Dr. Chris Benner is Director of the Institute for Social Transformation and the Everett Program for Technology and Social Change. He is the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, and Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
His research examines the relationships between technological change, regional development, and the structure of economic opportunity, focusing on regional labor markets and the transformation of work and employment. He has authored or co-authored seven books and more that 75 journal articles, chapters and research reports.
His most recent book, co-authored with Manuel Pastor, is Solidarity Economics: Why Mutuality and Movements Matter.
Other books include:
- Equity, Growth and Community: What the Nation Can Learn From America’s Metro Regions
- Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Regions
- This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity Are Transforming Metropolitan America
- Staircases or Treadmills: Labor Market Intermediaries and Economic Opportunity in a Changing Economy
- Work in the New Economy: Flexible Labor Markets in Silicon Valley
His applied policy work focuses on workforce development policy, the structure, dynamics and evaluation of workforce intermediaries, and strategies for promoting regional equity. Prior to joining UC Santa Cruz, he was a professor in the Community and Regional Development unit of the Human Ecology Department at UC Davis, and an Assistant Professor of Geography at Pennsylvania State University. Benner’s work has also included: being a research associate at Working Partnerships USA, a dynamic non-profit advocacy organization in Silicon Valley working to rebuild links between economic policy and community well-being; providing technical assistance to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU); analyzing regional development strategies for the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); evaluating workforce development programs for the Keystone Research Center and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry and serving on advisory boards for the TechEquity Collaborative, the Urban Habitat Program (San Francisco), the Center for Policy Initiatives (San Diego) and the California Economic Strategy Panel. He serves on the Board of Directors of Ventures, and the California Institute for Rural Studies. He received his doctorate in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.