With the theme of “Creating a World without Poverty & Unemployment” the 7th Global Social Business Summit (GSBS) took place at the Tempelhof Airport in the city of Berlin, Germany, from November 4th-7th, 2015.
The four-day event, explored how social businesses can address each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were unveiled in September by the United Nations. The SDGs are a set of ambitious but achievable milestones that can change the world if carried out properly. SDGs will assist to eradicate poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and combat climate change. Grameen Creative Lab in Germany and the Yunus Centre in Bangladesh organized the event in partnership with German tourism agency visit Berlin, the YY Foundation of Germany and Yunus Social Business.
More than 1,000 participants from around 70 countries attended the programme. Some of the employees of Grameen Telecom Trust (GTT), mainly Managing Director of GTT, Ms. Parveen Mahmud, CEO of GTT, Mr. Md. Ashraful Hassan, Team Leader of Social Business & Program Support, Mr. Jayanta Kumer Bosu & Head of HR & Administration, Mr. Manjur Ahmed visited Germany to actively participate in the GSBS to make it a success. However, Chairman of GTT, Dr Muhammad Yunus was not able to attend the summit in person due to ill health. Despite his sudden illness, Professor Yunus was very positive about the success of the summit.
Other than the SDGs, topics such as the Three Zeros (zero poverty, zero unemployment, zero carbon emission), the social business ecosystem, and fostering partnerships to create social impact was discussed.
In the parallel session 1 ‘Spreading Social Business from Bangladesh into the World’, which took place on day 1 of the GSBS 2015, many members of the Grameen family took part like Mr. Huzzatul Islam Latifee, Managing Director of Grameen Trust, Ms. Parveen Mahmud, Managing Director of Grameen Telecom Trust and Mr. Md. Ashraful Hassan, Managing Director of Grameen Telecom. The session was moderated by Ms. Lamiya Morshed, Executive Director of Yunus Centre.
In day 2 of GSBS 2015, Ms. Parveen Mahmud participated in the parallel session 5 “Social Business all around the globe – a status quo”. Ms. Parveen Mahmud & Mr. Md. Ashraful Hassan also participated in the Social Business Learning & Innovation Fund (SBLIF) workshop in day 1 of the GSBS 2015, where they discussed about the social business projects under GTT and their impact in the society. Mr. Jayanta Kumer Bosu participated in the focus group discussion on Nobin Udyokta (New Entrepreneurs) workshop in day 2 of GSBS 2015 where he discussed the NU Program in detail and how the program is assisting in turning unemployment into entrepreneurship.