Entering the hall bright and early on the morning of Saturday November 17th at SociaLIGHT's 2nd annual conference, I immediately noticed the vibrant energy among 1000 entrepreneurs and delegates eager to network and hear the full line-up of speakers ahead.
Over the past year, attention given to the international microfinance industry has continued to be fixated upon scandals – such as the suicides among borrowers in Andhra Pradesh, India – which led to the ‘great Indian microfinance crisis.’ Despite significant industry efforts, as of August 2011 the situation in Andhra Pradesh had only improved slightly.
"Dignity is more important than bread.” Basma Bouazizi said these words when referring to her brother Mohamed, the Tunisian who set himself on fire just over a year ago and sparked a global movement and inspiration for change. Her mother, Mannoubia added, "My son set himself on fire for dignity." Mohamed and other global citizens have been recognized this year by TIME Magazine, who announced this year's “Person of the Year” to be “The Protester.”