“Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy… cities will never have rest from their evils — no, nor the human race as I believe…” (Plato)

As theory grows and develops in its ability to encompass the more greatly faceted institutional pillars of Government, University, Industry, Civil Society, and the Environment, we can imagine how our movement from the information age to the humane age provides the world even more excellent opportunities than before. People are no longer left responsible for the choice between human-focused work and progress, but rather our society is taking the necessary steps to change our perspectives to see how the invitation of technology will quickly lead to a more human-centric society. The concept of Quadruple and Quintuple Helix Innovation systems offers us a systemic perspective for knowledge and innovation, meaning that we can use the model of these institutional pillars to see knowledge and innovation in an entirely new light that allows humans to both feel enabled and empowered by technology to more fully act as democratic agents in the greater society.

This theory, which demonstrates balance amongst the major world systems, allows for new modes of profit by the way that creativity thrives on helping with the interaction and synergies between innovation, entrepreneurship, and design thinking. Therefore, one action informs the next. Through this approach, we can “adopt a much more complex approach to considering our surroundings and dealing with challenges” (Carayannis, 2020). In broader terms, each pillar or facet of the model allows for more advanced opportunities in knowledge and innovation, which beholds the possibility to completely alter how we participate and embody the subsequent usage of power coming from this participation.

Democracy and our empowered participation in it are said to be a “requirement for the further evolution of knowledge and democracy,” demonstrating that we will not progress or succeed in our ability to reimage a better application of knowledge and democracy until we accept the requirement of our full participation in our current forms of knowledge and democracy. Yet, if we can maximize the interfaces and intersections between the pillars of the Quintuple Helix theory, then we might be able to introduce an expansion of the Democratization of Knowledge to attain Society 5.0 ultimately.

This unique opportunity will allow for the spread of knowledge to reach unprecedented levels, migrating to a system with which everyone has full access to knowledge and, therefore, revealing a populace who is empowered and liberated to participate in creating a better world for themselves. As mentioned above, this transition will not come until we activate this participation in our current systems, leading those to demand the dissemination of knowledge to further limits at this moment. Once everyone has access to the knowledge — and the societal hierarchy that decides who has access to which information is abolished — people will have equal access to the very knowledge that will help them create real and actionable solutions for the world. By engaging with the knowledge available in this technocentric age, we will initiate a workforce transition, meaning that the widespread usage of technology will transform jobs rather than replace the employment of human beings. This will provide an entirely new and important platform from which humans can begin making innovative and creative decisions to facilitate the care for the human person and our surrounding environment.

Dr. Elias Carayannis foresees a world in which we embody Society 5.0, where:

“Every project… should always have the quintuple helix in mind when calling for proposals; all projects should have our common good as the foremost goal. We should, therefore, always ask ourselves how does this project supports democracy and protect the environment, and that is a Quadruple and Quintuple Innovation Helix framework thinking approach to policy and practice” (Carayannis, 2020).

The migration towards the democratization of knowledge and the subsequent collaboration with technology will offer an unbelievable opportunity to look clearly at society as it is and begin changing our chosen “either/or” approach to one that allows for “both/and.” In pursuing more powerful platforms to engage with the democratization of knowledge, we will all become enablers, participants, and protectors of a democratic world. With democracy, we will be able to create solutions to the missing pieces throughout the complex issues that plague our world today. Let us all be active participants in creating a next level society that finds the humane by engaging with tech solution advances for our collective future.

Article by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy and Dr. Elias Carayannis 
President & CEO, ICSB
Deputy Chair, Department of Management, GW School of Business
Editor in Chief of the Journal of Small Business Management (JSBM)


Dr. Elias Carayannis, Full Professor of Science, Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, as well as co-Founder and co-Director of the Global and Entrepreneurial Finance Research Institute (GEFRI) and Director of Research on Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, European Union Research Center, (EURC) at the School of Business of the George Washington University in Washington, DC.


Carayannis, E. (2020). Research Reconfiguring and Innovation Constellations. Personal interview [European Union’s Horizon]. Available at http://riconfigure.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Interview-with-Elias-Carayannis_2020_Final.pdf

Reference video: The Ecosystem as Helix: Towards Industry and Society 5.0 via the Quadruple/Quintuple Innovation Helix Lens. Featuring Dr. Elias Carayannis: