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u-lab: Leading From the Emerging Future

An introduction to leading profound social, environmental and personal transformation

start date
8 weeks
4-6 hrs/week

About this course

In the past years, we have witnessed unprecedented disruption. Climate crisis and related natural disasters, rising unease about the impacts of AI, global protests against racial injustice, and social and political polarization shape our current landscape and point to a pressing need for societal renewal. To catalyze this renewal we need to learn not from the past, but from a future wanting to be born. How to activate our capacity to lean into the emerging future may well be the most important leadership challenge of our time. How do you cultivate curiosity, compassion and courage in the face of prejudice, anger and fear? How do you step into action for the well-being of all?

This course is an introduction to a method called Theory U, developed at MIT, for leading such change in business, government, and civil society contexts worldwide. u-lab will guide you in applying Theory U to an issue that matters to you, building your capacity to lead transformative change in the process. You will do so with fellow change-makers locally and around the world. Join us as we co-pioneer new approaches to today’s most important social and environmental challenges.

Important reminders:

  • The u-lab 1x course and all materials are available at no cost. The option exists to pursue a verified certificate from MITx for a fee of $99.
  • The facilitated u-lab course, including live broadcast sessions from MITx is 6 weeks in duration: September 14, 2023 to October 26, 2023. Course materials will be made available two weeks prior, beginning August 31, so you can get acquainted with the course format and platform before we begin. The instructed part of the course will be held September 14, 2023 - October 26, 2023.
  • After October 26, 2023, the course will be available as a self-paced learning experience until May 30, 2024. The course will not be monitored between October 26, 2023 and May 30, 2024.

What you’ll learn

  • Self-knowledge: The leadership that matters most
  • Capacities of deep listening, precise observation, and dialogue
  • Practices for creating innovations that generate wellbeing in society



Meet your instructors

  • Otto Scharmer

    Senior Lecturer at MIT and Founding Chair of the Presencing Institute

  • Dayna Cunningham

    Pam and Pierre Omidyar Dean of the Tisch College of Civic Life Tufts University and Executive Director of the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) at MIT

  • Kelvy Bird

    Graphic Facilitator

  • Arawana Hayashi

    Co-Director Social Presencing Theater

  • Eva Pomeroy

    Social Innovator in Residence at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

  • Antoinette Klatzky

    Partner in Strategy and Operations for the Eileen Fisher Community Foundation

Who can take this course?

Because of U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) restrictions and other U.S. federal regulations, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba, Syria, North Korea and the Crimea, Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic regions of Ukraine.