Social business summit kicks off in Paris today
The eighth Global Social Business Summit begins in Paris today with an aim to find solutions to some of the world's most pressing needs through the business concept developed by Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus.
The two-day summit will take place at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris and will bring together more than 700 delegates from the private sector, civil society, governments and academia of the globe.
Prof Yunus and the City of Paris are jointly organising the event.
The annual gathering will foster discussion, collaboration and the sharing of best practices around social business and its positive impact, Yunus Centre in Dhaka said in a statement.
This year's edition titled “New Wave of Hope!” will focus on four key themes: Food and its Value, Plastic Pollution, Solidarity and Refugees, and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
World-class speakers, including Prof Muhammad Yunus; Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris; Joel Bouzou, president of World Olympians Association, and Thomas Gass, assistant secretary-general of the United Nations, will speak at the event.
In the statement, Prof Yunus said, "What we need is to think strategically about development, analysing a country's potential role in its region and the world in search of opportunities for growth. Platforms like the Global Social Business Summit can facilitate the process on bringing about change.”
Entrepreneurs in Paris and other cities in the world are constantly creating new projects that are both economically coherent and socially beneficial, Hidalgo said.
“It is crucial that we give them means and make this worldly generation capable of kindling new hopes with a forum.”
“The Global Social Business Summit is on this account a momentous occasion, as it enables all major international actors of this collaborative economy to work together, to share ideas and experiences, and to come up with new ambitions.”
Hidalgo aims to turn Paris into a hub of social business and start implementing this through the momentum of the 2024 Olympic Games.
Hans Reitz, head of the summit, said, "We have to show that we are a global movement with a thoughtful and powerful concept behind.”
The summit will also include a presentation and discussion about the latest book of Prof Yunus titled "A World of Three Zeros". In addition, a plastic exhibition will take place in front of the Paris City Hall.
The Global Social Business Summit began its journey in Germany in 2009. Subsequent events took place in Germany, Austria, Malaysia, Mexico and again in Germany.
Born out of Prof Yunus's experience from running the Nobel Prize-winning Grameen Bank, a social business is a non-dividend company to solve a social problem.
Like a non-governmental organisation, it has a social mission and like a firm it generates its own revenues to cover costs. Investors may recoup their investment.
All profits are reinvested for growth and innovation or to seed new social business ventures.