Otto Scharmer is a senior lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management. He is co-founder of the Presencing Institute, and the founding chair of the MIT IDEAS Program, that takes leaders from civil society, government and business from Indonesia and China on a nine month action learning journey in order to co-create profound social innovation in their communities. With the German government (GIZ Global Leadership Academy) and the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan, he co-founded the Global Well-being and Gross National Happiness Lab, which brings together innovative thinkers from developing and industrialized countries to prototype new ways of measuring well-being and social progress. He has worked with governments in Africa, Asia and Europe and led leadership and innovation programs at corporations such as Daimler, Alibaba, ICBC, Eileen Fisher, Google and PwC.
In collaboration with his colleagues, Scharmer introduced the concept of “presencing” —learning from the emerging future — in his bestselling books Theory U and Presence (the latter co-authored with P. Senge, J. Jaworski, and B. S. Flowers). His new book Leading From the Emerging Future: From Ego-system to Eco-system Economies (co-authored with Katrin Kaufer) focuses on transforming business, society, and self (published in July 2013).
Through MITx and edX.org he currently delivers the U-Lab, a new type of social entrepreneurship MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) that uses presencing practices of co-sensing and co-creating emerging futures with a platform of 28,000 participants from 191 countries that collaborate through more than 350 self-organized U.Lab Hubs across countries and cultures. Scharmer holds a Ph.D. in economics and management from Witten-Herdecke University in Germany.