Poverty alleviation constitutes a multi-faceted problem. It is on the one hand extremely local and leads to enormous deprivation of at least half of the world’s population. But on the other hand, it is an extremely international problem as well through the operation of global markets – in particular of resources – and the functioning of value chains. It has increasingly become acknowledged that the role of corporations and the private sector is vital for sustainable solutions to poverty.

The Max Havelaar lecture stimulates the thinking on poverty issues in a balanced manner, without making use of the usual simplifications either in support or against the involvement of firms in development. The Max Havelaar Foundation is proof of this approach: it is aiming at a continuous improvement in its strategy towards labelling products – increasingly in a variety of partnerships with NGOs, corporations and governments.

Read more about the background, the aims and organization of the Max Havelaar Lecture

The Max Havelaar Lectures are organised by:

Logo Max Havelaar
Logo Young & Fair

Max Havelaar lecture 2016

Business and Inclusive Development

Learn more about inclusive business, frugal innovation, bottom of the pyramid and living wage benchmarks at the Max Havelaar lecture 2016. Listen to internationally renowned specialists who shine their light on the infusion between trade and sustainable development, including:

The banker who saw the green light
Pavan Sukhdev used to be a banker and uses this experience and expertise to integrate the price of sustainability in the value chain. In addition to running his own enterprise GIST advisory he is a valued speaker on large platforms such as TEDx and the World Economic Forum.

The man who brings change with a telephone
Joseph Ogutu is director of Safaricom, the largest telecom company of East and Central Africa, which brought M-Pesa to the market. He is also chairman of the Safaricom Foundation. He can tell from practice about the bottom of the pyramid and inclusive business.

In addition:
Irene Visser, managing director Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC)
. Wilbert Flinterman, senior advisor workers' rights and trade union relations, Fairtrade International.

Max Havelaar Lecture 2016
Location: Erasmus University Rotterdam; Theil building; CB-1
Date: Wednesday 2 November 2016, 14:00 –17:00

> Programme & sign up

Lecture 2015

Are the Sustainable Development Goals going to deliver?

Are the Sustainable Development Goals going to deliver?
28 October 2015

> Video impression    > Watch the presentations

Lecture 2014

Young *** Fair
Will Generation Y make a difference?

Max Havelaar Lecture 2014: with Rob van Tulder en Noortje Schrauwen

> Video impression    > Watch the presentations
> Read the blog of Young & Fair
> download the booklet

Lecture 2013

True Pricing, Fair Banking and Fair trade.
Managing the transition to a truly value-creating economy

Max Havelaar Lecture 2013: with Adrian de Groot Ruiz, Peter Blom and Rob van Tulder

> Video impression    > Lecture Adrian de Groot Ruiz
> Lecture Peter Blom    > Lecture Rob van Tulder

Listen to an interview with Adrian de Groot Ruiz (Radio 1)
> download the booklet

Lecture 2011

Fairtrade and Climate Change: risks and opportunities

Max Havelaar Lecture 2011: with Prof. Dr. Atul Kumar, Dr. Peter Baker and Drs. Gert de Gans

The impact of climate change for small producers

> read more    > watch the video    > download the booklet

Lecture 2010

Power and Responsibility

Max Havelaar Lecture 2010: with Jan Pronk

Power and Responsibility

> read more    > watch the videos    > download the booklet

Lecture 2009

Chains for Change

Max Havelaar Lecture 2009: with Gary Gereffi

How supply chains can change the world

> read more    > watch the videos    > download the booklet

Lecture 2008

Partnerships for development
Noreena Hertz

Max Havelaar Lecture 2008: with Noreena Hertz

Partnerships for development

> read more    > watch the videos    > download the booklet

Lecture 2007

Development is a practical challenge

Max Havelaar Lecture 2007: with Jeffrey Sachs

Development is a practical challenge

> read more    > watch the videos    > download the booklet

Max Havelaar


Surveys held during the 2007, 2008 and 2009 lectures

> download Survey results 2007 (PDF)

> download Survey results 2008 (PDF)

> download Survey results 2009 (PDF)