The Fourth Subsistence Marketplaces Conference

Subsistence Marketplaces to Sustainable Marketplaces: From Micro-level Insights to Macro-Level Impact

July 27-29, 2012

Chicago, Illinois



Srinivas Sridharan

Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

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Conference Chairs

Clifford Shultz, II

Loyola University Chicago

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Madhu Viswanathan

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Arrangements Chair

Raymond Benton

Loyola University Chicago

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Organized jointly by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Loyola University Chicago, and Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, the Fourth Subsistence Marketplace Conference will be held July 27-29, 2012 in Chicago at the Loyola University Chicago Water Tower Campus.

Subsistence marketplaces consist of consumer and entrepreneur communities living at subsistence income levels, and are concentrated in developing countries and regions such as Brazil, India, China, Vietnam and Sub-Saharan Africa. In the last five years, the Subsistence Marketplaces Conference has been a leading forum for evolving and sharing research and fostering best practices in these communities.

In its fourth edition, the theme of the 2012 conference is on the emergence of macro-level implications from micro-level research insights. To generalize and expand findings from focused studies of individual consumers, entrepreneurs, and communities, to higher levels such as marketplace ecosystems, markets, economies, and regions is a complex endeavor. It needs dedicated multi-disciplinary, multi-level, and multi-sector work that will guide meaningful policy and market decisions.

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 among researchers, practitioners and students.

Details about registration, lodging, and accommodations will be available soon on the conference website at  Continuing the practices of past conferences, arrangements including lodging will emphasize affordability for a diverse range of participants.  Beginning with preconference workshops and a reception on July 27, the conference will continue on the 28th and conclude by mid-afternoon on the 29th


Call for Papers

Academics, students, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, business and nonprofit practitioners are encouraged to attend and submit papers on a wide range of topics on subsistence marketplaces. Consistent with the theme of the conference, papers emphasizing a bottom-up emergent view are encouraged. Papers that explicitly explore how specific micro-level elements (e.g. consumer behavior) undergo dynamics of interaction and amplification to yield higher-level phenomena (e.g. marketing ecosystem) are especially welcomed.     

Some suggested topics are found below; submissions may go beyond these:

o   Consumer behavior in subsistence marketplaces

o   Entrepreneurship in subsistence marketplaces

o   Consequences of literacy and poverty for consumption and entrepreneurship

o   Co-creation of value by consumers or entrepreneurs

o   Emergence of marketing systems

·         Environmental Sustainability and Subsistence

o   Local indicators of sustainability

o   Environmentalism of subsistence consumers and entrepreneurs

o   Issues of environmental justice relating to subsistence marketplaces

o   Sustainable product design for subsistence marketplaces


·         Business Practices in Subsistence Marketplaces


o   Women’s empowerment and subsistence marketplaces

·         Management Education on Subsistence Marketplaces


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 of individual presentations from researchers and practitioners as well as proposals for special sessions which confirm attendance of listed participants. 

Submission Deadline for Three-Page Abstract:
January 31, 2012

Submission Requirements:

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

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

E-mail as a Word document to Madhu Viswanathan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at             [log in to unmask], Cliff Shultz at [log in to unmask], and Srinivas Sridharan at             [log in to unmask].

Notification of Review Decision: February 15, 2012


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 special journal issues/sections (Journal of Business Research, 2009 and 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, 2012 - Deadline for paper submission after incorporation of comments from

conference participants and conference chairs

                        November 30, 2012 - Feedback to authors after peer review

                        January 31, 2013 – Deadline for revised submission

May 31, 2013 – Final deadline for subsequent revisions

Submission Requirements:

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

Pages 2-35:      Double-spaced 12 point Times font not to exceed 35 pages including references, appendices, and exhibits.

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

at  [log in to unmask], Cliff Shultz at [log in to unmask], and Srinivas Sridharan at

[log in to unmask].



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