Subsistence Marketplaces


Third Subsistence Marketplaces Conference, Chicago, 9-11 Jul 2010, Chaired by Cheryl Nakata and Madhu Viswanathan

 ARC: Connections: ELMAR: Posting

areas: society: call


The Third Subsistence Marketplaces Conference:
From Impactful Research to Sustainable Innovations for Subsistence Marketplaces

July 9-11, 2010
Chicago, Illinois
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Illinois at Chicago

Conference Chairs:

Cheryl Nakata
University of Illinois

Madhu Viswanathan
University of Illinois
Urbana- Champaign

Track Chairs

Kathy Dhanda
DePaul University

Al Rosenbloom
Dominican University


Organized jointly by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Illinois at Chicago, with the participation of Dominican University and DePaul University, the Third Subsistence Marketplace Conference will be held July 9-11, 2010 in Chicago at the University of Illinois-Chicago campus.

The conference will focus on impactful research and commercial and social innovations for subsistence marketplaces that are ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable. Subsistence marketplaces consist of consumers and entrepreneurs who live at or near subsistence levels, and are concentrated in developing countries and regions such as Brazil, India, and Sub-Saharan Africa. As businesses, governments, and nonprofit organizations seek to better understand and serve these communities, the Subsistence Marketplaces Conference is a leading forum for sharing research on and fostering practices in these communities.

The conference will include plenary panels, participatory workshops, key note speeches by thought leaders, special sessions on specific topics, and presentations of papers submitted in response to this call. An emphasis will be on sharing ideas and knowledge between researchers, practitioners and students.

Of special interest will be a preconference workshop on developing service and product innovations for subsistence marketplace buyers, where approaches will be presented on how to develop such innovations. The workshop will combine marketing, design, and engineering perspectives, considering issues such as literacy, poverty, social capital, and business infrastructure.

Details about registration, lodging, and accommodations will be available soon on the conference website at

Continuing the practices of past conferences, arrangements will emphasize affordability for a diverse range of participants.

Call for Papers

Academicians, students, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, business practitioners, nonprofit managers, and NGO leaders are encouraged to attend and submit papers on a wide range of topics on subsistence marketplaces that have implications for commercial and social innovations, broadly construed. Innovation has become a key impetus for generating insights into, and providing value-laden products and services for, subsistence marketplaces. Consistent with the title of the conference, papers should emphasize a bottom-up and within-marketplace perspective rather than a top-down, distant-from-the marketplace view.

Some suggested topics are below, and submissions may go beyond these:

  • Buyers and Sellers in Subsistence Marketplaces
    • Consumer and buyer/seller decision processes, such as innovation adoption
    • Entrepreneurship and innovation in subsistence marketplaces
    • Specific consequences of literacy and poverty for buyer and seller behavior
    • Creativity, invention, and re-invention of products/services by consumers or entrepreneurs in subsistence marketplaces
    • Innovative research methods for subsistence marketplaces
  • Business Practices in Subsistence Marketplaces and the Need for Sustainability
    • Developing new products and services for subsistence marketplaces
    • Incorporating global sustainability in products and services for subsistence marketplaces
    • Technology identification, product design, testing, and launching for subsistence marketplaces
    • Scaling up for new products and services in subsistence marketplaces
    • Collaboration and co-creation methods for innovation activities in subsistence marketplaces
    • Innovation in distribution systems and its influence on consumer welfare
    • Consumption and its implications for global sustainability
    • Pricing for value and sustainability
  • Social Innovations for Subsistence Marketplaces
    • Merging social and business missions through social innovations
    • Incorporating business practices in nonprofit organizations developing social innovations
    • Social innovation alliances and partnerships among NGOs, governments, and businesses
  • Management Education on Subsistence Marketplaces
    • Innovations in the business curriculum and education to incorporate subsistence contexts

All authors are asked to submit a three-page abstract, from which acceptance decisions will be made and preliminary session planning will be carried out. We encourage abstracts from researchers and practitioners.

Submission Deadline for Three-Page Abstract: February 1, 2010

Submission Requirements:

Page 1: Title, author(s), and full contact information (including e-mail).

Pages 2-3: Double-spaced abstract of the paper, inclusive of references, tables, and other key materials

E-mail as a Word document to Madhu Viswanathan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at and to Cheryl Nakata, University of Illinois at Chicago at

Notification of Paper Review Decision: February 15, 2010

Submissions for Publication

We are currently exploring the possibility of a publication that is partially or fully based on articles stemming from presentations at the conference. Prior conferences have led to a book (Advances in International Management series by Elsevier in 2007) and a special journal issue (Journal of Business Research, Forthcoming). Further details about publication opportunities will be available as they are finalized. A tentative schedule is as follows:

Submission Deadlines for Full Drafts:

August 31, 2010 – Deadline for paper submission after incorporation of comments from conference participants and conference chairs
November 30, 2010 – Feedback to authors after peer review
January 31, 2011 – Deadline for revised submission
May 31, 2011 – Final deadline for subsequent revisions

Submission Requirements:

Page 1: Title, author, and full contact information (including e-mail).

Pages 2-35: Double-spaced paper not to exceed 35 pages including references, appendices, and exhibits.

To be submitted as Word attachments via e-mail to and