Wolfsburg (Germany), Nov 8 (UNB) - Bangladesh's impressive success stories in various areas, including women empowerment, came in the limelight repeatedly here as the ninth edition of two-day Global Social Business Summit (GSBS) began on Thursday promising to build a new civilization and better future.
Each Bangladesh national attending the annual event and the leading conference on social business or entrepreneurship got a proud moment when speakers repeatedly referred to Bangladesh for its success stories.
Around 800 participants from 55 countries, including youngsters, experts from the private sector, civil society, governments and academia are participating in the event with the theme – ‘Building a new civilization’.
Board Member of Grameen Creative Lab Monica Yunus sang a Bangla song - Ami Banglar Gaan Gai- keeping key members of Bangladesh delegation on stage that impressed huge international audience in the conference hall and people who watched from other global destinations live.
The smart kid - her son - added colour when he started waving a traditional hand fan in one hand holding his mother with another hand.
Later, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus recalled when he first came here alone, then with his daughter Monica and this time with his grandchild symbolising that he wants a beautiful world for all representing these three generations.
"Just take it as a challenge and we’ll do that --creating a new civilization," he said.
The founder of Grameen Bank said he created his picture of new civilization. "You create your own picture of new civilization. Let's work together hand in hand. And it’ll happen (creation of new civilization)."
He said, "If I want to create the world that way it’ll be created. Nothing is impossible for human being."
On an inspirational note, Prof Yunus said the moment he sees something impossible he gets excited. "We can't leave anything saying it is impossible."
He shared the dream of creating a world together which is not greed-driven society but driven by human values having sharing and caring attitude in all.
Prof Yunus said three things -- wealth concentration, environmental threats and artificial intelligence-- make him worried and urged all to act to overcome the challenges.
He said around half a billion people will become jobless in the next 15 years due to artificial intelligence which is believed to replace human being. "We’ve to do something before it is getting too late."
Prof Yunus, however, highlighted the creative capacity of human being and said all human beings are born to be entrepreneurs.
Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr Maria Flachsbarth said the Social Business Summit reflects the spirit of Social Development Goals (SDGs) and it tells them enter into partnership.
"We’ve common goals - ending global poverty and making global future sustainable," she said adding that they can only do it by working together and by thinking out of box and in an innovative way.
Appreciating Grameen Bank's role and women empowerment in Bangladesh, Dr Maria said, "This is an impressive success story."
She said if they jointly continue to work on spreading Social Business ideas, they can make huge contributions towards implementing the SDGs.
Prof Yunus and his creative adviser Hans Reitz organised the two-day annual event that will end on Friday.
The main topics of the GSBS 2018 are plastic and circular economy, mobility, solidarity, sports and social business and food and its value.
The worldwide leading forum serves to spread awareness about social business, foster discussions and collaboration between practitioners and stakeholders, as well as present and conceive best practices.
Executive Director of Yunus Centre Lamiya Morshed, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG; Human Resources and Organization Gunnar Kilian, former NASA Austronaut Ron Garan, CEO Autostadt Roland Clement, CEO The Grameen Creative Lab and Head of GSBS Hans Reitz also spoke.
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 adviser to Prof Yunus Nurjahan Begum and Board of Management Volkswagen AG, Integrity and Legal Affairs Hiltrud Werner are also among the speakers of the GSBS 2018.
The participants will experience outstanding Social Business entrepreneurs, great keynotes, master classes, workshops and networking sessions during the two-day Summit
Hans Reitz said plastic does not belong to nature and they need a fundamental system change to address the problem. “What we need is a circular economy.”
The 9th edition, organisers said, represents an important step for the social business community they have fostered over the past years, as they are working concretely on action steps that will aim to build a new civilization.
In this spirit, the organisers will spread out in different hubs where they concentrate on the topics of plastic, sports, food, solidarity and mobility.
Prior to the main Summit, the Social Business Academia Conference (SBAC) was held on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Autostadt, the headquarters of Volkswagen.
While opening the Social Business Academia Conference on Tuesday, Prof Yunus said the academics are the navigators.
"They’re the pilots that are navigating everyone in the direction we should go as a global society. If we continue on current path we’ll head towards disaster with wealth concentration and environmental degradation," he said.
Prof Yunus said academics have to find a way to get to a new destination which is sustainable for all of them and social business is one way to do that.