The Financial Express

Unleash creativity to solve social problems: Yunus

| Updated: July 08, 2019 11:57:52

Evaly and Fianancial Express Evaly and Fianancial Express
Photo source: UNB Photo source: UNB

The ninth Social Business Day concluded on Saturday in Bangkok with a call to harness the power of creativity of the youths, which can help solve social problems.

In his concluding remark, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus said creativity is inborn and it runs deep within the younger generation.

But he said the youths suppress their ingenuity as they have acclimatised themselves to the 9-5 routine.

"Same road leads to the same destination. So if you want to go to a new destination, you have to build a new road," he said, adding social business serves as an alternative but an effective way to solve the existing social problems.

In his speech, Prof. Yunus dismissed economics as a social science discipline, saying the 'social' dimension is missing from this science.

"How can you call economics a social science?" he said, noting economics explains humans as individuals driven by only-self-interest and completely ignores their innate social characteristics.

"We want to see economics as a bona fide social science.

In order to do that economics must interpret human beings as person-driven and social-driven," he added.

He urged the young people to shun the premeditated structure of economic theory, and instead make the most of their creativity to overcome social challenges.

Suphachai Chearavanont, chief executive officer of Charoen Pokphand Group, delivered the closing speech where he proposed 5Rs policy -- Re-educate, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Reinvent -- to prevent environmental degradation.

Saying some two billion tonnes of waste are generated annually, he noted without proper measures to control this, an estimated 3.4 billion tonnes of waste will be generated by 2050.

He argued that 5Rs policy must be used urgently to expedite the process of environment protection.

Earlier, at a plenary session on the challenges of social business, speakers had identified the hurdles that entrepreneurs face and discussed ways to address them properly.

Taking part in the discussion, Parveen Mahmud, managing director of Grameen Telecom Trust, said several challenges exist in social business, but they can be addressed if everybody works together.

The concept of social business has been developed by Muhammd Yunus to address social problems. Such a model allows investors to recover their original investment, but compels them to reinvest the profit to continue and expand the business.

The official conclusion of the conference was marked by a cultural programme.

Nine parallel country forums, including of Bangladesh, took place there. There was also pre-conference on Social Business Academia 2019 and YY Talent Impulse Forum.

Social Business Day is an annual two-day conference organised by the Yunus Centre, and is hosted by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.

Yunus Center at the Asian Institute of Technology (YCA) in Thailand hosted the annual event in Bangkok this year.

The event was supported by Yunus Social Business Centre Kasetsart University (YSBCKU) and Thailand Social Business Initiative (TSBI).

Some 1,500 delegates from all over the world in the field of social business, along with icons of social innovation and entrepreneurship from 59 countries, including Antarctica, attended the conference.

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