Max Havelaar lecture

Max Havelaar lecture

Inclusive business, frugal innovation, base of the pyramid, social business – these and similar concepts have gained lots of attention in the past few years among scientists, policy makers and practitioners from CSOs and private companies. While the terms themselves sound appealing enough, they are not always easy to define, and despite positive expectations, it is at best unclear whether the implementation of these concepts is able to trigger processes of inclusive development in emerging economies. The 2016 Max Havelaar Lecture explores if and how approaches like inclusive business can actually set in motion processes of inclusive development, and what such processes look like in real life. In doing so we will mainly focus on on the subjects of frugal innovation and living wage. In many development policies and projects inclusive development is simply framed as inclusion, without specifying what that means. According to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, “inclusive development above all implies measures that ensure that ‘the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups are reached’ so that they benefit from economic growth” (The Broker Online, 2015). This view is often reflected in the evaluation of this type of development projects and policies, which aim to measure effectiveness in terms of numbers of people, households, or farmers included and volumes of products supplied to markets. Hospes and Clancy (2011) critique the implicit assumptions present in these types of definitions: First, that inclusion is good, while exclusion is bad, and second, that inclusion is actually wanted by the excluded. A growing number of experts argue that inclusion alone is not enough; people should not only benefit from growth, but should above all exercise control over their own income and well being (Gupta et al., 2015; Pouw and de Bruijne, 2015; de Haan, 2015). The Max Havelaar Lecture explores whether businesses are able to trigger such processes of inclusive development. Furthermore, workshops on frugal innovation, living wage and inclusive business are organized.

The 9th Max Havelaar lecture will take place on November 2nd 2016 and will focus on Business and Inclusive Development.

The lectures of all past editions can be found here.

 

For more information, visit http://www.maxhavelaarlecture.org/