Think Corner, Think Lounge (Yliopistonkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki, 2nd floor)
Lisa Ann Richey (Copenhagen Business School): Commodifying Compassion: Buying Into Saving the World
Have you purchased a luxury sweater to break the cycle of poverty, bought a soft toy from IKEA for families affected by disaster, or perhaps drank a ‘cup of hope’ with Starbucks coffee from Eastern Congo? Today’s marketplace is inundated with products supporting humanitarian causes that promise to give aid to distant beneficiaries, provide ‘good feelings’ to consumers and promote the brands of corporations and humanitarian NGOs. These ‘Brand Aid’ initiatives provide one solution to solving humanitarian crises and sustainable development challenges by linking ‘helping’ with consumption, leading individuals to buy into a particular and limited vision for ‘saving the world.’
Event is organized by EuroStorie Center of Excellence in collaboration with Faculty of Social Sciences Development Studies.
Lisa Ann Richey is Professor of Globalization in the Department of Management, Society and Communication at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. Currently, she leads the research projects Commodifying Compassion: Implications of Turning People and Humanitarian Causes into Marketable Things (2016-2021), funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research (FSE) and Everyday Humanitarianism in Tanzania (2019-2024), funded by the Danish Development Research Council (FFU). Among other books, she has authored Celebrity Humanitarianism in Congo: Business, Disruption and the Politics of Development with Alexandra Budabin (forthcoming); Brand Aid: Shopping Well to Save the World with Stefano Ponte (2011); Population Politics and Development: From the Policies to the Clinics (2008) and edited Celebrity Humanitarianism and North-South Relations: Politics, Place and Power (2016). She works in the areas of international aid and humanitarian politics, the aid business and commodification of causes, new transnational actors and alliances in the global South, development theories and representations, global health and gender. Lisa was the founding Vice-President of the Global South Caucus of the International Studies Association (ISA).