My name is Dr. Chris Benner. I like riding unreasonable distances on my bike, pondering technology and social inclusion, and inspiring students to do great things. My background in activism and fighting inequality has greatly influenced my work. The four books I’ve co-authored with the prodigious Dr. Manuel Pastor definitely reflect my belief that a just world is a prosperous one, but not necessarily vice versa. In the spirit of openness, this website features downloadable versions of over 20 of my publications, as well as information and links to my books. The most recent, Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America’s Metropolitan Regions, features an incredibly robust website replete with downloadable data, case studies, and ongoing conversations.

Engaged teaching is integral to my activism and scholarship. I challenge students to truly interrogate the text and push themselves to create works that go beyond their own personal development and learning. This site spotlights three such courses and showcases the remarkable works that the students with whom I’ve had the privilege of working. Maps, presentations, posters, and full websites endure long after final grades are submitted. These are the artifacts I try to inspire with my courses.

The Everett Program

In 2015 I was honored to accept my current position as the The Dorothy E. Everett Endowed Chair for Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship. The Everett Program is an honors program unique to American higher education and wholly a product of the innovative spirit of UC Santa Cruz undergraduates. As Executive Director, I plan to strengthen the amazing work currently being done, expand our global impact, and grow the program in new and exciting directions.

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My Courses

I have never been an advocate of the base mode of university education: sit in lecture, do assignments, struggle through test, receive grade. Students will do amazing work and step outside the bounds of what we expect college work to look like if they’re given the right environment. That’s why I’ve always incorporated modern tools of expression and communication such as blogging, mapping, digital storytelling, and graphic design. Explore my courses to see their work for yourself.

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My Books

From the labor questions of the Information Age explored in, Work in the New Economy: Flexible Labor Markets in Silicon Valley and Staircases or Treadmills: Labor Market Intermediaries and Economic Opportunity in a Changing Economy to question about how our metropolitan regions can grow without leaving anyone behind in Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Regions and Equity, Community, and Growth: What the Nation Can Learn From America’s Metropolitan Regions, my body of work has always dealt with technological change, economic restructuring, and social equity.

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My Publications

I write a lot about technological change and economic opportunity for disadvantaged populations. Whenever possible, I prefer to make my work free to the public. In that spirit, I hope this site will serve as a repository for many of my works. Journal articles, research reports, and policy pieces all find their home in the Publications section of this site.

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Me in Video

Sometimes people make the curious decision to film my lectures and other speaking occasions such as my talk at TEDx Sacramento. We’ve gathered as many as we could find from a variety of different events. I hope that these will help you see the facets of my work and research that might not translate to the page

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