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The Emerging Future


As I started reading the 2013 book Leading from the Emerging Future, published by Berrett-Koehler, I noticed that I have 6 other titles with the same BK logo on the bottom of the spine, so I joined the BK Community.

BK “connects people and ideas to create a better world that works for all… bringing positive change to organizations, people and thriving communities of collaboration, openness and innovation.” Their values are stewardship, quality, partnership, inclusion and sustainability.

Authors Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer ask, “Why do we collectively create results nobody wants? Meeting the challenges of this century requires updating our economic logic and operating system from an obsolete “ego-system” focused entirely on the well-being of oneself to an eco-system awareness that emphasizes the well-being of the whole.”

Otto Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer at MIT, a Thousand Talents Program Professor at Tsinghua University, and co-founder of the Presencing Institute. He chairs the MIT IDEAS Program and co-founded the Global Wellbeing Lab.

The Presenting Institute “is an awareness-based action-research community that creates social technologies, builds capacities, and generates holding spaces for profound societal renewal.” Through publications, programs, events and tools, groups and organizations can develop seven leadership capacities in order to create a future that would not otherwise be possible:

  1. Holding the space of listening
  2. Observing
  3. Sensing
  4. Presencing
  5. Crystalizing
  6. Prototyping
  7. Performing

First introduced in the 2004 book Presence, the “U” methodology of leading profound change is expanded and deepened in second edition of the book Theory Upublished last month. A good summary of the principles of presencing are found in the PI website.

Another introduction to the topic is Scharmer’s article One Earth, Two Social Fields in the July 19, 2016 edition of Huffington Post.

We cannot solve problems with the same kind of thinking that created them.” Albert Einstein