Introduction to Theory U

Preparation

Pre-reading

Scharmer, C. Otto. "The Blind Spot of Institutional Leadership: How to Create Deep Innovation Through Moving From Egosystem to Ecosystem Awareness." Paper prepared for World Economic Forum, Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2010, Tianjin, People's Republic of China, September 2010. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

Amazon logo ———. "Introduction." In Theory U: Leading From the Future As It Emerges. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler, 2009. ISBN: 9781576757635.

Amazon logo ———. "Facing the Fire." Chapter 1 in Theory U: Leading From the Future As It Emerges. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler, 2009. ISBN: 9781576757635.

Amazon logo ———. "The Journey to U." Chapter 2 in Theory U: Leading From the Future As It Emerges. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler, 2009. ISBN: 9781576757635.

Video Clips

Otto Scharmer. "Theory U and Presencing: An Introduction." June 15, 2011. Presencing Institute.

"Nic Marks Discusses the Happy Planet Index at TEDGlobal." August 30, 2010. The New Economics Foundation (NEF).

globaloneness. "Riane Eisler: Caring Economics." October 17, 2007. YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USUeF4YauF8&feature=player_embedded.

GenerationWe. "Generation WE: The Movement Begins…" October 22, 2008. YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vknHKTy1MLY.

Session Introduction

Introduction to U-Lab: Leading Profound Innovation for a More Sustainable World (PDF)

In-Class Practice

Effective Listening

Assignment

Reflection Paragraph

Reflect on the discussion we had during the first class and write a paragraph that responds to the following questions:

What interest and intention brought you to this class?
What is the core question that you want to explore?

Empathy Walk

Purpose:

  1. To develop empathy for someone very different from yourself.
  2. To develop some skill in establishing a relationship across a significant boundary.

Procedure:

  1. Divide up into pairs. Choose a class partner on the basis of your similar schedules so that you can find time to complete the exercise together in the next week.
  2. With your class partner, spend some time talking about what kind of person would live in a world that is most different from the one you are in. This person may be very different from the two of you. Be creative, let your imagination run.
  3. Having identified a type of person from a world that is very different from yours, figure out how to actually find and meet such a person in the next week in the greater Boston area.
  4. Make contact with and plan to spend several hours getting to know the person you choose. Try to get a feel for what it would be like to live in that person's world. How you go about this, what you say to the person, what kind of time you spend, etc., is all up to you and your class partner. There are no rules or guidelines. Be creative.
  5. You and your class partner will each write a one-page reflection paper on what you learned from your empathy walk.