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.

The word Presencing means to sense, tune in, and act from one’s highest future potential—the future that depends on us to bring it into being. Presencing blends the words “presence” and “sensing” and works through “seeing from our deepest source.” See here for a glossary of terms that are commonly used in association with Presencing and Theory U.

Our work consists of three intersecting activities:

Action Research

The Presencing Institute develops and disseminates tools that help change makers to create deep innovation and change. Our tools are published under Creative Commons licenses, which allows users to download and use the tools free of charge. This website shares the further evolution of this framework and its practical methods and tools.

We have created a framework and methodology that allows diverse groups of stakeholders to co-sense, reinvent, and co-create the larger eco-systems in which they operate. This has been published in two books: Presence and Theory U.

Over the past three years we have applied this innovation framework of deep systemic change to the evolution of the economy and society as a whole: focusing on the emerging transformation of capitalism. The results of this research have recently been published in a third book Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-system Economies (2013), and will set the stage for the next wave of action research, systems change, and collaborative renewal.

Living Examples

The first practical results of our action research projects include:

  • The creation of a Global Wellbeing and Gross National Happiness (GNH) Lab, co-founded with Germany’s Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation and Bhutan’s GNH Center. The Lab brings together leading innovators from developing countries, emerging economies, and industrial nations to prototype new ways of measuring and implementing well-being and progress in societies around the world.
  • The creation of mission-driven companies in the global South (JustPower).
  • A multi-stakeholder dialogue-based approach to policymaking in the federal government of Indonesia.
  • A climate leadership lab in South Africa and Indonesia (sponsored by GIZ).
  • A highly successful anti-corruption process designed to improve government services in Bojonegoro, Indonesia.
  • An institutional transformation journey of the premier state-owned bank in Indonesia (BNI).
  • A collaboration platform for some of the world’s sustainable and value-based banks (Global Alliance on Value-Based Banks).
  • An African health transformation and leadership development initiative working with the Namibian government and civil society.
  • An African agriculture transformation initiative working with the Ethiopian government and civil society.
  • Collective innovation capacity building in Eileen Fisher Inc.
  • Several sustainability-focused multi-stakeholder change initiatives in Zhejiang, China.
  • System-wide leadership capacity building with the Austrian Ministry of Education.
  • The launch of a U Process action-research development lab in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning — the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) — focusing on multi-sector initiatives in the US, Brazil, Nicaragua, and the Caribbean. 

Capacity Building

The Presencing Institute offers a number of capacity-building opportunities. These programs have graduated about 2,500 participants globally over the past ten years. Visit our Programs page for upcoming capacity building programs. We also facilitate IDEAS Indonesia, a platform that brings leaders from government, business, and civil society on a nine month transformational action learning journey, and IDEAS China that uses the same process in working with senior-level government and state-owned enterprises in China, including ICBC, currently the biggest bank and company on the planet.