29th June 2019: Professor Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Prize Laureate and pioneer of the ‘Social Business’ model, in conjunction with Yunus Center at AIT, the Yunus Social Business Center Kasetsart University, and the Thailand Social Business Initiative (TBSI), held its global event ‘2019 Social Business Day’ in Thailand with over one thousand attendees from 56 countries. This marked the ninth time the event was organized and the first of its kind in Thailand at the Centara Grand at Centralworld during 28th-29th June in Bangkok.
The objectives of the ‘2019 Social Business Day’ are to drive the application and development of social business at a global scale as well as promote sustainable social solutions via entrepreneurship. This year, the event was organized under the concept of “Making Money is Happiness, Making Other People Happy is Super Happiness”, reflecting and reiterating an awareness of true happiness and at the same time setting the goal to achieve joint
cooperation aimed at tackling four aspects of the world’s pressing issues: 1. Banking and Microfinance 2. Pollution and Climate Change 3. Plastic Waste and Circular Economy and 4. Social Business and Sports, with support from private sector organizations such as C.P. Group, Bangchak, and C asean. C.P. Group’s belief and support of the Social Business model is in line with the Group’s sustainable development policy which is to contribute to solving social issues that ultimately lead to harmonized social coexistence.
Professor Muhammad Yunus stated that the event was an assembly of international social business communities and a pride of the fast-growing social business communities. He believed social business would catalyze changes to the global society. The 2024 Olympics in Paris will be the first time for Social Business to bring about the new phenomenon through the power of sports. He also requested for new generations to effect changes to the world’s society by creating New Civilization in which success is no longer measured by the value of assets of money, but by the benefits bestowed to the communities, the society, and humankind to derive true value and happiness.
‘Thailand will be a novel social business landmark and one of the most leading centers driving Social Business. The event in Thailand this year was vehemently supported by leading Thai organizations, including C asean and C.P. group, whose executives eagerly support the matter”, added Professor Muhammad Yunus.
In this regard, Mr. Suphachai Chearavanont, Chief Executive Officer of C.P. Group was honored to speak at the closing ceremony. Mr. Suphachai, as co-founder of the Global Compact Network Thailand that was made up of more than 40 leading businesses in Thailand, stated that he is well aware of the challenges of developing sustainable social solutions, but it is not only an individual problem but rather a problem that requires collective responsibility. C.P. Group, with governmental and private organizations, has supported and promoted the creation of sustainable Social Business and the participation in Thailand’s educational reform to raise awareness of the issues among the new generations. Despite the fact that business success is crucial, a business organization needs to be ethical and participate in creating new businesses that yields benefits to the society and the environment. This is aligned with Professor Muhammad Yunus’ model which has already been proven. In the same way, C.P. Group is determined to continually conduct its businesses which conforms to ethical and legal standards.
“I am confident that the cooperation that will take place in the future will serve as the key to accomplishing the concrete remedial goal for the world’s issues”, stressed Mr. Suphachai.
On the same day, Mr. Noppadol Dej-udom, C.P. Group’s Vice President for Sustainability, participated in the session: “Social Business Challenges”. Mr. Noppadol remarked that the Social Business model seeks to find solutions to social problems. C.P. Group aims to solve social pain points through thorough study and comprehension of the problems to achieve sustainable solutions for the society. For instance, C.P. Group has promoted coffee growing as an alternative to corn farming for the people living in the North. Cooperation from governmental, private, and civil society sectors is mandatory for Social Business.
In the seminar, speakers exchanged their experiences and challenges in conducting social business including Parveen Mahmud (Grameen Telecom Trust), Luciano Gurgel (YSB Brazil), Eric Lesueur (VEOLIA) and Sohel Ahmed (Grameen Shakti), cherishing the concept of Social Business and the inspiration for sustainable social transformation.
Additionally, on the first day of the event (28th June 2019), a number of sectors and Yunus Thailand declared their collaborative intention. Dr. Teerapol Tanomsakyut, Assistant Executive to the CEO of C.P. Group, represented the Group to affirm the organization’s commitment to drive social business alongside the Yunus Thailand ‘Corporate Action Tank’ platform.
The Social Business Day 2019 event featured, among many others, breakout sessions of nine groups, seven country forums, six youth-focused workshops, and academic conference relating to education, agriculture, food industry, health, finance, environment, green energy, art and cultures for social change, Social Business and sports, large business and Social Business, technology and social business, youth leadership and social business, micro-financial loans and Social Business.