2019 GPLEX: Philadelphia




University of Pennsylvania

Damon Centola is a Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is Director of the Network Dynamics Group.  Before coming to Penn, he was an Assistant Professor at M.I.T. and a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow at Harvard University.

His one of the world's leading experts on social networks and behavior change.  His work has been published across several disciplines in journals such as Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, American Journal of Sociology, and Journal of Statistical Physics.  Damon received the American Sociological Association’s Award for Outstanding Article in Mathematical Sociology in 2006, 2009, and 2011, and was awarded the ASA's 2011 Goodman Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Sociological Methodology and the 2017 James Coleman Award for Outstanding Research in Rationality and Society.  He was a developer of the NetLogo agent based modeling environment, and was awarded a U.S. Patent for inventing a method to promote diffusion in online networks.  He is a member of the Sci Foo community and Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Popular accounts of Damon’s work have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, TIME, The Atlantic, Scientific American and CNN.  His speaking and consulting clients include Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Cigna, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Heart Association, the National Academies, the U.S. Army and the NBA.

Damon’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation.  He is a series editor for Princeton University Press, and the author of How Behavior Spreads.  



  • Jeffrey Cooper, Vice President, Government Affairs, University of Pennsylvania
  • FOLASADE OLANIPEKUN-LEWIS, Regional Director, Government and Airport Affairs, American Airlines
  • ARUN PRABHAKARAN, Chief of Staff, Office of District Attorney Larry Krasner



  • Peter Blau, President, ITDATA, Inc.
  • Tracy Brala, Vice President, Ecosystem Development, University City Science Center
  • Malik Brown, Vice President, Talent Strategy & Business Engagement, The Graduate Network
  • Jay Devine, President & CEO, Devine+Partners
  • Erik Evjen, Director of Research, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Joanne Ferroni, Director, University and Community Partnerships Drexel
  • Dominique Goss, Charitable Giving Strategy Senior Manager, TD Charitable Foundation
  • Beth Hare, President, Criterion Search Group
  • Malcolm Ingram, Attorney, Jackson Lewis P.C.
  • Sheila Ireland, Executive Director, City of Philadelphia, Office of Workforce Development
  • Russell Johnson, President & CEO, HealthSpark Foundation
  • Joe Khan, Of Counsel, Langer Grogan & Diver
  • Yocasta Lora, Associate State Director, AARP PA
  • Esther Morales, Director, Puentes de Salud
  • Lauren Nestler, Chief Communications and Strategy Officer, PHMC
  • Ellen Rosenberg, Vice President, Development and Civic Engagement, The Goldenberg Group
  • Andy Toy, Communications and Development Director, SEAMAAC
  • Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg, Cofounder & CEO, Zivtech
  • Bill Valerio, The Patricia Van Burgh Allison Director and CEO, Woodmere Art Museum
  • Jean Wang, President, Quantum, Inc.