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Muhammad Yunus

Banker to the Poor, 1998

Photograph of Muhammad YunusAbout the Author

Muhammad Yunus (born 1940) is a Bangladeshi banker and economist, who has become the figurative and literal leader of the microcredit movement. Born in the seaport city of Chittagong, Yunus studied at Dhaka University in Bangladesh, then received a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University. He received his PhD in economics from Vanderbilt in 1969 and the following year became an assistant professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University. Returning to Bangladesh, Yunus headed the economics department as a professor at Chittagong University.

Yunus established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, which today offers credit to 7 million poor people in Bangladesh. From 1993 to 1995, Yunus was a member of the International Advisory Group for the Fourth World Conference on Women, a post to which he was appointed by the UN secretary general. He has served on the Global Commission of Women's Health, the Advisory Council for Sustainable Economic Development and the UN Expert Group on Women and Finance. Yunus is the recipient of numerous international awards for his ideas and endeavours, including the 2006 Nobel Peace prize, jointly with the Grameen Bank. In early 2007 Yunus showed interest in launching a political party in Bangladesh named Nagorik Shakti (Citizen Power), but later discarded the plan. He is one of the founding members of Global Elders.

Top 10 Ideas

Download Muhammad Yunus's Top 10 Ideas from the interview.

Interview Transcript

Download a transcript of the interview.

Muhammad Yunus: Part 1, A Worm's Eye View

In this video, Muhammad Yunus, author of Banker to the Poor (1998), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about the worm's eye view in conversation with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 29 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Muhammad Yunus: Part 2, Bottom of the Pyramid, Social Business and CSR

In this video, Muhammad Yunus, author of Banker to the Poor (1998), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about the bottom of the pyramid, social business and CSR in conversation with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 29 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Muhammad Yunus: Part 3, Grameen Bank, Microfinance and the Role of Women

In this video, Muhammad Yunus, author of Banker to the Poor (1998), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about Grameen Bank, microfinance and the role of women in conversation with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 29 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Muhammad Yunus: Part 4, Climate Change and Consumerism

In this video, Muhammad Yunus, author of Banker to the Poor (1998), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about climate change and consumerism in conversation with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 29 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

Muhammad Yunus: Part 5, Poverty, China and Hope for the Future

In this video, Muhammad Yunus, author of Banker to the Poor (1998), one of the most influential books on sustainability, talks about poverty, china and hope for the future with Senior Associate Wayne Visser, on 29 August 2008. The interview was part of the Cambridge Top 50 Sustainability Books Project.

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Other Books (Selection)

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism (PublicAffairs, 2008)

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