Articles by Madhu Viswanathan
Have you ever been to a conference and felt a strange sense of déjà vu – an uncanny feeling that you've seen the sessions, read the buzzwords and heard all the stories before? Even for passionate, insightful members of the social impact community, it's easy to fall into the “same old” when planning a conference. Madhu Viswanathan at the Subsistence Marketplaces Initiative at the University of Illinois shares tips for fellow changemakers who seek to avoid this rut when organizing their own gatherings.
Teaching the Poor to be Better Customers: Marketplace literacy is the missing piece in the poverty fight
The knowledge gap results in lost wages and limited opportunity for poor people to lift themselves out of poverty. The answer, argues Business Professor Madhu Viswanathan, is marketplace literacy efforts that help the poor evaluate opportunity costs (money, time and effort) of buying a product or service. He reflects on the Marketplace Literacy Project, which he founded more than 10 years ago.
Our path to bringing the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) or subsistence marketplaces into the classroom at the University of Illinois begins with a year-long, interdisciplinary graduate level course entitled Sustainable Product and Market Development for Subsistence Marketplaces.