Bangladeshi banker, economist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient. He previously was a professor of economics where he developed the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. Small loans are given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. Yunus is also the founder of Grameen Bank. In 2006, Yunus and the bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, “for their efforts to create economic and social development from below.” Yunus himself has received several other national and international honors. He is the author of Banker to the Poor and a founding board member of Grameen America and Grameen Foundation. Yunus also serves on the board of directors of the United Nations Foundation, a public charity created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support United Nations causes.
He was named by the Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania as one of The 25 Most Influential Business Persons of the Past 25 Years. In 2009, American Magazine Forbes listed him as 6th on the list of The 50 Most Influential Management Gurus.In 2009, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by US President Barack Obama and in 2010 the Congressional Gold Medal by US Congress.
Professor Yunus’s vision is the total eradication of poverty from the world. In addition to his pioneering work in microcredit, which has now been replicated all over the world, Professor Yunus has developed a new concept that he has termed Social Business. He arrived at this model after recognizing a fundamental flaw in the theoretical economic structure of capitalism that says all businesses should be created to maximize profit, transforming the human being into a one-dimensional, moneymaking machine.
Ida Beerhalter is heading IOME, a private investment partnership of women principals from the Gulf with its head office in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Additionally she currently serves as member of the Board of Trustees of Astia, USA, as member of the board of Trustees of First Light Trust, United Kingdom, as Investment Advisor at Bellwald Partner GmbH, Switzerland, as Investment Partner at MedXperts, Germany, as Strategic Advisor to Impact Investment Partners LLP, United Kingdom, as Advisor to Yunus Social Business GmbH, Germany, as Member of the advisory board of Social Business Earth, Switzerland, as Advisor to Omnia Strategy LLP, USA & United Kingdom, as Consultant to Shanghai Biomedical Enterprise LLC, Hong Kong, as Director Corporate Affairs at Cardionovum GmbH, Germany, and as Advisor to MedPrivee. Ida is registered acquisition coach at High-Tech-Gruender-Fonds, Germany, and serves as juror and coach at the European Venture Contest.
Joanne Sawicki is a media entrepreneur with over 25 years international experience running profitable media businesses. She is an award winning writer, director and producer, having held senior roles in the BBC, BSkyB, Channel Nine Australia and News Ltd. She is currently CEO of Cerescom Ltd, a production and training company that creates social impact programming and interactive strategies for large organizations. She also match-makes impact investors with dynamic, talented creative projects and people. A pioneer in multi-platform media, Joanne uses her communication skills to change consciousness and generate ethical profit.