After more than 4 hours journey and delayed flight to India, it was still a valuable thing for me to join the 8th Social Business Day (SBD2018) in Bengaluru, India. The conference started with an energetic and inspiring talk themed “A World of Three Zeros: Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, Zero Net Carbon Emissions. It underscores Professor Yunus’s vision of creating a world where there will be no poverty, no unemployment, and no environmental threats. This vision was also shared by Prof Yunus with the world through his book “A World of Three Zeros’. This conference also made me be able to understand more about social business, how it operates and what is an impact that we can achieve through social business.
We are blessed to witness the amazing opening remarks by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. During his speech, he said that “ The pride of human being is we have the power to take care of ourselves and the world”. Meaning, we as human have the opportunity to help other people and give an impact in their life. In addition, that is made possible through social business. By listening to his speech, I was inspired to help other people to have a better life and at the same time, they to have another opportunity to help other people also.
The first day of #SBD2018 started with an opening session “A World of Three Zeros” moderated by Professor Muhammad Yunus. Emmanuel Faber, CEO of Danone, one of the panelists, said that “do not wait for the system to change, but instead we need to change first”. In the forum, he spoke about how we as a human can create an impact on other people and make a small difference. We don’t necessarily have to do something big to make an impact. A small change can make big difference.
The discussion by the panelists kept bringing my thoughts back to our local Malaysia SE; Bluebear owned by Anja Juliah Abu Bakar who sells Athena pad, reusable sanitary and maternity pads that help reduce garbage in landfills. Anja educates hygiene among girls and address drop-out issues due to menstruation problem. This is because some of them could not afford pads and the only option they have unhygienic alternatives like to use old clothes. While listening to the discussion, it was like a“tap” to my heart that, we should never stop helping others and make this world a better place for living.
I had a flourish excitement for the second-day which started with panel session “converting unemployment into entrepreneurship”, moderated by Dr. Michael Roy, Senior Lecturer of Social Business, Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health. During the session, we were discussing changing the career from “work for others” to ‘work for ourselves’ through social business. The opinions from the panelists were really inspiring, it made me understand about the entrepreneurship world and to know the challenges in the social entrepreneurship world.
When we talk about social entrepreneurship or mainstream business, our main concern is about money or funding. One of the panelists, Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder and Chairperson Mann Deshi Foundation said that “courage is capital to start a business”, by looking at this quote, I concluded that the main thing when we involve in social entrepreneurship or business is, ourselves not others. Like Aristotle, he perceives courage as the first virtue because it makes all of the other virtues possible.
Later in the day, there was a country forum session, consisted of Malaysia, Australia, and the Philippines. In the country forum session, we were able to share what is going on in Malaysia, specifically in the social business arena. We also talked about the challenges faced and moving forward plans after #SBD2018. One of the biggest learning I derive from this session is that every country has challenges in promoting or bringing social business on par with normal business. However, we should not see it as a problem, but perceive it as “motivation’ to achieve the biggest impact. Looking forward to being a part in the SBD again!