In the past years, we have witnessed unprecedented disruption. Climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and global protests against racial injustice all 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.
NOTE: Translations are not available for all videos and/or in all languages. We hope to have more complete translations in the future, and we are looking for volunteers to help with this task. Please contact Deniz Cengiz at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing to volunteer.
The Orientation Module will be made available on September 1st. All other Modules will be made available on September 9th. While you can complete the course at your own pace, the instructors will facilitate Live Sessions on a monthly basis -- as indicated below.
In this Introduction to u.lab, you will learn how to use and navigate the social and community elements of the course, and you will find some guidelines to get familiar with the edX platform.
Module 1: Co-Initiating
This module is the actual start of the course, and it consists of an introduction to the deeper sources of our current global challenges. You will learn about the art and practice of deep listening, and set your intention for the journey ahead. There will be a Live Session on September 23th that corresponds to Module 1.
Module 2: Co-Sensing
To sense into your current context, in this module you will learn how to gather data by suspending and listening through practices such as learning journeys and stakeholder interviews. The second half of this module will teach you how to make sense of the data you generate using Social Presencing Theater.
Module 3: Presencing
At the bottom of the U, you will be guided to retreat and reflect, allowing deeper sources of knowledge to emerge by connecting with a future possibility that is in need of us. There will be a Live Session on October 21nd that corresponds to Module 3.
Module 4: Co-Creating
To move upwards after the profound phase of Presencing, in this module you will learn how to stay connected to your deeper sources of inspiration and pay attention in a way that will enable you to move from idea to action -- learning by doing. This module also describes practices to engage in prototyping activities to generate feedback that will help you evolve your inspiration / idea. In a nutshell, this module contains principles to support the evolution from an idea, to a prototype, to an initiative with the potential to scale.
Module 5: Co-Evolving
We all know about many episodes and stories of great transformational change and breakthrough. But at the end of the day they remain merely that: episodes. Sooner or later the larger system snaps back into the old way of operating. Unless the deeper root issues are addressed, transformational episodes may lack the conditions to spread across the remaining system. How to attend to these root issues while prototyping is the question we will explore in this Module. There will be a Live Session on November 18th that corresponds to Module 5.
Module 6: The Journey Ahead
What is emerging globally from u.lab 1x and what is needed to carry momentum forward? What are the next steps in the u.lab journey? There will be a final Live Session on December 9th addressing these questions.
Otto Scharmer, Adam Yukelson, Dayna Cunningham, Kelvy Bird, Julie Arts, Arawana Hayashi, Lili Xu Brandt and Ela Ben-Ur