Max Havelaar Lecture 2016: Business and Inclusive Development

Business and inclusive development’ is the theme of this year’s annual Max Havelaar lecture on 2 November, hosted by the Partnerships Resource Centre at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), together with Max Havelaar and Young & Fair. The event is open to the public and entrance is free, but places are limited so registration is required.

Can approaches such as inclusive business set in motion processes of inclusive development? What would such processes look like? Explorations on the theme during the lecture will focus on the subjects of frugal innovation and living wage.

‘Inclusive business’, ‘frugal innovation’, ‘base of the pyramid’, ‘living wage’ – these and similar concepts have attracted attention from scientists, policy makers and practitioners from civil society organisations (CSOs) and private companies. While the terms themselves sound appealing enough, they are not always easy to define, and despite positive expectations it is unclear whether the implementation of these concepts can trigger processes of inclusive development in emerging economies.

The keynote presentation at the 2016 Max Havelaar lecture will be delivered by Pavan Sukhdev, the world-renowned environmental economist whose fields of study include the green economy and international finance, and Joseph Ogutu, Director of Strategy & Innovation at Safaricom, a leading mobile network provider, well-known for making financial services accessible to low-income households in Kenya.

The Max Havelaar lecture is a full-day event, with workshops, panels and pitches, as well as presentations. In the morning, participants can join workshops on topics such as frugal innovation, living wage and human rights, and living wage and certification. During lunch, young entrepreneurs will present their inclusive business ideas to attendees. Their ideas will be evaluated by the audience, and the most appealing pitch will receive starting capital from KPN – € 1,500 – as part of the KPN Sustainable Development Goals Challenge.

Other contributors are Irene Visser of NABC, Professor Rob van Tulder from RSM, and Professor Cees van Dam of RSM’s Partnerships Resource Centre, plus Wilbert Flinterman of Fairtraide International.

The 2016 Max Havelaar Lecture will take place on Wednesday 2 November 2016 at Erasmus University Rotterdam. For more information and registration, please see here.

More information

The Partnerships Resource Centre (PrC) is a specialist research centre at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. The PrC envisions a more sustainable and inclusive world in which business, civil society and governments each play an important role to create collaborative and inclusive solutions for complex societal issues. It connects scientifically sound research and practitioner experience of cross-sector partnerships to aid sustainable and inclusive development.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s leading research-based business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information on RSM or on this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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