Otto Scharmer

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Otto Scharmer
Otto Scharmer.jpg
Otto Scharmer
Born1961 (age 60–61)
Alma materWitten/Herdecke University
Known forTheory U

Otto Scharmer (born 1961) is a senior lecturer at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and co-founder of the Presencing Institute.[1] He chairs the MIT IDEAS program for cross-sector innovation[2] and is the author/co-author of several books.


Scharmer studied economics at Witten/Herdecke University in Germany, receiving his diploma and eventually his PhD.[3] In 2015 Otto co-founded the MITx u.lab,[4] a massive open online course with more than 140,000 users from 185 countries.[5]

He received the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching at MIT (2015),[6] and the EU Leonardo Corporate Learning Award for the contributions of Theory U to the future of management (2016).[7] In 2017 he was ranked #1 of the world's top 30 education professionals by[8]

Selected publications[edit]

Theory U diagram
  • Senge, Peter M.; Scharmer, Claus Otto; Jaworski, Joseph; Flowers, Betty Sue (2004). Presence: Exploring Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society (1st ed.). New York: Currency/Doubleday. ISBN 038551624X. OCLC 61257585.
  • Scharmer, Otto; Käufer, Katrin (2013). Leading from the emerging future: from ego-system to eco-system economies (1st ed.). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. ISBN 9781605099262. OCLC 813920439.
  • Scharmer, Claus Otto (2016) [2007]. Theory U: leading from the emerging future. A BK business book (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. ISBN 9781626567986. OCLC 944179658.


  1. ^ "People – Presencing Institute". Archived from the original on 2016-04-12. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  2. ^ "Otto Scharmer – MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning". Archived from the original on 2016-07-27. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  3. ^ "Otto Scharmer bio". Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  4. ^ "Awareness-Based Systems Change with u.lab - How to Sense and Actualize the Future". Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  5. ^ "EPH Conference". 2019. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  6. ^ "Photos: Instructors in accounting and operations management recognized at annual teaching awards – MIT Sloan School of Management". Archived from the original on 2017-05-03. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  7. ^ "Thought Leadership » Leonardo Award 2016 » Leonardo". Archived from the original on 2017-02-15. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  8. ^ "Education Gurus 30 – Global Gurus". Archived from the original on 2017-05-03. Retrieved 2017-02-15.

External links[edit]