Otto Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer in the MIT Management Sloan School and co-founder of the Presencing Institute. He chairs the MIT IDEAS program for cross-sector innovation and 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 et al). He is co-author of Leading from the Emerging Future, which outlines eight acupuncture points for transforming capitalism. His most recent book, The Essentials of Theory U, summarizes 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 transformational change involving more than 160,000 users from 185 countries. In March 2020, Otto and his colleagues at the Presencing Institute launched GAIA (Global Activation of Intention and Action), a free, online, deep learning journey, geared toward profound personal, societal, and planetary renewal. Most recently, with his colleagues he co-created a global Action Learning Lab for hundreds of change makers across UN agencies, as well as a suite of SDG Leadership Labs that help UN Country Teams to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.
Otto earned his diploma and PhD in economics from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. He received the Jamieson Prize for Teaching Excellence at MIT, the European Leonardo Corporate Learning Award and is a member of the World Future Council and the Club of Rome’s High-Level 21st Century Transformational Economics Commission. The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General appointed him to the UN Learning Advisory Council for the 2030 Agenda.
Contact Otto Scharmer about speaking terms and dates.