Dr Elena Cavagnaro

Born in Rome, Italy in 1963, Elena Cavagnaro studied Classical Philosophy in Rome, Naples and later at VU University Amsterdam, where she was awarded a PhD in 1996. Her Philosophy degree turned out to serve her well in her career at NHL Stenden, where she was appointed Lecturer in Corporate Ethics for the Retail Business School in 1997.

During this period she began her research into sustainable business in the services industry. From 1999 to 2008, she helped develop the Master of Arts in International Retail Management and was appointed Professor of Applied Sciences in Service Studies in 2004. In addition, she also teaches Sustainable Development and Leadership at NHL Stenden. Cavagnaro and George Curiel co-authored the book The Three Levels of Sustainability, which was published in 2012 and became a bestseller. The views on sustainability the authors share in this book have served as the basis for the research carried out by the Department.

Inauguration speech

Dr Cavagnaro delivered an inauguration speech when she was inaugurated as a Professor of Applied Sciences in 2004.


  • Cavagnaro, E. and De Kruijf, E. (2014) Food waste, in: Profiles in the Hospitality Industry (EHMA), Leeuwarden: NHL Stenden
  • Cavagnaro, E. and Timmermans, R. (2013). Duurzaam verblijfsrecreatie [‘Sustainable Recreational Accommodation’] in Ontwikkeling Verblijfsrecreatie in Friesland [‘Development of Sustainable Recreational Accommodation in Friesland’], Leeuwarden: ETFI
  • Cavagnaro, E. (2013). Mind the Gap: Researching ‘Sustainability in Hospitality’ at the Edge of Academic and Industry Interests, Journal of Research in Hospitality Management, 2 (1-2) p.p. 39-45
  • Postma, A.; Spruyt, E. and Cavagnaro, E. (2013) Sustainable Tourism 2040 – A Manifesto, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands: European Tourism Futures Institute
  • Timmermans, R. and Cavagnaro, E. (2013). Beyond the Hype. In 2035 Sustainability is Mainstream. What does it take for tourism to meet this challenge? In A. Postma, I. Yeoman, & J. Oskam (Eds.), The Future of European Tourism (p.p. 150-176). Leeuwarden, the Netherlands: European Tourism Futures Institute

List of all 2013 publications
List of all publications up to 2013

Best Paper Award

At the end of May 2015 the annual CHME research conference found place in Manchester (UK). Theme of the conference this year was 'The future in our hands'. During this conference Dr Elena Cavagnaro was honoured with the Award for Best Paper of their track.