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When Julie met Yunus

24th November 2011

Yesterday was a very special day. I finally got to meet one of my true inspirations in my work on social enterprise – Professor Muhammad Yunus. http://bit.ly/uF7gln

Travelling back from the event gave me plenty of time to consider how his inspiration can help me and others here at Cosmic to build our own social enterprise and scale even more of the social issues facing our communities.  The major challenge for me is to further understand and effectively translate from the agenda of dealing with extreme poverty in Bangladesh to the very different issues facing the UK. And I do believe that digital inclusion, digital democracy and improving communication, learning and economic success should remain the key drivers for our social business.

Its been several years now since I started to understand the work he has been doing in Bangladesh and the developments at Grameen. Any readers who don’t know about their work then please find time to read and watch –

http://www.grameenfoundation.org
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwLjb63q3Yk&feature=player_embedded
http://vimeo.com/24935201

With such clarity of vision, determination, resilience and passion for the change he can make in the world, Professor Yunus is one of the shining stars of social business and has proven just how much potential the model has now and well into the future.  Grameen now has developed a range of social businesses on the back of its innovative work with Danone Communities – which in itself provides brilliant examples of how large corporate business and local social impact can be achieved on a massive scale – you can read more about that here – 
http://www.muhammadyunus.org/images/stories/in_the_media/GDFL_BP_210510.pdf

During discussions yesterday Professor Yunus made it clear just how far he wanted the innovations in this joint venture to go – by challenging Danone first to come up with fully biodegradable packaging for the yoghurt products, and since then he has been back to the Danone laboratories and development centre seeking to progress further – to a fully edible container. In his words “if we can do it with ice creams, then why not with youghurt”.