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Foundation Norman Macrae (The Economist's Unacknowledged Giant) wanted to continue Norman's wish that Scotland could play as constructive a role as possible in mediating world trade between countries in the generation he celebrated in 1984 as being responsible for mobilising the future's "death of distance". Hence his last articles on why the world of the 2010s should celebrate every mobilisation that young people can entrepreneneur in trading with the sustainability and social solutions that Bangladlesh's first 40 years have networked. Here is the remembrance brochure used to celebrate Norman's wishes at The Economist Boardoom wake for Norman in November 2010.

 

And this video provides Afore Ye Go toasts to the West's leading pro-youth economist.

One of the spinoffs of Norman's goodwill multiplying beliefs involves Scotland helping any way it can in mediating world trades between 2 countries who could thrive by open sourcing as much of their youth's social solution franchises as possible. Hence what we call the triad approach starting with

1 : tell us if there are any ways Scotland can help India and Bangladesh thrive in such collaboration. For example, can the genre of Journals celebrating pro-youth economics launched worldwide out of Glasgow help India and Bangladesh edit a special issue on this theme.  

Some would say that Adam Smith started to design the worldwide exploration of fvree trade between peoples that economics values because he had given up on Scotland ever getting uncolonised from England but 1 wanted to help countries like France never to be colonies; 2 wanted countries when they uncolonised themselves to celebrate trade as fast as possible with their geographic neighbours. 

 A Short History of the Parts Internationalist Scots Played in Entrepreneurial Revolution Sans Frontieres

Just after 1700 the european country that had invested most in education (its next generation) suffered an economic disaster. An international financial scam caused Scots to lose more than half of their savings. A hostile takeover from England was the only way out, and while this was branded Great Britain" it actually meant colonisation of Scots by the English. It is in this context that I personally read Adam Smith whose 250th cenetnary of Moral Sentimenst was celebrated by Dr Yunus in Glasgow 2008.

What I know for a fact is 2 things that happened just before 1850. 1) By then half of Scots had emigrated to be one of the worldwide Diaspora networks. England's global accountants came up to Scottish Lairds with the rule that sheep were to be treated as more profitable quarterly than humans. My twice great grand father was busy hosting sunday conflict resolution meetings which people of the isle of arran walked hours to get to- in which the peoples negotiated costs of shippage to emigrate. Another Scot entrepreneurially revolted in a different way. James Wilson having decided that scottish workers at his hat factory couldnt work any harder but were still on the breadline went down to London to become an MP determined to sack the vested interest half of the politicians infesting congress (oops) I mean parliament. To assist him in this venture he started a newspaper in 1843 with 2 goals - to end hunger and to end capital abuse of youth. The newspaper is called The Economist. And its centenary bigraphy in 1943 makes the most cheerful reading for all who believe that economics started out as exploring the societal the ways and means of helping peoples invest in the their next generation;s productivity and community sustainability. In under 17 year James had converted Queen Victoria to believing that she should stop reigning over slavemaking and become the hub of commonwealth. Unfortunatlely for James she welocmed the suggestion that she should charter a bank for the poor which James should start up in Calcutta as a entrepreneurial way forward to reforming top-down Raj Economics. James died 9 months into that assignment in 1860 of diarrhea which BRAC's knowhow networks now cure with water, salt and sugar mixed appropiately (oral rehydration). Anyhow it is in this spirit that those who celebarte entrepreneurial revolution love to see progress in Bangaldeshi and Indian people helping each other grow sustainable trades. And the efforts of Dr Yunus in this regard are worth diarising- simply as a person trying to help other peoples, This is why we collect the pieces on this web apge. If we have missed some deep cross-cultral subtleties please blame this entirely on the impudence of this nomadic scot who would just like families to develop everywhere through free trade and investing in the cerativuty that each chilkd is born with. In other words any errors on this page are mine alone; any ideas to celebrate are those of Grameen Bank's Founder

Social Business - A Step Toward Creating a New Economic and Social Order

Professor Muhammad Yunus
Grameen Bank, Bangladesh

Lecture delivered at the joint-meeting of the members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha of India, in Delhi on December 9, 2009

Dec 09 2009

Social Business - A Step Toward Creating a New Economic and Social Order

Professor Muhammad Yunus
................................................................................................................................................

Grameen Bank, Bangladesh

Lecture delivered at the joint-meeting of the members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha of India, in Delhi on December 9, 2009

Hon'ble Vice President, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Hon'ble Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Hon'ble Members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a great honor and privilege for me to deliver the second Annual Memorial Parliamentary Lecture in honor of the formidable academician and parliamentarian, Professor Hirendranath Mukerjee. I am very proud to pay my respects to an individual whose commitment to social justice spanned over 60 years, until his death in 2004.

Hiren Babu’s commitment to the plight of the oppressed and exploited during his entire life has inspired many.  His gift of oratory has captivated and enlightened individuals across the political spectrum.  Indeed, Hiren Babu's faith in the ability of his fellow human beings to help themselves reflects my own beliefs about the innate ability of all people, including the poor, to change their own lives for the better.

Professor Hirendranath Mukerjee has been one of the 20th century’s best examples of the intellectual prowess in South Asia. If our human resources are nurtured and simply given a chance to grow, I am certain we can all change our economic and social situations dramatically.

So I pay tribute to the memory of this great son of the region who dedicated himself to improving life for the people at the bottom of society.

Professor Mukerjee tried to address the poverty issue politically.  I first got involved in it as an academician, and then personally, almost by accident.  I got involved with poverty because it was all around me.  The famine of 1974 pushed me out of the university campus. In disaster situations, most of us take up our social roles unhesitatingly.  But in my case what began in a time of crisis became a life-long calling.  I gave up my academic position and founded a bank - a bank for the poor.

Enslaved by the Money Lenders
In 1974, I found it extremely difficult to teach elegant theories of economics in the classroom while a terrible famine was raging outside.  Suddenly I felt the emptiness of economic theories in the face of crushing hunger and poverty.  I realized that I had to leave the campus and somehow make myself useful to the distressed people of Jobra, the neighboring village. 

In trying to discover what I could do to help, I learned many things about Jobra, about the poor people, and about their helplessness.  I came face to face with the struggle of poor people to find the tiniest amounts of money needed to support their efforts to eke out a living.  I was shocked to meet a woman who had borrowed just five taka from a money-lender and trader.  The condition of the loan: She would have to sell all her products to him at a price he would decide.  A five-taka loan transformed her into a virtual slave.

To understand the scope of this money-lending practice in the village, I made a list of the people who had borrowed from the money-lenders.  When my list was complete, it had 42 names.  These people had borrowed a total of Tk. 856 from the money-lenders.  To free these 42 people from the clutches of the money lenders, I gave them the money to repay the loans.  The excitement that was created in the village by this small action touched me deeply.  I thought, “If this little action makes so many people so happy, why shouldn't I do more of this?”

That's what I have been trying to do ever since.

Grameen Bank Lends Even to Beggars
The first thing I did was to try to persuade the bank located in the university campus to lend money to the poor.  But the bank manager refused to do that.  He said, “The poor do not qualify to take loans from the bank - they are not creditworthy.”  I argued with him about this for several months, but I couldn’t change his mind.  So I offered to become a guarantor for loans to the poor.  The bank agreed to accept this proposal. By the middle of 1976, I started giving out loans to the village poor, taking personal responsibility for their repayment.  I came up with some ideas for making it easier for the poor people to repay the money they had borrowed.  These ideas worked.  People paid back the loans on time, every time.

It seemed to me that lending money to the poor was not as difficult as it was imagined.  But I kept confronting difficulties in trying to expand the programme through the existing banks.  Finally, I decided to create a separate bank for the poor.  Finally I succeeded in creating this bank in 1983.  We called it Grameen Bank.

Today, Grameen Bank is a nationwide bank serving the poor in every single village of Bangladesh.  It has 8 million borrowers, 97 per cent of whom are women.  The bank is owned by the borrowers.  Nine of the thirteen members of the board of directors are elected by the borrowers as shareholders.  Grameen Bank lends out over $ 100 million a month in collateral-free loans averaging about $ 200.  It encourages children of Grameen families to go to school.  It offers education loans to them to pursue higher education.  There are more than 42,000 students who are currently pursuing their education in medical schools, engineering schools, and universities financed by education loans from Grameen Bank.  We encourage these young people to take a pledge that they will never enter job market to seek jobs from anybody.  They'll be job-givers, not job seekers.  We explain to them that their mothers own a big bank, Grameen Bank.  It has plenty of money to finance any enterprise they wish to float—so why waste time looking for a job working for someone else?  Instead, be an employer, rather than an employee.

Grameen Bank is financially self-reliant.  All of its funds come from deposits.  More than half of the deposits come from the borrowers themselves, who are required to save a little bit every week.  They have a collective savings balance of over half a billion US dollars.  The repayment rate on loans is very high, about 98 per cent, despite the fact that Grameen Bank focuses on the poorest people—those that other banks consider non-creditworthy. 
Grameen Bank even gives loans to beggars.  They use the loans to start the business of selling goods from door to door, rather than begging door to door.  Beggars like it.  We now have over 100,000 beggars in this programme.  During the four years since this programme was launched, over 18,000 have quit begging.

This idea of small, collateral-free loans for poor women, known as "microcredit", or "microfinance", has spread around the world.  There are now Grameen-type programmes in almost every country in the world.  We even run a programme named "Grameen America" in New York City.  It is now branching out to Omaha, Nebraska, and San Francisco, California.  Even in the richest country in the world with the most sophisticated banking system, there is a need for a bank dedicated to serving the poor.

Poverty is Not Created by the Poor
When I meet Grameen Bank borrowers, I often meet mother-daughter and mother-son pairs in which the mother is totally illiterate, while the daughter or son is a medical doctor or an engineer.  A thought always flashes through my mind: the mother could have been a doctor or an engineer too.  She has the same capability as her daughter or son.  The only reason she could not unleash her potential is that the society never gave her the chance.  She could not even go to school to learn the alphabet.

The more time you spend among poor people, the more you become convinced that poverty is not created by poor people.  It is created by the system we have built, the institutions we have designed, the concepts we have formulated.  Poverty is an artificial, external imposition on a person.  And since it is external, it can be removed.

Poverty is created by deficiencies in the institutions that we have built.  For example, financial institutions.  They refuse to provide financial services to nearly two-thirds of the world’s population.  For generations, they claimed that it could not be done, and everybody accepted that explanation.  This allowed loan sharks to thrive all over the world.  Grameen Bank questioned this assumption and demonstrated that lending money to the poorest in a sustainable way is possible.

During the current financial crisis, the falsity of the old assumption became even more visible. While big conventional banks with all their collateral were collapsing, microcredit programmes, which do not depend on collateral, continued to be as strong as ever.  Will this demonstration make the mainstream financial institutions change their minds ?  Will they finally open their doors to the poor?

I am quite serious about this question.  When a crisis is at its deepest, it can offer a huge opportunity.  When things fall apart, that creates the opportunity to redesign, recast, and rebuild.  We should not miss this opportunity to redesign our financial institutions.  Let’s convert them into inclusive institutions.  Nobody should be refused access to financial services.  Because these services are so vital for self-realization of people, I strongly feel that credit should be given the status of a human right.

Poverty Belongs in Museums
Every human being is born into this world fully equipped not only to take care of himself or herself, but also to contribute to the well being of the world as a whole. Some get the chance to explore their potential, but many others never get the chance to unwrap the wonderful gifts they were born with. They die with those gifts unexplored, and the world remains deprived of their contribution.

Grameen has given me an unshakeable faith in the creativity of human beings and the firm belief that human beings are not born to suffer the misery of hunger and poverty.
We can create a poverty-free world if we collectively believe in it—a world in which the only place you would be able to see poverty is in poverty museums. Some day, school children will be taken to visit these poverty museums.  They will be horrified to see the misery and indignity that some human beings had to go through. They will blame their ancestors for tolerating this inhuman condition for so long.

To me, poor people are like bonsai trees. When you plant the best seed from the tallest tree in a tiny flower-pot, you get a replica of the tallest tree, only inches tall. There is nothing wrong with the seed you planted, only the soil-base that you gave it is inadequate. Poor people are bonsai people. There is nothing wrong with their seeds, but society never gave them the proper base to grow on. All it takes to get poor people out of poverty is for us to create an enabling environment for them. Once the poor can unleash their energy and creativity, poverty will disappear very quickly.

A Fundamental Conceptual Flaw
Let me return to the current financial crisis.  Unfortunately, the media coverage gives the impression that, once we fix this crisis, all our troubles will be over.  We forget that the financial crisis is only one of several crises that are threatening humankind.  We are also suffering a global food crisis, an energy crisis, an environmental crisis, a health care crisis, and the continuing social and econonomic crisis of poverty. These crises are as important as the financial crisis, although they have not received as much attention.

Furthermore, the media coverage may give the impression that these are disconnected crises that are taking place simultaneously, just by accident.  That's not true at all.  In fact, these crises grow from the same root—a fundamental flaw in our theoretical construct of capitalism.

The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.  In the present interpretation of capitalism, human beings engaged in business are protrayed as one-dimensional beings whose only mission is to maximize profit.  This is a much distorted picture of a human being.  Human beings are not money-making robots.  The essential fact about human beings is that they are multi-dimensional beings.  Their happiness comes from many sources, not just from making money.

Yet economic theory has built the whole theory of business on the assumption that human beings do nothing in their economic lives other than pursue their selfish interests.  The theory concludes that the optimal result for society will occur when each invididual's search for selfish benefit is given free rein.  This interpretation of human beings denies any role to other aspects of life - political, social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, etc.

No doubt human beings are selfish beings, but they are selfless beings too.  Yet this selfless dimension of human beings has no role in economics.  This distorted view of human nature is the fatal flaw that makes our economic thinking incomplete and inaccurate.  Over time, it has helped to create the multiple crises we face today.

Once we recognize this flaw in our theoretical structure, the solution is obvious.  We can easily replace the one-dimensional person in economic theory with a multi-dimensional person - a person who has both selfish and selfless interests at the same time. 

Immediately our picture of the business world changes.  We now see the need for two kinds of businesses, one for personal gain (profit maximization), another dedicated to helping others.  In one kind of business, the objective is to maximize economic gains for the owners, even if this leaves nothing for others, while in the other kind of business, everything is for the benefit of others and nothing is for the owners—except the pleasure of serving humanity.

Let us call this second kind of business, built on the selfless part of human nature, as “social business”. This is what our economic theory has been lacking.

Social Business – A Non-Loss, Non-Dividend Company
A social business is a business where an investor aims to help others without taking any financial gain himself.  At the same time, the social business generates enough income to cover its own costs.  Any surplus is invested in expansion of the business or for increased benefits to society.  The social business is a non-loss, non-dividend company dedicated entirely to achieving a social goal. 

Will anybody in the real world be interested in creating businesses with selfless objectives?  Where would the money for social business come from?

Judging by the real human beings I know, many people will be delighted to create businesses for selfless purposes. Some have already been created. I’ll give briefs on some of them a little later.

Regarding the source of fund, one source can easily be the philanthropy money going for creating social businesses.  This makes enormous sense.  One problem of charity programmes is that they remain perpetually dependent on donations.  They cannot stand on their own two feet.  Charity money goes out to do good things, but that money never comes back.  It is a one-way route.  But if a charity programme can be converted into a social business that supports itself, it becomes a powerful undertaking.  Now the money invested is recycled endlessly.  A charity taka has one life, but a social business taka has endless life.  That's the power of social business. 

Besides philanthropists, many other people will invest in social businesses just to share the joy of making a difference in other people's lives.  People will give not only money but also their creativity, networking skills, technological prowess, life experience, and other resources to create social businesses that can change the world.

Once our economic theory adjusts to the multidimensional reality of human nature, students will learn in their schools and colleges that there are two kinds of businesses  traditional money-making businesses and social businesses. As they grow up, they'll think about what kind of company they will invest in and what kind of company they will work for. And many young people who dream of a better world will think about what kind of social business they would like to create. Young people, when they are still in schools, may start designing social businesses, and even launch social businesses individually or collectively to express their creative talents in changing the world.

Grameen-Danone and Other Social Businesses
Like any good idea, the concept of social business needs practical demonstration.  So I have started creating social businesses in Bangladesh.

Some of them are created in partnership with large multi-national companies.  The first such joint-venture with a multi-national company was created in 2005, in partnership with the French dairy company Danone.  The Grameen-Danone social business is aimed at reducing malnutrition among the children of Bangladesh. The Grameen-Danone company produces a delicious yogurt for children and sells it at a price affordable to the poor.  This yogurt is fortified with all the micro-nutrients which are missing in the children’s ordinary diet  vitamins, iron, zinc, iodine, etc.  If a child eats two cups of yogurt a week over a period of eight to nine months, the child gets all the micro-nutrients he or she needs and becomes a healthy, playful child.

As a social business, Grameen-Danone follows the basic principle that it must be self-sustaining, and the owners must remain committed never to take any dividend beyond the return of the original amount they invested.  The success of the company will be judged each year not by the amount of profit generated, but by the number of children getting out of malnutrition in that particular year.

Many other big companies are now approaching us to create social businesses jointly with us.  They want to create joint ventures with Grameen because they want to make sure that it is done the right way.  Once they become experienced in social business, they will take the concept wherever the need exists.

We have a joint-venture social business with Veolia, a large French water company.  The Grameen-Veolia Water Company was created to bring safe drinking water in the villages of Bangladesh where arsenic contamination of water is a huge problem.  Villagers are buying water from the company at an affordable price instead of drinking contaminated water.

BASF of Germany has signed a joint-venture agreement to produce chemically treated mosquito-nets in Bangladesh as a social business. The BASF-Grameen joint-venture company will produce and sell these mosquito-nets as cheaply as possible to make it affordable to the poorest.  The company will have to be self-sustaining, but there is no intention of taking any profit out of the company beyond the amount invested.

Our joint-venture social business with Intel Corporation, Grameen-Intel, aims at using information and communication technology to help solve the problems of the rural poor—for example, by providing health care in the villages.

Our joint-venture with Adidas aims at producing shoes for the lowest income people at an affordable price.  The goal of the Grameen-Adidas company is to make sure that no one, child or adult, goes without shoes.  This is a health intervention to make sure that people in the rural areas, particularly children, do not have to suffer from parasitic diseases that can be transmitted through walking barefoot.

Grameen-Otto is planning to set up a garment factory as a social business in collaboration with Otto, a large chain store and mail-order company of Germany. Profit of the company will be used for the improvement of the quality of lives of the employees, their children, and the poor of the neighbourhood.

As these examples show, social business is not just a pleasant idea.  It is a reality, one that is already beginning to make positive changes in people’s lives.

Many more social businesses are on the way.  One attractive area of social businesses will be in creating jobs in special locations or for particularly disadvantaged people.  Since a social business company operates free from the pressure of earning profit for the owners, the scope of investment opportunities is much greater than with profit-maximizing companies.  Profit-maximizing companies need to be assured of a certain minimum level of return on investment before they'll invest and create jobs.  A social business does not need to fulfill such a condition. It can easily invest below that level and go down even to near- zero profit level, and, in the process open up opportunities for creating   jobs for many people, which exciting area of social business is in afforestation. Forests are being denuded all around the world by individuals, greedy businesses and in some cases by government officials who are paid by the tax-payers to protect the forests. This is having a documented negative impact on climate change. Planting trees across huge tracts of land could be an excellent area for social business This opportunity, we cannot afford to ignore for saving our planet.

Healthcare is another highly potential area for social business.  Public delivery of healthcare in most cases is inefficient and often fails to reach the people who need it the most.  Private healthcare caters to the needs of high-income people.  The big empty space between the two can be filled by social businesses.

In Bangladesh, Grameen Healthcare company is trying to create social businesses to fill this gap in the healthcare system.  We are trying to develop a prototype of health management centres in the villages to keep healthy people healthy by concentrating on prevention and offering diagnostic and health check-up services, health insurance services, etc.  We are making efforts to take advantage of universal availability of mobile phones.  We are in the process of working with leading manufacturers to design diagnostic equipment that can transmit images and data in real time to city-based health experts.

Grameen Healthcare is in the process of setting up of a series of Nursing Colleges as social business to train girls from Grameen Bank families as nurses.  Bangladesh has an enormous shortage of nursing professionals. The global shortage of nurses is also quite enormous. There is no reason why vast number of young girls should be sitting around in the villages while these attractive job opportunities are going unfilled.

Grameen Healthcare is also planning to set up secondary and tertiary health facilities, all designed as social businesses.  To train a new generation of doctors to staff our social business healthcare facilities, Grameen Healthcare plans to establish a University of Health Sciences and Technology.

Many other segments of health care are appropriate for building successful social businesses--nutrition, water, health insurance, health education and training, eye-care, mother and childcare, diagnostic services, etc.  It will take time to develop the prototypes.  But once creative minds come up with the design for a social business and a prototype is developed successfully, it can be replicated endlessly. 

Designing each small social business is like developing a seed.  Once the seed is developed, anybody can plant it wherever it is needed. Since each unit is self-sustaining, funding does not become a constraint.

Putting Today’s Powerful Technology to Work
The world today is in possession of amazingly powerful technology.  That technology is growing very fast, becoming more powerful every day.  Almost all of this technology is owned and controlled by profit-making businesses.  All they use this technology for is to make more money, because that is the mandate given to them by their shareholders.  Imagine what we can achieve if we use of this same technology to solve the problems of the people!

Technology is a kind of vehicle.  One can drive it to any destination one wants.  Since the present owners of technology want to travel to the peaks of profit-making, technology takes them there.  If somebody else decides to use the existing technology to end poverty, it will take the owner in that direction. If another owner wants to use it to end diseases, technology will go there.  The choice is ours. Present theoretical framework does not give this choice. Inclusion of social business creates this choice.

One more point to ponder – there will be no need to make an either/or choice.  Using technology for one purpose doesn’t make it less effective for serving a different purpose. Actually, it is the other way around.  The more diverse use we make of technology, the more powerful it gets.  Using technology for solving social problems will not reduce its effectiveness for money-making use, but rather enhance it.

The owners of social businesses can direct the power of technology to solve our growing list of social and economic problems, and get quick results.

We May Create  Social Stock Markets
Once the concept of social business becomes widely known, creative people will come forward with attractive designs for social businesses.  Young people will develop business plans to address the most difficult social problems through social businesses. The good ideas will need to be funded.  I am happy to say there are already initiatives in Europe and Japan to create Social Business Funds to provide equity and loan support to social businesses.

In time, more sources of funding will be needed.  Each level of government—international, national, state, and city—can create Social Business Funds to encourage citizens and companies to create social businesses designed to address specific social problems (unemployment, health, sanitation, pollution, old age, drug, crime, disadvantaged groups the disabled, etc).  Bilateral and multi-lateral donors can create Social Business Funds.  Foundations can earmark a percentage of their funds to support social businesses.  Businesses can use their social responsibility budgets to fund social businesses.

We'll soon need to create a separate stock market for social businesses to make it easy for small investors to invest in social businesses.  Only social businesses will be listed in this Social Stock Market.  Investors will know right from the beginning that they'll never receive any dividends when they invest in social stock market.  Their motivation will be to enjoy the pride and pleasure of helping to solve difficult social problems.   

Social business gives everybody the opportunity to participate in creating the kind of world that we all want to see.  Thanks to the concept of social business, citizens don't have to leave all problems in the hands of the government and then spend their lives criticizing the government for failing to solve them.  Now citizens have a completely new space in which to mobilize their creativity and talent for solving the problem of our time. Seeing the effectiveness of social business governments may decide to create their own social businesses or partner with citizen-run social businesses, and/or incorporate the lessons from the social businesses to improve the effectiveness of their own programmes.

Governments will have an important role to play in the promotion of social business.  They will need to pass legislation to give legal recognition to social business and create regulatory bodies to ensure that transparency, integrity, and honesty are ensured in the social business sector.  They can also provide tax incentives for investing in social businesses as well as for social businesses themselves.

The Power of Dreams
The wonderful promise of social business makes it all the more important that we re-define and broaden our present economic framework.  We need a new way of thinking about economics that is not prone to creating series of crises; instead, it should be capable of ending the crises once for all.  Now is the time for bold and creative thinking—and we need to move fast, because the world is changing fast.  The first piece of this new framework must be to accommodate social business as an integral part of the economic structure.

In this context let me raise another question.

What will the world be like twenty or fifty years from now?  More specifically, what will South Asia be like?  It’s fascinating to speculate about this.  But I think an even more important question is: What do we want the world, and specifically South Asia, to be like twenty years or fifty years from today? 

The difference has great significance.  In the first formulation, we see ourselves as passive viewers of unfolding events.  In the second, we see ourselves as active creators of a desired outcome.

I think it is time to take charge of our future rather than accept it passively.  We spend too much time and talent in predicting the future, and not enough on imagining the future that we would love to see.  And even so, we don’t do a very good job of predicting the future.  With all our wisdom, expertise, and experience, we repeatedly fail to imagine the amazing changes that history continues to throw our way.

Think back to the 1940s.  Nobody then predicted that, within fifty years, Europe would become a borderless political entity with a single currency.  Nobody predicted that the Berlin Wall would fall even a week before it happened.  Nobody predicted that the Soviet Union would disintegrate and that so many independent countries would emerge out of it so fast. 
On the technology front, we see the same thing.  In the sixties, no one predicted that a global network of computers called the Internet would soon be taking the world by storm. No one predicted that lap-tops, palm-tops, Blackberries, iPods, iPhones, and Kindles would be in the hands of millions. Even twenty years ago, no one was predicting that mobile phones would become an integral part of life in every village of the world.

Let's admit it, we could not predict the world of 2010 even from 1990 - a span of only 20 years.  Does this give us any credibility in predicting the world of 2030 today, given the fact that each day the speed of change in the world is getting faster and faster?

If we have to make predictions, there are probably two ways to go about it.  One would be to invite the best scientific, technical, and economic analysts in the world to make their smartest 20 year projections.  Another would be to ask our most brilliant science fiction writers around the world to imagine the world of 2030.  If you ask me who has the best chance of coming closer to the reality of 2030, without pausing for a second I'd say that the science-fiction writers will be far closer to the reality of 2030 than the expert analysts.

The reason is very simple.  Experts are trained to make forecasts on the basis of the past and present, but events in the real world are driven by the dreams of people.

We can describe the world of 2030 by preparing a wish-list.  This wish-list will describe the kind of world we would like to create by 2030. That's what we should prepare for.
Dreams are made out of impossibles.  We cannot reach the impossibles by using the analytical minds which are trained to deal with hard information which is currently available. These minds are fitted with flashing red lights to warn us about obstacles that we may face.  We’ll have to put our minds in a different mode when we think about our future.   We’ll have to dare to make bold leaps to make the impossibles possible.  As soon as one impossible becomes possible, it shakes up the structure and creates a domino effect, preparing the ground for making many other impossibles possible.

We'll have to believe in our wish-list if we hope to make it come true.  We'll have to create appropriate concepts, institutions, technologies, and policies to achieve our goals. The more impossible the goals look, the more exciting the task becomes.

Fortunately for us, we have entered into an age when dreams have the best chance to come true.  We must organise the present to allow an easy entry to the future of our dreams.  We must not let our past stand in the way.

Let’s dream that by 2030 we'll create a well-functioning South Asian Union.  There will be no visas required, no customs officials limiting travel among the South Asian countries.  There will be a common flag, along side our national flags, a common currency, and a large area of common domestic and international policies.

Let's dream that by 2030 we'll make South Asia the first poverty-free region of the world.  Let’s prepare to challenge the world to find a poor person anywhere in South Asia.

Let’s dream that by 2030 South Asia will set up a reliable state-of-the-art healthcare system that will provide affordable care for all people.

Let's dream that by 2030 we'll create a robust financial system to provide easy access to financial services to every single person in South Asia. 

Let’s dream that by 2030 the first career choice for every child growing up in South Asia will not be to work for some company but to launch his or her own enterprise.

And let’s dream that by 2030 we'll have a range of creative and effective social businesses working throughout South Asia to solve all the remaining social problems.

Do all these dreams sound impossible?  If they do, that means they are likely to come true if we believe in them and work for them.  That’s what the history of the last fifty years teaches us.

So let’s agree to believe in these dreams, and dedicate ourselves to making these impossibles possible.

Thank you.

 

 2011 Dr Yunus in Kerala http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-company/corporate-trends/economic-activities-should-focus-on-social-needs-muhammad-yunus/articleshow/11355357.cms ECONOMICS SHOULD FOCUS ON SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

 KOLLAM (Kerala): Nobel Laureate and architect of Bangladesh Grameen Bank Muhammad Yunus today stressed the need to discard the economic theory that business is all about profit-making and said all economic activities should focus on solving the problems of society.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the International Conference on Technology Enhanced Education at Amrita Mutt near here, Yunus noted that it is important to deploy techology to improve the lives of the common man.

"Business is also for solving problems in society and not merely to make money," he said.

Expressing concern over 'hijacking' of the microfinancing sector by 'rich banks', he suggested formation of a regulatory body and enactment of laws to protect the micro-credit sector from 'loan sharks.'

He lauded the focus of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, founded by Mata Amritanandamayi, on using Research and Development for humanitarian causes.

The theme of the three-day conference is 'Educational technology for societal benefit.'

Recalling his experience in developing Grameen Bank to help poor women in rural areas of Bangladesh, Yunus said 97 per cent of 8.3 million beneficiaries of various schemes of Gramin Bank were women.

Explaining how he used technology to solve the energy crisis in Bangladesh, he said promotion of solar energy had greatly helped solve the power crunch in his country.

In 1990s, nearly 70 per cent of the population in rural areas had no access to electricity. The situation had changed dramatically with the introduction of 'solar home system' which his organization had promoted.

Right now, about 750,000 solar systems are operating in Bangladesh, which could go up to 1 million by the middle of his year. A similar revolution had also taken place in the use of mobile phones, he said.

Swami Amritaswarupananda, President, Amrita University said technology has become a vital aspect of life but cautioned that it should be used carefully and with a sense of responsibility.

Amrita University Vice-Chancellor P Venkat Rangan traced the growth of the University and how it emerged as a multidisciplinary centre of excellence in education within a span of 11 years.

Those who spoke on the occasion included Prof. M S Vijay Kumar from MIT, Prof Candace Thille, Director, Open Learning, Carnegie Melon University, Prof Uday Desai, Director, IIT Hyderabad and Prof Shevgonkar, Director IIT Delhi.

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What Everybody Needs to Know First About Economics

Economics designs peoples futures but this depends on what logics are analysed- here are the logics The Economist used in the early 19080s when it discussed how the net gneration could be the most productive time for youth

  

A nation/place cannot sustain growth unless its capital is structured so that family's savings are invested in their next generation's productivity. Norman Macrae's 1954 book on The London Capital Market provides chapter and verse. Historically it was timely as London's industrial revolution had planted most of the developed world's laws and financial instruments. Futurewise this book became a source for Norman's forty years of leadership challenges including 3000 editorials. THese became branded in the 2 genres of entrepreneurial revolution and future history of the net generation genre which he focused on from 1972. They script in practical details most of the changes that economists would need to make to historic rules if globalisation is not to collapse the worldwide financial system of 2010s

Norman framed his writings on future purposes huan most wanted around the idea that The Net Generation to 2024 would face change on a scale never previously experienced by our human race. To prevent risks and celebrate job creating opportunities Norman proposed in his 1984 book (The 2024 Report) that the world should unite around youth's most exciting millennium goal. He explained why economics would design the most popular futures if the goal was chosen as racing to end poverty everywhere. Reasons included: its possible, its exciting, it creates jobs post-industrial generation will need to design around collaborative technology, it can empower youth to joyfully unite cultures as we become borderless (more connected than separated), it aligns economics principles with nature's exponentially (compounding) rules of evolutionary selection which are community-up and open.

 download more profiles of 100 collaboration leaders of 2010s = youths most productuive decade 

 

We are shocked how few people know of the main findings of the renowned economist Maynard Keynes- increasingly only economics riles the world and the greatest risk to the future working lives of our children comes from elderly macroeconomists who hire themselves out to the biggest who want to get bigger.



Historically when faulty systems of macroeconomists ruined civilisations they fell one by one. But Einstein took Keynes logic further and hypothesised that the first generation to become more connected than separated by technology would be subject to a final exam. Now if we let erroneous macroeconomists rule whole continents of nations will collapse.



By 1976 my father (Norman macrae) -probably the last student of economics mentored by Keynes-  was writing at The Economist why the next half century would see the net generation tested - he called upon the genre of Entrepreneurial Revolution (ER) networkers to sort out the greatest  innovation challenge economics - and so the human race - will ever face .

 

 

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The opportunity of 10 times more productivity for the net generation (with million times more collaboration technology than man's 1960's race to moon)

.The THREAT is preventing the threat of collapsing continent-wide system of value exchange. By 2020 the (exponential track impacting future) sustainanbilyty of every village around the globe will likely be lost or won

..logo3responsibility.jpg...How could we be experiencing record youth unemployent when we are living in a time of a million times more collaboration tech than a generation ago? According to research by Entrepreneur networks started at The Economist in 1976, we are 36 years off track in compounding 2 unustainable systems whose follies multiply each other
  • that caused by non-economic media which also distracts us with glossy images and soiundbites instead of future realities and integrated cross-cultural and inter-generational understanding - full briefing here
  • World's biggest maths error compounded by macroeconomists and all global professions with a ruling monopoly - see below
Discuss: what does everyone need to know about the way economists think and behave. Understand 2 opposite segments of E : The Unacknowledged Microeconomist and the Fatally Conceited.MacroEconomist

Keynes - because economics will incresingly rule the world, the greatest danger to the futures of youth is elderly macroeconomists where fame maks them compete to superpower over peoples  

 Boulding: ****the historic significance of capitalism is precisely a society in which exchange has become a more important source of power than threat**** in his book economics as science

Von hayek- given the fatal conceit in my profession, I really think you shouldn't be doing this - awarding me a first Nobel Prize in economics 
freedom of speech and everything about the future you want, NOW depends on enough people knowing how to play the value exchange game - and why that isnt exactly what the game of monopoly teaches - an exchange is where each side says I wants something from you so let's work out what I can do for you and purposefully improve on this over time through hi-trust communal feedback
debate difference between true capitalism and phoney capitalism
  • agree on a picture like that on the right- we have seen cases where one of the 10 coordinates shown felt the system had betrayed their greatest trust, and so zeroised the organsaition or network (even ones that accountants had been reprorting record profits ahd $100 billion equity
  •  start discussing multi-win models - see our 4 favorites from 36 years of debates with entrepreneuruial revoltionaries
  • choose say 12 markets whose future purpose is most vital to sustaining your children - and use media to agree what the greatest human purpose and corresponding mkilennium goals are that need investing in to fee each market and youth's working lives in serving the most valuable purpose
  • get those (including all parents?) who save across generations to throw out speculators from banking systems and capital markets - eg next time there is a bailout (which means taking your childrens money to refinance a bank) wipe out shareholders; let them set lawyers on old managers and any politicians their pr's lobbied; keep savings accounts safe; restructure bank so that it invests in youth productivity and sustaining communities not bubbles, and not trapping people in debt

Goodwill explains up to 90% of value impacts of any organsaition in a networked economy- yet no nation yet requires that organisations it licences to audit goodwii. 20 years of research has proved the following reciprocal relationship - the purposeful question" who would uniquely miss what if your organsaition did not exist?, has the reciprocal question why let your organisation contnue to exist if it has broken my life-crtiical trust it promised to serve

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valuetrue capitalism maps how each side win-win-win from other sides communal purpose over time -this  goes back over 250 years to the criteria of free markets adam smith demanded freedom of speech questioned - he talked about the transparency of community markets where a rogue trader might fool some of the people but not for long and not for too big to fail! - the journal of social business edited by adam smith scholars at his alma mater Glasgow University advises people of any other tongue how to build up from adam's hi-trust ideas to such constructs as sustainable global vilage networking first mapped by schumacher (another keynes alumni) - we have a library of free articles for you to choose and translate from

phoney capitalism spins a monopoly, a non-free maket - one side rules by saying I want to take more and more from all of you- esentially this is what rules when global accountants audit only how much one side has profited/extracted withouth how much has it sustains other sides- phoney capitalism can only result in exponentai meltdown becuase so much has been extracetd from system that its unsustainable for human lives or for nature or for both
 
 

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  • MORE ABOUT WHERE VALUING NETGEN CAME FROM

    - in the 1990s I was working with big 5 accountants; I argued for a missing audit they needed to do as regularly as their monetisation audit; I called this how goodwill modelling multiplies value around a gravitational purspoe ewhise gials all sides want to progress over time; it turns out that in knowlege scetors over 90% of the future is bayesian predicatbale on quality of goodwill relationships-3 yeras before andersen crashed I usd this model to warn them that if they stoped multiplying conflicts around true and fair they would be zeroised by society- I didnt succeed in getting my advice to be acted on but at that time unseen wealth publications made by brookings and georgetwon had just been banned by the incolimng bush adminsitration - who didnt like to be told that without the second aidt risks would compound unseen- every collapse USA has seen a hand in during 2000s (and viralised to other nations since 2008) can be traced to this mathenatical error

    what can be done about this mess
    -debate difference between true cpaitalism and phoney capitalsim
    choose say 12 markets hose future purpose is most vital to sustaining your children - and use media to aggree what the greatest huan purspose and corresponding mkilennium goals are that need investing in
    get thse who save across generations to throw out speculators from bankiing systems - eg next time there is a bailout (which means taking your childrens money to refinace a bank) wipe out sharehilers; let them set lawyers on old managers and any politicians their pr's lobbied; keep savings acconts safe; restructure bank so that it invests in youth productivity and sustaining communities not bubbles, and trapping people in debt
    -if you do this today's millions times more coalbration technology than a generation ago can make the next decade the most productive time and joyful for youty and everyine to be alive instead of the most dismal time where natios led by old macroecnomist put youth out of work
    DO YOU KNOW...
    Q: Original Purpose of Economics? A The Scotland of the 1750s was at the end of a first generation to have found their country taken over by England's Empire., So Adam Smith was motivated to start writing about how to design systems so that peoples could could look forward to their next generation sustaining more productive lives than they had had ... 7 quarters later keynes general theory issued humanity's greatest challenge- economics as a systems science had reached the state that only economics rules the world ... moreQ: What do the man-made systems that rule the world look like? A Purposeful value exchanges composed round 5 main flows of how productively peoples lives are used and 5 main demands human beings make as co-workers, customers, owners, stewards of the globe, stewards of society at the village level - moreQ: Why can't human race in 21st C be sustained with choice of economics made by 20th C biggest banks and govs etc? A Long Story: ER alumni are in their 37th year of offering debating scripts eg1 on wht some industrial age systems after world war 2 were designed to be too big to exist as the first net generation became more connected than separated by geographical borders ... What is known is that 2010s is most exciting decade to be an entrpreneur because our impacts define what will be possible for all our childrens' children more 

    World Class Brands are in 25th year (as a subnetwork of Norman Macrae's Entrepreneurial Revolution) of helping sustain the most purposeful organsiations or markets in the world. Core to any charter of purpose is a quiz revolving round this question
    - who would uniquely miss what if this didn't exist?. From this Q&A's list of trust-flows, economics maps how to connect producers and demanders of the exchange in multi-win models of purpose. Henceforth, potential conflicts with this goodwill model are audited and resolved at every cycle so that unique purpose is celebrated to lead the future by continuously multiplying the most value and trust. This model provides the simplest benchmark around all exponential impact metrics of sustainability investement can be calculated and the transparency of all multi-win models are webbed around pro-youth economics. Questions welcomed chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk washington dc hotline 1 301 881 1655

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    Not youth's economics of the world Not our schools of the worldYouthandYunus.comLeadersandYunus

    Muhammad Yunus expresses faith in entrepreneurs at G20 summit

    Posted on: November 23, 2011
    Category: News

    Microfinance Focus, November 4, 2011: Professor Muhammad Yunus was invited to deliver a key note speech during the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Summit held in Nice, France. Professor Yunus addressed an audience of more than 400 entrepreneurs from all G20 countries. In his speech, he shared his personal entrepreneurship experiences, his faith in young entrepreneurs to be the pillars of society and the need to include poor countries in the discussion process in making global decisions.

    Professor Yunus being an entrepreneur himself started off creating the Grameen Bank that provides microfinance services to the poor who had little access to financial provisions. From that, he ventured into a wide number of social businesses such as Grameen Nursing College, Grameen Eyecare Hospitals, Grameen Shakti, etc.

    He has always considered young entrepreneurs to be the most effective solution for the future. He said “In my opinion, G20 YES is a fabulous initiative, gathering so much energy and momentum from all over the world. Because of their creativity and leadership, provided that they commit to share the value they create, these 400 young entrepreneurs in this room can change the world.”

    Professor Yunus is also a member of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Advocacy Group, advising the Secretary General of the United Nations. Hence, he believes that the next generation of youths should be handed over the process of the MDGs as soon as possible. He believes that entrepreneurs will have a key role to play in fulfilling the MDGs, if they are committed to the social value created by their companies, and social business can be part of the solutions.

    In his speech, he added that the G20 needed to broaden its scope to deal with the current world crisis. It can no longer remain a political forum with economic agendas. The G20 needs to create a social agenda as well. Professor Yunus proposes that ‘social business’ should be brought to the agenda of G20, as one of the concrete and effective solutions to be considered for immediate implementation so as to guide capitalistic investment towards social value and jobs creation, rather than sheer profit maximization strategies. A social business is a cause-driven business where profits stay within the company for its sustainability.

    Lastly, Professor Yunus concluded that the G20 should be expanded into the G25, where poor countries from each continent should be included in the global agenda which they are part of. He added that “Their problems are inter-related with others, and their proposals of solutions should be considered by the most economically advanced countries in making global decisions. A G25 would be a big step toward ensuring that global social issues are raised, and MDGs implementation is fully shared on the global agenda. And finally, because fighting poverty together is the only way to bring long lasting peace in this world.”

    Source: http://www.microfinancefocus.com/muhammad-yunus-expresses-faith-entrepreneurs-g20-summit

    inquiries chris macrae info @worldcitizen.tv us tel 301 881 1655 ; us office 5801 nicholson lane suite 404, North Bethesda, MD 20852 USA - skype chrismacraedc
     Mapping is a process of discovery. Crucially maps are only as usable as updating correctness of bottom up information. Think of your own use of a map. You look for the "you are here arrow". You want to be directed to somewhere/someone you dont know how to get to; you want your return vist to be safe as well as a value multiplying win-win.
    Does anyone remember the simplest findings of einstein and jon von neumann. Einstein proved that to innovate more value you need to go more micro in what you model; von neumann showed that there is more value to be networked by interfacing safe flows across systems instead of ruling over separation of boundaries. There isnt a single global metrics profession that gets these mathematical -and natural - principles right. Unless we change this global markets will cycle through ever greater collapse and more and more communities will lose sustainability. Mapmaking is that critical an idea to what the net genration will achieve in 2010s; but its also one that children from primary age up can action learn. Its simple. Its just that it works the other way round from top-down people's fatal conceit.
    It explores how to make the invisible principles and practices of real wealth creation visible, and therefore useable. Our planet needs case studies underline the search for new win-wins that build ‘system integrity’
    Trust-flow is the unseen wealth to invest sustainability in. Tranpsarently mapped it develops a goodwill gravity  tyhat invites with roleplayer in a community to multiply goodwill while sustaining their own cashflow.. Trust is not some vague, mushy, abstract warm-hearted sentiment. It is an economic powerhouse – probably just as economically and socially important as oil.
    The point is, there are specific things you need to do to get trust flowing, just as there are specific things you need to do to get oil flowing. And like oil trust has a dark side. Right now, the world is awash with the carbon emissions which threaten the stability and sustainability of its ecosystems. Right now, the world is also awash with the ‘carbon emission’ of trust – mistrust. Indeed it may well be that our ability to tackle the one issue – the threat of environmental catastrophe – depends on our ability to tackle the other issue: how to generate, deepen, extend and sustain trust.>br>But what is the best way of doing this? One thing is for sure. You don’t build and sustain trust via some sentimental exercise of goodwill to all and sundry. There are three very simple principles at the heart of effective trust generation. 
    First, trust is generated via win-win relationships. It’s virtually impossible to generate or sustain trust without mutual benefit for those involved. But beneficial outcomes are not enough in themselves. For trust to be built and sustained, both sides need to signal a demonstrable commitment to finding win-win ways forward. Such a  commitment may require real changes to what we say and do. Second, real ‘win-wins’ are hardly ever purely financial or material. You don’t build trust simply by walking away with more cash in your pocket. Trust works at all the dimensions and levels of human exchange. Yes, it’s about financial and material rewards. But it’s also about purpose (what people want to achieve). It’s about politics with a small ‘p’: the use and abuse of power, the crafting and application of rules of fair play. And it’s about emotions: the sometimes overwhelmingly strong emotions, both positive and negative, that are generated when people deal with other peopleWhat’s constitutes a ‘win’ – a sense of real improvement – is therefore highly specific. It depends absolutely on the details of who the parties are, what they are trying to achieve, in what context. Building trus, therefore involves discovering these specifics. Just as oil doesn’t flow out of the ground, get refined and pump its way into motor vehicles automatically and without effort, so identifying and doing what is necessary to get trust flowing requires dedicated, skilled effort. It requires a disciplined, structured process, not a vague sentiment.

    3) Third, even if we do steps 1) and 2) there’s still a good chance it won’t succeed. Why? Because it ignores an invisible third factor. In the real world, purely two way bilateral relationships don’t exist. There is always a third party whose interests or outcomes are affected by what the other two parties do but who is not a party to the contract. The environment is a case in point. Producers and consumers may both benefit from buying and selling to each other – but what happens if, in doing so, they destroy the environment they both depend on?

    This raises a hugely important question. When two parties pursue win-wins and build mutual trust, are they doing so in a way which creates a win and builds trust for the third party at the same time? Or are they simply pushing the problems – and the mistrust – further down the line on to this third party? Building vigorous, healthy networks of trust is a different kettle of fish to ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ win-win conspiracies. It requires a Map of all the key relationships plus careful consideration of knock-on consequences. It requires a different perspective.

    These three simple, basic steps do not happen automatically. They need to be worked at. The territory needs to be deliberately Mapped and explored. What’s more, there are obstacles in our way – mental and practical obstacles that need to be cleared. Prevailing economic theories about ‘rational economic man’ for example, deny the need to commit to win-win outcomes. Instead, they promote supposedly ‘rational’ (i.e. narrowly selfish behaviours) which actively undermine trust The same theories insist that the only valid measure of human benefit is money, thereby excluding from consideration many of the biggest opportunities for improvement. Meanwhile many vested interests do not want to extend the circle of trust to third parties and complete networks because their positions of power depend on their ability to take advantage of the weaknesses of these third parties. That’s another job for Mapping: helping to identify and mount such obstacles.
    The potential benefits of doing so are unthinkably huge. They start with a simple negative: the relief that comes from when you stop banging your head against a brick wall. Mistrust breeds wasteful, wealth destroying conflict that tends to feed on itself. Anger and hatred engender anger and hatred. Simply easing or stopping the terrible waste of mistrust would transform prospects for many millions of people. We desperately need to find ways of doing this. Then there are the positive benefits. Understanding the real nature of human wealth – all those dimensions of purpose, ‘politics’ and emotion as well as money and material comfort – means we can start being human again; human in the way we think, and act. What’s more, many of these intangible benefits won’t cost a penny. They’re there for the taking, if only we puts our minds to it.
    But there’s more, because trust is also an economic superpower in its own right. In the pages that follow we will show conclusively that material and financial riches are also dependent on trust. In fact, we will argue the case for going one step further. We will say that material and financial riches are a by-product of trust: the visible fruits of invisible, intangible human exchange. Once you understand that sustainable cash flows are a by-product of sustainable trust flows, your understanding of what makes a successful business is transformed.
    Separately, each of these three fruits – reducing the waste of conflict, unleashing the potential intrinsic benefits of human exchange, and energising the sustainable creation of material wealth – are massive in their own right. Put them together and they represent a vast new continent of opportunity.
    As we said, this book is addressed to entrepreneurs and system  innovation revolutionaries. Wherever you happen to be, whatever the change you want to make is, the principles explored in this book apply. The wish to change and the will to change are not the same as being able to change successfully. For that you need to understand your territory. You will need new Maps

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    0.1 Has a continental or worldwide search solutions on job creation that can be replicated across communities been organised before this EU launch of Nov 2011?
    While alumni of entrepreneurial economics have always valued job creation searches- we know of no clear evidence that this has been top of mind in the way that continental-wide government has operated since 1984 even though it was scripted by The Economist's Unacknowledged Giant as the number 1 question the first net generation would need to mediate if sustainable futures and humanity's most needed millennium goals are to be served
    what's different about nov 2011 is 4 top directorates of the EU have nailed their future reputation to this search -more
    1mobamauniobamauni@obamauni bon mots hillary zero sum thinking leads to negative sum results http://www.erworld.tv/id347.html
    1hHCL TechnologiesHCL Technologies@hcltech Press Release: #HCLT listed for the fourth consecutive year in the @WorldBlu's "Most Democratic Workplaces" list. http://hclte.ch/KbzBGH Retweeted by Traci Fenton
    49mAl RobertsonAl Robertson@al_robertson About last night's British Council @time_image film collection launch, with three of my favourite BC films! http://bit.ly/IJwmsc #WhoWereWe Retweeted by Lloyd Davis

    The End of the EU part 1 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/06/paul-krugman-on-europe-doing-the-unthinkable.html

    TRANSCRIPT: 'The Unthinkable'
    Video above.

    Tom Ashbrook: You're talking about, writing about the end of the EU, the end of the common currency.

    Paul Krugman: it's unthinkable except that continuing down the current path is unthinkable. Spain is actually the epicenter. The Spanish government did nothing wrong. Spain was running a budget surplus before the crisis. It had low levels of debt. But it had a monstrous housing bubble, as did a lot of places, largely financed by the way by German banks which were lending to Spanish banks, which then lent on. And when the housing bubble burst you were left with a severe, extremely severe recession, and so the answer has been government austerity which just makes the slump deeper.

    The alternatives to a breakup of the euro have to be Europe-wide solutions. And so the solution, if there is one, involves accepting a higher rate of inflation for Europe as a whole and that particularly means higher inflation in Germany.
    --Paul Krugman

    What are Spain's alternatives here? Well, if they still had their currency, their own currency, the answer would be devalue, let the peseta drop, Spanish exports would become a lot more competitive, they'd be well on their way to recovery. They don't have their own currency, so people are saying: Well, you have to do all this stuff to stay within the Euro. At some point you say: Well, you know if your answer to our problem is just ever more suffering, ever more you know... 25 percent, 50 percent youth unemployment. If that's your notion of a solution, then maybe although it would be a very terrible thing to have the Euro breakup, maybe that's better than what we're doing. So that's becoming a real possibility now.

    The alternatives to a breakup of the euro have to be Europe-wide solutions. And so the solution, if there is one, involves accepting a higher rate of inflation for Europe as a whole and that particularly means higher inflation in Germany. Talk to the Germans about this and of course they go crazy, but you have to say to them: What is your answer? What you're doing right now is just a path to the collapse of the euro with enormous damage and radicalization and a lot of things that you don't want to see happen in Europe happening.

    TA: If the Germans can't take their foot off the brakes, they're just intrinsically and against history and everything else, Weimar, if they can't do it, what happens?

    PK: Then Europe breaks up and... No, I mean I think it's that stark. It really is, it really is that extreme because you know it's one of those things, you can't be saying that, but then you say: Well, let's talk this through. You know, let's as it said in the original edition of the Godfather - Let us reason together. Right? What are the ways that this can work out? And the current path is not one that can work out.

    It's like an irresistible force hitting an immovable object. On the one hand it's unthinkable that they'll allow the euro to fail because the euro is a terribly important thing, it's not terribly important economically, it would have been better off if they'd, if they had never done it, but now that it has been done, for it to fail is a defeat for the European project, the whole project of bringing peace, democracy, integration to a continent with a terrible history. So it's unthinkable that they'll allow it to fail, but it's also unthinkable that the Germans will accept moderate inflation which is the only solution any of us have been able to come up with. So one of two impossible things is going to happen. Your bet.

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