Links - Incorporating Global Sustainability Into The Curriculum Through Virtual Immersion

Incorporating Global Sustainability Into The Curriculum Through Virtual Immersion

Madhu Viswanathan and Ronald Duncan
September 9, 2021
Strategy & General Management
10 pages
low income, immersion, video, day in the life, #advertising, Global, sustainability, moral compass, honduras, uganda, tanzania, Social Justice, human, socioeconomic, worldwide
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This provides virtual immersion learning opportunities about those in low-income contexts around the world and locally, referred to in the stream of work we have pioneered as subsistence marketplaces. We address hungers articulated in the inspirational paradigm, such as for experiential learning, a global paradigm, community, integrated knowledge, and a moral compass. Indeed, we believe that exposure is education. And we believe that the bottom-up approach and virtual immersion provides a deeply human vantage point from which to guide actions. Such student engagement in understanding the personal circumstances of those most vulnerable provides the basis for action grounded in social justice and larger good.

By way of background, the subsistence marketplaces stream has evolved over the last two decades, adopting a bottom-up approach to study those leaving with the least material resources around the world in their own right rather than as means to other ends. Our approach begins at the micro-level of life circumstances of consumers and entrepreneurs living in the broad range of low income, taking a bottom-up, inside-out approach. The term, marketplaces, rather than markets, is a constant reminder to respect these preexisting marketplaces and be humble in unlearning our own preconceptions and learning from those who survive each day in these contexts. We have developed unique research about such contexts, education about these subsistence marketplaces for our students, and education for these communities through marketplace literacy that has now reached more than 100000 women in four continents. 

Links to Videos:

(Password: subsistence)

360 Videos


Day in the Life Videos


Recorded Virtual Interviews

  1. Honduras:
  2. Uganda:
  3. Tanzania:
  4. USA:
Learning Outcomes: 

Virtual immersion is used to first and foremost, provide exposure to global contexts, that are different culturally and socioeconomically. Second, we enable virtual immersion for developing understanding of global challenges of environmental sustainability and poverty that businesses need to address in order to be competitive and sustainable in the broadest sense. Third, we use virtual immersion to design solutions for these contexts. Virtual immersion aims to move students from sympathy to informed empathy and broaden their global horizons.