About PI

The Presencing Institute (PI) is an awareness-based action-research community that creates social technologies, builds capacities, and generates holding spaces for profound societal renewal. This community tries to contribute to shifting the economy from ego to eco, and toward serving the well-being of all.

A ten-year research project we started in 1996, conducted by Otto and his colleagues, including Joseph Jaworski and Peter Senge, at MIT, resulted in a consciousness-based framework of leadership and change. That framework, referred to as Presencing or Theory U, says that the quality of the results that a system creates is a function of the awareness from which the people in that system operate. The findings have been published in the books Theory U (by Otto Scharmer) and Presence (co-authored by Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers).

The second phase focused on many applications that resulted in a global ecology of laboratories, projects, programs, and initiatives that link partners in business, government, and civil society. The delivery of these projects and programs occurred directly through PI or its partner institutions, including MIT, Synergos, the Sustainable Food Lab, United in Diversity (UID), the GIZ Global Leadership Academy, Tsinghua University, FGV and FDC (Brazil), SoL (the Society for Organizational Leaderning), and others. Throughout this period, the online community of PI grew to over ten thousand members.

The third phase starts now, with the publication of Leading From the Emerging Future (co-authored by Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer), which introduces the 4.0 framework and the concept of the U.school as a global platform for helping a new generation of 4.0 eco-system entrepreneurs to act more creatively and intentionally and to be more connected.