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The 14th Social Business Day 2024 kicks off in Manila

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The 14th Social Business Day 2024, hosted by Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and organized by Yunus Centre is being held in Manila from June 27-28, 2024 at the SMX Aura Convention Center in Philippines. This year’s theme is “Social business- An Exit route from the current self-destructive civilization”. Additionally, on June 29, 2024, the Academia Dialogue and the 3ZERO Club Convention will be hosted as well.

Social Business Day is an annual event gathering that platforms the accumulated experiences of social business leaders and entrepreneurship to give shape to the future. This year, the event is being implemented in partnership Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc. (NWTF), a renowned Filipino non-governmental organization founded in 1984 that aims to help women achieve self-sufficiency and self-reliance across low-income and depressed urban and rural communities. The company first replicated the Grameen Bank microcredit methodology in 1989.

The theme of the conference, “Social Business: An Exit Route from the Current Self-Destructive Civilisation,” revolves around the idea that social business can play a transformative role in steering humanity away from destructive practices. By emphasizing social and environmental responsibility, social business aims to create a positive impact on society, fostering sustainability and addressing the challenges posed by our current civilization’s harmful trajectory. This theme encourages a shift towards more conscientious and purpose-driven economic models to promote a healthier and more sustainable future.

There are more than 120 globally prominent speakers, 10 country forums, 7 plenary sessions, 6 workshops  in these two days. More than 400 registered participants from 27 countries are joining globally.

This significant conference started with the Welcome Remarks from Ms Lamiya Morshed, Executive Director, Yunus Centre and the Co-organizer of the event, Ms Suzzette D Gaston, Executive Director, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc.

The 40th Anniversary Commemoration of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Professor Muhammad Yunus was also held during the event. Susan B. Afan, President, Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation commemorated the event and showcased how influential the work of Professor Yunus continues to be for current and future social entrepreneurs.

Notable speakers on the first day include Mikaela Cojuangco Jaworski, IOC Executive Board Member, Philippines, Suzzette D Gaston, Executive Director, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc., Bhargav Dasgupta, Vice-President (Market Solutions), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Susanna B. Afan, President, Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, Shahidul Alam, Managing Director, Drik, Lynette Ortiz, President, Landbank of the Philippines, Audrey Tangonan, Founder, Sinaya Cup, Dr. Aris Alip, Founder & CEO, CARD MRI, Philippines and Lamiya Morshed, Executive Director Yunus Centre.

On the first day sessions such as “Sport and Peace: How Sport can Build Peaceful and Inclusive Societies” and “Social Business & Microcredit to Build a New Civilization” will share the latest developments which will be followed by the launch of the new healthcare app “Shukhee” by Grameen Digital Health. Dr. Tobias Silberzahn, Partner, McKinsey & Company, Inc. will be co presenting at the launching ceremony.

A new Yunus Social Business Centre was launched at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand during the program, in an agreement with Yunus Centre. This was the 109th YSBC globally working to promote social business in academia and beyond.

10 Country Forums for countries and regions where the social business concept is in practical use are planned to be held. Country Forums for Brazil, Philippines, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, Japan, India, Malaysia and others will be devoted to sharing experiences, exploring potential, and analysing the actual practice of social businesses within each country, or group of countries. The discussion will take place in the language of that country, and will be headed by practitioners of these different countries.

We have been destroying the planet in many ways when it comes to the environment. Businesses and industries play a significant role in creating self-destruction. We have already pushed the earth towards its limits, with businesses creating negative impacts on it. Addressing these issues requires a collective effort to promote sustainable practices, social justice, responsible governance, and ethical behavior on both individual and societal levels.

By recognizing and showcasing successful social businesses, which are non-dividend businesses aimed at solving human problems, we highlight the transformative potential of businesses in addressing pressing global challenges. Social Business Day serves as a catalyst for discussions on how businesses can contribute to solutions for societal issues, ultimately fostering a collective commitment to positive change.

The conference will be an exciting event and will help us move forward with our vision to build a world of three zeros — zero net carbon emission, zero wealth concentration to ending poverty, and zero unemployment by unleashing entrepreneurship in all.

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