Microfinance and a Very Sharp Brain

We would like to join oth­er blog­gers in con­grat­u­lat­ing Muham­mad Yunus for hav­ing been award­ed the Nobel Peace Price.

The gen­e­sis of micro­fi­nance, in Pro­fes­sor Yunus’ own words.

Not often can we find per­son­i­fied exam­ples of what we write about. For 3 out of the last 4 entries in this blog, I can not think of a bet­ter exam­ple than Muham­mad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank-that launched the field of micro­fi­nance.

The entries:

- The Learn­ing Cycle, includ­ing Con­crete Expe­ri­ence and Active Test­ing: in 1976, when he was a Pro­fes­sor of Eco­nom­ics, he gave a small loan to a num­ber of vil­lagers. He did­n’t preach. He acted.

- Reflec­tion, that led him to an Aha! moment : “If you can make so many peo­ple so hap­py with such a small amount of mon­ey, why should­n’t you do more of it”? (quot­ed in NY Times today). His direct expe­ri­ence, and this Reflec­tion, gave him the moti­va­tion to try and lit­er­al­ly change the way many poor peo­ple live world­wide. It led to the birth of microfinance.

- The joy of giv­ing: I am sure Muham­mad Yunus, and thou­sands of peo­ple involved in his work, has been amply reward­ed with free dopamine and oxy­tocin. To quote today’s Finan­cial Times, “With­out col­lat­er­al, the sys­tem has to rely on trust and social inter­ac­tion to secure repay­ments. It is these fun­da­men­tal aspects of human nature that can help for­ward not only devel­op­ment, but also peace”.

Plus, giv­en that he has announced he will donate the $1.4m prize mon­ey, we can pre­dict an even high­er dopamine and oxy­tocin release in his brain, cer­tain­ly high­er than in the brain of the writer of this sur­pris­ing arti­cle.

Good news: there is a sol­id pipeline of future Muham­mad Yunus­es, opti­mist and prag­mat­ic social entre­pre­neurs (“New Heroes”, accord­ing to PBS):
— A great book titled How To Change The World, that pro­files the field and some of its most inspir­ing participants
— The pio­neers in sup­port­ing social entre­pre­neurs world­wide: Ashoka: Inno­va­tors for the Public
— Anoth­er great foun­da­tion: The Schwab Foun­da­tion for Social Entrepreneurship
— The “>Change­mak­ers community
— And of course,
Con­stant Learn­ing at Grameen

Final­ly, a post on resilien­cy. Enjoy the weekend.

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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