A Nobel Peace Prize winner and the founder of Grameen Bank and the microcredit movement, Muhammad Yunus has dedicated much of his life to helping the poorest in developing countries. The former economist is now traveling the world, promoting an idea for a new economic model that he calls social business.
The emphasis of social business, Yunus says, is not on making money, but rather unleashing human capability and valuing human creativity. Of all the natural resources, he argues, the most underutilized are humans themselves -- specifically the millions who are unemployed and living below the poverty line. But the real opportunities at bottom of the pyramid are not just to sell products, he adds.
In Abu Dhabi, Yunus spoke with Arabic Knowledge@Wharton about the Arab Spring, and how it reflects a transition of knowledge among generations. Optimistic about the change it represents, Yunus says a coming shift of influence from the West to the East is an opportunity to develop a new economic model for societies, and a chance to better utilize the collective ingenuity and abilities of people at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
Source: Arabic Knowledge@Wharton
Listen also to an earlier interview with Yunus about Grameen Bank and microcredit.
What began with a loan of $27 to 42 women in a small village 33 years ago has grown into a global microcredit movement that has changed the lives of millions of poor people around the world. Muhammad Yunus, founder and managing director of Bangladesh's Grameen Bank, was the guest speaker at Wharton's MBA commencement in 2009 and the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree. Yunus spoke with Knowledge@Wharton about his successes, challenges and upcoming initiatives.