2016 Conference

The Sixth Subsistence Marketplaces Conference

Developing Pathways at the Intersection of Interdisciplinary Research and Practice

June 17 – 19, 2016 | Champaign, Illinois at the I-Hotel

228 tmcOrganized by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Facebook Discussion Group

Call for Papers

About the Conference

Subsistence marketplaces consist of consumer and entrepreneur communities living at a range of low income levels, and are concentrated in developing countries and regions such as Brazil, India, China, Vietnam, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, many individuals and groups in developed countries also live in subsistence. In the last decade, the Subsistence Marketplaces Conference has been a leading forum for evolving and sharing research and fostering best practices in these communities. The subsistence marketplaces approach is unique in examining the intersection of poverty and marketplaces with a bottom-up approach that begins with micro-level understanding of life circumstances of consumers, entrepreneurs, and communities. This stream has been reflected in five biennial conferences and almost 60 refereed articles in related special journal issues, as well as in dedicated session tracks at other conferences and refereed articles in a variety of journals.

In its sixth iteration, the 2016 conference is titled to highlight how subsistence marketplaces are at the intersection of diverse disciplines as well as the interface of research and practice. A key emphasis now is to look back to the previous five conferences and the resultant research, education, and practice; as well as to look forward to pave new pathways for current and emerging scholars. In doing so, the conference will highlight boundary-spanning research and practice and work that moves from research to practice and back again. Thus, we aim to highlight the importance of rigorous and relevant research and how such research is informed by, and can further inform, meaningful and engaged practice.

297 tmcThe conference begins with an evening reception Friday, June 17, and sessions through Saturday and midafternoon Sunday, June 19. The conference purposefully includes a blend of plenary sessions, participatory workshops, special topical sessions, and presentations of papers submitted in response to this call. The emphasis is on sharing nascent ideas and knowledge (or new and provocative questions) among researchers, practitioners, and students.

Friday afternoon, June 17, is dedicated to a pre-conference workshop designed specifically for doctoral students and junior researchers.

A poverty simulation will take place the evening of June 17.



Traversing Theory and Practice – Stakeholder Dialogues of Subsistence Marketplaces

Institutional and Organizational Dimensions of Enterprises and Partnerships 

Integration and Visioning in Subsistence Marketplaces Research

Survival, Subsistence, and Transformative Entrepreneurship

Sustainability and Consumption from the Bottom Up

Subsistence Narratives, Incentives, and Agency363 tmc

Disruption, Technology, and Innovation

Curricular Innovations

Junior Scholar Mentorship




Raed Elaydi

Roosevelt University

Roland Gau

University of Texas at El Paso

Lisa Jones Christensen

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Conference Director

Madhu Viswanathan
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Conference Coordinator

Anne McKinney
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


Conference Sponsors

Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, University of Illinois
Office of Public Engagement, University of Illinois
ADM Institute, University of Illinois
Stellner Fund, College of Business, University of Illinois
International Programs and Studies, University of Illinois