A world with 3 “ZEROS”

[Kenny Sim]

After a good night rest, I am able to empty my glass and to be ready to be inspired and inspire through the conversation and stories in Global Social Business Summit 2017. We are blessed with an amazing French opera during the opening and the first discussion of the day was about the food industry.

The conversation was revolving about how to make food industry “sexy” and what is the responsibility of making good food while preserving our planet. There is a various social business that works to impact not just our taste buds but also our society. One example is Les Cuitots Migrateurs, a social business that works in catering where they hire chefs that migrants or refugees from all around the world to prove that they are not someone different or of a threat to a society but to bring new taste and food experience to our society. What’s intriguing for me is to understand that to change the food industry, education is important for us of how the food value chain works and how food connects to nature and the people who live in it.

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Throughout the day as well, we also revisit questions like how social business affects the Olympic games where the city of Paris are ensuring that 100% of the food is sustainable, locally made and organic. Also, there is a conversation with the Action Tank Hub, to understand how corporates are working in a social business. One very interesting fact that is that a lot of corporates are actually supporting social business is because it helps the company to have innovation, where they can find new ways to create new markets, products and ideas on top of the fact that the company strives for a better world.

My highlight in the day was in the workshop for Yunus Center in Thailand (AIT) where we are able to solve problems faced by a corporate and specifically on which Sustainable Development Goal to develop on with the society. Throughout the workshop, what I realized is that the session was simulated in a situation where we did not have enough time and context.

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This is where I realized this is what it is in social business context as well, we will never have enough time, money, resources or the right environment, but what matters is that we always move forward even with the restrictions. One of the interesting social businesses in Thailand is like the Mechai Bamboo School, where it is a rural Thai school that supports rural development for Thai kids and it follows the concept of moderation from the late Thai king. An interesting fact of it is that the parents pay by providing plantation or planting vegetation as fees.

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Later in the day, there was a panel that discussed a world with 3 zeros, a book that Prof. Muhammad Yunus has just published where he discussed the world with zero poverty, zero unemployment, and zero carbon emission. One of the biggest learning I derive from the conversation is that the social problems of the world are defined by our current system. It is the systemic problem that we need to fix it because no matter how we go about it, the current system is made to leave people behind, therefore causes problems like the wealth concentration.

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The problem of the world is like a maze that we are in right now. The route to be out of the maze that proposes by Prof. Muhammad Yunus is through social business and that’s where everyone is an entrepreneur and together as a community we can bring the change to the world and this is what reassures me that I am on the right path in social business.

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