Quadruple and Quintuple Helix Innovation Systems

By Elias G. Carayannis, David F. J. Campbell

While for the Triple Helix model the existence of a democracy is not necessary for knowledge production and innovation, the Quadruple Helix is here more explicit. The way, how the Quadruple Helix is being engineered, designed and “architected”, from that it is clear that there cannot be a Quadruple Helix innovation system without democracy or a democratic context. The following attributes and components define the fourth helix in the Quadruple Helix: “media-based and culture-based public”, “civil society” and “arts, artistic research and arts-based innovation”. By this the fourth helix in the Quadruple Helix represents the perspective of the “dimension of democracy” or the “context of democracy” for knowledge, knowledge production and innovation. This is particularly true when democracy is to be understood to transcend the narrow understanding of being primarily based on or being primarily rooted in government institutions (within Triple Helix). Civil society, culture-based public, quality of democracy and sustainable development convincingly demonstrate, what the rationales and requirements are for conceptualizing democracy broader. Political pluralism in a democracy co-evolves with the pluralism, diversity and heterogeneity of knowledge, knowledge production and innovation (“Democracy of Knowledge”). The Quintuple Helix extends the Quadruple Helix by aspects of the “natural environments of society and economy”, “social ecology” and the “socio-ecological transition”. Also this environmental context of society can be better addressed in a democracy than in a non-democracy. The current world appears to be challenged by a race between developing democracies versus emerging autocracies over knowledge production and innovation.JEL Codes: D80, O30, Q56


  • democracy of knowledge
  • socio-ecological transition
  • quadruple helix innovation systems
  • quintuple helix
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