The 7th Global Social Business Summit 2015 started in Berlin, Germany on 4th November to explore how social businesses can address each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were unveiled in September by the United Nations. The theme of the summit is “Creating a World without Poverty and Unemployment”. The summit is organized by the Yunus Centre and Grameen Creative Lab, Germany which gathers experts from private sectors, civil society, governments and academia over a few days of meetings, forums and workshops. Prior to the opening of the conference there was Social Business Academia Conference and Young Challengers Meeting for selected participants.
This year, Professor Yunus is not attending the summit in person due to medical treatment requirement. In a video message Professor Yunus said, “There should be no time for disappointment, because I am more than convinced that you will make this summit a remarkable gathering. I am not physically present, but my heart is at the Global Social Business Summit”, he said.
In his video message Professor Yunus further said, “a global destination in terms of three zeros namely i) zero poverty, ii) zero unemployment, and iii) zero carbon emission has to be determined and added that the world must adopt a policy of three zeros to attain a sustainable development. To achieve these goals, he said we needed four things: a) the energy and creativity of the youth, b) the power of technology, c) social business, and d) good governance. We have to build up social businesses to mobilize creative power to solve long standing social economic and environmental problems in sustainable ways”, he added.
The Global Social Business Summit is the largest international platform where the global community of social business practitioners and supporters gathers each year. It serves to spread awareness of social business, foster discussion and collaboration, as well as present and conceive best practices. The gathering is an opportunity to meet, connect, discuss and collaborate with the global social business community with the purpose of developing effective solutions to solve society’s most pressing problems, for example, unemployment. This will be a timely event to discuss about innovative ways to fight social and economic problems through social business.
More than 800 participants from around 60 countries are attending the programme. During the event participants will hear first-hand accounts from representatives of social business organizations from Bangladesh and around the world who have been working in the field. They will also take part in social business Exhibition to network around innovative ideas, businesses and people that are creating affirmative social changes using business as a tool. The program also includes plenary and focus group discussion. A Bangladeshi team consists of 66 members including Grameen and Social Business CEOs are also attending the summit.
Apart from social issues, the event will also address the refugee crisis, a burning topic in Europe and the world in general at present following the arrival of thousands of people fleeing war-torn Syria, Libya and Iraq.