Transition Towards Sustainable Development: The Role of Universities

  • Angelo Riccaboni
  • Francesca TrovarelliEmail author
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)


Sustainability has become worldwide recognized theme. Social and environmental problems are known for some time and the challenge now is to accelerate the social process of change that leads to sustainable development. Starting from the analysis of the transition from present social systems towards systems more sustainability oriented, this paper examines the role that Universities play as facilitators in driving and accelerating this transition process. In particular, this study suggests that planning for sustainability within Universities promotes a synergic action with internal (students and academic community) and external (civil society, policy makers and industry) stakeholders. Moreover exchange of knowledge and experience (cooperation of research centers, and creation of local and global networks) highlights new dynamics, roles and responsibilities. Several evidences are emerged from the study of the case of University of Siena. University of Siena’s current effort is to be leader in promoting sustainability. Its activities (teaching, research, training and advisory services) evolved by implementing a sustainable strategic plan and by participating in important international projects, such as UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Inter alia this paper will be useful to foster the exchange of experiences acquired by successful initiatives.


Transition management Universities Sustainable development Management system 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business and LawUniversity of SienaSienaItaly

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