On, November 6th,2020 the Yunus Environment Hub together with the Grameen Creative Lab and the Yunus Sports Hub held a Social Business Event Series combining their expertise on environment, sport for development with different thematic focal points. More than 700 like-minded people from around the globe came together to learn, discuss and interact on topics related to the impact of social business, specifically in the context of peacebuilding in Colombia and how social business is changing the traditional economy.
A Dialogue between Two Nobel Peace Prize Winners
Prof. Muhammad Yunus, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in creating socio-economic development from the base of the pyramid and former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos who received the same award for bringing more than fifty years of civil war in Colombia to an end, discussed peace building, social business and the post-COVID-19 sustainable reconstruction program in Colombia. The compelling discussion made 60 minutes seem phenomenally short and offered plentiful insights from two great minds with a lot of experience.
Ranging from insights into Amartya Sen´s capabilities approach and personal encounters with Nelson Mandela to the importance of sports, health and the environment in fighting inequality to a call to leave behind the profit maximization paradigm and turn to the concept of social business instead, this dialogue covered a broad range of topics. Both Nobel Peace Prize Laureates concurred that with imagination, creativity and passion, it is possible for us to change the way our economy works but that it needs efforts to show how this is done. A call to lead by example as well as a reassurance for everyone to pursue their own ideas to create impact.
Whoever is in search of a stimulating way to fill their lunch break, the video below should offer an adequate solution.
Peacebuilding and Environmental Protection
Yunus Environment Hub gave insights into its work in Colombia during the session “Entrepreneurship in the Colombian Amazon: Peacebuilding and Environmental Protection”. For the first time, we shared the results of our feasibility study “Entrepreneurship in the Colombian Amazon Region” which has been conducted during the course of 2020.
Furthermore, the collaboration with the “Bridges for Reconciliation” program of Fundación Compaz was shared and followed by a discussion about the opportunities and challenges faced by social businesses to generate sustainable economic opportunities in the region. Plentiful insights were guaranteed as the session featured experienced practitioners from Amazonía Emprende, the UNPD and Artesanías de Colombia.
Social Business Support Programs, Sports for Development and Social Business & Health
The Grameen Creative Lab, in their session “Social Business and Health – Humanism for Peace” touched upon a pressing matter during times of the COVID-19 pandemic. The session offered insights into the status quo on the Colombian healthcare system and how social business and modern technologies could accelerate healthcare in the future. The Yunus Sports Hub presented an engaging session on the connection between social business, sports and development, and peacebuilding. A social startup produced surfboard fins from recycled plastics and the Colombian Olympic Sports committee were only some of the panelists weighing in their experiences. During a third session, the finalists of the program “Social Business Incubation Program 2020” had a chance to present themselves: AMAVIT whose mission is to preserve the Amazon region through responsible production of Amazonic products in a sustainable relationship with the environment, and Manifiesta who design and produce clothing for women made by reincorporated FARC-EP.
All of the sessions can be found in full length on the Yunus Environment Hub YouTube Channel or be enjoyed in the following visual format.