Sustainability Models for Social Innovation Projects: A Theoretical Perspective

  • Paolo LandoniEmail author
  • Daniel Trabucchi
Part of the Research for Development book series (REDE)


How can social innovation projects evolve into organizations with long-term economic sustainability? How can organizations aiming for a triple bottom line become economically sustainable in the long run? Can these organizations use the tools and methods used by for-profit organizations to describe their business model? This chapter starts off with an in-depth analysis of the existing literature on business models of for-profit organizations to understand if there is a need for a sustainability model for the triple bottom line and nonprofit organizations. The most widespread tool to represent the business models for for-profit organizations is described and illustrated in this chapter. The literature review shows that the current tools that aim to describe business models for for-profit organizations focus only on financial and economic objectives, whereas triple bottom line organizations and social innovation projects additionally pursue social and environmental objectives, which need to be considered when designing and defining the activities, resources, and stakeholders of the organization.



We acknowledge the contributions of Elena Perondi during the development of this research and of Francesca Bazurro and Andrea Vucetich in the data gathering and data analysis. The usual disclaimers apply.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management and Industrial EngineeringPolitecnico di TorinoTurinItaly
  2. 2.School of ManagementPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly

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