Theory U Online Training

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u.lab: Leading From the Emerging Future at Hawkwood
Thu 19Sep
Thu 12Dec

Leading from the emerging future

Facilitator: Otto Scharmer

This online course is an introduction to a method called Theory U, developed at MIT. Theory U is an innovative, systems-based leadership and change management method. It is used worldwide across all sectors to break through unproductive patterns of behaviour into more creative, innovative and successful approaches. U.lab will guide you in applying Theory U to an issue that matters to you. You will do so with fellow changemakers locally and around the world. Join us as we co-pioneer new approaches to today’s most important social and environmental challenges.

By signing up to this course via our website you will be joining the Hawkwood Hub and together we will follow this online learning journey. Donation basis participation. 

Event time: Thu 19th Sep at 2:00pm - Thu 12th Dec at 5:00pm

At a glance

  • Practical, accessible tools for assessing and removing blocks to understanding within a system
  • Applicable to organisations, work, communities or personal questions
  • A holistic approach including personal feelings, intuition, collaboration, visioning and prototyping

What participants will gain

  • Join live online sessions at Hawkwood centre for future thinking
  • Participation in coaching circles
  • Skills in communication, empathy and empowerment
  • Join a supportive local and global community of changemakers
  • develop and implement practical solutions to the issues we are dealing with.
  • CPD certificates available

U.lab 1x 2019 runs for 13 weeks; it’s a MOOC (massive, open, online course) as well as an awareness-based innovation process. Enrolment is free. View course syllabus here.

U.lab is a platform that blends new tech tools, social change processes, and multi-local community-building efforts. It aims to catalyze and scale societal renewal. Today’s challenges call for profound innovation across all societal sectors. Rethinking, reinventing and evolving the way we operate in our society requires a profound shift in how we think, engage and act (activating the intelligence of the head, heart, and hand).

What is the “U”?

The “U” of Theory U describes an inner process. We start by travelling down one side of the U bend. In this first stage we set aside fixed ideas and through guided visualisation we connect into our inner world of deep knowing and imagination. Theory U accesses the subconscious to provide solutions to a presenting problem. At the bottom of the U, time is allowed with the unknown. From silence we “let go and let come”. Then we invite potential solutions (however unformed they may be) to make themselves known so that next steps can be crystallised into a prototype project that will be sketched out and tried.

Leading from the Emerging Future. As the process above shows, Theory U invites the future to come towards us rather than trying to create it.  This allows space for thinking out of the box and being truly innovative without strain.

Some of the methodologies

  • Empathy walk
  • Coaching circle
  • Embodiment
  • 3D mapping – like brainstorming using objects on a table to represent players (people,themes, pathways, tensions, etc) in the system that can be moved around
  • 4D mapping- a bit like gestalt, constellations or theatre where people take on the roles above and give voice to the feelings

Price Options

£5-10 Recommended Donation


Unlimited available
Donate Today£10.00
19 available

Practical Information

Please bring a notebook and pen.

Please note that we hold this learning group on a donation basis whereby all proceeds go towards the upkeep of Hawkwood as a charity. Recommended donation £5 - £10.

Be sure to enrol with the Presencing Institute at

Otto Scharmer

Dr C. Otto Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer in the MIT Management Sloan School and founder of the Presencing Institute. He chairs the MIT IDEAS program for sustainability and cross-sector innovation. Scharmer introduced the concept of “presencing”—learning from the emerging future—in his bestselling books Theory U and Presence (the latter co-authored with Peter Senge, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers). He is co-author of Leading from the Emerging Future, which outlines eight acupuncture points for transforming capitalism. His new book, The Essentials of Theory U (2018), outlines an updated summary of the core principles and applications for leading profound systems change.

In 2015, Otto co-founded the MITx u.lab, a massive open online course (MOOC) for leading profound change, which has since activated a global eco-system of societal and personal renewal involving more than 125,000 users from 185 countries. In 2019, he co-founded the Societal Transformation Lab (u.lab-S), involving 350 place-based teams focusing on reinventing education, governance, and our economies in the context of their eco-system.

Visit Tutor's Website

Katie Lloyd-Nunn

Katie Lloyd-Nunn is programme manager at Hawkwood and has been following Theory U for three years, hosting three previous sessions of u.lab 1x, Theory U network days and u.lab-S Societal Transformation Lab. Prior to taking up her post at Hawkwood in 2003, originally as development coordinator, she studied permaculture and worked at Ragmans Lane Farm in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. Between 1990-2000 she was part of the wider Findhorn Community including setting up the Findhorn Bay Holistic Health Centre and spending 5 years on the tiny tidal Isle of Erraid. She loves community, collaboration, self-discovery, embodiment, singing and fresh air.


"I found a new freedom in my facilitation skills."
Fiona Ellis, trainer

"The Theory U team engender a feeling of permission and adventure and purpose. I learnt a lot about leadership, project management, technical skills, space holding for diverse groups and collaboration."
Katie Lloyd-Nunn, programme manager

"I really enjoyed doing the stakeholder interviews and getting deeper insights into what was happening on the ground locally in Stroud."
Marcus Blackett activist and entrepreneur

"As we join together to learn and put into practice the cutting edge, accessible skills and knowledge of Theory U I am accepted, welcomed and valued for who I am and what I bring. We also have a lot of fun!"
Naomi Wilkinson, actor and facilitator

"Theory U has helped reawaken and rejuvenate my confidence and sense of my personal strengths. The journey felt like an embodied flowering of hope and collaboration."
Catriona Bracker, artist and beekeeper