New technologies reinforce efficiency and impact social business

This was one of many intriguing topics discussed at a recent sustainable business conference organized by Danone and attended by 200 experts from five continents.  The “Danone Communities” social business model was initiated by Franck Riboud (CEO of Groupe Danone) and Muhammad Yunus (banker, economist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient). The mission of Danone Communities:

To fund and develop local businesses with a sustainable economic model, oriented towards social goals: reducing poverty and malnutrition.

Our team at work
Our team at work

I was selected to be a member of the Social Media panel and collaborated with a group of participants that included members of the Grameen Foundation, Orange, BNP, Ericksson, NGO thought leader WiserEarth and clever startups such as Make Sense.

We analyzed several business cases and explored the challenges and possibilities for these technologies:

    • e-learning tools
    • Remote operational control in decentralized organizations (safety, quality, supply chain,…)
    • Reporting tools in rural areas (sales reports, geolocalization,…)
    • Cash management including payments with cell phones

The end of the workshop, we identified a list of challenges, solutions and action items. This information was shared with the other workshop participants at an evening presentation that highlighted the day’s learnings.  Members of our team will meet again to share further insights and updates.

If you would like to receive a summary of this session, please send me an email at:

patricia (add the @) patriciaphilbin (.) net

To learn more about Danone Communities and how to get involved as an investor or volunteer, visit this link.