Wolfsburg (Germany), Nov 9 (UNB) - The 9th Global Social Business Summit (GSBS) ended here on Friday 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.
Circular economy got 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.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof Muhammad 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.
During a session on Friday, Prof Yunus said it will be a circular economy instead of wasteful economy as they were discussing on building a new civilization.
Expressing the hope over finding 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."
She said she wants to see a world which is free from poverty. "And of course, a world without any boundary."
Hans Reitz said plastic does not belong to the nature and they need a fundamental system change to address the problem. “What we need is a circular economy.”
The speakers in 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. "They’re the pilots who’re navigating everyone in the direction we should go as a global society. If we continue on the current path, we’ll head towards disaster with wealth concentration and environmental degradation," he said.
He 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.
The Social Business Academia Conference was jointly organised by Yunus Centre and the Grameen Creative Lab with the help of the Scientific and Organising Committee of SBAC.
SBAC is a platform for networking of the growing network of Yunus Social Business Centres at universities around the world to share their experiences and future plans.
There are currently 64 YSBCs in 28 countries.
At the SBAC, 37 papers were selected from among 52 submitted papers.
Nineteen of them were presented at the SBAC covering issues like SDGs, health, education and training, technology, marketing, financing social business, wealth concentration and other issues.
Dhaka, Nov 8 (UNB) - Kazakhstan wants to explore the possibility of access to seaports of Bangladesh as being a land-locked country, they require to be connected to other countries through land and sea routes, says its envoy to Bangladesh.
Ambassador of Kazakhstan based in Islamabad Barlybay Sadykov said this when he met State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam at his office on Thursday.
The Ambassador informed that the Kazakh side will organise a Business Forum Meeting in Dhaka on Bangladesh-Kazakhstan trade and investment in December 2018, said the Foreign Ministry here.
He also said cooperation may be established between Eurasian Economic Union and Bangladesh in order to facilitate trade and economic cooperation.
The State Minister at this point proposed that bilateral trade may be facilitated through Free Trade Regime for Bangladesh under the aegis of Eurasian Economic Union.
The Kazakh Ambassador, who presented his credentials to President Abdul Hamid on Wednesday, also highlighted the importance of creation of Intergovernmental Commission between Bangladesh and Kazakhstan in order to identify and review the broad range of cooperation ranging from trade, economy, and investment to other sectors.
At the outset of the meeting, Shahriar Alam congratulated Ambassador Barlybay Sadykov upon his presentation of Credentials as Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Bangladesh.
He said the multifaceted relations between Bangladesh and Kazakhstan can be further deepened.
Mentioning that Kazakhstan is registering excellent economic growth, the Kazakh Ambassador invited Bangladesh businessmen and entrepreneurs to visit Kazakhstan.
He informed that their government has established Astana International Financial Centre for enhancing trade cooperation and promoting trade.
Bangladesh and Kazakhstan maintain common position on important international and regional issues.
The Kazakh Ambassador extended thanks to Bangladesh for supporting in ASEM.
He also mentioned that Kazakhstan is ready to extend support to Bangladesh candidature and causes in international fora and platforms.
The envoy lauded the role of Bangladesh in the UN peacekeeping operations and mentioned that good cooperation exists between Bangladesh and Kazakhstan on defence area.
He stated that Bangladesh may share its experience in peacekeeping areas with Kazakhstan.
The State Minister lauded the outstanding development that has taken place in Kazakhstan.
He particularly praised Kazakhstan’s contribution to regional peace and stability.
Referring to the connectivity matter, he informed that Bangladesh looks forward to working with Kazakhstan in this regard.
He proposed that the Kazakh government consider opening their Embassy in Dhaka.
The State Minister briefed the Kazakh Ambassador about the tremendous achievement that Bangladesh has made during the last ten years under the leadership of present government.
He underlined the importance of frequent visits of politicians, people and businessmen and also mentioned that Bangladesh and Kazakhstan working together in regional platforms like OIC, CICA and others.
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.
Wolfsburg (Germany), Nov 8 (UNB) – Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus has called upon all to feel the urgency of controlling 10 rivers in the world, including the Ganges, which are shockingly contributing 80 to 90 percent of plastic pollution to the world's oceans.
"Solution is very simple. Why don't we take control of these 10 rivers? Make sure plastic doesn't float around," he said while wrapping up the two-day Social Business Academia Conference.
The main Summit began here on Thursday morning with around 800 participants from 55 countries.
Mentioning the Ganges as one of the 10 rivers, the founder of Grameen Bank said, "You’ve to focus on where the problem is and how we can address it."
Prof Yunus said these rivers must see clean-up efforts though it is not the end to it as somebody is sending more plastic wastes.
"So, keep up cleaning," he said emphasising the need for stopping the flow of plastic into the rivers through creating awareness among all.
Prof Yunus said everybody is polluting the rivers. "I’m polluting, you’re polluting thinking that one more bottle will make no difference as there’re millions of bottles."
Mentioning plastic as one of the serious issues, Prof Yunus said this is going to kill all -- fish are eating plastic and we’re eating fish. "So, the plastic itself will be the killer."
Seeking a role from the people concerned to find a solution, he said it is a small group of people who make the difference. "You don't wait for the whole world to do it."
Prof Yunus also said the point here is urgency and they have to feel the urgency as a limited time is given to make the change happen.
Highlighting the crisis the world is facing today, he said, "We need to get out of the ship which is burning and get into the ship which is going to take us to shore to have a better life."
Prof Yunus said their job, being academicians, is to keep eyes on the front so that they do not hit the disaster path making sure that they can notice it and avoid that disaster path to have an alternative and better life.
Encouraging the Social Business around the world, he said they need to encourage the textbook writers to discuss Social Business in school textbooks to help students build their ideas.
"So, don't keep the primary schools, high schools and colleges outside your Social Business vision. Keep them very much in your vision," Prof Yunus said.
He also shared ideas how positively the governments and other actors can be encouraged on how some priorities are made over inclusion of social business though insertion of few lines on social business in company acts and other areas.
Head of Global Social Business Summit and co-founder of the Grameen Creative Lab Hans Reitz, Yunus Centre Executive Director Lamiya Morshed and Pro Vice Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University and Yunus Chair in Social Business & Health, Glasgow Caledonian University Prof Cam Donaldson, among others, spoke at the two-day Social Business Academia Conference.
The conference was a platform for networking of the growing network of Yunus Social Business Centres at universities around the world to share their experiences and future plans, she said.
There are currently 64 Yunus Social Business Centres (YSBCs) in 28 countries.
The countries include Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, India, Japan Malaysia, Nepal, Palestine, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Germany, Turkey, Poland, France, Spain, Switzerland, UK, Italy, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Bolivia, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
At this conference, 37 papers were selected from among 52 papers submitted covering SDGs, health, education and training, technology, marketing, financing social business, wealth concentration and other issues.
There were also special plenaries on the topics of development of the academic research that are of a more practical nature.
Prof Yunus said plastic is pushing the very existence of human civilisation to the path of destruction and the danger of plastic is well known and even those who are doing business are also thinking about it.
Cox’s Bazar, Nov 8 (UNB) – Members of Bangladesh Coast Guard rescued 33 people including 29 Rohingyas from a trawler in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday night.
Acting on a tip-off, a coast guard team intercepted a Malaysia-bound trawler in the sea and rescued the 33 people around 8:30 pm, said Lieutenant Foyejul Islam Mandal, commanding officer of Coast Guard Teknaf Station.
Among those, four were Bangladeshi nationals hailing from Tangail district while the Rohingya refuges were from different camps in Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas, he said.
The coast guard members also arrested six human traffickers from the same trawler, he added.
The traffickers are identified as Abdus Shukkur, son of Mozaher Mia, his brother Abdul Gafur, Rafiqul Alam, son of Hossain, Saikat, son of Sharif, Nasir Uddin, son of Abdul Hakim Sonamia and Jewel, son of Dabirul Islam.
They were handed over to Teknaf Police Station, the coast guard official said.