In his trailblazing book Theory U, Otto Scharmer described a powerful process for sensing the future that is emerging so we can align ourselves with it and help it to come into being. Now he shows that this same U process is the key to finally resolving the multiple crises we face today.
One of the key insights of Theory U is that form follows awareness: the quality of the results in any kind of system is a function of the awareness that people in the system are operating from. Even though our world is interconnected in ways unimaginable even a decade ago, in many cases our awareness--whether as individuals, organizations or nations--is still limited and local. To use an analogy from biology, even though our actions affect the larger ecosystem of which we are a part--in fact the multiple interacting economic, social, political and environmental ecosystems--we sill behave as though our actions are narrow in scope and impact. We see ourselves as part of a far smaller, more isolated ego-system.
Scharmer and Kaufer explain why actions based on this "ego-system" awareness not only result in recurring crises, but doom any attempt to resolve them--we are trying to meet new challenges with an obsolete mindset. To show the shape of the emerging future they bring this ecosystem awareness to bear on areas such as labor, capital, production, technology, leadership, ownership and many others, offering a blueprint for a new society based on a profound understanding of how the actions of each affects the many.
This book's journey is about a path and a method of dropping the baggage of old habits of thought and then crossing through the gate to an economy that operates more consciously, inclusively, and collectively.
Dr. C. Otto Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer at MIT, the founding chair of the Presencing Institute, and a founding member of the MIT Green Hub. Scharmer has consulted with global companies, international institutions, and governments in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and with client firms including Daimler, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fujitsu, and Google. He is the author of Theory U and a coauthor of Presence.
Dr. Katrin Kaufer is a founding member and research director at the Presencing Institute, and Fellow at the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) at MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning She has consulted with mid-sized and global companies, non-profit organizations, the World Bank and with the United Nations Development Program in New York.