Skip to content

Madhavi Venkatesan

Headshot of Madhavi Venkatesan

Associate Teaching Professor of Economics

Madhavi Venkatesan earned her doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in economics from Vanderbilt University and has published three economics textbooks under the series A Framework for Sustainable Practices: Economic Principles: A Primer, Foundations of Microeconomics and Foundations for Macroeconomics. In 2019 she published her fourth text, SDG8 – Sustainable Economic Growth and Decent Work for All. She is presently under contract with Routledge to write SDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production and her text, Economics of Sustainability is scheduled to be published by Springer in late 2021.

In 2016, Madhavi established Sustainable Practices, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission “to facilitate a culture of sustainability as defined by reducing the human-made impact to the planet and its ecosystems” within Barnstable County, Massachusetts and is the organization’s executive director. In 2019, Sustainable Practices initiated the Municipal Plastic Bottle Ban campaign and in spring 2020, facilitated the Commercial Single-use Plastic Water Bottle Ban. As of July 2021, the Municipal Ban has been adopted in all 15 towns that constitute Barnstable County, and the Commercial Ban had been adopted by Town Meeting vote in ten towns and will be in effect in all ten towns in 2021. The organization is continuing its efforts related to the Commercial Ban.

Madhavi’s academic interests include the integration of sustainability into the economics curriculum. She has been active in promoting education and stakeholder engagement to incorporate ethics into the existing economic framework and her written work has largely focused on these topics as a catalyst to promoting sustainability. Madhavi has also contributed to the literature on the relationship between culture, sustainability, and economics, addressing the relationship between economic systems and cultural convergence. Prior to reentering academics in 2014, Madhavi held senior-level positions in investor relations for three U.S. domiciled insurers (Unum Group, AIG, and The Hartford).


ECON 1711 Economics of Sustainability ECON 3916: Economics of Race


News @ NortheasternWhat is the real cost of a bottle of soda?

View CV
Venkatesan, M. (2021, forthcoming under contract). SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. New York, NY: Routledge.
Venkatesan, M. (2021, forthcoming under contract). Economics of Sustainability. New York, NY: Springer.

Venkatesan, M. (forthcoming 2021). Sustainable Practices: A Case Study of a grassroots movement. In Aleksandra Machnik, Alexandra Zbuchea, Anna Królikowska-Tomczak, Walter Leal Filho (Eds.) Handbook Sustainable Consumption and Quality of Life: Towards integrating consumer policy strategies for improved life quality. Berlin: Springer.

Venkatesan, M. (forthcoming 2021). The tie that binds: How economic literacy is a foundation for sustainability. In Mark Starik & Kanashiro, P. (Eds.) Personal Sustainability Practices: Faculty Approaches to Walking the Sustainability Talk and Living the U.N. SDGs. London: Edgar Elvers.
Ilisko, D., Venkatesan, M., & Price, L. (forthcoming 2021). Sustainable Crises Management in Education During COVID-19. In Leal Filho, W., (Ed) (2021) COVID-19: Paving the Way for More Sustainable World. Springer, Cham.
Venkatesan, M. (forthcoming 2021). Making Economics Relevant: Incorporating Sustainability. In Leal Filho, W., Salvia, A.L., Frankenberger, F. (Eds) (2021) Handbook on Teaching and Learning for Sustainable Development. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Venkatesan, M. (forthcoming 2021). Sustainable Economic Development. In Wamboye, E & Fayissa, B. (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Africa’s Economic Sectors. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Venkatesan, M. (forthcoming 2021). Social and Sustainability Marketing and the Sharing economy in the Coffee Shop Culture. In Bhattacharyya, J., Dash, M.K, Hewege, C., Balaji, M.S, & Lim, W. M. (Eds.), Social and Sustainability Marketing: A Casebook for Reaching Your Socially Responsible Consumers through Marketing Science (1st ed.). New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

Venkatesan, M. (forthcoming 2021). Making Economics Relevant: Incorporating Sustainability. In Leal, W., Lange Salvia, A., & Frankenberger, F. (Eds.), Teaching and Sustainable Development: using the transformative power of teaching to raise awareness on sustainable development and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. London, England: Edgar Elvers.
Venkatesan, M. (2020). The role of culture and moral responsibility in facilitating a sustainable bioeconomy. In V. Venkat Ramanan (Ed.), Sustainable Bioeconomy – Pathways to Sustainable Development Goals. Springer Nature.
Venkatesan, M., Erickson, J., & Carmichael, C. (2020). The Rationale and Principles for Engagement in an Ecological Economy. In
Costanza, R., Erickson, J., Farley, J., Kubisewski, I. (Eds.), Sustainable Wellbeing Futures: A Research and Action Agenda for Ecological Economics, 300-314. London, England: Edgar Elvers.
Venkatesan, M. (2020). Teaching introductory economics to promote sustainability. New Directions in Teaching and Learning, 2020(161), 53-71.
Venkatesan, M. & Luongo, G. (2019). SDG8 – Sustainable Economic Growth and Decent Work for All. London, UK: Emerald Publishing.
Venkatesan, M. (2019). Policy-making, visioning, structures, management and strategies. Volume Editor, In Walter Leal Filho (Ed), Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education. London, England: Springer.
Venkatesan, M. (2019). Introduction: Selected Papers from the 4th, World Conference on Women’s Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 2018. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 20(3), 1-2. (Special Issue Editor).
Venkatesan, M. & Crooijmans, J. (2019). Involving students in implementing a campus culture of sustainability. In Leal Filho, W. Bardi, U. (Eds.) Sustainability in University Campuses: Learning, skills building, and best practice. Berlin: Springer.
Venkatesan, M. (2019). The evolution of social values: A historical perspective of the role of sustainability in the practice of Economics. In Walter Leal Filho and Adriana Consorte McCrea (Eds.), Sustainability and the Humanities. London, England: Springer Nature.

Related Schools & Departments

  • Education

    PhD, Economics, Vanderbilt University

  • Contact

  • Address

    360 Huntington Ave.
    Boston, MA 02115

  • Office Hours

    Virtual (set up an appointment by email

Related Stories