Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, will be with us on Saturday, January 19 at 5pm ET/2pm PT to discuss his book, Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism. Christy Hardin Smith will host.
From a review at The Statesman:
In 1992, Rolling Stone sent William Greider, Hunter S. Thompson and P.J. O’Rourke to Little Rock, Ark., to interview presidential candidate Bill Clinton. This interview was crucial in burnishing Clinton’s image as a policy wonk and New Democrat (that is, one who didn’t automatically look to the state for social welfare programs).
The symbol of Clinton’s "coolness" was his enthusiasm for an obscure bank in Bangladesh that made microloans to poor people. Clinton had long been interested in Muhammad Yunus, the "Banker to the Poor" who started Grameen Bank in the ’70s. Yunus believed that poverty could be broken by loaning very small sums to poor people who would invest productively — in, for instance, a sewing machine that could be used to set up a clothing business. Clinton had the prophetic hunch that something like this was needed; during his presidency, as the Cold War system of foreign aid dried up, others came to share his vision.
And so, since 1992, a lot has happened to Yunus and Grameen. The bank has set up a number of companies, ranging from a cell phone vendor that is now the largest business in Bangladesh to a yogurt manufacturer. And microlending enterprises have sprouted all over the globe; according to one survey, such institutions now reach 100 million families. And that was before Yunus and the bank gained even more fame by winning the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
It’s pretty cool that he’s going to be here.