A co-sponsored event of WCNY with the Penn Club of New York

“An utterly fascinating read that will challenge some of your core assumptions about how social change happens.”— Adam Grant, Wharton Professor and NYT best selling author of Give and Take, Originals and Option B

"This remarkable book provides a powerful way to think about change…a critically important guide to effecting change in our individual lives, businesses, societies, and beyond."— Jonah Berger, Wharton Professor and best selling author of The Catalyst and Contagious

"This is a timely must-read for any leader who wants to meet the forces of resistance head-on and steer behavior in positive directions."— Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School

Most of what we know about how ideas spread comes from best-selling authors who give us a compelling picture of a world, in which "influencers" are king, "sticky" ideas "go viral", and good behavior is "nudged" forward. The problem is that the world they describe is a world where information spreads, but beliefs and behaviors stay the same.

When it comes to lasting change in what we think or the way we live, the dynamics are different: beliefs and behaviors are not transmitted from person to person in the simple way that a virus is. The real story of social change is more complex. When we are exposed to a new idea, our social networks guide our responses in striking and surprising ways.

Drawing on deep-yet-accessible research and fascinating examples from the spread of coronavirus to the success of the Black Lives Matter movement, the failure of Google+, and the rise of political polarization, Change presents groundbreaking and paradigm-shifting new science for understanding what drives change, and how we can change the world around us.

About Damon Centola
Damon Centola is a Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication, the Department of Sociology, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is Director of the Network Dynamics Group. He is a leading world expert on social networks and behavior change. His work has been published in Science, Nature Human Behavior, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, American Journal of Sociology, Circulation and Journal of Statistical Physics. Damon received the American Sociological Association’s Award for Outstanding Research in Mathematical Sociology in 2006, 2009, and 2011; the Goodman Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Sociological Methodology in 2011; the James Coleman Award for Outstanding Research in Rationality and Society in 2017; and the Harrison White Award for Outstanding Scholarly Book in 2019. 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 Fe low 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.

Before coming to Penn, Damon was an Assistant Professor at M.I.T. and a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow at Harvard University. His research is 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, and Change: How to Make Big Things Happen.

Thursday, March 18, 2021
6:00 PM ET - 7:00 PM ET

WCNY Supporting Members - $0 (WCNY supporting membership costs $95/yr at Join/Renew Membership)
Other Wharton Alumni & Alumni Guests - $10
Gold & Benefactor Members - $0

Meeting Access Information:
A link, accessible by personal computer, tablet or smartphone, will be emailed to all registered guests 24-48 hours prior to the event to the "Primary Email" address listed in your profile.  Please login to update your profile and confirm that the email address listed is correct.  We will attempt to provide the ability to ask questions at the end of the presentation and time permitting.

Click here to register. Please register early as events can and do sell out quickly.

Registering from another Wharton alumni club? Click here for assistance.
Pre-registration is required.  Registration is subject to availability and will close on Thursday, March 18th at 9:00am.

Cancellations must be made at least 48-hours (business day) prior to the event date by sending an email to Gabriela Sanchez. Refunds or credits for future events are not available for any no-shows or late cancellations. Click here for full details.