"What kind of world do we want to leave for our grandchildren? A beautiful, peaceful, harmonious one. Sure. But what do we do for it?" asks Muhammad Yunus during his keynote speech at the IAA MOBILITY Virtual. Finding answers to these questions is the great challenge of our time. Because humanity is facing "unprecedented suffering" if it does not seriously fight global warming, warns the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, at the same time emphasising the urgency: "There is no time left. The survival of the planet is at stake." He speaks of no more than 20 years left for the Earth: "We are all travelling on the same road - and it leads straight to a cliff. We have to turn around quickly and build new roads."
But how can we make the world a better place? Yunus is a friend of big goals. Anything is possible, is his message. Three goals need to be achieved: "No poverty, no unemployment, no CO2 emissions".
First of all, however, people's mindset has to change, says Yunus: "If we don't change our thinking, we won't come up with solutions." This is where social business could help as the basis of a new economic order. In his keynote speech, he described in simple and clear terms why the idea of sustainable business is so important: "There are two types of business: business to maximise profit - and business to solve the problems of humanity.“
Social business does not pursue personal profit interests. It is exclusively dedicated to collective happiness by solving problems of the general public. In the same breath, Yunus talks about technology, which in his opinion is both a blessing and a curse: "Technology should only be used for people, not against them. However, the increasing mobility with combustion technology in particular would do more harm to the planet than good. Yunus: "It is no longer just about faster or further. We have to look at mobility more holistically - there is no way around alternative drives." The Nobel Peace Prize winner gives priority to simple companions that run on renewable energy sources and biofuels and take up less public space, for example in cities, than the typical car of today.
"We need business and ideas that change the world," Yunus appeals to the automotive industry. "After all, we are blessed to have been born in an age of great opportunity - an age of amazing technologies, great wealth and limitless human potential. The solutions to many of our world's pressing problems are within reach." He added that the IAA MOBILITY 2021 would show part of this in an impressive way.
The person: Prof. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, born in 1940, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. His idea: to help the poorest of the poor to build up their own existence with microcredits. In 1983, he founded the Grameen Bank, the world's first microfinance institution.