1st Australian Customer Vulnerability Symposium- Hybrid Event

Challenging Assumptions of Customer Vulnerability: Rethinking and Reshaping

The Australian Association of Social Marketing, RMIT University, the Consumer Wellbeing Research Group, and the Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society and Technology, QUT are pleased to host the 1st Australian Customer Vulnerability Symposium on Friday April 28th 2023 at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

Customer vulnerability is a term that is well used but consistently misunderstood and misused and based on outdated assumptions of human behaviour. Vulnerability is typically framed as circumstances and personal characteristics that expose a person to increased susceptibility to damage, harm or loss. However, this definition frames vulnerability from a deficit perspective by focussing on the attributes a person lacks (e.g., powerless, helpless, or low levels of control) rather than on the circumstances that create vulnerability and the strengths that a person has to navigate or change their circumstance. The deficit lens sees those experiencing vulnerability as less able than ‘normal’ consumers/clients.

The implications of a deficit approach are that strategies by government, NGOs, and industry often focus on what their customers or clients can’t do as opposed to what they can do and miss the opportunity to foster increased capabilities and resilience.

The new approach to customer vulnerability on a 20-year evidence-base in social science to suggest an alternate approach that honours customers or clients, supporting not only their experiences but their dignity: the strengths-based approach. This approach is more effective in addressing social problems because it frames people as capable of problem-solving and provides personal agency and empowerment.

Contemporary thinking requires organisations to challenge existing assumptions and rethink and reshape their customer and client vulnerability strategies and policies. The new approach to vulnerability, built on a 20-year evidence-base in social science, suggests an alternate approach that honours customers/clients, supporting not only their experiences and abilities, but also their dignity: the strengths-based approach. This approach is more effective in addressing social problems because it frames people as capable of problem-solving and provides personal agency and empowerment.

Interested in customer vulnerability check out the BEST curated collection.

Symposium Aims:

The aims of this symposium are to:

  1. Challenge assumptions and engage in dialogue on customers or clients experiencing vulnerability.
  2. Gain evidence-based knowledge and different perspectives on customers or clients experiencing vulnerability.
  3. Learn about cutting-edge practices to help you rethink and reshape your approach to customers or clients experiencing vulnerability.

Who should attend:

  1. Industry practitioners working with customers experiencing vulnerability.
  2. Government working with clients experiencing vulnerability.
  3. Non-profit working with customers or clients experiencing vulnerability.
  4. NGOs working with customers or clients experiencing vulnerability.
  5. Academic and social researchers who work on vulnerability research.

Symposium Format:

Over 20 speakers will present and showcase what they are doing and encourage you to reframe and rethink your lens:

  • Two keynote presentations
  • Voice of practitioners’ session
  • Two breakout sessions
  • Two face-to-face workshops and one workshop for online participants
  • Two discussion panels
  • Poster presentations
  • Networking and refreshments post symposium

Click here to view program (Coming soon)

Keynote Speakers:

  • Prof Rebekah Russell Bennett (Co-Director Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society and Technology, QUT)
  • Amanda Forster (Executive Manager of the Customer Advocate Office, Suncorp)

Price:

Registration Type Ticket Price (Plus booking fees)
AASM Member/ BEST Member/ RMIT Staff – Face-to-Face $130
Non-member – Face-to-Face $150
AASM Member / BEST Member/ RMIT Staff- Online $100
Non-member – Online $130
Full-time Students $80

Details:

Location: Online or Face-to-Face at RMIT University in the Story Hall, Building 16, 336/348 Swanston St, Melbourne [link to map]
Start Date: 28/04/2023 [add to calendar]
Start Time: 9:00 am
End Date: 28/04/2023
End Time: 4:00 pm
Cost: $80-$150 depending on registration type
Organiser: AASM
Register: