Commodifying Humanitarianism - Exploring Business-Humanitarian Partnerships (I)

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Political Geography Specialty Group, Cultural Geography Specialty Group, Development Geographies Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Estherwood, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Organizers: Mie Vestergaard, Mette Olwig
Chairs: Alexandra Budabin


This double paper session explores contemporary trends in the commodification of humanitarianism whereby good causes, products, and consumers are tied together in what are presented as unproblematic ways to ‘save the world’. The papers examine various aspects of the commodification of doing good ranging from cause-related marketing to the more institutionalized push in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for long-term strategic partnerships between private corporations and NGOs. The papers explore nonprofit as well as business incentives and rationales for partnering as well as the different modes of engagement for instance through nonprofit innovation, ‘humanitarian goods’, sustainable consumption and celebrity activism. The sessions also point to some of the critical effects of commodification processes at local and global levels in relation to accountability, power imbalances, and the environment.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Anne Vestergaard*, Copenhagen Business School, Luisa Murphy, Copenhagen Business School, Mette Morsing, Copenhagen Business School, Thilde Langevang, Copenhagen Business School, Business-NGO partnerships. The new development agents? 20 10:00 AM
Presenter Mie Vestergaard*, Roskilde University, Win-Win – So Who Loses? Humanitarian Considerations when Partnering with Private Business 20 10:20 AM
Presenter Mette Olwig*, Roskilde University, Happy Heroes, Brand Loyalty and the Value of Values: When Business meets Humanitarianism 20 10:40 AM
Presenter Elena Louder*, , Keith Bosak, University of Montana, Discourses of nature and capitalism: The creation of Patagonia Park in Chile 20 11:00 AM
Discussant Clive Barnett University of Exeter 20 11:20 AM

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