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Unusual Talks

Author: Unusual Pioneers by Yunus Social Business

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"I believe it all starts with purpose – and it IS a competitive advantage" – Em Faber, former CEO Danone

The world is facing unprecedented social and environmental challenges. It is becoming clear that we need to move past business as usual. The Unusual Talks feature insights into the emerging space of social intrapreneurship and highlights agents of change. We spotlight the voices of corporate social intrapreneurs and their executives.

Unusual Talks is brought to you by Yunus Social Business, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Porticus and 15+ sector organizations.
19 Episodes
We’ve hit a milestone recently that many thought would take some more years to achieve: Carbon prices have surpassed 100 USD in Europe recently and are flirting with the 100 EUR mark as of today. So carbon emissions are finally hitting corporate balance sheets and income statements. This means that we need real, honest action against emissions. And for that, we need transparency. Not just for holding firms accountable. But also in order to give companies the visibility they need to trigger actual action. So we called Lubomila Jordanova, Co-Founder of Plan A, a tech startup that helps companies to document and map their carbon footprint, analyse it through AI and provide recommendations where to take action. Plan A has received venture financing from leading venture capitalists such as HV Capital in Germany, Demeter, coparion and Softbank. It’s last financing round of 10M USD in November last year brought its total financing to 15M USD. Links- Plan A: Lubomila LinkedIn: Greenouse Gas Protocol: Morningstar stripping funds of their sustainability label: Yunus Social Business:
Peter Smith, the author of “Procurement with Purpose”, takes us on a deep dive into the world of impactful procurement, how companies can build structures to integrate sustainability and inclusion into their value chains and how we can move the needle through collaboration. This episode highlights how we can leverage diversified supply chains with various partners to create meaningful impact. And it addresses how procurement managers can overcome challenges with working with smaller organizations – such as social businesses.LinksProcurement with Purpose by Peter Smith: Social Business:
Corporates often struggle with deeply understanding their customers needs. This is especially true when it comes to issues of sustainable consumption and the so-called "conscious consumer". Kantar's data driven approach helps companies to discover trends and to deepen their understanding of the market in order to act on sustainability and social responsibility. They are able to show companies how to cater to the individual needs of vulnerable groups and minorities. Jonathan Hall, Kantar's Partner for Sustainability, gives tangible recommendations for meaningful marketing and transformational products.LinksKantar: https://www.kantar.comFoundational Sustainability Survey 2021: Social Business:
In this year-end episode, we take a look back at 2021 to highlight key developments in social intrapreneurship, social business and social procurement. We take this opportunity to share our high- and lowlights, talk about the future of the stakeholder economy and how we want to contribute our small part to this transformation at Yunus Social Business. Links:Yunus Social Business: www.yunussb.comUnusual Pioneers: www.unusualpioneers.comYunus Social Business Research: corporateyunus.comAXA Emerging Customers, providing insurance coverage to vulnerable groupsMedtronics Labs, providing access to healthcareUnilever's Shakti Project, providing access to essential goods and services
More and more companies understand that diversification of their workforce has a massive impact on their performance, sustainability and social impact. However, only few seem to be able to realize their diversity plans. Inclusively helps companies to hire people with disabilities and manage their special needs. Karen McEliligott at the Autodesk Foundation highlights how they have been working with Inclusively to bring people with special needs to the company. LinksInclusively: inclusively.comAutodesk Foundation: www.autodesk.orgAcumen: of 100 Corporate-Ready Social Businesses: Social Busniess:
100 million people across India depend on the textile industry as their main source of income. However rural artisans which are mostly women often lack the skills to operate on a wider market and hence live under the poverty line. RangSutra provides the bridge between these rural artisans and the global industry. They give access to training, working capital, and quality control. By selling their textiles to IKEA, Rangsutra was able to impact over 20.000 lives. Rural artisans working with RangSutra were able to increase their income by a factor of five. Especially the female workers profit from a better social status due to their financial independence. Learn more about this inspiring partnership.LinksRangSutra YSB Portfolio: X RangSutra: Shop: www.ransutra.shiprocket.socialYunus Social Business:
In the last episodes, we talked about social procurement and how companies buy from social businesses. Today, we want to feature a special version of social procurement. With us is Christian Garcia, Managing Director ANDEAN at McCain. He is responsible for the social business Campo Vivo which was launched by McCain in 2015 with the support of Yunus Social Business. It supports smallholder farmers in Colombia through technical assistance, stable prices, and digital training. Almost 50% of Colombia’s rural population still live in poverty and have no chance to build up assets – such as land ownership, technical assistance or irrigation. Putting thriving communities at the heart of its strategy, McCain decided to launch Campo Vivo to tackle this issue.  In this episode, Christian talks about his journey with Campo Vivo, the challenges involved and success they have celebrated. Juliana Galvez Gerente, our Director for Corporate Partnerships in Colombia, is co-moderating this session. LinksCampo Vivo: of Campo Vivo: Social Business: more about the other social business initiatives by McCain, such as:Bon et Bian, social business in France: L'Kheir, social business in Morocco:
Since 40 years The Body Shop acts as a perfect example to prove that higher spendings on a sustainable supply chain can make a perfect and impactful business case. What started with a store is Brighton is now a sustainable global cosmetics company. They leverage their supply chain to fight poverty and safe resources by working together with social businesses like Plastics for Change. Plastics for Change acts in highly polluted areas where it collects and recycles plastics providing clean material to their partners. The Body Shop and Plastics for Change collaborate to provide recycled packaging to their customers.  LinksFull Social Procurement Report: Social Enterprises (Acumen): of 100 corporate-ready social enterprises: Body Shop: https://www.thebodyshop.comPlastics for Change: https://www.plasticsforchange.orgYunus Social Business:
This fragile state of the globalized economy makes it painfully obvious that our value chains may need a revision. A Capgemini Supply Chain Survey amongst 1,000 companies has revealed that two thirds of all organizations will rethink their supply chain strategy post-COVID. What if we actually created positive impact through procurement? What if companies had the chance to work with impact-first organizations – social businesses – to use their procurement spend in order to scale social and environmental impact? Inspiring civic sector organizations have engaged in “social procurement” – the practice of companies buying products or services from social businesses. Companies such as SAP, Zurich, IKEA, Unilever or EY have created social procurement practices and concrete commitments. Our latest research and that of our peer organization Acumen highlights pathways to social procurementLinks:Full Social Procurement Report: Social Enterprises (Acumen): of 100 corporate-ready social enterprises: Social Entrepreneurship: https://www.ikeasocialentrepreneurship.orgSAP 5x5 by 2025 Pledge: Economic Forum COVID Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs:
Today, we bring you an inspiring story about an extraordinary woman, Gisela Sanchez. Having experienced poverty herself growing up, she understood the realities of families at the base of the pyramid. With hard work and a beautiful mind, she rose up the ranks at FIFCO, a leading mid-cap company in Costa Rica. And when she heard about the concept of social business, she hunted down our co-founder Muhammad Yunus to convince him to build a social businesses together with her company. What started seven years ago, is now a sustainable business that serves the underprivileged with affordable, fortified food. In many ways, malnutrition is a key contributor to poverty. Globally, 149 million children under 5 are estimated to be stunted (too short for their age) and 45 million are estimated to be too thin for their height. Malnutrition leads to severe deficiencies in a child’s ability to learn, leading to lower education, little income opportunities and thus a spiral of poverty. And ultimately, 45% of deaths among children under 5 are linked to undernutrition.LinksFIFCO: https://www.fifco.comNutrivida: Social Business:
Ruchika Singhal is the Vice President of Global Access at Medtronic and heads Medtronic Labs – a social business for healthcare access. Millions of people can't afford the healthcare they need. As a result, they suffer from low incomes, lack of education opportunities and low quality of life. Medtronic - the world's biggest medical device supplier - addresses these challenges through innovative healthcare access solutions in Asia and Africa. In order to achieve their goals they work closely together with governments, NGOs and others. Tune in to learn more about the challenges they overcame in building up their social business and the various initiatives Ruchika has helped launch.Medtronic: www.medtronic.comMedtronic Labs: www.mdtlabs.orgYunus Social Business:
The COVID crisis has made it painfully clear that we need equitable access to healthcare. We get a chance to talk with Cristina Campos and Lutz Hegemann at Novartis, who lead Novartis' access activities, including Novartis' social business activities. Millions of underpriviledged people have been benefitted from their initiatives. Listen into their journey and lessons learned.Novartis: https://www.novartis.comYunus Social Business:
Access to finance as a tool for poverty alleviation?Salah Goss talks about her mission to bring financial services to the African continent - and drive change and positive outcomes at Mastercard. She is a financial inclusion expert specializing in digital solutions. She is Senior Vice President for Social Impact at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. She was also Head of the Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion in Nairobi where she oversaw technology innovation and product development focused on developing markets. Salah has contributed to multiple patents, representing her contribution to the development of innovative digital solutions. You can learn more about her work at Mastercard here.Gabriela Gandel is an experienced leader of innovative global organisations, organisational and personal development consultant and experiential learning designer. She spent her last 10 years working as a manager or consultant with a mix of not for profit and for profit global organisations spanning over 50 countries around the world. She has worked with HSBC, KPMG, BP, TATE Britain and 10 key art galleries in England, ProVita Romania, RoPot, Human Invest. Learn more about her work here.You got caught up in the topic of intrapreneurship? Get more information on the topic here.
Garance Wattez-Richard is leading AXA‘s Emerging Customers division, tackling social issues amongst BOP customers through insurance solutions with a sustainable business model. In this episode, Garance outlines how the unit is positioned at the insurance giant. You’ll also hear from Maggie de Pree, CEO and Founder of the League of Intrapreneurs. She highlights the role of intrapreneurship in achieving climate and social goals.LinksCurious about AXA‘s Emerging Customers division? Check out their website.You can find out more about The League of Intrapreneurs here.
How can we drive social value in a large company? Which role do incentive structures play in supporting social innovation? And is ESG helpful in driving positive impact? Listen to Jasjit Singh, Professor of Strategy at INSEAD and Jessie Coats, EY Global Impact Entrepreneurship Leader. The conversation is moderated by Katell Le Goulven, Executive Director at the Hofmann Institute for Society at INSEAD. Learn more about Jasjit’s Work here. Check out the many interesting perspectives that Jessie published through EY here. And learn more about the work of the Hofmann Global Institute for Business & Society at INSEAD here.
"Let us conduct our businesses with both the heart and the head" – Antoine Riboud, Danone CEO 1972 Antoine Riboud's speech in Marseille came just two years after Milton Friedman's "Shareholder Value Doctrine" article. Riboud's words were in stark contrast to Milton's focus on shareholder value maximization and asked companies, Danone first and foremost, to serve all its stakeholders. Especially in the twenty years from 2001 to 2021, Danone has shown an incredible trajectory towards a purpose-driven company, culminating in the B Corp certification and becoming France' first "Enterprise á Mission".  But in 2021, its CEO, Emmanuel Faber, was pushed out of office by activist investor Bluebell Capital. In this episode, he speaks about this journey and the campaign against him. 
On this episode, you will listen to the Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Yunus and the former CEO of Unilever, Paul Polman, talking about climate change and the ability of every person to change something by founding a social business themselves or leaving positive impact via intrapreneurship from within existing companies. A big thank you to the Schwab Foundation and our partners Porticus for making this podcast series possible. And thanks also to the 15 plus sector organizations who are helping to implement the Unusual Pioneers program. Further reading: Upcoming Book “Net Positive” by Paul Polman Book “A World of Three Zeroes” by Muhammad Yunus Unusual Pioneers Program (applications open)
You will hear from Gib Bulloch and his business DEcelerator for intrapreneurs, from Florencia Estrade who has created the “I’m in” campaign at the League of Intrapreneurs, from Yasmina Zaidman, who has built numerous partnerships with companies at Acumen and Heiko Spitzeck, author of the intrapreneurship book “All that Jazz” and professor for corporate social innovation. Asa Skogstrom Feldt will talk about IKEA’s ambition to integrate Social Entrepreneurs into its business. Jayanth Bhuvaraghan will talk about his journey from a social intrapreneur to Chief Mission Officer at Essilor. Corinne Bazina will highlight how Danone is financing and supporting social businesses around the world. And Aaron Hurst will share his thoughts about c-suite buy-in, based on his book The Purpose Economy but also from his background as the Founder of the Taproot Foundation and CEO of the leadership development platform Imperative. Further reading: Aaron Hurst: Imperative Executive Coaching, The Purpose Economy Book  IKEA Social Entrepreneurship Danone Communities Essilor Eye Mitra  Craigberoch Decelerator by Gib Bulloch and his book. League of Intrapreneurs Acumen Fundacao Dom Cabral and Heiko’ Spitzecks book: Social Intrapreneurism - All That Jazz  More case studies and research on Social Intrapreneurship here
An Unusual Trailer

An Unusual Trailer


Today, we are launching our Unusual Pioneers’ podcast. It features the highlights of our Unusual Talks brought to you by Yunus Social Business, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Porticus and 15+ sector organizations. We spotlight the voices of corporate social intrapreneurs and their executives. These “Unusual Pioneers” are at the forefront of transforming companies into net positive contributors to people, the planet, and society. They talk about their dreams and ideas, their successes and failures, their challenges and opportunities, and why there is hope if we act.
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