An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

Leading to Create a Regenerative Ecosystem

Photo of a lush coastline

Presenters: Otto Scharmer and Kathryn Goldman Schuyler

Date: 15 September 2020

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Human survival depends on creating a regenerative relationship between humanity and the planet that is our home. Considerable work has been done in science, regional and urban development, agriculture, and many other areas, but it is so far profoundly insufficient.

Some see a need for what has been called collective mindfulness: a shift in consciousness to a shared awareness from which new commitment and coordinated action can emerge. As Otto Scharmer has written, “Your behavior changes the system. Your mindful behavior is needed to avoid a breakdown of the system.” And it is needed to co-create the new regenerative system.

Otto Scharmer will share his work that has been co-developed with colleagues and communities around the world in making such shifts at the local, regional, national, and global levels through action-oriented processes that connect people with thinkers at the edge, inventing the new ways of being, from systems thinking to First Nations awareness and practices, to meditation and the sciences that inform regenerative development. He’ll explore the role of leadership in shifting the current extractive approach to the planet to one where humans nourish the planet that in turn nourishes them—a regenerative ecosystem.

Outcomes of attending:

  • Understand how so much of what occupies the public mind is a process of absencing: of reacting with denial and blaming because of fear.
  • Perceive the possibilities of creating truly innovative small and then larger projects that will make a difference—the kind that can only be perceived from nourishing our curiosity, allowing our hearts to open, and connecting with our courage.
  • Envision what you personally can do, by connecting with others who share your commitment to that aspect of regeneration that matters to you.
  • Connect with a deep sense of greater possibilities.

Speaker Information

Otto Scharmer headshot

Otto Scharmer, co-founder of the Presencing Institute and a Senior Lecturer in the MIT Sloan School of Management where he chairs the MIT IDEAS program for cross-sector innovation. His concept of “presencing”—learning from the emerging future—was detailed in his bestselling books Theory U and Presence (the latter co-authored with Peter Senge, et al). He is co-author of Leading from the Emerging Future, which outlines eight acupuncture points for transforming capitalism. His most recent book, The Essentials of Theory U, summarizes the core principles and applications of awareness-based 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 transformational change involving more than 160,000 users from 185 countries. In March 2020, Otto and his colleagues at the Presencing Institute launched GAIA (Global Activation of Intention and Action), a free, online, deep learning journey, geared toward profound personal, societal, and planetary renewal.

Otto earned his diploma and PhD in economics from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. He received the Jamieson Prize for Teaching Excellence at MIT, the European Leonardo Corporate Learning Award and is a member of the World Future Council. The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General appointed him to the UN Learning Advisory Council for the 2030 Agenda.

Kathryn Goldman Schuyler

Kathryn Goldman Schuyler is the chair of the ILA 2020 conference and Professor of Organizational Development at Alliant International University (San Francisco), where she leads seminars on leadership, organizational ethics, corporate social responsibility, coaching, the art of change, and consulting skills. As President of Coherent Change, she has coached hundreds of executives. Focusing on organization development, personal growth, and movement education, she applies her background as a certified clinical sociologist to create and manage processes that transform organizational culture, enhance leadership, and improve organizational health. She is also a PSA-certified professional ski instructor who brings her understanding of sports and the way we learn to her work with organizations. In her practice as a Guild-Certified Feldenkrais practitioner®, she helps people move with increased ease, improve their performance in sports, and relieve pain from injuries or misuse. She uses the The Anat Baniel Method for Children to support powerful learning in children with special needs. Kathryn has published three books on leadership, including: Inner Peace—Global Impact (2012), and two volumes in the ILA Building Leadership Bridges Series, Leading with Spirit, Presence, and Authenticity (2014), and Creative Social Change—Leadership for a Healthy World (2016).