JfH began in 1962 at The Economist or earlier. In those days you had to be 39 years of age for a journalist
to sign one annual contribution - a survey of where some peoples were ending poverty and maximising youth livelihhods - the
original purpose of The Economist in 1843. Macrae had been tutored by Keynes: Corpus Christi Cambridge 1945) on mediating
systems of end poverty economics after first surviving war spending his last days as teenager navigating airplanes over modernday
myanmar and bangladesh
Norman Macrae went on to to produce 2 survey series - win-win economic
models to unite round:
japan from 1962 which on retiremnt was awarded The
Emperors Order of Rising Sun with Gold bars, 1972 the Entrepreneurial Revolution of
worldwide youth to be conected by digital networks 1972, asia pacifc 1976 china 1977, Bangladesh 2008 as well as celebarrate
usigned heroic developmenst
like singapore and hong kong
and surveys of places where the world needed to look for an opportunity to free the people- russia
1963, south africa 1968, EU form 1957 (Noramn had been the only jouranlsit 1955 Messina- he supported peace and free markjet
concepts but not what mordphed in the elast accounatble top down bureaucracy)
jouranlists for humanity today? starting 2008 two years before his death, we've been helping
youth create journalist
and educational exchanges around the greatest girl empowerment and technolgy leapfrog stories we can find- we'll
world recird joib creators in multimple languages
rsvp with views of where to see the greatest jourmnalism live
- we love CGTN whose rebirth started jan 2017 and which has just
started inviting 5 channels to co-dialogue on what 40% of people want to do to race to nsustainability beyong the old carbon
monoply of western media have a look at te blog www.aiibnews.com or if blogs are not alowed try www.erworld.tv
you may have heard the world biggest broadcaster today invited 5 nations
broadcasters to debate what they thought youth and families wanted mediated to be sustainable
while the transcripts still to come are long- below are a top
regarding issue 3 - this connects with agendas of both stefnaos and al in baltimore-
eseentially food and arts are microfrabnchises you vcan design in one place then multiply anywhere communities want to come
please could you see if your celebrity chedf who did undrcover boss knows of
Gastromotiva its the centre of community food big bang as china aree concrned but if he has his own netwirks how do we fan those
have made some progress with the head of the world bank reponsible for franciscan regions of latin america once i get to beijing
i think i know who i need to leak what good news to first- thre popes trip to bangladesh in 8 weeks is very good news for
girls empowerment journalim which we have connected since 2007- daniel is there anyone left at columbia uni where you learnt
jiyurnalism who would be interested in this biggest change journalism and education story ever told JournalistsForHumanity.com
7 smartest questions media ever posed
1 why is tomorrows world still media monopolised by a g7 who gained most
from past era of guzzling carbon? which of these 7 countries US Germany UK Spain Italy France Japan has tried hardest
to jump away from big carbon macroecomics
2 how did euro union become another
fixture of destroying youth livelihoods in what is now G7+EU?
3 what is youth - especially poorest girls -ask most for
as being more affrodable to learn- which practice experts actually want to help youth rejuvenate communities - eg chefs movement
goal 100 million nutritious livelihoods with local produce ..connectors of green big bang clubs first 2000 societies to thrive
round carbon zero
4 IF 5 countries could meet
annually to debate how to rejuvenate 21st and go beyond carbon, whcih would worldwide youth choose first to interact with?
5 what extraordinary metacollaboration projects could these 5 countries
host and invite other countries who want to go green or celebarte youth livelihoods to benchmark
6 all global leadership
summits segment in 2 opposite ways - global 1.0 talk shops for command and control, global 2.0 empowerment p;rocesses that
create action networking solutions for youth to linkin- which is which - and which nations are freeing their youth to culturally
exchange with the sustainble generation summits
7 why does the un host an education summit with 30 leader declaring
half of all youth will be unemployable by 2030 unless we chnage education which within a year has turned into how we get more
finance for old education
1 Our gold standard is
Usahidi and Kenya's IHUB - hip hip hoorah http://www.ushahidi.com/mission/
which means “testimony” in Swahili, was a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya
after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Since then, the name “Ushahidi” has come to represent
the people behind the “Ushahidi Platform”.
Our roots are in the collaboration of Kenyan citizen journalists during a time of crisis. The original website was used
to map incidents of violence and peace efforts throughout the country based on reports submitted via the web and mobile phones.
This website had 45,000 users in Kenya, and was the catalyst for us realizing there was a need for a platform based on it,
which could be used by others around the world.
forward six years and Ushahidi has grown into a global non-profit technology company with origins in Kenya. Today Ushahidi’s
mission is the change the way information flows in the world and empower people to make an impact with open source technologies,
cross-sector partnerships, and ground-breaking ventures.
Ushahidi is responsible for
founding the iHub, a technology hub in Nairobi which has helped build the technology community in East Africa, growing to over 14,000 members,
has incubated 150 tech startups that have created over 1000 jobs. Ushahidi, together with partners Hivos and the Institute
of Development Studies, implements the Making all Voices Count Grand Challenge, a $55 million fund which focuses global attention on creative and cutting-edge solutions to transform
the relationship between citizens and their governments including seeding innovative solutions.
Lastly, as a group of technologists spread around the world who get really frustrated
when the internet doesn’t work, Ushahidi built and spun out BRCK, which builds rugged internet for people and things.At Ushahidi, it isn’t just about building software, it is about
solving problems. With Ushahidi we build open source software tools, at BRCK we build a platform for access to the web, and
iHub we help build the Kenyan tech sector by creating a community with access to services like the mLab, UX lab, and Gearbox. We build these organizations because we want to see more stories like Ushahidi’s in the world.
are curious will yunusolympics (ever since we first met him in 2007 - he was hoping his partners would talk a world sporting stage in code-sharing
his messags) - ever come over to MOOCYunus in time (see also openlearningcampus)
- note how Atlanta Nov 2015 celebrations designed round yunus and other nobel peace acticitists with youth are co-spodnored by the turner family
who have given back so much of what they made from CNN (Cable News Netwprk) to try and bring every netwprks of the UN back
to ground level citizen engage,en; note how out of paris ws the world number 1 supporter of yunus global media change - some
woenderful film directirs contributed in 2009 to www.notimeleft.org (see wenders contribution especially_ but where did all that storytelling go to? then there was vivian who signd up to direct
Yunus Movie but never got the complete support she needed
have a look at www.african24tv.com out of Paris- its founded round 80 journaliust looking for best leaders by and for africans- for example if africa is
ever to have iots own IBM who can elad that to sustain the human ;lot of africans
Yunus has inspired such
bbc film anchors as Paul Rose (filamaker oceans) and Michael Palin (now filmaker cutures round the world trip, also Monty Pyton) to come out to bat - what
teir next steps?
Breaking News July 2011
help make this first draft zing a bit
more -reference last year's isabella-cast --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOT MY NEWS OF THE WORLD
Hello young people everywhere from Tunisia to Egypt , Greece to Spain
, Japan to Bangladesh .
The 2010s can be the most exciting decade for us to lead productive lives as long as we know which media and economics to
get rid of, as well as whose social actions to joyfully celebrate.
That was the severe test my granddad set himself and fellow journalists for humanity - over 40 years of reporting
for The Economist. And that’s why Norman Macrae also asked people like me to storytell his life’s good news
fables once a year after his parting in the summer of 2010.
time the dumbest media in the world collapses that is a good news opportunity. In Britain this weekend youth have cause to
celebrate the end of The News of The World . Wrapped up in the 20th century’s most popular tabloid was everything we
don’t need advertisers to celebrate as young people take on the greatest sustainability games ever played.
Let’s hope the BBC in particular remembers that as it chooses how to celebrate
the Olympics – Queen Elizabeth’s swansong for the joy of youth, commonwealth and linking in sustainability community
The News of the World made the worst
use of mobile telecoms of any media platform. Since Norman first discussed how to network with mobile telecoms in 1984 his
entrepreneurial revolution friends have had 27 years searching for best uses.
We recommend nothing is more exciting to mobilise than what started in 1996 in Bangladesh when 100000 global villages
hubs of the world’s poorest mothers started linking in sustainability economics. We invite thousands of youth to diarize
good news stories of info technology at YouthandYunus.com - this happy dotcom is spelt
O U T H A N D Y U N U S
Lets hope the world’s most
powerful people join youth in exciting lessons on how NOT to use mobile phones. Give the Murdoch family the chance to invite
the net generation to co-create good news media in the place of the most salacious gossip sheet in his empire. The strongest
newspapers have always blended whole truth journalistic curiosity with at most a couple of goals chosen to improve the next
YES YOU CAN
help the Murdoch’s make their millennium goals wish come true. Let it be that their family re-examine how their
most powerful media can help youth celebrate another way to bail out banks. Join Queen Sofia's summit on this in Spain in
November. It is economically possible for media to help find a way in which youth are not trapped in picking up all
the bills of their elders. As we all found out in 2008, this remains the urgent and defining good news story of the decade
–the one that will shape generations and planet, for ever and a day.
Good News Bottomines:
1 Places everywhere now need
structures that mediate investments in their youth’s
co-production of heroic goals.
2 Consider how stories of bankabillion networks can be designed round girl power
are so much more joyous than banking designed for ever fewer big brothers.
3 Bon courage Rupert Murdoch, Au Revoir Norman Macrae
Jargon Note -
what Dr Yunus used to call Future Capitalism has since the launch of Global Grameen become known as Global Social Business and Sustainability Partnering
Breaking good news for
2010s- Nov 2009- inspired by the official launch by Dr Yunus and California State education system of the California Institute
of Social Business, our own launches of Global and London Institutes of Social Business aim to make priority connections between JforH in California, London and Paris - RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org
if you can collaboratively help add in JforH from another future capital of sustainability
being a film producer lead sponsor of Cal Instit of SB
J Skoll & L Brilliant of Participant Productions
Webber (SF) and H Row (LA) former leaders of social capital intercity centres of fastcompany.com
(OT) - sustainability world's favourite pop group
Holly Mosher - filmaker of Yunus "Bonsai" and for The Global Summit hq in LA
Future Capitalism Birthday party
of the year - with Muhammad Yunus, Dhaka June 29, day after his 69th - will you be there? inquiries chris macrae washington dc
bureau 301 881 1655
tell us of ebs where you can find out what journalists are up to -eg journalisted.com
2009 Year of MicroCollaboration please help email@example.com catalogue advice for President Obama from the world's most trusted free marketers of ending poverty: eg1 the president can declare the date for zero poverty in the whole world at the same time encourage
the united states to set their date when their city be zero poverty when their county gets to zero poverty ..you
are never going back- city by city, county by county, state by state, it can be done and it will encourage everyone else –
..that state can do it, we can do it this
is the way to go, so poverty will be the challenge –and once you have solved poverty other solutions come right away,
environment will come right away - Muhmammad Yunus, California, Nov 08
We are journalists, media experts, microentrepreneurs, economists and citizens. We track how methods of Industry Sector Responsibility Mapping (ISRM) can support sustainability
investments in ways that Corporate Sector Responsibility advisory systemically could not. Leadership methods of ISRM
include Future Capitalism collaborations, Trillion Dollar Auditing and Community Impact Accountancy.
Future Capitalism has changed the world of goodwill valuation faster than other
network economics tools due to this year’s launch of its human sustainability imperatives by
of the world leaders like Bill Gates and Bottom Billion leaders like Muhammad Yunus. If you would like
JFH to demonstrate a Future Capitalism game for your sector, please contact us
Washington DC Bureau tel 301 881
Click to debate why so many of humanity's greatest stories are never seen on Public Broadcasting
Grameen Bank officials believe that reducing poverty through microfinance banking is not just
for developing economies.
Recently, US President Barack Obama also created a $100m
microfinance growth fund for small lenders around world. (The microfinance growth fund would be a partnership of the Multilateral
Investment Fund at the Inter-American Development Bank, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Inter-American
Investment Corporation. )
Though a good first step, it is still considered a small amount. Grameen Bank in
Bangladesh spends $100m on microfinance every month.
Currently, Grameen America depends
on donations and payments on existing loans. But the bank is planning to apply for a credit-union licence, which will allow
it to accept bigger deposits from US customers. The bank plans to use those deposits for granting more loans to thousands
Now the bank is expanding to other areas in the US. Soon a branch will open in Brooklyn
and plans include branches in states such as Nebraska and Ohio.
Branches of the Grameen Bank
are already operating in several other countries, including Turkey, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Kosovo and Zambia.
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2006 was controversially awarded in Oslo to
a "banker for the poor" in once basket case Bangladesh. Since the microcredit system pioneered by this Doctor Muhammad
Yunus really has raised record millions of Bangladeshi women from the world’s direst poverty, Yunus was greeted on his
recent visit to London largely by the misunderstanding Left. But as my friends and I had lunch
with him, we thrilled to openly explore his stated aim to "harness the powers of the free market to solve
the problems of poverty", and his brave belief that he can "do exactly that". This apparent appearance of a
viable system of banking for the poor has important implications we had better start by examining how microcredit almost accidentally
START IN A STARVING VILLAGE
During Bangladeshi's terrible famine year of 1974, Dr Yunus (who had attained the doctorate of economics
in a fairly free market American university) was back at his 1940 birthplace of Chittagong as a Professor of Economics
at the university there. He took a field party of his students to one of the famine threatened villages. They analysed that
all 42 of the village’s small businesses (tiny farm plots and retail market stalls) was indeed going bust unless they
could borrow a ridiculously tiny total $27 on reasonable terms.
If you can become an angel for $27, why not rehearse for becoming a superangel? open source Grameen America
First thought was to give the $27
as charity. But Yunus lectured that a social business dollar that had to be paid back from careful use in an income generating
activity, was much more effective than a charity dollar which might be used only once and frittered away. All of those first
42 loans were fully repaid, and lent back, and after 9 years further experiments Yunus in 1983 founded his Grameen (which
means Village) Bank. Its priority was to make loans that were desperately needed by the poor instead of the usual banking
priority to make the safest loans to the rich who could provide collateral against what they happened to want to borrow.
In the next 23 years, Grameen provided
$6 billion of loans to poor people with an astonishing 99% repayment rate. In 2006, it had seven million borrowing customers,
97% of them women (who tend to be the poorer sex in rural Islamic societies) in 73000 villages of Bangladesh.
Microcredit had by then reached 80% of Bangladeshi’s poorest rural families and over half of Grameen’s own borrowers had
risen above the absolute poverty line.
When a Grameen bank manager goes to a new village, he has entrepreneurially to search for poor but viable borrowers . He
earns a star if he achieves 100% repayment of loans, and another star if he attains achievement of the 16 guarantees that
all customers are asked to pledge, ranging from intensive vegetable growing through attendance of all children at school,
to abolition of dowries. A branch with five stars would often transfer to ownership by the poor women themselves. A branch
with no stars would be in danger of closing, so borrowers tend to rally round with suggestions, such as which unreliable repayers
IN SEARCH OF OPEN SOURCE FRANCHISES FOR MICROENTREPRENEURS
An early breakthrough -and replicable income generator- was the profession
of telephone ladies. They borrowed enough to buy a cheap mobile phone from a Grameen subsidiary. They world draw fees for
phoning to see if more profitable prices for crops were available in a neighbouring village, and from anybody who wanted to
hire the phone to contact the outside world. This is a job that could only become important in a microcredit setting; the
owner of a mobile phone in richer suburbia would not find many customers to hire her set.
One special desire
of Yunus was to improve the nutrition of poor children in the villages of Bangladesh, and so Future
Capitalism first social business multinational partnership came to be branded with the large French food multinational
called Danone. The brand architecture of Grameen-Danone was test marketed to find what sorts of fortified yogurt Bangladeshi children would like. Although
Danone at first wanted large plants with refrigerated systems, Grameen won the debate to make then small plants who bought
local milk and very cheap local distributors who knew which families had children who might buy the cheap yogurt fresh. Danone
had to agree not to pay any dividend from the sales of the yogurt in Bangladesh so as to keep the
price cheap at a few US cents per cup, but its $1 million investment remains returnable and it has learnt a lot about sales
of a new product in poor countries.
Will such Social Businesses spread as far as Yunus hopes? A
lot depends on human co-creattity. Great leaps like Microsoft’s invention of good software are often made by small
but initially hugely profit making small businesses. So it may be easy for
Is there is a better 5 month report on Future Capitalism? - RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org ...............................................................................................................................................................................................
. Good Morning: It as a very special privilege for me to speak at the commencement ceremony of this prestigious
institution. What a wonderful feeling to be here today. To be with all of you, some of the brightest minds in the world, right
at a moment when you decide the path you will embark on in life. You represent the future of the world. The choices that you
will make for yourself will decide the fate of mankind. This is how it has always been. Sometimes we are aware of it, most
of the time we are not. I hope you'll remain aware of it and make an effort to be remembered not simply as a creative
generation but as a socially-conscious creative generation. Try it.
I had no idea whether my life would someday
be relevant to anyone else's. But in the mid-seventies, out of frustration with the terrible economic situation in Bangladesh
I decided to see if I could make myself useful to one poor person a day in the village next door to the university campus
where I was teaching. I found myself in an unfamiliar situation. Out of necessity I had to find a way out. Since I did not
have a road-map, I had to fall back on my basic instinct to do that. At any moment I could have withdrawn myself from my unknown
path, but I did not. I stubbornly went on to find my own way. Luckily, at the end, I found it. That was microcredit and Grameen
Now, in hindsight, I can joke about it. When people ask me, "How did you figure out all the rules and
procedures that is now known as Grameen system ?" My answer is : "That was very simple and easy. Whenever I needed
a rule or a procedure in our work, I just looked at the conventional banks to see what they do in a similar situation. Once
I learned what they did, I just did the opposite. That's how I got our rules. Conventional banks go to the rich, we go
to the poor; their rule is -- "the more you have, the more you get." So our rule became -- "the less you have
higher attention you get. If you have nothing, you get the highest priority." They ask for collateral, we abandoned it,
as if we had never heard of it. They need lawyers in their business, we don't. No lawyer is involved in any of our loan
transactions. They are owned by the rich, ours is owned by the poorest, the poorest women to boot. I can go on adding more
to this list to show how Grameen does things quite the opposite way.
Was it really a systematic policy æ
to do it the opposite way ? No, it wasn't. But that's how it turned out ultimately, because our objective was different.
I had not even noticed it until a senior banker admonished me by saying : Dr. Yunus, you are trying to put the banking system
upside down." I quickly agreed with him. I said : "Yes, because the banking system is standing on its head."
I could not miss seeing the ruthlessness of moneylenders in the village. First I lent the money to replace the
loan-sharks. Then I went to the local bank to request them to lend money to the poor. They refused.
of deadlock I persuaded them by offering myself as a guarantor. This is how microcredit was born in 1976. Today Grameen Bank
lends money to 7.5 million borrowers, 97 per cent women. They own the bank. The bank has lent out over $ 7.0 billion in Bangladesh
over the years. Globally 130 million poor families receive microcredit. Even then banks have not changed much. They do not
mind writing off a trillion dollars in a sub-prime crisis, but they still stay away from lending US $ 100 to a poor woman
despite the fact such loans have near 100 per cent repayment record globally.
While focusing on microcredit we
saw the need for other types of interventions to help the rural population, in general, and the poor, in particular. We tried
our interventions in the health sector, information technology, renewable energy and on several other fronts. Since we worked
with poor women, health issue quickly drew our attention. We introduced health insurance. We succeeded in developing an effective
healthcare program based on health insurance, but have not been able to expand this program because of non-availability of
doctors. Doctors are reluctant to stay in the villages. (It has become such a big bottleneck that we have now decided to set
up a medical college to produce doctors.) Under the program a villager pays about US $ 2.00 a year as health insurance premium,
to get health coverage for the entire family. Financially it is sustainable.
I became a strong believer in the
power of information technology to change the lives of the poor people. This encouraged me to create a cell-phone company
called Grameen Phone. We brought phones to the villages of Bangladesh and gave loans to the poor women to buy themselves cell-phones
to sell their service and make money. It became an instant success.
Seventy percent of the population of
Bangladesh do not have access to electricity. We wanted to address this issue by introducing solar home system in the villages.
We created a separate company called Grameen Shakti, or Grameen Energy. It became a very successful company in popularising
solar home system, bio-gas, and environment-friendly cooking stoves. It has already reached 155,000 homes with solar home
systems, and aims to reach one million homes by 2012. As we started creating a series of companies around renewable energy,
information technology, textile, agriculture, livestock, education, health, finance etc, I was wondering why conventional
businesses do not see business the way we see it. They have different goals than ours. We design our businesses one way, they
design theirs in another way.
Conventional businesses are based on the theoretical framework provided by the designers
of capitalist economic system. In this framework 'business' has to be a profit-maximizing entity. The more aggressively
a business pursues it, the better the system functions æ we are told. The bigger the profit, the more successful the
business is; the more happy investors are. In my work it never occurred to me that I should maximize profit. All my struggle
was to take each of my enterprises to a level where it could at least be self-sustaining. I defined the mission of my businesses
in a different way than that of the traditional businesses.
As I was doing it, obviously I was violating the basic
tenet of capitalist system æ profit maximization. Since I was engaged in finding my own solution to reach the mission
of my business, I was not looking at any existing road maps. My only concern was to see if my path was taking me where I wanted
to go. When it worked I felt very happy. I know maximization of profit makes people happy. I don't maximize profit, but
my businesses are a great source of my happiness. If you had done what I have done you would be very happy too! I am convinced
that profit maximization is not the only source of happiness in business. 'Business' has been interpreted too narrowly
in the existing framework of capitalism. This interpretation is based on the assumption that a human being is a single dimensional
being. His business-related happiness is related to the size of the profit he makes. He is presented as a robot-like money-making
But we all know that real-life human beings are multi-dimensional beings æ not uni-dimensional
like the theory assumes. For a real-life human being money-making is a means, not an end. But for the businessman in the existing
theory money-making is both a means and also an end.
This narrow interpretation has done us great damage. All
business people around the world have been imitating this one-dimensional theoretical businessman as precisely as they can
to make sure they get the most from the capitalist system. If you are a businessman you have to wear profit-maximizing glasses
all the time. As a result, only thing you see in the world are the profit enhancing opportunities. Important problems that
we face in the world cannot be addressed because profit-maximizing eyes cannot see them.
We can easily reformulate
the concept of a businessman to bring him closer to a real human being. In order to take into account the multi-dimensionality
of real human being we may assume that there are two distinct sources of happiness in the business world æ 1) maximizing
profit, and 2) achieving some pre-defined social objective. Since there are clear conflicts between the two objectives, the
business world will have to be made up of two different kinds of businesses --1) profit-maximizing business, and 2) social
business. Specific type of happiness will come from the specific type of business.
Then an investor will have
two choices æ he can invest in one or in both. My guess is most people will invest in both in various proportions. This
means people will use two sets of eye-glassesæ profit-maximizing glasses, and social business glasses. This will bring
a big change in the world. Profit maximizing businessmen will be amazed to see how different the world looks once they take
off the profit-maximizing glasses and wear the social business glasses. By looking at the world from two different perspectives
business decision-makers will be able to decide better, act better, and these decisions and actions will lead to a dramatically
While I was wondering whether the idea of social business would make any sense to the corporate
world I had an opportunity to talk to the chairman of Danone Group Mr. Franck Riboud about this subject. It made perfect sense
to him right away. Together we created Grameen Danone company as a social business in Bangladesh. This company produces yogurt
fortified with micro-nutrients which are missing in the mal-nourished children of Bangladesh. Because it is a social business,
Grameen and Danone, will never take any dividend out of the company beyond recouping the initial investment. Bottom line for
the company is to see how many children overcome their nutrition deficiency each year.
Next initiative came
from Credit Agricole of France. We created Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation to provide financial support to
microfinance organizations and social businesses. We created a small water company to provide good quality drinking water
in a cluster of villages of Bangladesh. This is a joint venture with Veolia, a leading water company in the world. Bangladesh
has terrible drinking water problem. In a large part of Bangladesh tubewell water is highly arsenic contaminated, surface
water is polluted. This social business water company will be a prototype for supplying safe drinking water in a sustainable
and affordable way to people who are faced with water crisis. Once it is perfected, it can be replicated in other villages,
within Bangladesh and outside.
We have already established an eye-care hospital specializing in cataract operation,
with a capacity to undertake 10,000 operations per year. This is a joint venture social business with the Green Children Foundation
created by two singers in their early twenties, Tom and Milla, from England and Norway.
We have signed a joint-venture
agreement with Intel Corporation, to create a social business company called Grameen-Intel to bring information technology-based
services to the poor in healthcare, marketing, education and remittances.
We also signed a social business joint
venture agreement with Saudi German Hospital Group to set up a series of hospitals in Bangladesh.
Many more companies
from around the world are showing interest in such social business joint ventures. A leading shoe company wants to create
a social business to make sure that nobody goes without shoes. One leading pharmaceutical company wishes to set up a joint
venture social business company to produce nutritional supplements appropriate for Bangladeshi pregnant mothers and young
women, at the cheapest possible price.
We are also in discussion to launch a social business company to produce
chemically treated mosquito-nets to protect people in Bangladesh and Africa from malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.
Your generation can bring a breakthrough in changing the course of the world. You can be the socially-conscious
creative generation that the world is waiting for. You can bring your creativity to design brilliant social businesses to
overcome poverty, disease, environmental degradation, food crisis, depletion of non-renewable resources, etc. Each one of
you is capable of changing the world. To make a start all that each one of you has to do is to design a business plan for
a social business. Each prototype of a social business can be a cute little business. But if it works out, the whole world
can be changed by replicating it in thousands of locations.
Prototype development is the key. In designing a prototype
all we need is a socially-oriented creative mind. That could be each one of you. No matter what you do in your life, make
it a point to design or be involved with at least one social business to address one problem that depresses you the most.
If you have the design and the money, go ahead and put it into action. If you have the design but no money, contact your dean
-- he will find the money. I never heard that MIT has problem in finding money when it has a hot idea in its hand. MIT can
even create a social business development fund in anticipation of your requests.
I can tell you very emphatically
that in terms of human capability there is no difference between a poor person and a very privileged person. All human beings
are packed with unlimited potential. Poor people are no exception to this rule. But the world around them never gave them
the opportunity to know that each of them is carrying a wonderful gift in them. The gift remains unknown and unwrapped. Our
challenge is to help the poor unwrap their gift.
Poverty is not created by the poor. It is created by the system.
Poverty is an artificial imposition on people. Once you fall outside the system, it works against you. It makes it very difficult
to return to the system. How do we change this? Where do we begin ?
Three basic interventions will make a big
difference in the existing system : a) broadening the concept of business by including "social business" into the
framework of market place, b) creating inclusive financial and healthcare services which can reach out to every person on
the planet, c) designing appropriate information technology devices, and services for the bottom-most people and making them
easily available to them.
Your generation has the opportunity to make a break with the past and create a beautiful
new world. We see the ever-growing problems created by the individual-centered aggressively accumulative economy. If we let
it proceed without serious modifications, we may soon reach the point of no return. Among other things, this type of economy
has placed our planet under serious threat through climatic distortions. Single-minded pursuit of profit has made us forget
that this planet is our home; that we are supposed to make it safe and beautiful, not make it more unliveable everyday by
promoting a life-style which ignores all warnings of safety.
At this point let me give you the good news. No matter
how daunting the problems look, don't get brow beaten by their size. Big problems are most often just an aggregation of
tiny problems. Get to the smallest component of the problem. Then it becomes an innocent bite-size problem, and you can have
all the fun dealing with it. You'll be thrilled to see in how many ways you can crack it. You can tame it or make it disappear
by various social and economic actions, including social business. Pick out the action which looks most efficient in the given
circumstances. Tackling big problems does not always have to be through giant actions, or global initiatives or big businesses.
It can start as a tiny little action. If you shape it the right way, it can grow into a global action in no time. Even the
biggest problem can be cracked by a small well-designed intervention. That's where you and your creativity come in. These
interventions can be so small that each one of you can crack these problems right from your garage. If you have a friend or
two to work with you, it is all the more better. It can be fun too.
You are born in the age of ideas. Ideas are
something an MIT graduate, I am sure, will not run out of. The question I am raising now -- what use you want to make of them
? Make money by selling or using your ideas ? Or change the world with your ideas? Or do both ? It is upto you to decide.
There are two clear tasks in front of you -- 1) to end poverty in the world once for all, and 2) to set the world
in the right path to undo all the damage we have done to the environment by our ignorance and selfishness. Time is right.
Your initiatives can produce big results, even lead you to achieving these goals. Then yours will be the most successful generation
in human history. You will take your grand-children to the poverty museums with tremendous pride that your generation had
finally made it happen.
Congratulations, for being part of a generation which has exciting possibilities, and
advance congratulations to you all for your future successes in creating a new world where everyone on this planet can stand
tall as a human being. Thank you.