Speakers at the Council on Foundations meeting in Atlanta dissected the Bernard Madoff investment scandal, which resulted in the dissolving of 51 foundations, and left 143 others seriously injured.
At a previous global philanthropic gathering, Muhammad Yunus, the “father of microfinance” and founder of the Grameen Bank, urged those in economic development to think of the current financial crisis as an opportunity for sweeping change. Rather than simply extricating ourselves from the crisis, we also should be asking about the new systems that would best serve humanity going forward, such as: "Do we really want to return to the pre-crises status quo?"
He suggested that any new system should be based on the fact that “human beings are multi-dimensional, not simply profit-making machines…The current financial system does a remarkable job of tapping into the selfishness that human beings share. Let us re-orient our thinking to also tap into the selflessness of human beings; why not tap that commonality to pave the way for social businesses that create opportunities for others?”