Otto Scharmer

Weaving Influence Leaders

Otto Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer at MIT and co-founder of the Presencing Institute. He chairs the MIT IDEAS program for cross-sector innovation that helps leaders from business, government, and civil society to innovate at the level of the whole system. He is the author of Theory U (translated into 20 languages) and co-author of Leading from the Emerging Future, which outlines eight acupuncture points of transforming capitalism. In 2015, he co-founded the MITx u.lab, a massive open online course for leading profound change that has since activated a global eco-system of societal and personal renewal, involving more than 100,000 users from 185 countries. With his colleagues, he has delivered award-winning leadership development programs for corporate clients, and co-facilitated innovation labs on reinventing education, health, business, government, and well-being.

Otto earned his diploma (with distinction) and Ph.D. (summa cum laude) from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. He received the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching at MIT (2015), and the EU Leonardo Corporate Learning Award for the contributions of Theory U to the future of management (2016). In 2017, he was ranked #1 of the world’s top 30 education professionals by

“Scharmer’s Theory U model of how to open our mind, emotions, and will to moments of discovery and mutual understanding is profound.”

~ Edgar Schein, Professor of Management Emeritus, MIT

About Otto Scharmer

Otto Scharmer introduced the concept of “presencing” — learning from the emerging future — in his bestselling books Theory U (2nd Edition) and Presence (co-authored with Senge, Jaworski, and Flowers), which have been translated into twenty languages. In his new book, The Essentials of Theory U, he gives an update and introductory overview into the core principles and applications of Theory U.