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Sally Goerner

Dr. Sally J. Goerner is the director of the Research Alliance for Regenerative Economics (RARE), former Science Advisor to the Capital Institute, and Managing Director of the North Carolina Sustainable Community Fund. With advanced degrees in engineering, systems science, and psychology, Dr. Goerner has lectured worldwide on how the Energy-Network Sciences (ENS) create a common-sense narrative of how to achieve lasting socioeconomic vitality by revitalizing human networks. Based on empirical research into what makes complex systems remain healthy over periods of time,, Dr. Goerner has developed a set of 10 measures of regenerative vitality for socioeconomic systems. Among their many interesting implications are that systemic economic health requires maintaining a balance of small, medium, and large organizations, which support an equally critical balance of resilience and efficiency.

Dr. Goerner started her career in high-tech R&D working for companies such as Bell Northern Research Labs (early cell phones and digital switches), Adaptronics (adaptive learning networks), McDonnell Douglas (space shuttle and cruise missiles), and NCR (early desktop computers). Her interdisciplinary efforts have included working with: noted urban anthropologist Jane Jacobs; Belgian financier Bernard Lietaer; the French Ministry of Finance; ecologist Howard Odom; Duke and UNC Integrative Medicine departments; and several educational reform groups. Her work in psychology included providing individual, family and group therapy as well as research in math anxiety and sexism in psychotherapy. Dr. Goerner is on the scientific advisory council of the European Academy of Evolution Research, a member of the General Evolution Research Group and past-president and co-founder of the Society for Chaos Theory in the Life Sciences.

As 2018-2019 PPS Senior Fellow, Sally will be working to apply the universal principles of ENS to placemaking, community-building, governance models, and economic development. Sally also brings to the table her ten measures of regenerative health as the basis of a groundbreaking approach to metrics and evaluation—a crucial element of any placemaking process—and will work with PPS staff to explore implementation of new evaluation strategies in our projects and programs.

Selected publications:

  • Goerner, S., Dyck, R. and Lagerroos, D. 2008. The New Science of Sustainability: Building a Foundation for Great Change. Chapel Hill, NC: Triangle Center for Complex Systems, distributed by Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers.  
  • Goerner, S. (1999/2009). After the Clockwork Universe: The Emerging Science and Culture of Integral Society. Edinburgh, Scotland: Floris Publishers.
  • Goerner, S., Lietaer, B., and Ulanowicz, R. (2009). Quantifying economic sustainability: Implications for free enterprise, theory, policy and practice. Ecological Economics, 69 (1), 76-81.
  • Lietaer, Bernard, Arnsperger, C., Goerner, S., & Brunnhuber, S. (2012). Money and Sustainability, The Missing Link. A report from the Club of Rome EU Chapter to Finance Watch and the World Business Academy. Devon UK: Triarchy Press.