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Yunus on European Social Business Tour: Explaining Autonomous Intelligence, Social Procurement, Nobin Entrepreneurs & Paris Olympics

Yunus on European Social Business Tour: Explaining Autonomous Intelligence, Social Procurement, Nobin Entrepreneurs & Paris Olympics

Yunus Centre Press Release – May 19, 2024

 

Nobel laureate Professor Yunus was hosted by the Fondazione Milano Cortina, which organized an event titled "Meet the Partners," with the well-known global brands supporting the Milano Cortina Winter Olympics 2026. The purpose of the meeting was for Professor Yunus to explain the objectives and contents of the Social Olympics to the partners and answer their questions so that they can prepare their participation to suit the overall social objectives for the games. Among the partners who attended the event were VISA, Samsung, Randstad, and others. Professor Yunus elaborated on the concept of social business and clarified all related issues. Later, a presentation was made on The Impact 2026 Programme, an initiative jointly created and conducted by Fondazione Milano Cortina 2026, Yunus Sports Hub, and Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini.

 

In Paris, Professor Yunus was received at the head office of Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation. Besides reviewing the progress of the Foundation's programs, of which Professor Yunus is the Founder and Board Member, he recorded an interview with Madame Veronique Faujour, General Delegate of Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation, on microcredit and social business from the perspective of women's empowerment. They also reviewed the progress of the Nobin Equity Programme in Dakar, Senegal, operated by "Yunus France" with the support of the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation.

 

Impact2 is the global conference organized by INCO, a French incubator, and the city government of Paris. Professor Yunus was invited to speak by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris. He addressed the audience about the opportunities and risks of technology, particularly related to climate issues.

 

At Paris City Hall, Professor Yunus addressed a large audience on the future of technology in the context of AI's rapid expansion. He attended the annual event called Impact2, organized by the City of Paris. The session was also addressed by Garet Davies, Secretary of State for the Treasury (UK), Sasha Luccioni, an AI & Climate Change Lead, and other speakers. In his speech, Professor Yunus proposed dividing technology into two categories: one is fast-expanding, super-intelligent technology controlled by human beings, which he called Artificial Intelligence or AI. The other category, which does not exist today but will be deliberately developed, or it will suddenly show up unintentionally because of greed motive, will be completely free from human control. This technology, he argued, will make decisions independently without any human intervention, help, or guidance, pursuing its own objectives and mobilizing its own resources. He called this category of technology Autonomous Intelligence or 'AtI' He warned that this technology could bring an end to human existence on this planet.

 

He said that the real issue is not about expanding the power of technology but about human beings deciding what they want to accomplish with a given technology. With present technology, we can eliminate poverty, make the world free from diseases, and overcome global warming if we dedicate technology for those purposes. However, he pointed out that we have decided to drive technology to make money. By creating super technology, we will only help a few people will continue to accumulate super wealth non-stop, while healthcare for all and global warming will continue to be ignored or worsen, driven by greed. He emphasized that we must define our purposes correctly and use technology accordingly.

 

Professor Yunus was interviewed by Jeanne Cassard, an eminent journalist from the front line newspaper of France, La Croix. The interview focused on microcredit, social business, the upcoming Paris Olympics, and the social business aspects of the Olympics.

 

Professor Yunus attended an exclusive high-level discussion with a long-time supporter of microcredit and social business, Claudia Belli, Head of Inclusive Finance and Relations with Civil Society at BNP Paribas. Her team presented the details of the new partnership between Yunus France and BNP Paribas, including support for entrepreneurship, social procurement, and Nobin Equity. BNP Paribas is a world leading multinational and universal bank and financial services company headquartered in Paris.

 

In a separate meeting at the head office of L'Oréal, Professor Yunus met with "the L'Oréal Funds for Women" team, headed by Ms. Pauline Avenel-Lam and Ms. Laura Barroso, and discussed the Degg Na La Program run by Yunus France. The program aims to support 2,500 women in Dakar, Senegal, with entrepreneurship and financial education, and support their entrepreneurial projects, inspired by the Nobin Entrepreneurs Model created by Professor Yunus in Bangladesh.

 

Professor Yunus later met with a group of young entrepreneurs at a discussion session organized by Social Tides. Social Tides aims to empower aspiring social entrepreneurs to develop projects with a social, environmental, or cultural impact. Social Tides is co-funded by Google Foundation.

 

Professor Yunus spoke about social business at an event organized by INCO. INCO is a global organization devoted to building a new economy that is environmentally sustainable and socially responsible in 50 countries. INCO invests in 110 impact companies and has trained 200,000 people globally.

 

The next day, Professor Yunus traveled to the district of Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris for a round table discussion with public and private stakeholders from both France and the EU called Microfuture.

 

Professor Yunus was invited by Stephane Troussel, President of Saint-Denis, the poorest district of Paris, and Mélissa Youssouf, Vice President of the district, and Mathieu Alesi, Deputy Director of Employment, Insertion, and Social Economy from Seine-Saint-Denis district, to speak at Microfuture, an initiative to discuss and share best practices about the future of microfinance, financed by the European Union Interregional Fund.

 

Professor Yunus shared his experience with microcredit in Bangladesh and the USA. He described venture capital for unemployed people. He challenged the audience to ensure there will be no person dependent on welfare in Saint-Denis, making it a welfare-free part of Paris.

 

Photo caption: 1. Professor Yunus was a speaker at the session on AI and Climate change, held in the Hotel de Ville, City Hall of Paris, with Garet Davies, Secretary of State for the Treasury (UK), Sasha Luccioni, an AI & Climate Change Leader, and other speakers.

Photo caption: 2. Professor Yunus and Claudia Belli, Head of Inclusive Finance and Relations with Civil Society at BNP Paribas and her team in a meeting to prepare the content of the new partnership between Yunus France and BNP Paribas. The partnership aims at providing support to entrepreneurship, social procurement and nobin equity.

Photo caption: 3. Professor Yunus being interviewed by Veronique Faujour, General Delegate of Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation where they talked about microcredit, social business particularly related to women empowerment.

Photo caption: 4. In Milan, Professor Yunus was hosted by the Fondazione Milano Cortina which organized an event called "Meet the Partners" to explain to the partners of the 2026 Olympic Games. Partners included VISA, Samsung and Randstad.

Photo caption: 5. Professor Yunus with Olympics logo in Rome. Social procurement and social business principles have been adopted as key features of the Paris Olympics 2024, and Milano Cortina Winter Olympics 2026.

Photo caption: 6. Professor Yunus was invited by the President of the local government of the district of Seine-Saint-Denis of Paris to speak at the event Microfuture, an initiative to discuss and share best practices about the future of microfinance.

Photo caption: 7. Professor Yunus talked to a group of young entrepreneurs at a discussion session organised by Social Tides, a leading NGO of France.  Social Tides aims to empower aspiring social entrepreneurs to develop projects with a social, environmental or cultural impact. It is co-funded by Google Foundation.

Photo caption: 8. Prof Yunus met the Executives of L’Oreal Funds for Women, Ms. Pauline Avenel-Lam and Ms. Laura Barroso, to discuss the Degg Na La Program run by Yunus France. The program aims to support 2500 women in Dakar, Senegal with entrepreneurship and financial education, and support their entrepreneurial project, inspired by the Nobin Entrepreneurs Model created in Bangladesh.

Photo caption: 9.  Prof Yunus was invited by Stephane Troussel, Président, Mélissa Youssouf, Vice Président and Mathieu Alesi, Deputy Director to Employment, Insertion and Social Economy from Seine Saint Denis district.

 

END

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