Michael J. Arena, PhD

Affiliated Faculty, Organizational Dynamics; Chief Science Officer and Co-founder of Syndezos

Dr. Michael J. Arena is the Chief Science Officer and Co-founder of Syndezos. He also serves as a faculty member in Penn’s Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics program and acts as a design thinking coach within the Stanford School. 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. 

Arena was the Chief Talent Officer for General Motors Corporation, where he launched GM2020, a grassroots initiative that enables employees to positively disrupt the way they work, which was featured in Fast Company and Fortune Magazine. This initiative and others are highlighted in his book, Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations. Previously, Arena was a visiting scientist with MIT’s Media Lab researching human networks and served as Senior Vice President of Leadership Development at Bank of America. 

Ready to apply?

See Organizational Dynamics Programs deadlines, review our application materials checklist, and get ready to apply.

Individualized curriculum

With Penn's Organizational Dynamics program, you design a curriculum centering on a particular theme that interests you.

Meet our faculty

Dr. Janet Greco specializes in transforming leadership intent into organizational momentum and has conducted extensive research into the use of stories and organizational politics for executive development.