danone.communities helps create a social business hub in Cambodia with Pr M. Yunus

On March 5th, danone.communities’s board meeting ended with a social business event at the Royal University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Yunus, also Vice President of our board spoke in front of more than 500 students about the power of youth and how they can change the world.
This event was co-organized with some local actors of the social business: Social Enterprise Cambodia, 1001 Fontaines(one of the project supported by danone.communities) and Friends-International.
All together, we decided to turn the traditional conference format upside down. It started with a panel discussion followed by breakout sessions in smaller groups. Participants discussed on different topics, shared lessons and made new connections in a very dynamic and fun atmosphere. Royal University of Phnom Penh was turned into a real social business hub!
The event ended with an incredible performance from young artists of the Phare Cambodian Circus.

Alberto Cremonesi, Founder of Social Enterprise Cambodia, an independent initiative dedicated to promoting social entrepreneurship in the Kingdom, says: “The key message the Nobel prize addressed to the youth was –nothing is impossible, just take whatever problem you like, turn it inside out, do exactly the contrary of what has been done for years – and you’ll see your desired change come true”
What this event made possible in Cambodia?
Alberto mentions that it helped create “a community of people with an increasing interest in the concept of social business and that this interest is increasing also among young locals: at least half of the audience was students or young people.” The focus now has to be put on sharing resource and best practices with all the actors in Cambodia (universities, social businesses, companies, NGOs,...) sharing a common vision. Lastly, he says that “models that have been used for a long, long time are not necessarily the best. They should be examined and turned around”.
Click here to watch the video of the event

For more information about the social business model of 1001 Fontaines, a great article on the  blog DownToEarth: http://downtoearth.danone.com/2014/04/28/how-1001-fountains-brings-potable-water-to-cambodian-villages/

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