THE SOCIAL ECONOMY IN A WORLD FACING THE GLOBAL CRISIS

A word from the editor. Dear followers, on December 26th 2017 a mean hacker attack invalidated the entire Montecarlotimes.com. Today we are happy to re-publish some of the most liked posts. Yours truly, Ilio Masprone – Knight of the Principality of Monaco for cultural merits, with the Team.

by Silvana Rivella&G.Errico MONACO. The global crisis has really turned the spotlight on the social economy. A significant proportion of world’s economy is intended to make profits for people other than investors or owners. Known as the ‘social economy’, it includes cooperatives, mutual societies, non-profit associations, foundations and social enterprises. They operate a very broad number of commercial activities, provide a wide range of products and services across the world single market and generate millions of jobs. The ambitions behind the commitment to enhance the social economy are great. In fact, it is crucial to tap the flow of knowledge and map out the research situation; to spread knowledge and build a creative meeting place for researchers and practitioners in the social economy; to incorporate new actors into an ever tighter international network. Especially local forces have the potential to tie in with performance concepts in the world. Local communities are better placed to safeguard socioeconomic effects and create long-term ecological sustainability. Exciting new solutions will always give rise to new energy and creativity.

New social innovations can help remedy economic and social complications in the wake of the global crisis. The ambition to provide a solid basis for the international network of researchers and practitioners within many different fields is now showing a great deal of interest in the social economy. Specific action programmes have been submitted worldwide. As for Monaco, this small country is actually at the forefront, hosting a number of charity events, ong and no-profit Foundations most of them under the high patronage of H.S.H. prince Albert II of Monaco.

Especially interesting has been the participation of the Peace and Sport Association to the 8th Global Social Business Summit that took place in Paris, France, from 4 to 9 November, hosted by The Grameen Creative Lab and the Yunus Centre. http://www.yunussb.com/ . Yunus Social Business has its roots in Bangladesh. In 1983 Prof. Yunus founded Grameen bank, beginning a micro-finance revolution for which he won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Grameen grew from a bank into several enterprises, each dedicated to serving poor rural communities in Bangladesh and each created with the specific intention of reinvesting any and all profits back into benefitting the poor. These were the first Social Businesses. In 2009 while at the World Economic Forum, Prof. Yunus sketched out the 7 principles which were to become the model for Social Businesses used today. Since 2008 Saskia Bruysten and Sophie Eisenmann were directors at the Grameen Creative Lab, an organization setup to promote the idea of social business. In 2011, Saskia Bruysten, Sophie Eisenmann and Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus decided to create the non-profit venture fund called Yunus Social Business to focus on growing and financing social businesses worldwide as a sustainable alternative to long-term aid, bridging the gap between business and philanthropy. Prof. Yunus believes that business can be used to solve human problems. Social enterprises are the engine for social innovation. 

The Fund turns donations into investments in social businesses that provide employment, education, healthcare, clean water and clean energy to over a million people worldwide. The social business venture fund covers 7 regions and the in-country teams run regular workshops and social business accelerators for local entrepreneurs. The Fund invests in promising social businesses providing them with patient finance as well as long term business support.

 

The 8th Global Social Business Summit edition in Paris hosted by The Grameen Creative Lab and the Yunus Centre represented an important step for the social business community the organisation has fostered over the past years, as the Summit welcomed new participants with different backgrounds to increase its impact and expand the movement. This year the Global Social Business Summit brought together inspirational speakers and opinion leaders from the private sector, civil society representatives, political leaders and members of the academia. During two days of meetings, forums and workshops, this event spread awareness about social business, foster discussion and collaboration between practitioners and stakeholders, as well as present and conceive best practices. As for Monaco, in the occasion of the Global Social Business Summit held in Paris, Peace and Sport has proudly showcased its “Sport Simple Solutions”. Presenting next to Professor Muhammad Yunus, Joel Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport, sustained that sports is leading a “New Wave” of inspiration that aims at using sport as a tool to forge equal societies. Joel Bouzou declared: “I think the time has come when people understand that sport doesn’t require lush green pitches or fancy equipment. Sport is at the service of everyone who wants to use it.”

 

“By adapting sports rules and equipment and demonstrating how a fishing net can become a volleyball net or a bundle of rags can become a football, and tires can make a boxing ring, sport simple solutions can give children healthy lifestyles, values of good citizenship and a future professional framework which can lead them to a better life and the chance to influence the world around them for the better.” In the framework of the Summit, Peace and Sport had a dedicated Sport Simple booth containing a number of Sport Simple handmade equipment. Additionally, on Sunday 4th around 60 youngsters from 25 nationalities received a training on Sport Simple. As part of the workshop, participants played in  2-on-2 fencing competition between teammates’ hand tied together; in a giant chess with 2 teams of 16 players on the set; and in a 2-on-2 Table Tennis game with one handmade racket per team and teammates’ ankle tied. These activities highlighted the values of sport forging cooperation and solidarity. Then, taking in mind the Summit resolution to organize an event on 10 November 2018 with the key theme “Social Business and Sport& Culture”, Joel Bouzu renewed the invitation to Professor Muhammad Yunus to the 10th Peace and Sport Forum in the Principality of Monaco from 6 to 8 December 2017 to continue the discussion on the power of sport as a tool to promote social business. The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate renewed enthusiastically his “yes”, and added: We need to transform this greed based civilization into one based on real human values. We can do it, if only we want to”.

At the Opening of the 10th Peace and Sport Forum in Monaco, two major partnerships have been announced with Professor Muhammad Yunus and the Yunus Centre’s functional arm, the Grameen Creative Lab and the Jordanian National Olympic Committee (JOC) that will see the organisations collaborate on the Principality of Monaco’s first ever Social Business Fund. Peace and Sport and the Yunus Centre will seek to reach the most vulnerable people around the world by stimulating both entrepreneurial activity and the practice of sport as a tool for peace. Peace and Sport also joined forces with the Jordanian National Olympic Committee, signing a key Memorandum of Understanding. The MoU, which was signed by President Bouzou and the JOC Secretary General, will see the two collaborate on the Live Together Programme, which helps to bring sport and activity to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Alongside UNHCR, a host of International Federations, and Peace and Sport, the Live Together programme will inspire hope throughout the refugee camp and show how sport can be a real tool for change. Peace and Sport President, Joel Bouzou, said: “These are very important partnerships for Peace and Sport, and a very special way for us to kick off the 2017 Peace and Sport International Forum. We are committed to enacting real change around the world, and we feel that sport has the power to do this. Through our new Social Business Fund we can help people around the world help themselves, and raise awareness of the importance of social initiatives in business. The work Professor Yunus has done around the world has been incredibly influential, and we are delighted to be contributing to this common goal. Additionally, the National Olympic Committee of Jordan offers us a real opportunity to help use the Olympic sports to change the world for the better, and I am excited about what lies ahead for this partnership.

Then, more than 40 high-profile Champions for Peace representing 23 countries and 20 different sports joined together with Joël Bouzou, to discuss the numerous actions carried out over the past year and talk about the numerous projects they are involved in under the umbrella of Peace and Sport. The new Champion for Peace and football star, Didier Drogba spoke alongside Noble Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus on day two of the Forum. Drogba introduced the audience to the work he has done through his Foundation, which has been responsible for easing civil tensions in the Ivory Coast, and how he hopes to link it to the Peace and Sport brand. He also took the opportunity to stress the importance of sport in the global peace movement, and the role of athlete ambassadors in using their platform to drive change. “Experience has taught me that I can use my voice to bring about change and that I can be an example for others. I take my role of ambassador very seriously and I hope that it will give me new opportunities to speak about problems that affect my country and my continent, which are so close to my heart.” he said.

 

In this spirit, inclusiveness, impact measurement and sustainability are three commitments the Forum placed at the centre of the organization of the event as well as the dedication to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG´s) of the United Nations (UN). theannualseconference.org/2017 . Global development trends show that social exclusion, youth unemployment, migrant integration, climate change, ageing society are escalating in severity and urgency. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require the integration of three dimensions: Social equity, Economic development and Environment protection. A crucial role for social innovators and entrepreneurs in the implementation of the SDGs is expected in the medium term. Government agencies are encouraged to seek out “the best social innovations” in their programs, and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to use their new models to scale their services through public-private partnerships.The SDGs offer an opportune framework for many social enterprises to adopt initiatives to contribute to a number of goals relating to poverty reduction or access to food, health, education, etc,. Transition to a sustainable development pathway could be accelerated by a combination of innovative social design and innovative social solutions which ultimately create new service markets. Social Innovation helps social enterprises to increase service placement opportunities in existing markets. Interest around impact investing continues to grow. As donors and investors demand clarity of impacts in an increasingly crowded market, new models and tools for social impact measurement will continue to devlop. Nevertheless, a much more widespread support for practical skills in design, prototyping, experiments, social investment and evaluation is necessary.

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