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 cover

Fourth Person: The Knowing of the Field

In a time of systemic collapse and polycrisis, the main challenge is a pervasive sense of collective depression and helplessness. Otto Scharmer and Eva Pomeroy paper introduce "fourth-person knowing," transcending traditional first-, second-, and third-person approaches that underpin current learning and leadership systems. This new epistemological framework aims to enrich research methodologies, facilitating deeper connections and actions aligned with emerging global patterns.

Earth4All Deep Dive Paper: The System Within

The system within: Addressing the inner dimensions of sustainability and systems transformation.

This paper highlights the overlooked inner dimension of system change, and offers systems thinkers the language to advocate for psychological, social and spiritual factors crucial to sustainable solutions.

2023 In Eight Points: Meditating On Our Planetary Moment

2023 In Eight Points: Meditating On Our Current Planetary Moment

Explore Otto Scharmer's insightful analysis in his latest article, '2023 In Eight Points: Meditating On Our Planetary Moment'. Otto delves into the profound shifts and challenges of the past year, offering a deep reflection on the intersections of ecological, social, and technological transformations.

Philanthropy 4.0: What Form of Giving Enables Transformative Change?

Otto Scharmer's 'Philanthropy 4.0' delves into the evolution of philanthropy in response to increasing societal complexities. The article explores innovative philanthropic strategies, from trust-based funding to systemic transformation, aiming for sustainable and inclusive change amid global challenges like climate crisis and social divisions.

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.

Vertical Literacy: Reimagining the 21st-Century University

In a world where climate strikes and social movements are capturing the collective imagination, the question of how educational institutions can foster meaningful change has become increasingly urgent. Otto Scharmer delves into the evolving responsibilities of universities, exploring how they can move beyond being mere knowledge factories to become catalysts for transformative societal shifts. By examining the limitations of our current educational paradigms, he offers a groundbreaking perspective on bridging the 'knowing-doing' gap that hampers global progress.

An Apple Shows Just How Broken Our Food System Is

The food we consume has a hidden story, one that Otto Scharmer reveals has dire implications for both our health and our planet. Delving into a new study on the environmental and health costs of conventionally grown apples, Scharmer exposes the true price we pay for our modern agricultural practices. From pesticide use to monocultures, this blog post invites us to reconsider the larger systems that our daily food choices perpetuate, raising urgent questions about sustainability, health, and the real costs lurking behind what we eat.

Transforming Capitalism: 7 Acupuncture Points

In today's rapidly evolving world, there is a pressing need to address the disconnect between existing economic models and the real-world challenges they claim to solve. The concept of transforming capitalism isn't just a theoretical idea; it has become a necessary undertaking to address the social, ecological, and spiritual divides widening in our society. This blog post explores the landscape of economic transformation, identifying key leverage points that could radically update our current systems and shift our focus from a self-centered "ego-system" to a life-centered "eco-system."

Selected Publications