The Future of Philanthropy: Can Market-Based Models
Save the World?
January 20, 2010 | 6:00 PM | 20 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor | New York
NY 10001 RSVP
A new movement called philanthrocapitalism promises to save the world by applying a market-based perspective to various social
and economic challenges. How well can this approach solve the complex and nuanced goals of fundamental social transformation?
Some argue that philanthrocapitalism is a new and innovative way to breathe life and resources into the causes for which we
advocate. Others maintain that business-based solutions are based on an entirely different set of principles, and will never
inspire the collaborative spirit necessary for true change.
SUMMARY | BUILDING SOCIAL BUSINESS The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves
Humanity's Most Pressing Needs MUHAMMAD YUNUS WITH KARL WEBER
How soon will social business have an impact on society?
have to change the whole society. If your social business works with only five people, you have invented a seed! Now you can
plant it a million times. Grameen Bank got started in a single village with just $27 in loans. Now microcredit is a worldwide
movement that helps millions. Social business is beginning the same journey.
The world faces many overwhelming
problems, from the environment to infectious diseases to economic collapse. Don't you find this disacouraging?
is the luckiest generation in history, because we have thousands of opportunities to make the world a better place. If all
the problems had already been solved, we'd be saying, "What am I going to do with my life?" Instead, we can choose
from almost unlimited options.
Where do ideas for social businesses come from?
incredible opportunities. Look at the iPhone with its beautiful touch screen. Someone could use this same technology to solve
the problem of illiteracy. By touching the icons, an illiterate woman in Bangladesh—or the United States—could
learn words, hear stories, play games, and teach herself to read and write. All that's required is for someone to see the
When leading corporations like Danone, Veolia, BASF, and Intel work with you to develop social businesses,
how do you assess their motives?
Many people wonder whether corporations like these are "using" me
to enhance their reputations. Actually, I think I am using them. They give the idea of social business immediate legitimacy.
Now business people around the world are developing their own ideas for social businesses. So I would say to anyone who wants
to support this important cause: Use me, please!