Here is an incomplete list of individuals who contribute to our initiative, with affiliations to UIUC or other institutions and organizations:-
Madhu Viswanathan has been on the faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, since 1990. His research programs are in two areas; measurement and research methodology, and literacy, poverty, and subsistence marketplace behaviors. He has authored books in both areas: Measurement Error and Research Design (Sage, 2005), and Enabling Consumer and Entrepreneurial Literacy in Subsistence Marketplaces (Springer, 2008, in alliance with UNESCO). His research program with a methodological orientation on measurement and research design paralleled many years of teaching research at all levels. It culminated in a book directed at the social sciences that provides a most detailed conceptual dissection of measurement error. This work is a striking departure from the existing literature, which emphasizes a statistical orientation without sufficient elucidation of the conceptual meaning of measurement error.
His research on subsistence marketplaces takes a micro-level approach to gain bottom-up understanding of life circumstances and buyer, seller, and marketplace behaviors. This perspective aims to enable subsistence marketplaces to move toward being ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable marketplaces. His research is synergized with innovative teaching and social initiatives. He teaches courses on research methods, on sustainable product and market development for subsistence marketplaces, and on sustainability in general. He is part of the faculty team teaching a unique course on Sustainable Product and Market Development for Subsistence Marketplaces. He cochairs conferences on subsistence marketplaces and is coeditor of a book and a special issue of a journal based on these conferences.
He founded and directs the Marketplace Literacy Project, a non-profit organization that aims to enable consumer and entrepreneurial literacy for low-literate, low-income individuals. Initiatives of this organization include the development of a consumer and entrepreneurial literacy program offered in Tamil Nadu, South India, to low-income. low-literate individuals. Working with the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension, his research and dissemination efforts have also focused on developing user-friendly nutritional education materials for programs for low-income individuals in the US.
John Hedeman is the director of the Sustainable Marketplaces Lab.
A lifelong educator, John Hedeman retired in June 2012 as assistant dean for honors in the College of Business. He was hired in 2003 to design, implement, and administer an undergraduate business honors leadership program. He created a new honors program with a unique mission. Students in the program were inspired to use the program to build leadership skills that they were then expected to use to benefit all of the students in the business college. Not only did he teach the freshmen and sophomores in the College of Business Honors Program, he also led annual honors student trips to Germany, Japan/Korea, Brazil, Turkey, India and China. Hedeman served as faculty advisor for three national championship teams in the PwC xACT Case Competition. In 2006, he was honored by the college as recipient of the Emerson Cammack Award for outstanding service to undergraduate students. In 2008, he was recipient of the University of Illinois Educator of the Year Award presented by the University of Illinois Alumni Association. Finally, in 2012, the College of Business recognized Hedeman with its highest honor for staff members with the Academic Professional Award.
Prior to joining the College of Business, Hedeman was principal and director of the University of Illinois Laboratory High School for five years. The school is consistency cited by Newsweek as one of the top public schools in the country. For fourteen years Hedeman held various teaching, counseling and administrative positions, including Dean of Students, at Parkland College, a public community college. His first job in education was at McDonogh School in Maryland where he was a teacher, coach, houseparent, counselor, and head of upper school.
Hedeman earned his A.B. degree in English from Princeton University, his M.Ed. from Johns Hopkins University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois
Upon his retirement from the University of Illinois, Hedeman moved to Lawrence, Kansas. He is presently consulting with honors programs nationally, serving on the board of the Marketplace Literacy Project, and working as an associate with c.k. gunsalus and associates.
John Clarke is the executive director of the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the University of Illinois. The academy for entrepreneurial leadership is focused on developing an entrepreneurial culture in the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Illinois. The academy views entrepreneurship as a process that can lead to creative solutions for social problems or the formation of new and innovative enterprises. John has been teaching at Illinois since 2004 as a Clinical Professor in Business Administration, his teaching interests include entrepreneurship, product development, consulting, sustainability, and project management. He has been involved in the Subsistence Marketplaces Initiative since its inception and has co-taught in the program since 2008.
Dr. Clarke focuses on creating curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students that enable the development of market relevant experiences, attitudes, and leadership skills. He has led the development of several new courses and programs targeting students from across the campus. He is the executive director of Illinois Business Consulting, a premier student consulting organization and executive director of The Hoeft Technology & Management Program and joint initiative between the colleges of engineering and business. He has developed international immersion experiences for undergraduate, graduate, and executive MBA students and led more than 300 students on intensive learning experiences in China, India, and Korea.
Clarke has over 20 years of executive leadership in both industry and academia. He has significant experience in consulting, professional advising, management, business development, and teaching. Prior to working at the University of Illinois he worked as a management consultant in Asia, Europe, and North America.
Roland Gau is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Marketing Area at A.B. Freeman School of Business, Tulane University. His work covers a number of issues relating to low literacy in the US including designing and assessing user-friendly nutrition education materials for educational programs for low-income individuals, designing and testing user-friendly nutritional labels, and understanding the retail shopping experience for low-literate consumers.
Jose Antonio Rosa
José Antonio Rosa is professor of marketing and sustainable business practices in the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Wyoming, where he teaches consumer behavior and business-to-business marketing courses to graduate and undergraduate students. One of his current research areas focuses on the role played by body knowledge in creative imagination, most recently among subsistence consumers in Latin American countries who must develop artifacts to meet daily needs. He has also looked at the role of body knowledge in creative imagination by professionals involved in problem solving and product development tasks. Jose has also studied how low-literacy and low-numeracy consumers navigate retail environments that are geared for medium-to-high levels of literacy and numeracy skills. Jose has been a central contributor to the subsistence marketplaces initiative in many ways, such as through his research in this area, and through cochairing a conference on this topic and coediting a book based on it. He serves on the board of the Marketplace Literacy Project, a non-profit organization which aimes to empower individuals living in subsistence by enabling consumer and entrepreneurial literacy.
Srinivas Sridharan is a senior lecturer in the department of Marketing at Monash University. His work explores marketing, sales force, and entrepreneurial phenomena in low-income settings, particularly in emerging economies. In current projects, he is investigating issues of sustainable marketing and organization design for business participation in subsistence marketplaces. At Ivey, he teaches undergraduate courses on Value Co-creation in Developing Markets and Sales Force Management and a graduate course on Market Leadership.
Robin Ritchie is Assistant Professor of Marketing at Carleton University's Sprott School of Business in Ottawa, Canada. He earned a B.A. in Political Science at the University of Calgary, along with an M.Sc. in International Business and a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of British Columbia.
Professor Ritchie's research interests focus on the study of subsistence marketplaces and the effects of consumer suspicion of marketers. He is also investigating brand-building in virtual environments, the nature of competition in the nonprofit sector, and consumer attraction to physically perfect products. He has co-authored a number of publications on subsistence markets, including "Understanding Consumption and Entrepreneurship in Subsistence Marketplaces," published in the Journal of Business Research, and "Designing Marketplace Literacy Education in Resource-Constrained Contexts," published in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. Other publications include "Damage from Corrective Advertising: Causes and Cures," published in the Journal of Marketing, "The Defensive Consumer: Advertising Deception, Defensive Processing, and Distrust," published in the Journal of Marketing Research, and "A framework for an industry supported destination marketing information system," published in Tourism Management.
Professor Ritchie's work experience includes management of marketing research for Travel Alberta (the tourism marketing agency of the province of Alberta, Canada), and consulting for the Valencian Tourism Institute in Valencia, Spain. He has also served as an account manager with Columbus Group Internet Marketing in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Dr S Usha Nandhini
Dr S Usha Nandhini holds an Bachelors degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering, a Masters Degree in Business Management and a Doctorate in Management. She is a core member of our staff in providing immersion experiences for students during field trips to India. Her experience in teaching includes ten years at the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Tiruchirappalli, in the Department of Management Studies. Currently, she is chairperson of post graduate programs and teaches courses at Amrita University at Bengaluru. Her teaching interests are in Accounting, Microfinance , Financial Services and Project Management. Her research interests are in microfinance, microenterprise development and corporate social initiatives. She has authored several publications and presented papers at conferences held in India, the US and Europe, including the First Subsistence Marketplaces Conference held in Chicago in 2006. She has held various administrative positions and organized several training and development programs for students and staff ofseveral organizations. She was selected for the Group Study Exchange Programme to promote Indian culture to the Philippines by the Rotary Club of Rockcity, Tiruchirappalli, India. She has won prestigious awards for merit and proficiency in case writing and is actively involved in community development projects.
S. Gajendiran and R. Venkatesan (right)
Gajendiran and Venkatesan of the Marketplace Literacy Project combine several decades of developmental work for NGOs in Tamil Nadu, India, as well as grass roots experience in subsistence marketplaces. During the course of the last eight years, they have conducted qualitative and quantitative research in subsistence marketplaces with Madhu Viswanathan. They are the lead instructors of a consumer and entrepreneurial training program for low-literate, low-income individuals and central contributors to the design of this program. They are coauthors of the book " Enabling Consumer and Entrepreneurial Literacy in Subsistence Marketplace: Research-Based Education Across Literacy and Resource Barriers," based on this work. They are part of the team teaching the course on Product and Market Development for Subsistence Marketplaces, enabling interactions and market research with subsistence families in India and creating video-based learning material.
Sudhakar has been part of the marketplace Literacy Project since June 2010. Over the past 6 years, he has worked at the grassroots level for a number of social enterprises operating in rural areas of Tamil Nadu, India. Currently, he is part of the project team creating video-based learning material targeted at subsistence entrepreneurs and consumers. He is also involved in a research project exploring the evolution of subsistence enterprise ecosystems.
Srinivas Venugopal has a background in social entrepreneurship and is currently pursuing his MBA at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. Prior to his MBA, he was leading a technology-based social venture focused on delivering education services to low income consumers in rural Tamil Nadu, India. He also runs a NGO called "Diya" which focuses on providing supplementary education in the urban slums of Chennai, India.
Steven Sprieser is an undergraduate student in the College of Business at the University of Illinois, where his academic focus is information technology, with concentrations in informatics and entrepreneurship. His research interests lie in developing entrepreneurship and agriculture curriculum for low-literate learners in Sub-Saharan Africa. Steven analyzes decision-making and marketplace interactions in low-literate environments, as well as how local cultures play a role in effective business and vocational education. In addition, Steven studies how to implement energy-efficient, sustainable information and communication technology (ICT) to villages in rural areas of Africa, especially those off the power grid. In addition to being involved with entrepreneurial start-ups at the University of Illinois, he is a consultant with Illinois Business Consulting. Steven has also served as a researcher and consultant for non-profit organizations, ranging from autism legislation to education in Africa.
Umang is an undergraduate studying Finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His interests lie in the areas of Corporate Finance and Corporate Law. He has prior experience working with Micro-Financing firms in India and plans to study the application of the principles of Subsistence Marketplaces on the same. Umang is involved in providing creative solutions in order to reach people of varying literacy and income levels in India, Africa and South America. He aspires to effectively communicate the principles of Subsistence Marketplaces and fundamental Business concepts to people regardless of their race, income and geographic disparities.
Tejinder Sharma is an Associate Professor in the Department of Commerce, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, where he has been working since 1998. A graduate in dairy technology (National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, 1991), he completed an MBA (Kurukshetra University, 1993) and then worked with pharma and biochemical industries. He earned his doctorate in strategic marketing in 2002 (Kurukshetra University). He has research interests in marketing, CSR, technology readiness, and consumer behavior in subsistence marketplaces.
Anusha is an undergraduate studying Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is passionate about issues regarding the environment and sustainability. Her interests focus on the interconnectedness of environmental degradation and individuals in subsistence marketplaces. Anusha is involved in presenting and creating material about sustainable consumption to deliver to low-income individuals. She is also involved in creating educational modules about sustainable consumption for individuals in the Indian subsistence marketplace. Anusha looks to translate her knowledge and experiences in environmental advocacy to increase sustainable consumption amongst individuals.
Eric is an undergraduate studying economics and political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His studies have focused on government, law, public policy, environmental policy, and environmental economics. His research outside of MLP has focused on electoral system design, global constitutions, experiential education methods, and environmental history. With MLP, Eric has helped to design and teach marketplace literacy workshops. Currently, he is working to incorporate marketplace literacy into existing mathematical curricula as well as producing a video to promote resource conservation in peopleís daily routines. He has a particular interest in legal ecocentrism and bottom-up policy design. He will be starting law school at another university in the fall.
Sam Hershman is an undergraduate in Finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignís College of Business, with a primary academic focus in Corporate Finance. Samís research interests are in the field of marketplace literacy, and he is currently working in Champaign-Urbana with a research team to develop lessons to teach marketplace concepts.