Much of humanity lives at or near subsistence across resource and literacy barriers. This presentation will summarize the field of subsistence marketplaces that takes a unique bottom-up approach to the intersection of poverty and marketplaces. The presentation will cover the synergies derived between research, teaching and social initiatives this arena presents for researchers, educators, students, and practitioners.
Madhu Viswanathan is the Diane and Steven N. Miller Centennial Chair in Business at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He earned Bachelor’s (Mechanical Engineering, IIT, Madras, India, 1985), and doctoral (Marketing, University of Minnesota, 1990) degrees. His research programs are on measurement, and subsistence marketplaces, where he has authored books: Measurement Error and Research Design (Sage, 2005), Enabling Consumer and Entrepreneurial Literacy in Subsistence Marketplaces (Springer, 2008), Subsistence Marketplaces (ebookpartnerships, 2013), and Bottom-Up Enterprise (ebookpartnerships, 2016). He has pioneered the area of subsistence marketplaces, with a bottom-up approach to the intersection of poverty and marketplaces (www.business.illinois.edu/subsistence). He teaches courses on research methods, subsistence, and sustainability, educational experiences on the latter, reaching almost a thousand students a year at the University of Illinois, and tens of thousands of students around the world through Coursera. He founded and directs the Marketplace Literacy Project (www.marketplaceliteracy.org), pioneering the design and delivery of marketplace literacy education to subsistence marketplaces. With partners and ongoing programs in India, Tanzania, Uganda, Argentina, Honduras, and Illinois, tens of thousands of women have received marketplace literacy education. He has received numerous awards and serves on the Livelihoods Advisory Board of UNHCR.