Claus Otto Scharmer (born 1961) is an American economist, Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the founding chair of the Presencing Institute. Scharmer chairs the MIT IDEAS program and helps groups of diverse stakeholders from business, government, and civil society to innovate at the level of the whole system. He co-founded the Global Wellbeing and Gross National Happiness (GNH) Lab, which links innovators from Bhutan, Brazil, Europe, and the United States in order to innovate beyond GDP. He has worked with governments in Africa, Asia, and Europe and has delivered award-winning leadership and innovation programs for companies, including Daimler, Eileen Fisher, PriceWaterhouse, Fujitsu, Google, and Natura. He also is a Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on New Leadership Models.
Scharmer 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, J. Jaworski, and B. S. Flowers), which have been translated into fifteen languages.
Scharmer holds a Ph.D. in economics and management from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. With his colleagues, he has used presencing to facilitate profound innovation and change in health, education, sustainability, and business systems.
- 2013. Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies, Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco. Co-authored with Katrin Kaufer.
- 2005, Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, "Organizations, and Society", co-authored with P. Senge, J. Jaworski, and B. S. Flowers
- 2009, Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges, Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco
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- Salmon, Gilly. E-tivities: The key to active online learning. Routledge, 2013.
- Cameron, Esther, and Mike Green. Making Sense of Change Management: A Complete Guide to the Models Tools and techniques of organizational change. Kogan Page Publishers, 2012.
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