Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus visited Taiwan from April 10 to 14, at the invitation of National Central University, Taiwan and the Rotary Club of Taiwan.  A Memorandum of understanding (MoU) was ceremonially signed on 14th April, 2014 between Yunus Centre and National Central University (NCU), the prestigious 99 year old public university, in the presence of the Mayor of the County, Mr. John Chils-Yang Wu, deans, and faculty members, to create Yunus Social Business Centre (YSBC) in the NCU.

The objective of the centre will be to offer courses and research facilities in social business, conduct social business design labs, conference, undertake exchange program, academic workshop, encourage and train business executives to create social businesses,  promote Yunus’s vision of creating a world without poverty and unemployment. A Director has already been appointed for the Centre and the university has allocated space for it.

Professor Yunus on behalf of Yunus Centre, and Dr. Jing-Yang Jou, President of the NC University, Taiwan signed the MOU.

Nobel Chair in Honor of Professor Yunus

A “Nobel Chair” was unveiled in honor of Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus at National Central University (NCU).   A plaque is placed on the three person garden bench where one can read the accomplishments of the Nobel laureate. There are already 29 Nobel laureate ‘chairs’ created for 29 Nobel laureates, placed at different points around the specious green area of the university. A newly crafted chair, the 30th in the series, was unveiled and added to honor Professor Yunus.

Honorary Citizenship for Professor Yunus

During his stay in Taipei Yunus delivered the key note speech at Rotary club conference. Later he addressed the Master Forum organized by the Chinese Association for Corporate Transformation, Innovation, and Advancement, which attracted over 3000 young people of Taipei at the international convention centre. Yunus told them that the future has to be built by them, they are not simply to live through what they have inherited from the past. He emphasized that they have the power to create a completely new world, without any trace of old problems created in the old world. At the start of the Master Forum, Hau Lung-bin, Mayor of Taipei, gave a speech welcoming Professor Yunus to Taipei,   and formally handed over a framed certificate awarding him the honorary citizenship of the city of Taipei.

The First Lady of Taiwan Ms. Lin Hwai Min, who  has been a long time fan of Yunus,  and Professor Yunus  planted trees in Hua San Creative park.  Both addressed an outdoor gathering that had assembled to attend the tree planting ceremony.

Addressed Business and Professional Women Conference

Professor Yunus was invited by Dr Lu Hsiu-lien, founder-president of the Business and Professional Women of Taiwan (BPW), most admired woman political leader of Taiwan who spent 12 years in jail for leading the democracy movement in Taiwan, to address the conference of BPW. She also served as Vice President of Taiwan, from 2000 to 2008. Professor explained the concept of social business to the women’s conference held at the Council Chamber of Taipei City Council. Vice President Lu is now a candidate in the upcoming mayoral election of Taipei. She is very attracted to the concept of social business, has decided to make social business part of her election platform, and plans to make Taipei a Social Business City if elected.

Reception at Yunus Centre of AIT, Bangkok

On the way to Taiwan Professor Yunus stopped in Bangkok to attend a reception and executive dinner given by Yunus Centre at Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), a multinational university of technology based in Bangkok. President of the University Professor Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, faculty members of AIT, presidents of two other leading universities of Bangkok– King Mongkut’s University of Technology, and Srinakharinwirot University, Vice President of Bangkok University, Executive Director of Thailand Research Fund, CEOs of companies, Director of TSEO, and NGO representatives attended the reception. Director of Yunus Centre at AIT welcomed a group of sixty participants and announced that AIT will bring a delegation of 30 to the forthcoming social business day events in Dhaka on June 28.

YC-AIT has already launched initiatives focusing on Southeast Asia, including a unique partnership with the Thai Social Enterprise Office (TSEO), a government agency dedicated to promoting social initiatives. Professor Yunus addressed the gathering and thanked AIT authority for taking these important initiatives on social business.

Photo 1 Caption: Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung Bin presenting the declaration of honorary citizenship of Taipei City to Professor Yunus.

Photo 2 Caption: Professor Muhammad Yunus on behalf of Yunus Centre and Dr. Jing-Yang Jou , President of the NC University standing before the press after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up Yunus Social Business Centre at the University.

Photo 3 Caption: Professor Yunus at the unveiling of a “Nobel Chair” in his honor, at National Central University (CNU) Taiwan. Professor Yunus is sitting on the ‘Chair’ along with President of the University (Left) and the Mayor of the County (right of Professor Yunus). Faculty members are standing behind them.

Photo 4 Caption: The First Lady of Taiwan Ms. Lin Hwai Min (next to Professor Yunus) and Professor Yunus planted trees in Hua San Creative Park.  Both addressed an outdoor gathering that had assembled to attend the tree planting ceremony.

Photo 5 Caption: Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus at a conference of Business and Professional Women at the Council Chamber of Taipei city council. Around 150 members attended in the program. The picture shows Professor Yunus with the leaders of BPW. On the right of Professor Yunus is the founder President of Business and Professional Women, Dr Lu Hsiu-lien, who was the former Vice –President of the country from 2000-2008.

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