9th Summit).”
Prof Yunus said amazing things happened in the Summit — friendship with more people and connectivity with new friends around the world were established.He hoped more friends will join them to help build new civilization when the 10th Summit will be held in South Africa next year. “We’ll see the results.”
Prof Yunus said the baby of social business who started journey today with social business will be an adult citizen of the new civilization.He said there will be a social stock market in the new civilization which will not be greed-driven civilization. “We’ll see the change if we change our mind in the right direction.”
During another session on the closing day, Prof Yunus said it will be a circular economy instead of being a wasteful economy as they were discussing building a new civilization.Expressing the hope over finding a solution to any crisis, he said, “Every crisis has an opportunity.”Prof Yunus laid emphasis on taking best advantage of opportunity that every crisis brings.
He advised Volkswagen Group to convert itself into a social business or at least ‘B Corp’ to have better image forgetting the past. “Forget about the past.”The German car giant came under criticism when it admitted cheating emission tests in the United States three years back.
Certified “B Corporations” are a kind of business balancing purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their day-to-day policies and practices on their workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment.
The European “B Corp” movement, officially launched in 2015 with 60 companies, has now grown to 500+ B Corps and is leading the way in Europe.Adviser to Prof Yunus Nurjahan Begum said women and children are suffering in this world though they do not deserve this miserable life. “To me, a new civilization means a world where nobody will suffer but will lead a happy life.”
Nurjahan said she wants to see a world which is free from poverty. “And of course, a world without any boundary.”Prof Yunus also offered his vision of an emerging new economic system in his new book ‘A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions.
In Germany until November 12, he himself will give an insight into the concept of social business in his talk about his new book.In Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Wiesbaden, he will take the time to answer questions about social business and how he imagines this new economic system.
These events will end with a book signing session.Meanwhile, the 9th Global Social Business Summit (GSBS) ended seeking genuine efforts to address key global challenges and build a future that will spread happiness around the world through desired transformation.
Experts from the private sector, civil society, governments and academia — around 800 participants from 55 countries — shared their ideas on how together a new civilization can be built giving everybody a better life and better future.
They focused on plastic and circular economy, mobility, solidarity, sports and social business and food and its value during the two-day Summit with a hope to see big smiles around.The prominent speakers explored ideas of how mobility and social business can create a better future for disadvantaged groups and improve people’s life in a sustainable way of transportation.
The circular economy got the special focus at the Summit as the concept recognises the importance of the economy needing to work effectively at all scales — for large and small businesses, for organisations and individuals, globally and locally.
The speakers stressed that transitioning to a circular economy represents a systemic shift that builds long-term resilience, generates business and economic opportunities, and provides environmental and societal benefits.Prof Yunus and his creative adviser Hans Reitz organised the annual event and the leading conference on social business with the support of Volkswagen and Autostadt.
The speakers during the two days also shared dreams about the future of mobility, saying all are coming closer to a new era of mobility which will create an ecosystem of connected ways of transportation — for persons and for goods.They hoped that the future of mobility will be more sustainable will create less traffic in large cities and will be less ownership-orientated by individuals.
Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr Maria Flachsbarth of Germany, Executive Director of Yunus Centre Lamiya Morshed, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, Human Resources and Organization Gunnar Kilian, former NASA Astronaut Ron Garan, CEO Autostadt Roland Clement, CEO of Grameen Creative Lab, Head of GSBS Hans Reitz, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope Monica Yunus, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope Camille Zamora, President and Founder of Jean Bernou Consulting Jean Bernou, Peter Schwarzenbauer, Impact Investor and Social Entrepreneur Ruben Vardanyan and Board of Management Volkswagen AG, Integrity and Legal Affairs Hiltrud Werner among others, spoke at various sessions of the GSBS 2018.
Prior to the main Summit, the Social Business Academia Conference (SBAC) was held on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Autostadt, the headquarters of Volkswagen.Prof Yunus, while opening the Social Business Academia Conference on Tuesday, said the academics are the navigators.There are currently 64 Yunus Social Business Centres (YSBCs) in 28 countries.