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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Social Business Forum Asia 2014

I can't believe how many things happened this weekend! If I were to combine them all in one post, it would be way too long and then I won't have anything left for the rest of the week. So let me go chronologically, with what happened on Friday.

Social Business Forum Asia 2014
Friday was the Social Business Forum Asia 2014, organised by the Yunus Social Business Club (YSBC). I am technically a member of the YSBC, but this is the first event of theirs that I've attended. Whoops, I'm such a terrible member haha.

The Social Business Forum Asia (I'm just going to shorten it to SBFA from now on) was held at Hakozaki. I was supposed to reach there at 11am to help set up, but uh, due to me oversleeping (and then falling asleep in class due to medication), ended reaching there about 12 plus, when everyone was finished and taking a break. Double whoops.

Since it was my first time at the YSBC, I got to meet lots of people!

Look, people! 
I would post lots more photos, but I forgot to ask for permission, so I won't post any photos that show faces clearly.

My job at the SBFA was to hand out the simultaneous translators and collect them afterward. It's actually a pretty easy job, because the main thing was to make sure that none of the translators got taken home after the event.

The transmittors! 
Because most of my job took place before and after the event, I got to sit up front for the first half and listen to Mr. Yunus speak. (Sorry, there are no photos of the event, cameras were prohibited because some star that I didn't recognise was there).

His speech is truly inspiring. I recently read his book Creating a World Without Poverty (click on the link to read my review!) and it was really inspiring. He is just as, actually more, inspiring in person. He talked about how we should see ourselves not as job-takers, but as job creators. Considering that the norm in Japan is to look for a job even before we graduate, his advice to start our own business is really radical.

Apart from Professor Yunus, we also heard from Mr. Hans, who is his creative advisor, about the work that they're doing in Colombia. They're starting a social business to help potato farmers!

From Japan, there was this star that's starting a social business. After all three guests spoke, there was a panel discussion, and they introduced some of the activities of the YSBC.

The whole event was extremely inspiring. The only thing was that I was in heels and a dress, and well, I was sitting down without a chair. So when the YSBC members were asked to stand, my right leg was so numb that I almost twisted my ankle and fell. I grabbed the hand of the guy standing next to me (we just met today) just to stop myself from falling. Let's see whether my new acquaintance will continue talking to me the next time he talks to me.

After the event, there was an after-party, and guess who I got to talk to?

Yes, Professor Yunus himself! 
He is such a nice person! I was actually stationed outside the door to collect translators, and we had a short exchange (he thought I was handing out things). When I spoke to him at the after party, he recognised me and I was like whoaaaa. *fangirl*

And he answered all my questions as well! So all my doubts that I raised in my book review was basically answered by him.

Mr. Hans and I
I also had a really fruitful conversation with Mr. Hans. I told him (and Professor Yunus) about Amberbrook, and he gave me his namecard because he might because to introduce us to the guy from the World Toilet Day. I hope he replies, because we really do need guidance right now.

This was a really great event. I learnt a lot of things, and met a lot of awesome people. Another perk of going to Kyushu University ^^

AFFILIATE LINK: Buy Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism from Amazon. The book is inspiring and I highly recommend it! If you click on that link to buy, I get a small cut, while you don't need to pay anything extra to be inspired. Win-win for all of us.

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