The Department of Politics and Government hosted a public lecture by Professor Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, on Saturday, April 14, 2018. The lecture titled “A World of Three Zeros: Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions” was held in the Brown Ballroom at the Bone Student Center and was attended by over 500 students, faculty, staff, and community members. Professor Yunus engaged the audience with his informal lecture style and his compelling and inspirational reflections on his decades-long efforts in the areas of micro-lending and social enterprise.
Professor Yunus pioneered the concept of micro-credit, small loans given without collateral to very poor borrowers, mostly women, who are not eligible for loans from commercial banks to start small businesses that can help lift themselves and their families out of deep poverty. Micro-credit programs have now been successfully implemented in many parts of the world, including in the United States. Professor Yunus also founded dozens of social enterprises, which are businesses designed to solve critical social problems rather than generate profit. His efforts over several decades have made a difference in the lives of many poor women and have helped move our world closer to eliminating poverty and unemployment.
Prior to the evening public lecture, Professor Yunus met with a group of Illinois State students in the afternoon. Immediately following the lecture, he hosted a book signing event at which he signed copies of his book titled A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions.
The event was co-sponsored by the President’s Office, the Provost’s Office, the Harold K. Sage Foundation and the Illinois State University Foundation, and the College of Arts and Sciences.