The Presencing Institute and Impact Hub are partnering to bring the MITx course Leading from the emerging future to 40+ Impact Hubs around the world. In Zurich, the local learning circle is hosted by us, two Impact Hub members, Jeanne and Heinz. In this blog post, we explain why we care about this topic, decide to host the U.Lab and why you could (or better ”should” join).




We live in a time of disruptive change. 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?

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. The only pre-requisite for this course is an introductory overview, which you can complete in just 90 minutes. Building on the intention you set, the u.lab will help you to apply the Theory U method to an issue that matters to you, with fellow change makers locally and around the world.

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 leading host of this *MOOC is Otto Scharmer, a Senior Lecturer at MIT, and founding chair of the Presencing Institute, but many more contributed greatly to make the U.Lab what it is today.



There will be four live sessions with streaming from the MIT, between that course material will be published weekly for self-study. Next to getting together for these live sessions, we are organizing meetups once a week on Monday evenings, to go through the course material, or do some of the suggested practices together. Please sign up for the live streaming through the link below, and drop us an email if you wish to attend the Monday evening get-togethers. Before joining the learning circle, make sure you sign up for the course here. This is the schedule for the local learning circle:

  • WEEK 0: INTRODUCTION / LIVE* – Launch, orientation & local co-initiation
    • Sept 12th / 18.30-20.30h, Room C2, Colab
    • Sept 15th / 15.30-18.00h. Live Session, register here
  • WEEK 1: CO-INITIATING  – Co-Initiating our U.Lab Journey
    • Sept 19th / 18.30-20.30h, Room C3, Colab
  • WEEK 2: CO-SENSING PT.1 – Suspending & Listening
    • Sept 26th / 18.30-20.30h
  •  WEEK 3: CO-SENSING PT.2 / LIVE– Co-Sensing from the edges of the system
  • WEEK 4: PRESENCING  – Presencing: Connecting to Source
    • Oct 10th / 18.30-20.30h
  • WEEK 5: CRYSTALIZING – Crystalizing the emerging future
    • Oct 17th / 18.30-20.30h
  • WEEK 6: PROTOTYPING / LIVE*- Co-Creating to prototype the future
  • WEEK 7: CO-EVOLVING – Co-evolving prototype initiatives
    • Oct 31st / 18.30-20.30h
  • WEEK 8: GLOBAL MOVEMENT BUILDING / LIVE*– U.Lab 2.0 closing session

*LIVE – Session MIT – Sharing results, co-shaping the journey ahead



My name is Heinz Robert and I have already participated in the last two u.labs in spring and fall last year. The first time I did not have so much time to join in fully and go through all the material on time, but at the September u.lab I wanted to get as much out as I can.

I joined a coaching circle with 5 people from different parts of the world and various cultures. There was an Indian guy working for IBM in Malaysia and just moved to Australia, an Israeli entrepreneurial woman with 5 kids, living in a Kibutz near Tel Aviv, a consultant from South Africa partly based in the US, a French artist and health care worker, and a young Norwegian physicist who just started his own space program and works together with NASA and ESA. I enjoyed every session of our case clinics, where we went through our personal challenges being coached by the others, based on a clear procedure from the u.lab. We are still in contact through a Facebook group and continue with our sessions every second month.

Though I knew already the Theory U since some years, what I most liked from the MOOC is to learn about different practices that can be applied in every project and team setting, and it has fed my strong longing for co-creation. What I missed was more local contacts beyond the four live sessions. I rather would like to join a local coaching circle this time.



My background is in further education and personal development. In that context I have been trainer, trainer’s trainer as well as a customized course and curriculum developer and a life coach. I love discovering new ways of communicating and sharing knowledge with others.

Although I have taken several MOOC courses on various platforms, it is the first time I will be doing the U.lab. What attracted me was the methodology and the content. MOOCs are for me an unbeatable tool to access cutting edge research and knowledge as it is developed by experts and professors at top universities.

I like the use of a learning diary to consolidate new understanding and to keep track of my progress. I strongly believe that learning is a social process which is why I immediately signed up to co-host the Zurich live events and to participate in weekly live & local meetings. I find I integrate new learning best if I can talk about the content and share insights with other course participants. I discover new perspectives and have a richer learning experience than if I do the exercises and reading on my own.

And finally what first attracted me to the course, is that it covers two of my biggest interests, digital learning and personal development aimed at creating a better world for the future.

I really look forward to starting the course and meeting all of you both online and in person at Live & Local sessions!

See you soon!

Heinz & Jeanne


ENROLL HERE FOR THE COURSE (prerequisite to join the learning circle here in Zurich)