Camarillo, Calif., Feb. 18, 2010  –  California State University Channel Islands (CI) will welcome Dr. Muhammad Yunus, to its campus on Feb. 26, 2010, for its annual Campus Reading Celebration and to launch the new California Institute for Social Business (CISB).  Dr. Yunus is the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient.

Included in the day’s activities will be a morning discussion with CI students, faculty, and staff of Yunus’ book, Creating a World without Poverty -- Social Business and the future of Capitalism, led by Dr. Yunus.  Yunus will also review a Service Symposium Poster Session from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Broome Library, featuring service projects/events undertaken by CI students, faculty, staff, and community partners.

At 4 p.m. the public will have an opportunity to join students from CI, Ventura, Moorpark, and Oxnard Colleges at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza (TOCAP) to discuss his innovative concept of social business, and its potential for addressing a variety of social problems and issues.  Corporate sponsors for the event include Citi, Domino’s Pizza, Limoneira, Montecito Bank & Trust, Patagonia, Regenerate Films, SAGE, and Westlake Village Inn. General admission tickets may be purchased by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or the TOCAP box office at www.civicartsplaza.com or 805-449-ARTS.

Planning and implementation for the CISB has been ongoing for the last two years, with input from a cross disciplinary team of  faculty members and inspiration and collaboration from Dr. Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and its subsidiary companies under the Grameen umbrella.  Dr. Ashish Vaidya, Dean of Faculty, stated that Vice President for University Advancement Julia Wilson had worked at the Grameen Foundation prior to her appointment at CI and brought Dr. Yunus to President Richard Rush’s attention.

“Social businesses promote social objectives and deliver positive social change using business methods and practices.  The concept of social business fits perfectly with the mission of the University, said Dr. Ashish Vaidya.

The faculty has worked to define the concepts and principal elements for the CISB and has plans to develop undergraduate and graduate curricula, initiate a social business plan competition, encourage social business incubation including the establishment of a social venture fund to provide seed funding, and advance academic research in this nascent field. Our mission is to discover the best way to address social problems and needs,” stated Vaidya.  Vaidya expects that Dr. Yunus will contribute to the strategic direction and ongoing development of the CISB.

At the recent Global Grameen Conference held in Berlin, Germany, CI’s President Rush addressed Grameen’s growing number of international business partners saying, “The California Institute for Social Business seeks collaborators from those here today – we want to learn from your endeavors and include our faculty and students in your ventures.” 

The newest university of the 23-campus CSU system, CSU Channel Islands opened in 2002.  Unencumbered by years of tradition, CI educates its students for the world they will inherit, with a focus that is international, multicultural, civically engaged, and interdisciplinary.  The innovative CISB supports the University mission.

Further information about the CISB or Dr. Yunus’s visit may be directed to Julia Wilson, Vice President for University Advancement at CSU Channel Islands at 805-437-8803 or julia.wilson@csuci.edu.

For media inquiries please contact Nancy Gill, Director of Communication & Marketing at CSU Channel Islands at 805-437-8456 or nancy.gill@csuci.edu.
      

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands 
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.