The Global Social Business Summit 2013 opened today at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in KL, Malaysia.
This is first time that the Summit has been organised in Asia, and is being attended by 600 delegates from all over the world.
The program began with an electrifying performance by the musical troupe Malaysia Percussion which set a high note to the opening ceremony. Hans Reitz, the Director of Global Social Business Summit and Nurfarini Daing, CEO of Youth Trust Foundation myHarapan welcomed the participants and handed over the floor to Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad to conduct the first the session. In his opening speech, Professor Yunus expressed his happiness in seeing the concept of social business develop and flourish globally. The Founder of Grameen Bank said the capitalist system came up with a lot of promises and the whole world had rallied merrily around it. “It was thought that it would solve all problems. Instead it created new problems. And we see no light at the end of the tunnel, and we are trapped" He said social business. He said business is a very powerful machine which could be used in different directions for achieving multiple results instead of driving it into for a single goal of making money. “Social business could be that multi-tasking machine,” said the Bangladeshi economist, and offered the chance of making lasting impact.
The microcredit pioneer described how the social business conquered new frontiers, making inroads into traditionally conservative and powerful organizations. A highlight of the day was was the announcement about the establishment of Social Business Fund in Mexico through a signing today of an MOU between Government of Veracruz Mexico and Yunus Social Busines Global. This is a follow up of a visit by Professor Muhammad Yunus to the State of Veracruz, Mexico in July 2013 at the invitation of Governor Dr. Javier Duarte de Ochoa. During the visit, the Governor announced his willingness to invest US$ 4.5 million into a social business fund for the State of Veracruz, and to start a Holistic Social Business Movement (HSBM) including the set up of a Fund and an Incubation Center. This investment will help create a supportive environment within which social businesses can thrive.
The opening session was followed by two plenary sessions. The panelists for the first plenary session included Dr. Fatima Al Balooshi, Minister of Social Development of Bahrain, Richard Branson,Virgin Group (virtual address), Saskia Bruysten, CEO of YSB, Nurfarini Daing, Eric Lesuer, Projects Director, Veolia Environnement, Hans Reitz and Prof. Hiroto Yasuura, VP of Kyushu University and Mr Rogerio Oliveira CEO of Yunus Social Business, Brazil. The second session consisted of 20 focus group sessions which went into greater depth on particular aspects of social business. The focus group session was followed by the second plenary session which focused on co-creation, collaboration and the importance of partnerships as a key driver for social business.
The Summit will run from November 7-9, 2013. It can be mentioned that the opening ceremony was attended by H.E Y.A.M Tunku Redhauddin, Prince of Seremban State, Malaysia and the closing ceremony will be attended by Prime Minister of Malaysia Mr. Dato Sri Haji Mohammad Najib Abdul Razak tomorrow.