Dr Guy Turnbull’s report is here

Former Adelaide Specialist Thinker in Residence and award-winning UK social entrepreneur Dr Guy Turnbull is encouraging South Australia to step up and grow its co-operative movement.

Dr Turnbull, recognised for successfully opening co-operatives (or social franchises) abroad, has outlined recommendations as part of his role for the Adelaide Thinkers in Residence program, focused on developing South Australia’s Purpose Economy.

“Adopting new co-operative ways of owning and organising a range of economic activity including health and social care services, is the key to strengthening the local economy.”

“There is no greater way to engage an employee and deliver superior outcomes than to make them an owner of the organisation they work for – this is why the employee ownership and co-operative business models are thriving.”

Dr Guy Turnbull

When people have a stake in an organisation like a co-operative, they deliver a much better quality of care. This makes the business more successful and means that profits can be reinvested in staff development and better care.

The right support ecosystem needs to be in place for more co-operatives and mutuals to form in South Australia. This includes:

Dr Turnbull’s final report from his 2018 residency.
  • Establishing a central voice
  • Having strong connections to the global movement
  • Accessing appropriate social investment finance
  • The availability of bespoke business advice and support
  • A supportive legislative environment

Co-operative and social enterprise business models gain traction when they focus on particular sectors – health, aged care, disability as well as creative industries should be prioritised.

There are already great ideas being brought to the table including; bringing together carer co-operatives with primary and allied health professionals and having multi-stakeholder co-operatives of providers and people with disabilities, families and workers, who as member-owners, are engaged in how care is delivered.

These are examples of potential innovative models where South Australia can show national leadership on engagement and outcomes for transformational social care programs such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“I encourage South Australia to identify and nurture more Social Entrepreneurs as people are what matter most in business, including co-operatives and social enterprises.”

Dr Guy Turnbull

Dr Turnbull’s report: ‘Towards a Co-operative State: Securing the Social and Economic Prosperity of South Australia through Corporate Diversity,’ is available here.

The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, State Government, tertiary education, allied professional stakeholders and the private sector are currently working with Dr Turnbull, on contributing to the development of a blueprint for action in Australia’s health and social care sector.

Melina Morrison, CEO of the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM), comments on Dr Guy Turnbull’s final report.

World-famous pioneer of microfinance in Adelaide with vision to lift more people out of poverty


Renowned Nobel Peace Prize winning economist and entrepreneur, Professor Muhammad Yunus, is at the forefront of a world movement towards eradicating poverty, unemployment and carbon emissions.

Professor Yunus is urging South Australians including business and political leaders, not-for-profits and entrepreneurs, to embrace his mission to achieve zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero carbon emissions.

“It’s time to admit that the capitalist engine is broken,” Professor Yunus says.

“In its current form, it will inevitably lead to inequality, unemployment and environmental destruction,” he says.

Professor Yunus articulates the push for a new form of capitalism in his latest book – A World of Three Zeroes: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions.

“I’m calling on a greater commitment to innovation which is focussed on reducing poverty, improving healthcare, education and reducing pollution to protect the environment,” Professor Yunus says.

Pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance, Professor Yunus founded the grassroots Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.

“By establishing Grameen Bank, we’ve helped millions of Bangladeshis out of rural poverty by lending them small amounts of money, or microfinance, to set up their own businesses,” Professor Yunus says.

“The model we are working with is to help people who are too poor to qualify for a traditional bank loan and give them the finances to start their own business,” he says.

“Most of the beneficiaries are women and the loans system is based solely on trust. It’s workable, as 98 per cent of loans are repaid.”

Grameen began rolling out micro-finance branches in the United States a decade ago, and last year provided $600 million worth of loans. To date, $27 billion has been leant to nine million women who are living in some of the world’s poorest communities.

In Australia, Grameen Bank is looking to open its first micro-finance branch at Grafton in New South Wales.

The Don Dunstan Foundation’s Executive Director David Pearson says Professor Yunus has created a legacy of real social change in not only Bangladesh but now in many western countries.

“Capitalism is undergoing a revolution and more and more social enterprises are now being created with a commitment to the “Three Zeroes” concept,” Mr Pearson says.

“The social-business model offers a challenge to South Australians to do more and tap into the creativity of young people, utilise latest technology and establish new social enterprises here.”

STEMSEL Foundation in collaboration with the Yunus Centre in Bangladesh, have developed a global movement of Dr Yunus Young Ambassadors (DYYA), to implement the principles of the Three Zeroes, across the social sector, business world, academia and government.

Professor Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. He’s also the bestselling author of “Banker to the Poor.”

Professor Muhammad Yunus – Adelaide events

 WHEN: Thursday, 22 March 2018

WHERE: Australasian Social Business Forum with Professor Yunus at Pembroke School (Theatre), 18 Holden Street, Kensington Park – 10.15am until 3.00pm. Cost: General admission $132 and student/concession $66.

The world’s first social business by kids will be launched to provide scholarships for people in need.

Tickets: https://www.humanitix.com/event/australasian-social-business-forum-2018/

Event host sponsors include Grameen Australia, STEMSEL Foundation, Wyatt Trust, Don Dunstan Foundation, University of Adelaide and Fay Fuller Foundation.

Free Public Lecture: – Flinders University (Matthew Flinders Lecture Theatre), Sturt Road, Bedford Park – 5pm until 6.30pm

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/zero-poverty-zero-unemployment-and-zero-carbon-emissions-is-it-possible-tickets-43294478952 Event host sponsors include Flinders University, Don Dunstan Foundation, Wyatt Trust, Grameen Australia and STEMSEL Foundation.

WHEN: Friday, 23 March 2018

 WHERE: Student Invention Summit: Funding Inventions for Social Good at University of Adelaide, Bonython Hall, North Terrace – 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. Free event.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/student-invention-summit-funding-inventions-for-social-good-tickets-43470355002 Event host sponsors include Cognito Foundation, Rotary Gawler, University of Adelaide, STEMSEL Foundation and Grameen Australia.

FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES CONTACT: The Message Bureau, (08) 8223 7703 or 0419 754 564.



Specialist Thinker in Adelaide to encourage behavioural change for a healthier lifestyle


Adelaide has welcomed internationally renowned and award-winning behavioural scientist Dr Vic Strecher from the US, for the Don Dunstan Foundation’s Adelaide Thinkers in Residence program.

As the Director of Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, he is the founder and President of JOOL Health (www.joolhealth.com), a digital health solution company that integrates the science of ‘purpose’ in life to improve general well-being among users.

“Studies have shown that having purpose reduces risk of heart attack and stroke, cuts your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by more than half, helps you relax during the day and sleep better at night, diminishes your inflammatory cells, increases your good cholesterol, and repairs your chromosomes,” Dr Strecher says.

“I am keen to share my experience of supporting both the non-profit and for profit sectors; working with governments and engaging with corporates to highlight how finding your purpose in life leads to better health and overall happiness,” he says

Dr Strecher’s latest research and books are related to the importance of developing and maintaining a strong purpose in life.

His most recent book, Life On Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything, examines the science and philosophy of the purpose in life and ways to develop and align with one’s purpose.

The Don Dunstan Foundation has partnered with the university, business and community sectors to deliver the program, with the residencies focusing on growing jobs in the purpose economy – the fastest growing section of the South Australian economy.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to welcome Dr Strecher to South Australia as part of the 18-month program to help build the purpose economy here,” Don Dunstan Foundation Executive Director David Pearson says.

“Dr Strecher’s sold out public events in Adelaide demonstrate a growing interest in the relationship between purpose, health and work,” Mr Pearson says.

“These things are all linked and can be improved by having a greater sense of purpose in everything we do.”

The Adelaide Thinkers in Residence program is about supporting new jobs, attracting investments and driving knowledge based exports.