Chinese Philanthropist donates it all!

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Chinese Philanthropist donates it all!

Postby Dennis Ng » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:28 pm

I'm very inspired by Warren Buffett donating 85% of his wealth away and his efforts with Bill Gates to get other Billionaires, so far they managed to get 40 billionaires to donate at least 50% of their wealth away.

Now, finally, Yu Pengnian, a Chinese has made us Chinese proud, he topped them all, donating EVERYTHING to charity.

It inspired me to want to spearhead the formation of a S$100 million Charitable Foundation, to help the poor in Asia to become Financially Educated and to start their own small business, to help to solve the unemployment problem and help elevate the poor from povery in China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore.

Anyone interested in this Cause can email me at dennis@HousingLoanSG.com

Cheers!

Dennis Ng, http://www.MasterYourFinance.com

Chinese philanthropist donates it all

Mark MacKinnon
Shenzhen, China — From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published on Friday, Jul. 23, 2010

Yu Pengnian’s journey from poor street hawker to Hong Kong real-estate magnate was already a remarkable one. Then the 88-year-old did something even rarer that shocked many in increasingly materialistic China: He gave it all away.

Saying he hoped to set an example for other wealthy Chinese, Mr. Yu called a press conference in April to announce he was donating his last 3.2 billion yuan (about $500-million) to a foundation he established five years earlier to aid his pet causes – student scholarships, reconstruction after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and paying for operations for those like him who suffer from cataracts.

“This will be my last donation,” he announced. “I have nothing more to give away.”

With that endowment, Mr. Yu became the first Chinese national to give more than $1-billion to charity, now having contributed almost $1.3-billion in cash and real estate to the Yu Pengnian Foundation.

In a stunned China, the question came quickly: Wouldn’t his children be angry that he had given their inheritance away? “They didn’t oppose this idea, at least not in public,” the eccentric Mr. Yu says, laughing, when asked the question again during an interview at his foundation’s office atop the 57-storey Penglin Hotel in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

“If my children are competent, they don’t need my money,” Mr. Yu explained. “If they’re not, leaving them a lot of money is only doing them harm.”

To make sure that didn’t happen, he appointed HSBC as his foundation’s trustee and stipulated that none of its holdings could be inherited, sold or invested.

In a society where capitalism is just 30 years old, and charitable giving an even younger concept, Mr. Yu says one of his primary goals in making a show out of giving his money away was to set an example to other rich Chinese. “Everybody has a different view of money. Some do good things with it, some rich people do nothing with it. …My goal is to be a leader, a pioneer who encourages rich people, inside and outside of China, to do something charitable.”

The charitable eccentric

It would be easy to characterize Mr. Yu as an oddball. His hair is dyed jet black and held up in a bouffant. He regularly wears white Mao suits and matching white shoes at which his Western-educated grandchildren quietly cringe. His desk, which sits in the middle of an office he shares with half a dozen of the foundation’s staff, is covered with such oddities as a bowl of plastic fruit, a money-counting machine, and a pair of duelling model fighter planes, one Chinese, one American.

He displays little of his wealth – he lives in the Penglin Hotel and eats most of his meals in the buffet restaurant – but sits beneath a giant smiling portrait of himself. Another giant dinner plate emblazoned with a picture of Mr. Yu sits propped up on his desk, gazing directly at anyone who pulls up a chair across from him.

As offbeat as he may be, it’s hard to question his generosity. Mr. Yu, who is ranked the 432nd richest person in mainland China, has topped the Hurun Report lists of the country’s top philanthropists four years running – and will certainly do so again this year – leading by example as the idea of large-scale giving has quietly taken hold among a growing number of China’s superwealthy.

Rags to riches

Mr. Yu says his passion for charity is a result of his own humble beginnings. Born in a small village in China’s southern Hunan province, he travelled to Shanghai in his youth hoping to find his fortune. Instead, he found himself pulling rickshaws and hawking trinkets on the streets until he was arrested in 1954 – on the false accusation that he came from a family of wealthy landlords – and sentenced to three years in a “thought correction centre.”

After his release, he finally caught a gust of good fortune when he was granted rare permission to travel to Hong Kong. He found a job as a cleaner at a large firm, and even though he spoke no English or Cantonese, slowly impressed his way up into a junior management position, saving everything he earned along the way.

In the 1960s, Mr. Yu and some friends pooled their money together and bought their first property, the beginning of a new career that would see him make millions through shrewd purchases that he would sometimes later sell at 20 or more times the original price. As his holdings grew, he became notorious in Hong Kong as the “Love Hotel King” – a name he detests – because many of the properties he owned were rented by operators of hotels catering to hourly stays. He also won fame for buying the last home that kung-fu star Bruce Lee lived in before his death, a property Mr. Yu later donated back to the Hong Kong government as a museum.

Hard lessons in giving

But in rural China, particularly his native Hunan province, Mr. Yu was developing a very different reputation. When he returned to his hometown of Lou De each year for the Spring Festival holiday, he handed out red envelopes stuffed with cash to the elderly and poor.

Those trips taught him an early lesson about the perils of charitable giving. One year, he enlisted the help of local government officials to help him stuff each envelope with 400 yuan. He found out later that much of the cash had been pocketed by the corrupt bureaucrats, and to this day he insists that the money he donates go directly to the recipients without going through any other charities or government agencies. “In China, I do charity only with my own eyes and hands. I don’t trust others,” he says.

Mr. Yu’s initial foray into wider-scale philanthropy came after he developed cataracts and had a successful operation to repair his eyes in 2000. When he researched the disease afterwards, he found that 400,000 Chinese developed cataracts every year, and many sufferers couldn’t afford the required surgery.

He was deeply moved and decided to spend $10-million annually on mobile cataract clinics that drive to the most remote parts of China to perform surgeries paid for by Mr. Yu. His own oversized photograph – his eyes clear of cataracts – is on the side of the “Bright Eyes” vans, which have carried out more than 150,000 cataract operations around the country since 2003.

Mr. Yu says his latest passion is education. He says he wants the bulk of the money from his most recent endowment, as well as the profits from the hotels and other properties he has donated to the Yu Pengnian Foundation, to go to scholarships. “Some for poor students, others for talented students I want to encourage, including foreign students who want to study in China,” he said. “Education is very important for a country, very closely related to its prosperity and standard of living.”

A legacy project

Mr. Yu is proud to hear his name mentioned alongside such famous Western philanthropists as Bill Gates and George Soros – as well as Hong Kong’s Li Kashing, Asia's most famous philanthropist who has given away $1.4-billion of his estimated $21-billion – but likes to point out that he’s gone a step further than they have by giving away all his money. However, he admits he wasn’t ready to go back to the hard life he lived as a young man.

“I’m not poor, not yet. I still have a credit card – an American credit card – and I take a VIP room in this hotel. And I take business-class flights. I allow myself this,” he says, smiling.

As Mr. Yu speaks, his grandson, Dennis Pang, watches with obvious respect and affection. As someone who was in line to inherit some of the fortune, Mr. Pang admits that he was initially bewildered by his grandfather’s insistence on giving away what he had earned. But then he took a job as his grandfather’s personal assistant, and saw first-hand the good the Yu Pengnian Foundation was doing.

“Before I came here, I was a little confused. But now when I see the people that he helps, I understand that it’s special,” Mr. Pang said. My. Yu’s two sons, both in their 60s, sit on the foundation’s board of directors.

Mr. Yu is pleased to have his family’s support, but says he would have gone ahead with his philanthropy with or without their approval. “I don’t care what others think. It makes me happy to give my money away. I used to be poor.”
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
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Postby Ax » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:19 pm

Dennis,

I guess most chinese would just leave their huge fortunes for their children?

I never thought there will be a chinese like yu pengnian who would donate his vast fortunes away. Always thought will be the americans who leads the way....

was at your property seminar today. learnt more about your dream regarding your foundation... truly something inspiring... i never tot too.. all these will come from a singaporean... :) in my mind.. singaporeans are too busy earning their 5Cs...

so when do you intend to materialize all these?
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Postby Dennis Ng » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:57 am

Ax wrote:Dennis,

I guess most chinese would just leave their huge fortunes for their children?

I never thought there will be a chinese like yu pengnian who would donate his vast fortunes away. Always thought will be the americans who leads the way....

was at your property seminar today. learnt more about your dream regarding your foundation... truly something inspiring... i never tot too.. all these will come from a singaporean... :) in my mind.. singaporeans are too busy earning their 5Cs...

so when do you intend to materialize all these?


Hi Ax,
as mentioned, my original intention is to initiate a Charitable Foundation 5 years from now, when we have 10,000 seminar graduates. But after my recent trip to China, I decided to do it now instead.

Basically, I want to help alleviate people from poverty, I find that giving them money and other things do not really help in the long run. The best way to help the poor is to empower them to get out of poverty, by providing them with Knowledge and Capital.

I find that most Charities face 2 problems:
1. need to raise funds every year to sustain operations.
2. finding enough Volunteers to help in the activities.

Thus, I have conceived an Idea which can solve both problems at the same time. We will just raise funds 1 time and then the Foundation will sustain its operations without need to raise funds again in future.

As mentioned, I want to initiate to start a S$50 million Asia Charitable Foundation which focuses on helping the Poor in Singapore, China, Taiwan and Malaysia (first, then other countries) to provide them with:

1. FREE Financial Education to equip them with knowledge on budgeting and managing their finances.

2. FREE education to teach them how to start small business eg. a stall selling things.

3. Provide start-up capital (small loans) to them adopting the "Grameen Bank" model, and interest collected from loans granted will enable to Foundation to sustain its operations.

This 3rd part is very important, as it will help alleviate the poor to employ themselves (thereby solving the unemployment problem which is acute in China) and it also provide revenue for the Charitable Foundation to continue to sustain its operations without need for further fund raising.


Actually, we only need fewer than 2,150 donors to make this Foundation a reality:

ALL Donors have to both donate money and also willing to give their time (10 hours a year) to help in activities to be a Founding Member of this Charitable Foundation:


1. Platinum Founding Members: donate at least S$500,000, only limit up to 50 Platinum Founding Members. (We will target the Rich people in Asia to be the 50 members).

2. Gold Founding Members: donate at least S$50,000, only limit up to max of 100 Gold Founding Members.

3. Silver Founding Members: donate at least S$10,000, or limit up to 2000 Silver Founding Members.

My role will only be that of an initiator and catalyst, this Charitable Foundation is founded by the total of max 2,150 Founding Members, who are the donors and also Volunteers of the Foundation. So this is not my Foundation, but an Asian Foundation founded by 2,150 Founding Members, and I'm only one of them.

Anyone interested to make this Charitable Foundation a reality please come forward to help, as whatever help and support in any form is welcome.


I have reached Financial Freedom, it is time for me to do 2 things:

1. educate the middle class to help them reach Financial Freedom.
2. educate and help the poor financially to help alleviate them from poverty.

This is why I've been conducting seminars actively since May 2009 and this is why NOW I want to be a part to make this Charitable Foundation a Reality.

I believe that this "model" of Charitable Foundation works and if we make this happens, we might create a ripple effect, where many other people might set up Charitable Foundation with different Causes using the same "model" ie. raising funds only once, recruiting over 1,000 volunteers at one-go and enable the foundation to sustain its operations without further fund raising.

Together, each of us doing a little, we can achieve alot for the less fortunate in the society. I appeal to everyone reading this message to step forward to help. You can email to me at dennis@HousingLoanSG.com letting me know how you like to help or if you want to be a Silver, Gold or Platinum Founding Member of the Foundation.

Imagine 100 years from now, when we are all gone, one day maybe our great grand children saw our Charitable Foundation doing a good deed or making a donation on newspapers/TV, and your great grand children said:"do you know that my great grand father/mother is one of those who helped to set up this Foundation?"

To me, that is really leaving a Legacy. Leaving a Legacy is not how much money we make for ourselves and leave to our children, but how much Good we do for Society while we are here on this earth, and whether the good we do can continue even after we are long gone.
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
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Postby alvin » Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:43 pm

I am in! I totally agree with you. Giving money away is not a good way to help the poor. Teaching them how to fish will help them get out of poverty.

They will also feel good about themselves when they know how to make money.
www.bigfatpurse.com - Living a Life of Abundance
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Postby Dennis Ng » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:28 pm

alvin wrote:I am in! I totally agree with you. Giving money away is not a good way to help the poor. Teaching them how to fish will help them get out of poverty.

They will also feel good about themselves when they know how to make money.


thanks.

Yes, imagine if we all group together, we can make this Charitable Foundation a Reality. In the past, only the very, very Rich, can set up Charitable Foundation, but now average persons like ourselves can chip in to set up a Foundation together, this is Leverage and Synergy in action.
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
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Postby Ax » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:12 am

count me in too.. :)
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Postby lootster » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:22 am

Hi Dennis,

Really inspired by your proposal!

Other then donating, is there other ways to help?
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Postby Dennis Ng » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:54 am

lootster wrote:Hi Dennis,

Really inspired by your proposal!

Other then donating, is there other ways to help?


sure. All kinds of help are welcome.

Donations of min S$10,000 and also min volunteering of 10 hours per year is for those who want to be Founding Members of the Foundation.
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
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Postby lootster » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:28 am

Presently, don't have much to donate but will love to help out in other ways :)

Actually I wrote to you before regarding helping you during some seminar but think you miss my email
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How Best To Give?

Postby Dennis Ng » Sat Aug 21, 2010 4:45 pm

Special Focus
Published August 21, 2010

Beacons of Philanthropy
How best to give
Mary Ann Tsao, who runs her family's Tsao Foundation, on the art of giving. By Teh Shi Ning

PHILANTHROPY may involve giving away family wealth, but the families behind many of Asia's successful businesses are starting to see how such giving can yield even richer gains.

TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE
'I would like to see more wealthy individuals take a bold step and say, let's give it a good shot, put some resources into this, and find out how best to give,' says Dr Tsao

As a great-grandchild of the Hong Kong founder of a shipping company that grew into Singapore-based investment, industries and real-estate IMC Group, Mary Ann Tsao can testify to this.

Better known for her work on aged care and ageing issues as president of the Tsao Foundation, the fourth-generation Tsao thinks business families cannot be about business alone.

'Not all family members will be involved in the business,' she says. 'Philanthropy is a good way for the family to stay engaged. It provides a platform for families of privilege to meet on a regular basis to think - and act - on something greater than themselves.'

So while the Tsao Foundation was set up by her grandmother with a specific mandate to serve the elderly, as a family the Tsaos are now looking how their philanthropic activities can reflect the larger family's varied interests, says Dr Tsao.


'At HSBC Private Bank, we have seen how strategic philanthrophy can help families instill core values and create a strong identity that binds generations of the family together. Collective decision-making, reinforcing stewardship, educating and connecting family members to the broader society are all part of the legacy of giving.'

Nancie Dupier,
Chief Executive, HSBC Private Bank Singapore



While her own children are still young, Dr Tsao's niece now works with a social enterprise in China selling stylish knits made of yak-fibre, sourced direct from Tibetan herders to help sustain their way of life and alleviate poverty - a very different mode of giving from that of Tsao Foundation, but giving all the same.

'Philanthropy and activities that serve the public good can also be a good platform for reinforcing to the next generation what it means to be a Tsao, and how, clearly, it's not just about us,' Dr Tsao says.

Uniquely for family businesses, this can also help overcome the 'third-generation curse' said to befall many such enterprises, and pass on key values. This is how family philanthropy is promoted by the Family Business Network Pacific Asia, which her brother Frederick Tsao leads and of which Dr Tsao herself is a director.

It was after her grandfather died that her grandmother, Tsao Ng Yu Shun, at the age of 86, decided to set up a foundation here to serve the elderly and asked Dr Tsao to return from the US to run it.

But the seeds were sown earlier when, as a medical student, Dr Tsao worked in poor and deprived neighbourhoods in New York. 'You start to appreciate this notion of injustice. That many families who struggle are good, decent people, but born with the wrong spoon in their mouth,' she says.

That pushed her towards clinical practice rather than research, and a misdirected application narrowed that further to a social medicine programme teaching medicine in the context of community development - a mistake she is thankful for in retrospect.

'I don't think like a regular doctor - which is on one hand not so helpful because I don't know how other doctors think - but it's helpful for my work to have that broader world-view. Medicine really should be about restoring people's well being, not just fixing broken bodies,' she says.

Which is what the operational Tsao Foundation does. Its goal is 'to help people grow old well - to help them help themselves master their own ageing journey through educational efforts and training support,' says Dr Tsao. If and when they fall ill and grow frail, the Tsao Foundation provides health and social care support services too.

Though its endowment is 'relatively modest', the foundation has developed niche expertise, investing early in areas such as home-care for the elderly via mobile clinics. Its community-based Hua Mei Community Health Services also now include outpatient geriatric care, acupuncture and TCM services and overall care management services, supported in part by donations.

Running her own medical practice in the US, before giving it up in 1993, equipped Dr Tsao with useful business savvy. After all, a non-profit cannot run on good intentions alone.

She recalls one plaque in a hospital that read: '$3.88 - no money, no mission', a reminder of the paltry but vital sum with which its founding nuns started. 'The notion was that you can't just wear your heart on your sleeve and not think about the practicalities. Your mission has to be very focused, very pure - you're there to support an under-served cause. But you also have to try to reach that goal by being more savvy in how you sustain in the long term,' she says.

Never been bored

Giving itself can no longer be the goal. 'Increasingly, donors need to know why they are giving, who they are giving to, how the funds will be used, and what impact will result,' she says. Systematic giving also allows the giver to see his gift's impact and motivate him to do more. 'Beyond money, engaged donors are also more likely to give more of their own energy, thought, influence, and generally get more involved,' she says.

Dr Tsao has 'never been bored' in her 17 years at the foundation. 'If anything, one can get burnt out because it is distressing to see the level of need and inequity day after day, and it is exhausting to work at this year after year and yet see how slow we are in addressing these issues,' she says.

Not that things have been stagnant. Singapore's rapidly ageing population has raised awareness of the need to help the elderly live independently and stay vibrant members of society in their old age. The blossoming number of non-profit organisations in this area has decreased in the past few years, Dr Tsao says, in part because government involvement has stepped up. Which might not be a bad thing, as she thinks it is 'crucial to use the work we do to influence greater change, whether by government, businesses, or other philanthropic organisations'.

Advocacy is a key part of philanthropy. 'We look at using the work we do to talk about issues, to talk about the negative impact of ageism on society, the plight of the poor elderly, the disabled elderly, the single elderly - and give a voice to those who have no voice on their own,' Dr Tsao says.

There is room for more giving though, both in aged care and the larger social sector here, she says. 'It's not for a lack of desire that people are not giving, more a lack of access to information or lack of time,' which can be remedied as more intermediaries step up to facilitate giving.

Says Dr Tsao: 'I would like to see more wealthy individuals take a bold step and say, let's give it a good shot, put some resources into this, and find out how best to give.'

tshining@sph.com.sg
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
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Doing business for betterment of society

Postby plim2 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:04 am

Hi all,

To share an article about social business. Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank, was mentioned in it.

Regards

Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus' social business model attempts to reconcile selflessness with demands of corporate world
By ANNA LEE AND JOSHUA TAN
Source: Business Times, 25Feb12

IMAGINE a world where an economic system premised on profit maximisation co-exists with a fluid model focused on selflessness and societal improvement.
Such is the social business model advocated by Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank, who spoke passionately about the subject in a series of public lectures here.

Prof Yunus was in town to participate in Social Business Week 2012, which was organised by the Grameen Creative Lab@ NUS.

The model involves a non-loss, non-dividend company that fundamentally addresses a social issue rather than focus on the bottom line.

'Economic theory took the selfish part of us and built a whole theory around it. They forgot that we are also selfless people,' said Prof Yunus.

He added: 'The theoreticians tell us if you want to be selfless, step outside of business, be a philanthropist, give away everything.'

Prof Yunus' social business model attempts to reconcile selflessness with the demands of the corporate world.
What distinguishes the social business model from philanthropy and charity (which it is often mistakenly associated with) is that it is self-sustaining.

'Charity has built-in limitations: Money goes and never comes back. . . If you can turn this into a business idea, the money replenishes itself and it becomes powerful,' he explained.

Prof Yunus related his experience of founding Grameen Bank to show the potential of this alternative model.

With no prior experience in banking, Prof Yunus started his own bank for the poor after he witnessed first-hand the failures of conventional banks. Grameen Bank, which literally means Village Bank, offers micro loans to 8.3 million people in Bangladesh and has branches all over the world.

Prof Yunus and Grameen Bank received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

The bank provides loans to the poor and 'lends money to those who have no money', an approach which he finds more intuitive. This is the complete reverse of the conventional requirement of a collateral that essentially lends money to those who have money.

'Banks should be lending money to people who don't have money so they can start something with that money,' he said.

Breaking from conventional banking wisdom, Prof Yunus took their rules and turned their whole operation around: 97 per cent of those taking loans are women; the bank is owned by borrowers of the bank and not shareholders; the bank finds the people, not the other way round.

'If you know about something, you fall into the logic of the system. . . If you do not know, you are free!' he enthused.

Such liberty, he feels, is what the world needs, given the prevalence of poverty and the inadequacies of the current economic system to grapple with various crises.

This liberty can only be manifested if the concept of a social business is adopted as an effective counterweight to the profit motive.

'That kind of business doesn't exist in textbooks. Are we freak people? Not normal? . . We don't do it because our textbooks never tell us about it,' said Prof Yunus, who believes that awareness of the alternatives available could be gained through education rather than a blind acceptance of the orthodox profit-maximising model.

'I'm giving them an option; if they want to do social business, they have the capacity to do that.'

He demonstrates its feasibility through some of his business initiatives that saw him collaborating with private firms to achieve social goals.

For instance, when collaborating with food products company Danone, Grameen Danone, which is its social-business extension, capitalised on the former's industrial expertise to manufacture Shakti Doi or 'power yoghurt' that is nutritionally enhanced for children in Bangladesh. It is sold at eight taka (S$0.12), which is extremely affordable for the masses and the poor in a country where 46 per cent of children are malnourished.

'In social business, immediately many of the costs disappear, because we're not up for making money. We're up for making sure that everyone gets it . . . Your whole mental exercise becomes completely different the moment you delink from the profitisation and that's the beauty of the social business.'

Underlying all his efforts is the eradication of poverty - a social cause Prof Yunus is most passionate about. To him, poverty is an artificial construct, 'externally imposed on poor people by the system'.

'After working with the poor people every day . . . there isn't anything wrong with poor people on this planet. They are as enterprising as any enterprising person on the planet; as hard-working as any hard-working person on the planet; as smart as any smart person on the planet . . . but they are poor. Then who made them poor? It is the fault of the system that we built,' he concludes.

And since poverty is man-made in this system we have designed for ourselves, it can also be 'man-destroyed' through human actions.

The advancements in technology have brought 'speed and universality' which have allowed for limitless potential in the institution of new businesses. And, 'if you're not using the power, the power is wasted', he said. 'We have come to a stage where it is not about racing cars any more. We're looking for flying machines that can open new opportunities for us.'

How then should we initiate this change?

'Citizens as individuals are much more powerful than the government as an institution. By the very design of the government, it is a slow-moving machine; it cannot move fast.

'We have to create the world by design not by default.'

Prof Yunus humorously suggests that 'we should all sit down with a blank sheet of paper and design our ideal world ourselves, then work on it'.
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