The Greatest Speeches in History: Babson College 2016 Commencement Address by Muhammad Yunus

The Greatest Speeches in History is a weekly column that compiles the most memorable speeches in history with the goal to emphasize on the power of public speaking, to illustrate its importance, impact, and necessity to master.

This week we will focus on one speech delivered in 2016 by social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader Muhammad Yunus at Babson College. Muhammad Yunus is a founder of Grameen Bank and of the pioneering concepts of microcredit and microfinance, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Here are the most notable outtakes from that address that have the power to inspire and motivate the entrepreneur within you, to make you think about your strength and ability to change the world one step a time:

“You are lucky because you are born this time that you are in. That makes you the most powerful generation in the human history. No other generation ever had so much power in their position, which you have.”

“Are you aware of your power? Are you aware that you are the most powerful generation in human history?”

“How much of this power you will be using on yourself, for building your comfort zone? How much of that power you will be using for the rest of the world? … Because later on, with the pressure of your work, probably you will forget that you had so much power you could have used it to change the world.”

“Each one of you has the power to change the entire world!”

“You have to imagine what kind of world you really want. Imagination is the real power! … When you imagine, don’t put a limit. Be as wide as you can be in your imagination as if you are writing social fiction.”

“Imagine big things… but always start very small… Limit yourself to tiny little thing of change and make it happen. It is easy!”

“So what I do is to put the objective of charity and put a business engine behind it. And suddenly it becomes very powerful – money comes back and you use it again, and again, and again.”

“Forget about jobs… jobs is a very old-fashioned idea. An obsolete idea that should have ended last century but somehow it sneaked in. Get rid of you. You keep telling yourself again and again “I am not a job-seeker, I am a job-creator.” And behave like a job-creator. Think like a job-creator. Suddenly you see completely different thing emerging in front of you.”

“You have the ability to become entrepreneur… All human beings in the world are entrepreneurs. That’s in our DNA. That’s in our blood. That’s how millions of years we’ve lived on this planet by using that entrepreneurship.”

“We are go-getters. We are problem-solvers.”

“I put three zeros as my destination: zero number one – zero poverty in the world… zero number two – there shouldn’t be any unemployment… third zero – zero net carbon emission. We don’t want to destroy our planet.”

“We can create this world if we work together, if we put our mind into it and use our creative power to make it happen! Please, make it happen!”

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