Free Worldwide Course

 

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The foundation for this course, for which Madhu Viswanathan won Coursera’s 2017 Outstanding Educator / Transformation Award and which Poets & Quants named among their “Best Free MOOCs in Business,” lies with unique synergies between pioneering research, teaching, and social initiatives through the Subsistence Marketplaces Initiative. Unique to this approach is a bottom-up understanding of the intersection of poverty and the marketplace.

The goals of this course are to help you develop an understanding of marketplace activity in the radically different context of subsistence where much of humanity resides and survives, and for you to design solutions that can be implemented by individuals, businesses, and social enterprises through economically, ecologically, and socially sustainable products for subsistence marketplaces.

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Course Objectives

• To develop an understanding of marketplace activity in the radically different context of subsistence where much of humanity resides and survives.
• To design solutions that can be implemented by individuals, businesses, and social enterprises through economically, ecologically, and socially sustainable products for subsistence marketplaces

Classes and assignments are organized to achieve these objectives:
• To develop an understanding of a radically different context a number of individual assignments include analyzing interviews of individuals living in poverty, completing an online poverty simulation, analyzing videos, and completing image-based immersion exercises.
• To envision the role of businesses and social enterprises in such contexts assignments include developing a solution that addresses the needs of individuals and communities living at or near subsistence anywhere around the world.

 

8-Week Outline

Module I: Understanding Subsistence Marketplaces

Week 1: Introduction to Subsistence Marketplaces; Thinking in Subsistence Marketplaces
Week 2: Feeling and Coping in Subsistence Marketplaces; Subsistence Consumers and Entrepreneurs
Week 3: Exchanges and Relationships in Subsistence Marketplaces; Needs, Products, Relationships, and Markets in Subsistence Marketplaces
Week 4: Gaining Marketplace Insights in Subsistence Marketplaces; Local Environments in Subsistence Marketplaces.

 

Module II: Designing Solutions for Subsistence Marketplaces

Week 5: Identifying and Understanding Need, Drivers, and Context Elements; Generating Ideas and Designing Solutions.
Week 6: Evaluating Solutions and Designing Ecosystems; Designing, Communicating, and Delivering the Value Proposition.
Week 7: Designing Elements of the Enterprise Plan—Case Study of Sun Oven. Designing Elements of the Enterprise Plan—Case Study of Marketplace Literacy Project.
Week 8: Summary of Course. Poster Session and Reflections.