01 May 2009

Yunus: The Authenticity and Simplicity of a Noble Peace Winner

Recently I attended an inspiring talk by peace noble laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus. This blog has covered him extensively because ever since I am exploring the cross-roads of business approaches to social and sustainable development Yunus has been an idol for me. The talk - which was facilitated by Jeffrey Sachs - was inspiring on two fronts: scale of achievements and his personal charisma.

First, how many example in the development are do you know having positive benefits for millions of people? Frankly, I do not know many. Even now working for UN's Development Programme, I see how even multi-million programmes of the largest development agencies and biggest brands in the world struggle to deliver tangible results, let alone of that scale. Now he has already touched nearly 8 million lives, mainly of marginalized women.

Second, I am touched at heart how humble and authentic Yunus is. A man sitting in Bangladeshi textile with a near Dalai Lama smile talking about over 30 years of his life with such an empathy for his country women and simplicity. He doesn't use any jargon, theories or buzz words. Yunus says, he just wanted to be of use for at least 1 person. Isn't that an example to follow?

Let's make a difference to at least one person and the world will be a better place. Yes we can! A wise man said once "If Not Me, Then Who? If Not Now, Then When?".