In 2009 the Global Social Business Summit was held for the first time as an initiative by Professor Muhammad Yunus and his creative advisor Hans Reitz. Back then, it was call Global Grameen Meeting. In 2009 as well as in 2010 the Autostadt Wolfsburg, Germany was host to the Global Social Business Summit, where around 250 participants gathered to network and exchange expertise with the global social business community. Today, we look back to an unforgettable event, which not only created a long lasting platform for exchanging experience and knowledge among social business but also led to important commitments which are now under realization.
The Global Grameen Meeting was attended by 112 top representatives, including social business pioneers such as the Otto Group, Danone, BASF and Veolia. Some highlights of the event included the signing of MoUs with adidas Group and the Governor of Caldas, Colombia as well as a Joint Venture Agreement with Otto Group.
SIGNING OF THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH FRANK A. DASSLER FROM ADIDAS AG
During the Global Grameen Meeting 2009, Grameen Trust and the adidas Group officially agreed on jointly developing a social business solution to offer affordable footwear to the poor. Pilot tests in various villages in Bangladesh as well as in India showed that there was not the right mix of resources and markets for the shoe social business. The adidas Group and The Grameen Creative Lab continue to move forward in developing other social business ideas.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF AUTOSTADT TO HOST THE GLOBAL SOCIAL BUSINESS SUMMIT IN 2010 ONCE AGAIN IN WOLFSBURG
Otto Ferdinand Wachs, CEO of Autostadt GmbH, the Service- and Communication platform of Volkswagen Group invited Prof. Yunus to realize the Global Social Business Summit 2010 again in the Autostadt. Prof. Muhammad Yunus has a special relation with the Autostadt. In 1955, together with 26 friends, he traveled from Canada to Wolfsburg to buy 3 VW Transporter and travel to Bangladesh. Once arrived there, they sold the transporters and thus financed their trip.
SIGNING OF THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING FOR THE FIRST HOLISTIC SOCIAL BUSINESS MOVEMENT WITH THE REGION OF CALDAS/COLOMBIA
Mario Aristizábal Muñoz, Governor of Caldas, and Prof. Muhammad Yunus decided to launch the first social business movement that aims at bringing an entire region out of poverty – the region of Caldas in Columbia, in which 70% of the population lives under the poverty line. After losing the election in 2011 and without the support of the government of Caldas, The Grameen Creative Lab successfully established Grameen Caldas. Grameen Caldas is an umbrella organization that connects investors and entrepreneurs with social business in different ways.