Unlike traditional business, social business operates for the benefit of addressing social needs that enable societies to function more efficiently. Social business provides a necessary framework for tackling social issues by combining business know-how with the desire to improve quality of life. Therefore instead of being self-focused social business is all about others.
On November 12th we organized our last Salon Event for 2011, focusing on social business with remarkable speakers: Prof. Yunus, Cameron Sinclair, Masaharu Okada, Saskia Bruysten and more.
Professor Muhammad Yunus is the founder of the Grameen Bank, which currently has almost 2,500 branches providing loans to more than 8,3 million borrowers in more than 80,000 villages in Bangladesh. He developed the concept which is at the core of Grameen Bank: banking without collateral for the poorest of the poor. This business model also became the paradigm for numerous microfinance initiatives worldwide and is considered as the „mother“ of the social business concept. Grameen Bank borrowers are also the owners of the bank. Prof. Yunus and the Grameen Bank were together awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. He is also founder of around 40 other social businesses, companies and other organisations that all have the Goal to alleviate Poverty.
Hans Reitz spent 7 years living a simple life in Southern India and can relate to problems of poverty. In 1992 he joined Natural Shakti, a forest farming company cultivating coffee and spices in Kumily/ Kerala, India, as a partner. 2 years later he founded the event and creative communication agency “circ”. Hans Reitz is also co-founder of the cafe chain Perfect Day since 2004. The foundation of “circ responsibility”, a CR consultancy, followed in 2009. Besides his business life, Hans Reitz has always engaged in social projects which accelerate responsible freedom. He was the initiator of the Talent-Project – a school program – in 2008. In collaboration with Prof. Yunus, he founded The Grameen Creative Lab in Wiesbaden in 2008.
In 1979, Prof. Okada joined NTT, in which he was mainly in charge of international business management, especially, international legal management including intellectual property license, lobbing, public relations, internet business projects. In NTT-America (1988~1994), as General Counsel, he was in charge of management of legal, public relations, personnel and research. In NTT-X (1994~2001), he was in charge of internet business developments of NTT and alliances with starting-up companies in the field of internet area in and out of Japan. In 2001, retired NTT, and joined Kyushu University in the following year. In the University, he is teaching at the Law School such as “Cyber Law”, “International Corporate Law” and “Contract Writing”. At the same time, he is supporting industry-university collaboration projects in IMAQ.
Mrs. Bruysten is CEO and Strategic Director of the Grameen Creative Lab. She was a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, Munich and New York, has a Master in International Relations from London School of Economics and a Master in Business Administration from European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel, Germany. During her formation, she studied abroad in Argentina and the US. Mrs. Bruysten was named Generation CEO 2010 member.
Ronald John Garan, Jr. (born October 30, 1961) is a NASA astronaut. After graduating from State University of New York College at Oneonta in 1982, he joined the Air Force, becoming a Second Lieutenant in 1984. He became an F-16 pilot, and flew combat missions in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Before becoming an astronaut he was the Operations Officer of the 40th Flight Test Squadron (FTS). He first flew in space as a Mission Specialist on the STS-124 mission to the International Space Station (ISS). He returned to ISS on 4 April 2011 for a six-month stay as a member of Expedition 27.
Fionn has a diploma in Industrial Design from the UdK-Berlin (University of the Arts). He went from being Company Brand Manager for MOOZ! Advertisement /Riga to Innovation Team Designer for Adam Opel GmbH | GM Global Technology. Besides being now the Co-founder of “Shit Rules“, Mr. Dobbin is also the founder and Creative Director of “Mammu“, a social business fashion company.
2006 TED Prize winner Cameron Sinclair is co-founder of Architecture for Humanity, a nonprofit that seeks architecture solutions to global crises – and acts as a conduit between the design community and the world’s humanitarian needs. A regular contributor to the sustainability blog Worldchanging.com, Sinclair is now working on the Open Architecture Network, born from the wish he made when he accepted the 2006 TED Prize: to build a global, open-source network where architects, governments and NGOs can share and implement design plans to house the world.
Mrs. Mosher is an award winning filmmaker who brings socially conscious films to the public. After graduating with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Holly produced a number of commercials and feature films. In 2004 she made her directorial debut with the documentary, Hummingbird. Afterwards, she produced the critically acclaimed films Side Effects, starring Katherine Heigl, and the follow-up documentary Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety. Currently, Holly is in production on her second directorial project, Bonsai, where she is following the work of the Nobel Peace Prize winning Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank. Hollywood Reporter named her one of the top up-and-coming independent film producers.
In April 2006, Mr. Dalbokov took over the CEO position at Erste Bank Serbia (shortly after its acquisition), to lead the transformation and integration process into the Erste Bank Group. Became CEO of good.bee Holding in January 2009, the microfinance and social entrepreneurship initiative of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation. Developed the business strategy and operating models for good.bee’s launch throughout the Erste Group. Joined the managing board of the Steiermarkische Sparkasse in Graz, Austria in October 2010 to assume the strategic development responsibility for the banks international operations. Married with two sons. Likes rock & roll and moderately alternative things for a better world.