Sustainability Science

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 1235–1244 | Cite as

Governance for sustainability: a triple-helix model

  • Massimo Scalia
  • Sergio Barile
  • Marialuisa SavianoEmail author
  • Francesca Farioli
Special Feature: Original Article People, Technology and Governance for Sustainability: The Contribution of Systems and Cyber-systemic Thinking
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Feature: People, Technology and Governance for Sustainability: The Contribution of Systems and Cyber-systemic Thinking


In the last decades much attention has been dedicated to the interpretation of relevant phenomena in the socio-economic field, highlighting the need of general frameworks of reference for the governance of sustainability and often recurring to the Elkington’s triple bottom line and the Etzkowitz’s triple-helix representations as reference models. In front of a massive scientific production that points out criteria and method of the model, the theory could seem less rich of applications and examples, especially in the field of the inquiry defined by sustainability. In this work, our aim is to provide a little contribution to cover this gap by (1) drawing a more general view from the triple bottom line; (2) highlighting a ‘triple-helix’ functioning in the triple bottom line as represented in the triple helix of sustainability; (3) providing an example, very actual and important, and some general reasoning related to the use of the model as a possible reference in the basic understanding of the complexity of governance for sustainability.


Sustainability Anthropocene Governance Triple bottom line Triple helix model 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CIRPS, Interuniversity Research Center for Sustainable DevelopmentSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of ManagementSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of PharmacyUniversity of SalernoFiscianoItaly
  4. 4.IASS, Italian Association for Sustainability ScienceRomeItaly

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