Revisit: Subsistence Marketplaces


The Second Subsistence Marketplaces Conference, Chicago, 13-15 Jun 2008; Registration deadline 30 May

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The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in conjunction with the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (UIUC) and the University of Wyoming, Laramie, are pleased to present

The Second Subsistence Marketplaces Conference:
Sustainable Consumption and Commerce For a Better World
June 13-15, 2008, University of Illinois, Chicago

Conference Chairs

Madhu Viswanathan
University of Illinois
Urbana- Champaign

José Antonio Rosa
University of Wyoming

Joseph Cherian
University of Illinois

(Conference website with registration and other details at )

This conference is designed to promote conversation and inspire collaboration. It will be held at the UIC campus, chosen because of UIC’s long-standing tradition of socially-minded research across its many colleges and departments, the vibrancy of its surroundings and its metropolitan, highly accessible setting. The conference is jointly sponsored by UIUC and UW, with its rich multi-disciplinary traditions and pioneering initiatives for product and market development for subsistence marketplaces.

The conference will run from the evening of Friday, June 13 to Sunday, June 15 with keynote addresses on Friday and Saturday as well as concurrent sessions on Sunday. The proposed schedule allows for a dynamic and fast moving conference, along with adequate opportunities for our guests to enjoy the great city of Chicago. Finally, a book of selected chapters from among conference presentations is planned. Please e-mail one of the conference chairs for more information.

Registration is now open with information at at


This coming June, as many as 100 academicians, business practitioners and social enterprise leaders will come together for the second subsistence marketplace conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Unique to this enclave is a bottom-up approach to subsistence marketplaces, focusing on better understanding and responding to the people – consumers and entrepreneurs – who live at or near subsistence, and who comprise a majority of the world’s population. This bottom-up focus is distinct from the macro-level economic approaches, and mid-level business strategy approaches, such as the base of the pyramid (BOP), that has characterized research on this topic. The first subsistence marketplaces conference was an undeniable success, energizing projects and collaborative arrangements that cut across traditional boundaries and a collection of readings published as a volume in the Advances in International Management series by Elsevier in 2007. We expect even more great outcomes from the second conference.

This second gathering aims to give visibility and critical assessment to new developments in our study and respond to subsistence marketplaces over the last two years. The fundamental motivation for this conference is the same as the first – to apply contemporary and rigorous scholarship from academic, business and social enterprise sources to the task of meeting the needs of subsistence consumers and small merchants in ways that are economically, socially and ecologically sustainable. The upcoming conference will retain the distinctive bottom-up approach to understanding subsistence marketplaces based on buyer, seller and other market constituent behaviors. Sessions will draw on academic research, business practice, social entrepreneurship and management education, in the realm of subsistence marketplaces. The conference will be of interest to a variety of audiences including academicians, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, business practitioners and NGOs across their broad spectrum of activity. It will again combine a keynote address, presentations from invited guests and presentations of papers submitted in response to our call, with the added benefit of an increasingly vibrant and synergistic array of outputs because of the growing maturity of these areas of inquiry. Our keynote address will be delivered by Stuart Hart (Samuel C. Johnson Chair in Sustainable Global Enterprise, Cornell Univeristy, author of Inclusive Capitalism). We have planned presentations by academic researchers, business practitioners and social entrepreneurs. The talks will cover basic research, teaching and practice.

Full paper submissions for the conference will be eligible for the review process for a special issue of the Journal of Business Research on Subsistence Marketplaces.


Unless otherwise noted, all conference activities will be in :

Student Center East (SCE), Illinois Rooms
750 South Halsted Street
Chicago, Illinois

We have planned sessions on:

    Understanding Subsistence Consumers
    Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Subsistence Marketplaces
    Sustainable Product and Market Development in Subsistence Marketplaces
    Sustaining Culture in Subsistence Marketplaces
    Research Methods for Subsistence Marketplaces
    Collaboration and Co-Production in Subsistence Marketplaces
    Policies and Strategies for Subsistence Marketplaces
    Teaching as a Tool to Enable Sustainable Marketplaces
    Management Education on Subsistence Marketplaces

Some author/presenters already confirmed for the conference are:

    Samer Abdelnour, University of Western Ontario
    Andres Barrios, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
    Sonia Camacho, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
    Suraj Commuri, SUNY-Albany
    Dipankar Chakravarti, University of Colorado
    Krista Crawford-Martin, Capella University
    Stephen Darr, Peacework Development
    Hamish Gow, Michigan State University
    David Hunt, University of Wyoming
    Sara Lindeman, Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration
    Ted London, University of Michigan
    Neela Mukerjee, Development Tracks RTC
    Paul Munson, Sun Ovens International Inc.
    Anupam Panigrahi, Orissa Center for Monitoring Organizational Development and Economic Growth
    Robin Ritchie, University of Western Ontario
    Kathleen Robbins, Green Microfinance
    Benet DeBerry-Spence, University of Illinois at Chicago
    Srinivas Sridharan, University of Western Ontario
    Arcelia Toledo and German Otalora, EGADE, ITESM Mexico
    Carlos Trujillo, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia