Join us for the inaugural Noesis Lecture delivered by Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Professor Yunus will discuss his life’s work and his vision for a world of zero poverty.
Professor Yunus is the father of microcredit, the father of social business, the founder of Grameen Bank, and of more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh. For his constant innovation and enterprise, Fortune Magazine named Professor Yunus as “one of 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time.”
A Fulbright Scholar at Vanderbilt University, Professor Yunus received his Ph.D. in Economics in 1969.
Professor Yunus returned to Bangladesh in 1972 and joined the Department of Economics, University of Chittagong, as its chairman. In 1976, Professor Yunus started to experiment with providing collateral free loans to the poor. The project was called Grameen Bank Project and later, in 1983, became a full-fledged bank for providing loans to the poor, mostly women, in rural Bangladesh. Today Grameen Bank has over 8.4 million borrowers, 97% of whom are women and disburses over one and a half billion US dollars each year.
In 2006, Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The purpose of the Eudaimonia Institute (EI) is to explore the elements of and institutions that support eudaimonia, or genuine human flourishing. We are creating a community of scholars dedicated to developing an interdisciplinary understanding of what eudaimonia is, what the institutions are that support it, and what its chief obstacles are, all in the hopes of enabling more people to achieve eudaimonia.
The mission of the EI is to investigate the nature of eudaimonia, or genuine human flourishing, and the political, economic, social, and cultural institutions that encourage and discourage it.
We are interested in the exploration of both the theory of what eudaimonia is, and the practical implications of this understanding. We seek to understand what kinds of lives are truly worth living, as well as what policies, practices, and conventions should be encouraged to help people to lead such lives. We investigate eudaimonia not only at the level of individuals but also at the levels of organizations, communities, and societies. We expect that our research will help shape social reform and the national conversation, but we will not limit or confine our investigations by any prior concerns for their policy implications. Finally, the curricular and pedagogical implications of our research are also important to us: What does our research say about how we should frame liberal arts and professional education?
The parameters of our investigations are indicated by the following criteria: to partner with and support research that faculty at Wake Forest University either are already conducting or could be encouraged to undertake; to bring in visitors and support faculty members who can have homes in departmental units of WFU and also have an affiliation with the EI that will enable them to conduct research that furthers the missions of both their departments and the EI; and to situate our research within Wake Forest University’s Pro Humanitate educational vision.
In light of these parameters, here are some of the lines of research the EI is committed to exploring: