Satyam, Rajesh K. Aithal

Embedding the UN SDGs into a Marketing Elective on Base-of-the-Pyramid Markets: An Experiential Learning Approach

  • Marketing
  • Education

The role and importance of sustainability are increasing multi-fold, and responsible organizations across the globe are aligning with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Integrating the UN SDGs into marketing education, especially curriculum, has received scant attention in the marketing education literature, even though 880 business schools have become Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) signatories. This exploratory study attempts to address the gap. It describes an instructor’s attempt to integrate two SDGs, 8 and 12, into a marketing elective course, BoP & Rural Markets, using an experiential rural market project. The students were asked to use the lens of SDG 8 and 12 to understand the rural marketplace and its stakeholders during their field visit. This article describes the rural market project, spread across four experiential learning stages, and assesses its impact on sensitizing the students about SDGs. The whole experience, with its challenges and potential areas for improvement, is shared, and some lessons for marketing educators are identified. Finally, this article highlights some limitations of the approach and pinpoints directions for future work. In sum, this experiential project, a unique pedagogical intervention, helped increase the participants’ awareness and encouraged them to come up with possible recommendations for the issues around the two SDGs.

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