Otto Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer in the MIT Sloan School of Management 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 coauthor 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 he 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 2018 he co-founded the Transforming Capitalism Lab, which focuses on upgrading the economic operating system in order to realize the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. With his colleagues he has delivered award-winning leadership development programs and cofacilitated innovation labs on reinventing education, health, business, and governance systems worldwide.
Otto earned his diploma (with distinction) and PhD (summa cum laude) 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 he was ranked #5 among the world’s top 30 education professionals by globalgurus.org.