Dr. Chris Benner

Professor, Chair, and Director of the Everett Program, and Institute for Social Transformation. Scholarship on the relationship between technological change, economic restructuring, and innovative social justice strategies.


In 2015 I was honored to accept my current position as the Dorothy E. Everett Endowed Chair for Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, 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.

Learn More About the Everett Program


Founded in 2018, the Institute for Social Transformation seeks to build on the campus’s progressive values, while simultaneously serving as a networking system for faculty researchers. The Institute also sparks new ideas, fosters bold research projects, and increases the real-world impact of scholarly work. Areas of expertise include policy, advocacy, social justice, environmental issues, education, and other areas during a time of political fracturing and polarization.

Learn More About the Institute


I have never been an advocate of the base mode of university education. 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.


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.

Current Projects

In addition to teaching and writing, I research the relationship between tech change, regional development and economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities. Learn about some of my current projects below 




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.

Podcast episodes

Every Sunday I host “The Cutting Edge” on KSQD where UCSC faculty and other campus researchers talk about their most exciting, important research projects.

More About Me

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.

 Click to learn more about my background and work