Otto’s Books, recent Articles and Blog Posts, and more selected Publications.


The Essentials of Theory U: Core Principles and Applications

by Otto Scharmer, 2018

A useful pocket guide for practitioners that distills all of the research and materials found in Otto Scharmer’s seminal texts Theory U and Leading from the Emerging Future.

A short handbook that focuses on the core principles of Theory U, the key movements that makes the process of Theory U, and social applications, to be used as an introduction to work in the field of Presencing.

Book figures and images for download

Ihnterested in Bulk Orders & Custom Editions? Please contact: Leslie Crandell | | +1 (510) 817-2264

Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Otto Scharmer

Praise for the Book

“This book provides a new language and teaches us new ways to integrate the insights of the psychology of mindfulness with the sociology of groups and the forces of the political and economic system. It is an incredible tour de force.”
Edgar Schein 
Professor Emeritus at MIT Sloan School of Management & Author
A great and timely book. As more and more people become part of the global movement around deep systemic change — from social entrepreneurs to innovators working within large established organizations to diverse network builders — a new field of knowledge is gradually taking shape.”
Peter Senge
Senior Lecturer at MIT & Co-Founder of Academy for Systems Change
My life and work have changed in no small part since meeting Otto and Theory U through MIT over a decade ago in the founding of the United in Diversity Forum. We have seen an amazing impact of the ‘U’ based leadership work in Indonesia and China, particularly in terms of how business, government and civil society collaborate to bridge the environmental, social, and spiritual divides.”
Cherie Nursalim
Co-Chair of SDSN-SEA & Chair of United In Diversity Foundation
I’ve experienced firsthand the profound impact of Otto’s transformative work — on our company as a whole, our teams, and individual employees. Now we can all participate more readily in the possibilities for systems change in the world.”
Eileen Fisher
Founder & Chairwoman of Eileen Fisher Inc.

Theory U: Leading from the Future as it Emerges

C. Otto Scharmer

2nd Edition, 2016

Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economics

C. Otto Scharmer and

Katrin Kaufer



An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society

Peter M. Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, andBetty Sue Flowers


Articles and Blog Posts

JASC Commentary from the Field: Tribute to Ed Schein
In Memory of Ed Schein: From Accessing Your Ignorance to Accessing Your Love

Edgar H. Schein, Sloan Fellow professor of management emeritus at MIT, passed away on January 26, 2023, at the age of 94. Ed had an enormous impact on organizational development (OD), on Theory U, and on Otto Scharmer’s life. Schein is one of the most important founding fathers of OD. In this piece Otto Scharmer outlines the most important principles Ed embodied in his work that have shaped his own. The piece ends with a call for collective action on addressing the challenges facing our planet in Ed’s own words.

Transforming our Economies from Ego to Eco

As part of the Earth4All project, collaborators have submitted deep-dive papers to delve further into the issues and solutions needed to transform our economic system and provide an equitable future for all on a finite planet. This paper explores how to transform the 21st-century economic system to become more just and sustainable. Otto Scharmer argues for the need to create a learning infrastructure to make this transformation possible.

Protect the Flame: Circles of Radical Presence in Times of Collapse

Otto Scharmer asks in this article: When systems collapse, what are we left with? The response: “We are left with each other. We are left with our relationships. With how we relate to Mother Nature, how we relate to each other, and how we relate to our emerging Selves.”

Selected Publications