Renowned economist Muhammad Yunus, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his leadership in the field of microcredit, visited UBC Friday to receive an honorary degree and participate in a colloquium on social corporate responsibility.
Known as “the world’s banker to the poor,” Yunus has extended more than $6 million in small loans to more than 7 million of the world’s poor through Grameen Bank, which he founded in Bangladesh in 1983. These loans have helped thousands, many of them women, to achieve financial independence.
Yunus had accepted UBC’s invitation in 2006 to receive an honorary degree; however, his visit was postponed when he and Grameen Bank were announced as co-winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. He now receives his degree as part of UBC’s Centenary celebrations.
Moderated by UBC President Stephen Toope, the colloquium included as panellists Regional Chief Shawn Atleo, Patrice Pratt, Chair of Vancity’s Board of Directors, and Prof. James Tansey of UBC’s Sauder School of Business and W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics.
Yunus also participated in a Vancity-hosted microcredit workshop and delivered the inaugural Michael Smith Memorial Nobel lecture at a sold-out evening event.
Previous UBC honorary degree recipients include fellow Nobel laureates His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi.
To see videos of Yunus’ UBC honorary degree acceptance speech, his Michael Smith Memorial Nobel lecture, or his participation in the social corporate responsibility colloquium, visit: www.ubc.ca/webcast.
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