Yunus Centre Press Release (23 January, 2017)
The President of International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach presents a specially autographed Olympic torch from Rio Olympics 2016 to Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus on January 23, 2017 as a token of thanks for his participation as a torch-bearer in the Rio Olympics last year.
Davos, January 23.
In his final day in Davos, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus was invited to a lunch by President of International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach to discuss further about collaboration between Yunus Centre and IOC to mainstream social business within IOC especially focused on athletes particularly retired athletes through sports clubs, sports federations and National Olympic Committees. Mr Bach also invited Yunus as his special guest to the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Korea in February 2018. He presented an Olympic torch from Rio Olympics of 2016 to Yunus specially autographed by him by way of thanks for Yunus's participation as a torch-bearer in the Rio Olympics. It may be recalled that during Rio Olympics Yunus addressed all the members of the IOC as the keynote speaker at their annual meeting in Rio in July 2016. He was invited to attend the Olympic Games in Rio as a special guest of the IOC President.
Professor Yunus spoke in three panels during WEF week. He addressed a special session on the Head and Heart of Philanthropy organized by WEF, and a morning session organized by Seneca Women on "Unleashing the Power of Women Entrepreneurs". This was done in an interview format where author and activist Kim Azzarelli interviewed Yunus on the future direction of women entrepreneurship. Other speakers at the session were Amb Melanne Verveer, social activist and lawyer Cherie Blair, and Mr. Brian T. Moynihan CEO of Bank of America. Yunus highlighted the experience of Grameen America which will reach in 2017 a total US 1 billion in loans to 100,000 borrowers after mere 10 years of operation. He invited the audience to participate in NY on September 23 to celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of Grameen America at Metropolitan Museum of Art, and help set the goal for next ten years. He also addressed a special Tata Communications event dedicated to reaching the bottom three billion especially women through telecommunications and the internet. He drew the attention of the audience about the most frightening trend of wealth concentration where only the eight richest people have more wealth than bottom fifty percent of people. He urged the audience to mobilise creativity and energy to reverse the process.
Professor Yunus participated in the board meeting of Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship which was created by WEF Founder Klaus Schwab and led by his wife Hilde to promote social entrepreneurship. The Foundation gives awards and global prizes in this field every year. Yunus has been a founding member of the board since it was created 15 years ago.
He was invited by WEF to an exclusive lunch attended by 50 specially selected global leaders where important global issues and challenges were discussed. It is attended by several Prime Ministers including those of Norway, Portugal, Ireland and Ethiopia the Managing Directors of IMF, President of ADB, AfDB and IADB, Governor Of Central Bank of Japan, HM King Philip and Queen Mathilde of Belgium and HM Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. The meeting was opened by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and chaired by WEF Chairman Klaus Schwab.
During the week Yunus was interviewed by Forbes magazine on their 100th year anniversary. He was also invited by Facebook to make a broadcast via Facebook Live from WEF 2017 in Davos on the issue of wealth concentration to his million plus followers on Facebook. He was also interviewed by Hub Culture Davos.