Special Coverage Social Business Youth Summit 2014

SBYN summit 2014 underway: Dr. Yunus delivers keynote speech

02 Jul,2014

Dhaka, July 02 (BdChronicle):

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus delivered his keynote speech at the Social Business Youth Summit 2014 at the Army Golf Club convention hall.

Promoting the idea of social business is very important because it is a new idea, said Professor Yunus. "People need to know and have it explained to them. we need to tell them what it is about," Yunus said.

But the most important thing, Professor Yunus says, is practicing social business.

"Anyone can start a social business. You don't have to be very big to start one. The basic thing in social business is creativity. You have to have a creative idea. Each one of us can have an idea and build a structure around it and make it a business structure which solves a problem. Once you've done that 75 percent of the work is done, the rest is completing the task, which is automatic."

Yunus advised young entrepreneur to share social business ideas with other people and see how they respond to it. "Once you share it you will get valuable feedback, even someone might be interested in investing in your business idea," Yunus said.

The world famous economist urged people involved in social business to put forward their ideas, even if it’s just one idea. “Once you have some great ideas you can look for investment opportunities. You will get a share of the business company as the creator of the idea,” Yunus explained to an attentive audience.



Yunus congratulated the SBYN for their initiative: “you started with a small group and now you are expanding to universities. That is really great. I hope you reach more universities.” Yunus advised the SBYN to reach universities outside of Dhaka and not limit its activities within Dhaka.

“But it doesn’t even have to be limited within Bangladesh,” Yunus says. Dr. Yunus thinks that the youth in Bangladesh should be connected to the youth of their neighbouring countries. “You can create network internationally. Your generation should not have a boundary,” Yunus told the audience.

“You should build a South Asian structure. So, reach out to your south Asian friends. We have common issues and problems. All countries in SAARC and ASIAN are potential partners,” said Dr. Yunus.  

Yunus emphasized on networking with the youth in China, Taiwan, and Japanese. Dr. Yunus asked the attending students to think about the common ground. “We have common problems. You will find same problems in Mexico. Poverty is everywhere, even in rich countries. There are poor people all over Europe. But you don’t see it because someone pays for them to not look like poor. But our poverty is not hidden. It is revealed,” Yunus said.

Developed European countries have very rigorous systems but they "are not the ideal,” said Dr. Yunus. “We should not aim for it. The purpose of the society is to bring out the inner power of everyone and not just to look after your own self but look after everyone else.”

Dr. Yunus told the mostly young audience that social business will “look really funny at the beginning. Every little thing looks funny. A little cute puppy looks funny. The fact that it is small is not a disadvantage.” 



“We have lots of ideas here, may be you don’t realize it. But someone from outside may find it brilliant,” said Professor Yunus in his assuring voice. 

Dr. Yunus thinks that the young generation of today is very different from the generations that gone by: “Every generation go through youth. Youth is very defiant. But I think this is the most powerful young generation in human history. You probably don't see it, but you are, because you have a very special thing in your possession that no other generations had. You have technology. Many people never saw telephone in their home. Now you can carry it around in your pocket. You can do so much with it.”

“They used to have little boards up on the wall in schools, so if you write something on it the whole school can see. But now if you write something the whole world can see it,” Yunus said in an emphatic voice.

“If you hide and don't express yourself then it’s all useless. You don't have to hide; just shout out whatever is in your mind. You have a place in this planet. It is your place. Don't let anyone deprive you of your place, claim it.” Yunus tells the audience.  
“One person can change the whole world. So, don’t wait for your time. Your time has already come,” Yunus said.

Yunus told the audience to always beware of the relevancy of ideas: “ideas become obsolete so quickly. One day it can become all about prevention and not curing disease. The word patient will then become obsolete.” 



Yunus emphasized on the need of an accessible system. In many countries heath care is becoming more and more expensive every day, like in the US, Yunus said, “because the system was design to become more expensive. You have to design a system that is equally accessible to the poor.”

Yunus said the idea of unemployment is unnatural because to say a human being is unemployed is antagonistic to human being. Yunus thinks that the system has distorted us. “Why the education system has to be a labour producing system? Why can’t we treat human beings as human beings?” Yunus asked.

“There is absolutely no reason why a person anywhere in the world should be unemployed. It’s because of the system. Everyone should do what they like,” Yunus said.

The new challenge in front of the young people, says Professor Yunus, is to discover the new frontier and reject the money centric world.

After the keynote speech Dr. Yunus answered questions from the audience.

The SBYN summit is in progress at the time of writing this report. It is scheduled to end at 4 after different panel discussions and other activities.