Yunus Centre AIT Hosts 11th SBAC with Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus
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Yunus Centre AIT Hosts 11th SBAC with Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus

Nobel Peace Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus leads discussions on redesigning economics for social good at the 11th Social Business Academia Conference.

The 11th Social Business Academia Conference (SBAC) commenced with a captivating keynote speech by Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate 2006, Chairman, Yunus Centre. The conference took place on April 1-2, 2024, co-hosted with Professor Muhammad Yunus and the Yunus Centre in Dhaka, by the Yunus Center at the Asian Institute of Technology (YCA) and the Yunus Thailand Foundation. The conference theme was "Social Business Research – Objectives, Methodologies & Priorities".

In his speech, Professor Muhammad Yunus emphasised the crucial role of academia in addressing societal issues. He advocated for an economic system redesign to combat poverty and global challenges. He underscored the power of young people in driving change and urged collective action on pressing global issues such as unchecked artificial intelligence and climate change. He called for a new civilization that prioritises humanity and problem-solving over profit. 

Prof. Yunus congratulated YCA for its 15th anniversary and praised their unconventional approach to problem-solving. He appreciated AIT's decision to establish the Yunus Center and emphasised its significance in paving the way for innovative solutions.

The conference showcased 26 academic papers and ongoing research from 7 different tracks on Social Business, along with 4 plenaries covering crucial topics moderated by senior members of the social business academia network. 

Prof. Faiz Shah, Executive Director of YCA and President, Yunus Thailand, expressed his delight at being able to welcome Professor Yunus back to AIT for the conference, which also coincides with the 15th anniversary of YCA. He expressed satisfaction at the participation from both young entrepreneurs and partners during the conference, in addition to the academic papers and projects. 

The event registered 235 participants from 29 countries, with delegates representing university leadership, students, academics, researchers, and supporters of Professor Yunus’ work worldwide, fostering dialogue on innovative solutions.

Two projects showcased by the Yunus team in Thailand garnered significant interest.  One was the Seaweed Social Business Pilot, established by Yunus Thailand in collaboration with the Scottish Association of Marine Science, now working with 60 women entrepreneurs cultivating high-value seaweed species in Satun, southern Thailand, Baling Kedah, Malaysia and Bacolod, Visayas, the Philippines. And the other was the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Knowledge Hub (WEFnex) established at Yunus Center AIT together with Rizq Foundation to design and implement evidence-based policy and program interventions in this critical area.

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