Yunus carries Olympic Torch at Rio 2016

Yunus Centre Press Release

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus holding up the Olympic Torch in one hand and displaying three fingers with another hand to symbolize "Three Zeroes" in front the picture of Rio Olympic 2026 Mascot

Rio, August 4
Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, wearing elegant Olympic athlete uniform carried the Olympic torch today on the final leg of the Olympic torch relay in Rio de Janeiro in the build up to the opening of the 2016 Games. He received the flame from senior IOC representative James Tompkins in a brief ceremony of transferring the flame from his torch and walked 200 metres with the flame to loud applause and cheers of the flood of crowds on the streets.

During the walk with the flame Professor Yunus held up the flame in one hand and held up three fingers of the other hand to symbolize the three zeroes urging the global audience to work for. These three zeros stand for three social and environmental goals of "Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions". He has been advocating to add a social dimension to all IOC programs . This was the core message of his address to IOC Annual General Meeting yesterday.

All along the walk crowds of local children, youth. men and women surrounded him taking videos and pictures to capture this historical event in their neighbourhood. Many in the crowd recognised him as the father of microcredit which is popular in Brazil. The media truck overflowing with TV and print media cameras from all around the world drove slowly in front of him and the processsion covering the event. At the end of the walk he passed on the flame to Ms Michelle Jean, former Governor General of Canada and the present Secretary General of the Union of Francophone Countries.  There was a carnival like atmosphere with music and excitement all around.  The torch relay was broadcast live by www.globosporte.com

In the evening he was invited as a guest of honor at dinner by the IOC President Mr Thomas Bach which was attended by 450 leaders of sports world and distinguished guests like UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon, French President Francois Hollande, HRH Princess Anne, HM King of Netherlands, HRH Crown Prince of Denmark and high officials of the IOC. Professor Yunus was given a seat at the head table along with the distinguished guests and their spouses.

Earlier in the day he was invited as keynote speaker at conference of the CEOs of Brazilian businesses hosted by the Inter American Development Bank and inaugurated by the Mayor of Rio. Professor Yunus encouraged businesses to get involved in social businesses to tackle some of the pressing issues of society including unemployment and wealth concentration.

Professor Yunus will attend the Olympic events, as the distinguished guest of IOC, for the next few days including the grand opening ceremony tomorrow which will be televised globally.



Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus transferring Olympic flame to next Torch Bearer former Governor General of Canada (2005-10) Madame Michelle Jean at the Rio 2016 torch relay.


Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus flanked by volunteers  carrying the Olympic Torch in Rio.


Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus with Olympic torch posing for a photo with a group of local spectators during his Torch Relay through the poor neighborhoods of Rio.

Yunus addresses Olympic Committee in Rio

Yunus Centre Press Release (o4 August, 2016)

President Thomas Bach of the Olympic International Committee greets Professor Yunus as guest of honor in advance if the 129th Session of the IOC where Professor Yunus delivered the keynote address.

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus addressed the 129th Session of the International Olympic Committee on the morning of August 3 at the Oceanico Convention Centre in Rio de Janeiro.  He spoke on the theme of the potential of  social business, the Olympics and sports to work together to solve social problems, particularly bring opportunities to help those who are excluded from the global economic system.

The session was attended by more than two hundred Presidents of the Olympic Committees from around the world and their guests. Among the dignitaries present at the speech, which was moderated by Mr Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, were HRH Princess Anne of UK, HRH Prince Albert of Monaco and the HRH Crown Prince of Denmark, Grand Duke of Luxemburg.

Professor Yunus gave a 45 minute speech which was followed by a question and answer session. Fifteen members of committee asked questions on all aspects of social orientation of the IOC including on the topics of what candidates cities should do, what the Olympic legacy in each city should be, how social business can handle issues of criminality, what the retired Olympic athletes should do. The Q and A session lasted nearly 40 minutes exceeding the original 15 minutes allotted for that. The President of IOC, Mr Thomas Bach, joked that if he allowed all the questions then the opening session scheduled for August 5 may be delayed.

The session was live cast on IOC website and the link of the speech and Q and A was shared on Youtube by the IOC.
https://www.olympic.org/news/professor-muhammad-yunus-invites-olympic-movement-to-promote-entrepreneurship-and-social-business

After the IOC speech, Professor Yunus was invited to meet the Mayors of the Candidate Cities for the 2024 Olympics which included Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris and Mayor of Los Angeles, Budapest and Rome.

The President of IOC has invited Professor Yunus to attend the Welcome Ceremony of the team of Refugee athletes at the Olympic Village on August 3 evening, who are participating for the first time at the Olympics, have been given a special status and will be carrying the Olympic flag.

On August 4, Professor Yunus will participate in the Torch Relay as a torch bearer along with other celebrities in the last leg of the relay before the official opening of the Olympics on the evening of August 5.

Yunus Centre will post live video footage from the torch relay on the Muhamamd Yunus and Yunus Centre Facebook pages which may be shared by those who wish to do so.

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus addresses the 129th Session of the International Olympic Commission in Rio on August 3.

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus with the athletes of the Refugee Olympic Team after a ceremony in the Olympic Village to welcome them to the Rio  2016 games.

Nobel Laureate  Professor Yunus with the members of the dance team who welcome 6 new national teams including the Refugee Olympic Team to the Olympic Village on evening of august 3.

Yunus Social Business Centres Opened in Four Countries

Yunus Centre Press Release

Representatives of the Universities are with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus after the signing of the MoUs to establish four Yunus Social Business Centres at Universities in Spain, India, Thailand and Malaysia.

July 28, 2016
MoUs were signed today between Yunus Centre and universities in India, Malaysia,  and Spain to establish Yunus Social Business Centres (YSBC) at their institutions. Another will be signed tomorrow with the largest public university in Thailand.
These become part of a growing network of social business centres, linked with Professor Muhammad Yunus, around the world, bringing the total number of YSBCs to 26 in countries around the world. YSBCs develop and offer courses on social business for the students and business executives, also facilitate research in social business. The centers also serve as connecting hubs among academics, social business entrepreneurs and students who are interested in the practice of social business.

During the signing ceremonies an  MoU was signed for establishing YSBC at University Sains Malaysia. With around 30,000 students and three campuses, USM is one of the leading public universities of Malaysia located in Penang. Professor Dr. Azlan Amran, Dean, Graduate School of Business and Professor Muhammad Yunus, Chairman, Yunus Centre signed the MoU on behalf of respective organizations. 

Professor Yunus to be Honored as Olympic Torchbearer at the Opening of Olympic Games in Rio

Yunus Centre Press Release

Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus  with Mr Thomas Bach President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)  at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland in January 2016

August 2, 2016
Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is being honored to be an Olympic Torchbearer for the Olympic  Games in Rio, Brazil by the President of the International Olympic Committee Mr Thomas Bach. He is chosen to join the mission of spreading the spirit of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games throughout the world.

The Rio Olympic Torch relay began with the traditional Olympic flame lighting ceremony in the Greek city of Olympia, birthplace of the ancient Games, on 21 April, 2016. In Brazil, the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay started in the Brazilian capital Brasília on 3 May. After travelling more than three hundred cities throughout the country, it will end on 5 August 2016 during the Opening Ceremony at the Maracanã Stadium. Professor Yunus will bear the Olympic torch at the final leg of the relay in Rio on 4 August, 2016.

Professor Yunus will address the International Olympic Committee (IOC), attended by representatives of the national Olympic Committees from around the world, in Rio on August 4, 2016. He will speak on “Athletics, Social Business and SDGs – the New Vision of the World”. Professor Yunus will be jointly working with IOC to develop a social dimension to the athletics and the sports world, right from the grass root level to the global level. This will include all IOC events, venues and organizations to participate and create social businesses to address human problems around them.   

The Olympic Games began at Olympia in Greece in 776 BC. The games were held every four years from 776 BC to 393 AD. The ancient Olympic Games lasted for 1170 years. The first of the modern Summer Games opened on Sunday, March 24, 1896, in Athens, Greece. First Olympic Torch Relay started during the 1936 summer Olympic in Berlin, Germany.

Rio Olympic is the 31 edition of the modern day Olympic Games, where 42 different sports will be played.

Professor Yunus will be in Brazil from 2 to 9 August 2016.

Bangladesh’s Telephone Lady Programme Found Place at National Museum of Scotland

Yunus Centre Press Release

A visitor at the Village Phone display at the National Museum of Scotland

Dhaka, 21 July 2016
National Museum of Scotland located in the city of Edinburg, Scotland has opened ten new galleries in 2016 and one of them is on “Telephone Lady” of Bangladesh. The exhibition was officially launched on July 08, 2016 under the Science and Technology gallery.

National Museum of Scotland reached out to Grameen Telecom in February, 2015 with their interest in Village Phone. Grameen Telecom sent case studies,  newsletters, guide book and a range of equipments that was being used by a Telephone Lady during 1997 to 2000 to operate her phone business. The display includes Nokia handset, GSM Tester and a Signboard Stand.

Grameen Telecom launched its fascinating program, Village Phone on March 26, 1997, with a vision to bridge the technological gap between urban and rural Bangladesh through affordable mobile technology. This program was uniquely designed only for Grameen Bank borrowers. This is recognized the Museum as a significant breakthrough in technology to be recognized by the Technology Museum.

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