Former Vice President of Talent and Development
Amazon Web Services (USA)
Michael Arena Ph.D. is a faculty member in Penn’s Masters in Organizational Dynamics program. He is also a co-founder of the Connected Commons, a consortium of that brings together business and academic thought leaders to pioneer research and apply organizational network science. He most recently served as the vice president of talent and development at Amazon Web Services (AWS), where he leveraged network analysis to enable employee growth, organizational culture and innovation. He was recently nominated to the Thinkers50 Radar class of 2020 for his work on network roles in creating adaptive organizations, and his research on networks won the 2017 Walker Prize from People + Strategy.
Prior to joining Amazon, Michael was the chief talent officer for General Motors Corporation where he helped to facilitate the business transformation, which is highlighted in his book Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations. Michael also spent two years as a visiting scientist with MIT’s Media Lab researching human networks and acted as a design thinking coach within the Stanford School.
Professor of Organizational Behavior
London Business School (UK)
Herminia Ibarra is the Charles Handy Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School. Prior to joining LBS, she served on the INSEAD (2002-2017) and Harvard Business School (1989-2002) faculties.
An authority on leadership, Thinkers 50 ranks Ibarra among the top management thinkers in the world. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network, a judge for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, one of Apolitical’s 100 most influential people in gender policy, a Fellow of the British Academy, the 2018 recipient of the Academy of Management’s Scholar-Practitioner Award for her research’s contribution to management practice, and serves on the Governing Body of the London Business School.
She is the author of best-selling books including Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader and Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career. Ibarra writes regularly in leading academic journals and business publications including the Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times and speaks internationally on leadership and organisational transformation.
A native of Cuba, Ibarra received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University, where she was a National Science Fellow.
The Futures Agency (Switzerland)
Gerd Leonhard is a world-leading keynote speaker and futurist focused on “People, Planet, Purpose and Prosperity,” helping Millions of people to “imagine and create a better tomorrow.” Through hundreds of conference keynotes, presentations, and speeches over the years and working with the likes of Microsoft, NBC, Visa, Google, the European Commission, and IBM, Gerd has become one of the leading voices on the dangers of unregulated ‘big tech’ and the possibility of a better, more human-centric tomorrow.
As the bestselling author of Technology vs Humanity: The Coming Clash Between Man and Machine, a Forbes columnist, and frequent contributor and interviewee on the likes of the BBC, The Guardian, CNN, Harvard Business Review, and Business Insider, Gerd has built a name for himself as ‘the humanist futurist,’ leading to him being named to Wired UK’s 100 Most Influential Europeans in 2015.