Ninth Social Business Day was inaugurated in Bangkok on Friday with the presence of some 1,500 delegates from 60 countries, including Antarctica along with icons of social innovation and entrepreneurship from all over the world.
In his opening address, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus said mankind is facing existential challenge due to negative impacts of climate change.
Stressing the point that money can never be synonymous with happiness, he said that happiness is about contributing for the world.
Yunus said economic theory is the reason and ‘real culprit’ that make people chase money for happiness.
During the inaugural ceremony, experts and dignitaries laid emphasis on bringing the social business into the mainstream rather than applying it as a marginal business model.
Two keynote speeches were delivered by Armida Alisjahbana, executive secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), and Mechai Viravaidya, chairman of Mechai Viravaidya Foundation, a leading non-government organisation in Thailand.
Social Business Day is an annual two-day conference organised by the Yunus Centre, and is hosted by Muhammad Yunus.
The theme of this year’s Social Business Day is based on Professor Yunus’s enduring motto: ‘Making Money is Happiness, Making Other People Happy is Super Happiness.’
Yunus Centre at the Asian Institute of Technology (YCA) in Thailand is hosting the annual event in Bangkok this year. Yunus Social Business Centre Kasetsart University (YSBCKU) and Thailand Social Business Initiative (TSBI) are supporting the event.
Some nine parallel panel sessions took place in the opening day of the conference.
Experts, politicians, economists, businesses, entrepreneurs, social workers, activities, researchers and students took part in these sessions.
The first-day of the event concluded with a cultural programme where K –Von, an actor and comedian from the United States of America (USA) performed. He was followed by YSBC Kasetsart Cultural Performance.
The two-day conference will end on Saturday.