Muhammad Yunus on the Arab Spring, Global Change, and the Real Opportunity at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Last Updated : 6th December, 2016

Published by: Knowledge@Wharton

Published Date: 29 May, 2012


A Nobel Peace Prize winner and the founder of Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus has dedicated much of his life to helping the poorest in developing countries. The former economist is now traveling the world, promoting an idea for a new economic model that he calls social business.

The emphasis of social business, Yunus says, is not on making money, but rather unleashing human capability and valuing human creativity. Of all the natural resources, he argues, the most underutilized are humans themselves — specifically the millions who are unemployed and living below the poverty line. But the real opportunities at bottom of the pyramid are not just to sell products, he adds.

In Abu Dhabi, Yunus spoke with Arabic Knowledge@Wharton about the Arab Spring, and how it reflects a transition of knowledge among generations. Optimistic about the change it represents, Yunus says a coming shift of influence from the West to the East is an opportunity to develop a new economic model for societies, and a chance to better utilize the collective ingenuity and abilities of people at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

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