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Knowledge Matters: Equity, Growth and Community in America's Metropolitan Regions

Speaker Name: 
Chris Benner
Speaker Title: 
Professor of Sociology and Environmental Science
Speaker Organization: 
Everett Program
Start Time: 
Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 1:30pm
End Time: 
Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 3:05pm
Location: 
Engineering 2, Room 506
Organizer: 
David Lee

Abstract

In the last several years, much has been written about growing economic challenges, increasing income inequality, and political polarization in the United States. Drawing on his most recent book (co-authored with Manuel Pastor), Dr. Benner will argue that lessons for addressing these national challenges are emerging from a new set of realities in America’s metropolitan regions: first, that inequity is, in fact, bad for economic growth; second, that bringing together the concerns of equity and growth requires concerted local action; and, third, that the fundamental building block for doing this is the creation of diverse and dynamic epistemic (or knowledge) communities, which help to overcome political polarization and help regions address the challenges of economic restructuring and social divides.

Guest Bio

Chris Benner is a Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Executive Director of the Everett Program. His research focuses on the relationships between technological change, regional development, and structures of economic opportunity, focusing on regional labor markets and the transformation of work and employment patterns. Dr. Benner’s recent book, co-authored with Manuel Pastor, is Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Regions, which helps uncover the processes, policies and institutional arrangements that help explain how certain regions around the country have been able to consistently link prosperity and inclusion. Benner’s work has also included providing research assistance to a range of organizations promoting equity and expanded opportunity, including the Coalition on Regional Equity (Sacramento), Working Partnerships USA (San Jose), the California Labor Federation, and the Congress of South African Trade Unions among others. He received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.