Dr. C. Otto Scharmer

Otto Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer in the MIT Management Sloan School and founder of the Presencing Institute. He chairs the MIT IDEAS program for cross-sector innovation, which helps leaders in business, government, and civil society to innovate at the level of the whole system. Scharmer introduced the concept of presencing”—learning from the emerging future—in his bestselling books Theory U and Presence (the latter co-authored with Peter Senge, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers). He is co-author of Leading from the Emerging Future, which outlines eight acupuncture points for transforming capitalism. His new book, The Essentials of Theory U (2018), focuses on the core principles and applications of awareness-based systems change.

In 2015, Otto co-founded the MITx u.lab, a massive open online course (MOOC) for leading profound change, which has since activated a global eco-system of societal and personal renewal involving more than 120,000 users from 185 countries. In 2019, he co-founded the Societal Transformation Lab (u.lab-S), involving 300 place-based teams focusing on reinventing education, governance, and our economies in the context of their eco-system. He also works with the UN Sustainable Development Group on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through SDG Leadership Labs.

Otto earned his diploma and PhD in economics from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. He received the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching at MIT (2015) and the European Leonardo Corporate Learning Award (2016). In 2018, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General appointed him to the UN Learning Advisory Council for the 2030 Agenda.

 

For more information visit the Presencing Institute at www.presencing.org