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Otto Scharmer


Otto is a Senior Lecturer in the MIT Sloan School of Management and founder of the Presencing Institute. He chairs the MIT IDEAS program for cross-sector innovation, which helps leaders in business, government, and civil society to innovate at the level of the whole system. 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 coauthor of Leading from the Emerging Future, which outlines eight acupuncture points for transforming capitalism. His new book, The Essentials of Theory U (2018), focuses on the core principles and applications of awareness-based systems change.

In 2015 he 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 100,000 users from 185 countries. In 2018 he co-founded the Transforming Capitalism Lab, which focuses on upgrading the economic operating system in order to realize the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. With his colleagues he has delivered award-winning leadership development programs and cofacilitated innovation labs on reinventing education, health, business, and governance systems worldwide.

Otto earned his diploma (with distinction) and PhD (summa cum laude) from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. He received the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching at MIT (2015) and the European Leonardo Corporate Learning Award (2016). In 2018 he was ranked #5 among the world’s top 30 education professionals by

Here is a link to his recent blogs:

Mary Ann Rainey

Mary Ann is an organizational effectiveness consultant, executive coach, and teacher spanning a range of sectors in North and Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Her executive experience includes Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness and Vice City Manager. Continuous learning, holism and inclusion are the philosophical underpinnings of her work and writing.

Mary Ann is faculty in the Strategic Agility and Innovation Program sponsored by Yale School of Management and Yale New Haven Hospital and Adjunct Faculty in the Executive MBA Program at Loyola University Chicago, Illinois (USA). She is Programme Dean of NTL Institute’s Global Organization Development Certificate Program in Oxford, England and co-founder and co-chairperson of the International Gestalt Organization & Leadership Development (iGOLD) Program and co-founder of the Gestalt OSD Program in Ghana. She is a pioneer in the application of Appreciative Inquiry as a large group intervention.

Her professional affiliations include Board member: NTL Institute of Applied Behavioral Science; Organization Development and Change Division, Academy of Management Association; and Gestalt Institute of Cleveland; Fellow, Kurt Lewin Center; and Organization Development Network.

Mary Ann and her husband have two sons and live in Chicago.

Rob Fijlstra and Leo van de Voort

Leo van de Voort (1958) studied Dutch Language and Literature (Nijmegen), Dutch Law (Utrecht) and Business Administration (MBA, Rotterdam school of Management/Erasmus University, Rotterdam). He worked as a management consultant at KPMG (strategy and corporate finance), as Director of Twynstra Gudde Corporate Strategy & Finance BV, and at A.T. Kearney. After his consultancy practice he became investment banker and director of corporate finance at merchant bank Kempen & Co.       In 2000 he was chosen by business magazine Next! as one of the innovators of Dutch industry in the ‘90’s (as ‘the apostle of value creation’). He was CFO and member of the Board at Flex Group Nederland – in 2003 elected as the fastest growing company in Europe. In 2005 he listed, as CFO and Board member, game developer PlayLogic International at NASDAQ in New York.  From 2008 on he is working as board room advisor at Value Enhancement Ventures and Fuel for Living Strategies. Since then he wrote several books on strategy and value creation, team dynamics, change, courage and leadership. Most recently he published with co-author Rob Fijlstra: Risicovreugde (‘Embracing Uncertainty; Lead with Courageous Passion for the Unknown’).

Rob Fijlstra  (1953) has decades of involvement in organizational development, change and counseling for both profit and not-for-profit organizations. He has worked as a HR leader in the banking industry and the last 25 years he has served his clients as an external consultant and trusted personal coach. He is widely known for his work in promoting authentic leadership, slow management, interpersonal competence and inclusion. Although most of our workplaces are not designed to affirm idealism, invite more intimacy or encourage depth, Rob still thinks that these qualities really matter in our fast changing times. Because more than ever we need thoughtful and inspiring leaders to reveal how we can create agile and soulful organizations.
Rob is an enthusiastic speaker at conferences throughout Europe, and a sought-after facilitator of leadership programs and boardroom conferences. He is affiliated with The Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group of Troy, New York, a graduate of the Dutch Institute for Social Sciences, and a Certified Management Consultant. He is the author of four books in Dutch and one in English.

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