u.lab builds upon the work of many practitioners across cultures who, over the past 10+ years, have co-created the knowledge, methods, and tools – and pioneered the change efforts – that are taught and referenced in the course. The u.lab team listed below includes those who are most visible in the videos and online platforms – but many more contributed greatly to make the u.lab what it is today.
Otto is a Senior Lecturer at MIT, and founding chair of the Presencing Institute. He chairs the MIT IDEAS program and co-founded the Global Wellbeing Lab. In his books Theory U and Presence (the latter co-authored with Senge, Jaworski, and Flowers) he introduced the concept of “presencing” — learning from the emerging future. His latest book Leading From the Emerging Future: From Ego-system to Eco-system Economies (co-authored with K. Kaufer) applies mindfulness onto the transformation of business, society, and self. In 2015 he received the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching at MIT.
Adam is an Action Researcher at the Presencing Institute. A writer, producer, learning architect, and co-facilitator of u.lab, he also helps deliver Presencing Institute Labs that aim to create more sustainable and inclusive economies.
Kelvy is a graphic facilitator specializing in systemic mapping of content within collaborative and multi-stakeholder environments. She supports groups with live translation of content and dynamics into visual, tangible formats to aid with reflection and decision-making.
Julie is an economist, working internationally in change & innovation processes. Her projects range from designing and hosting (multi-stakeholder) innovation labs, to organisational change projects and leadership programs. In all her work Julie tries to create learning environments that bring together intention, attention and action. In the u.lab team, her role is mainly focused on supporting and connecting people, ideas, communities & hubs, as well as on bringing this format to organisations.
Angela is project manager for several events hosted by the Presencing Institute. She has worked as a social worker in Austria and Germany, as a project manager in concert promotion, and spends her free time supporting the Berlin-based collective BurgerEnergie Berlin that aims to buy back and run the electric power grid of Berlin.
Sarina's background is in language teaching, Business Communication, and language services (translation/copywriting/editing). In addition, she teaches kundalini yoga and practices zen meditation. Her interest in u.lab comes from a deep wish to see mindfulness and connection restored to how our communities and organisations operate.
Dayna is Executive Director of the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) at MIT. Dayna was previously an Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation and has also worked as a voting rights lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Martin is a consultant in leadership and organization development; a designer and facilitator of innovation and organization change processes; a trainer, coach and author. He serves as Core-Faculty member and UK Representative of the Presencing Institute, visiting faculty for the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and a Fellow of Future Considerations. Martin trains and coaches business, government and civil society leaders in different parts of the world and is an adviser to the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative. Previously, Martin served as Special Adviser to the President of Zambia.
Arawana’s pioneering work as a choreographer, performer and educator is deeply sourced in collaborative improvisation. She currently heads the creation of Social Presencing Theater (SPT) for the Presencing Institute. Working with Otto Scharmer and colleagues at the Presencing Institute, she brings her background in the arts, meditation and social justice to creating “social presencing” that makes visible both current reality and emerging future possibilities.
Ela consults, coaches and teaches in design research, strategy, and innovation with i2i Experience, which she started after a career as a senior designer with IDEO.
Lili Xu Brandt
Lili Xu Brandt facilitates innovation. She enjoys exploring the dynamic tension between entrepreneurial and systemic forces by enabling deeper individual and collective creativity in community contexts in China and beyond.
Simoon has been leading change-projects in government, education and business. She brings in the principles of natural leadership (as a collegue of John P. Milton, Way of Nature) and wishes to contribute to more harmony in the world. Her role in u.lab is to support hub hosts and the documentation process.