Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus was invited as a keynote speaker at the Trento Festival of Economics on June 4 in Trento, Italy. The conference held over four days focused on Social entrepreneurship for sustainable economic development. Eight Nobel Laureates, more than 75 academic speakers, 20 of the most important international and national economists, 26 representatives of the most important European and national institutions and 11 Italian Ministers participated in this annual event of national interest.
The festival is organized by the 24 ORE Group and Trentino Marketing on behalf of the Autonomous Province of Trento, with the contribution of the Municipality and the University of Trento. Organizers and participants agreed that the highlight of the second day’s deliberations was the speech delivered at the Social Theatre by Muhammad Yunus.
Professor Yunus talked about how to build a new civilization before the current civilization destroys us completely. He focused on how social business can become the most important step toward building a new civilization. He invited the youth to make a firm commitment to creating a workplace of 3ZEROs.
Alessia Maccaferri, a journalist for Il Sole 24 Ore moderated the session. She asked him how the youth can start their path in social business to which Yunus replied, “It is not about starting with deep experience, it is about deep commitments. Experiences may lead you to the wrong path. If I were an experienced banker, I would not be able to create microcredit. All you need to have is an intense desire to solve an existing problem. You don’t need to start big. Always start with a tiny step.” Yunus presented his campaign to create 3ZERO Clubs, and touched on the urgent climate issues, drawing applause.
The Minister for Equal Opportunities Elena Bonetti, the Minister of Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti and Minister for Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani, Erika Stefani, Italian Minister for Disabilities, Mauro Gambetti, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Vatican State along with other Italian and international dignitaries were present.
A series of national television and radio interviews followed where Yunus reiterated the message of how we can still rescue ourselves from this path of destruction by focusing on solving social problems through social business.
Professor Yunus joined the VIP dinner held in Villa Madruzzo where Paolo Gentiloni, EU Commissioner (Minister) on Economy and Former Italian Prime Minister (2016-2018) had an exclusive discussion on the issue of making vaccines patent-free, and setting up social business pharmaceutical companies.
Yunus was interviewed in a series of national television and radio where Yunus reiterated the message of how we must turn away from the path of extinction and focus on solving our problems through social businesses.
Europe’s rising singer, songwriter Mahmood came to perform at the festival. He requested the organizers arrange a meeting with Professor Yunus.
Mahmood was born in Italy to Tunisian parents. He is a 29-year-old superstar singer, and songwriter in Europe and has more than 4 million social media followers. His music videos on YouTube were viewed more than half a billion times so far. In Europe, for his music sales, he was awarded 10 x Gold and 24 x Platinum Records.
They spent forty minutes together talking about what role young people can play in creating a world of 3Zeros. Professor Yunus explained his worry about the future of the world. He explained that he believes that we must build a new civilization before the current civilization destroys us completely. Young people like Mahmood can play a key role in creating a new civilization. Professor Yunus invited him to take a personal role in creating commitments in young people to do it. Mahmood readily agreed to do whatever he can do. He wants to work with Professor Yunus for encouraging young people to create 3ZERO clubs globally. More follow-up meetings are planned. Professor Yunus invited Mahmood to visit Bangladesh.
Prof. Yunus left Trento to travel to Turin, Italy to speak at the “Festival Internazionale dell Economia”.