“Many of us sense that the civilization we are a part of is hitting the wall... we want to be part of a different story - we just don’t know how.” 

- Otto Scharmer

Why Join?

  • The program starts in August. It is designed as a 6-week program completely free to attend, with an optional possibility to apply for a (paid) MITx Online verified certificate.

  • The u-lab 1x program and all materials are available at no cost. The option exists to pursue a verified certificate from MITx Online for a fee of $99.

  • The program is an introduction to a method called Theory U, developed at MIT, for leading change in business, government, and civil society contexts worldwide. It is run by Senior Lecturers at MIT, Senior Faculty and expert Practitioners from the u-school for Transformation (by Presencing Institute) who are actively engaged in cross-sectorial societal transformation.

  • This program has attracted around 200,000 enrollments from around the world, with over 185 countries represented, since its launch in 2015. 

  • u-lab 1x is an interactive program with live sessions and activities in self-organized local or interest-based hubs where prototype seeding can take place to activate the transformation that needs to happen at a community level.

  • Although this is a program in English, the community has been kindly volunteering to translate the materials in more and more languages, helping to remove language barriers.

  • The program focuses fully on the specific challenges of our current moment and on how to apply Theory U to the absencing patterns in our cultures and societies for a transformation that benefits all.

  • The program is free, thanks to the contributions of our partners and supporters who also believe that it is possible to create and scale profound societal innovation.

  • The program is part of the Pathways of Certification offered by the u-school for Transformation.

About this Course

In the past years, we have witnessed unprecedented disruption. Climate crisis and related natural disasters, rising unease about the impacts of AI, global protests against racial injustice, and social and political polarization shape our current landscape and 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 program 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.


  • The facilitated u-lab course, including live broadcast sessions from MITx Online is 6 weeks in duration: September 14, 2023 to October 26, 2023. The Orientation Module will be made available two weeks prior, beginning August 31, so you can get acquainted with the course format and platform before we begin. The instructed part of the course will be held September 14, 2023 - October 26, 2023.  
  • September 14 - October 26, 2023: Facilitated u-lab course, including live broadcast sessions from MITx Online (6 weeks duration). All program materials will be made available.
    • Live Session Dates
      • Thursday / September 14th, 10am-11.15am ET: Live Session 1
      • Thursday / October 5th, 10am-11.30 am ET: Live Session 2
      • Thursday / October 26th, 10am-11.15 am ET: Live Session 3
    • Ask-Us-Anything Dates
      • Thursday / September 21st / 10am-11am ET: Ask-Us-Anything 1
      • Thursday/ October 12th, 10am-11am ET: Ask-Us-Anything 2
      • Thursday / November 9th, 10am-11am ET: Ask-Us-Anything 3
  • After October 26, 2023, the course will be available as a self-paced learning experience until May 30, 2024. The course will not be monitored between October 26, 2023 and May 30, 2024.

What You’ll Learn

  • Self-knowledge: The leadership capacity that matters most
  • Practices to cultivate deep listening, precise observation, and dialogue
  • Methods for creating innovations that generate wellbeing in society



Important Note

Your u-lab 1x journey is supported by two platforms. 

Here on the u-school for Transformation platform, you will connect with other participants, form a coaching circle if you don’t have one, engage in dialogue and access the tools and methods introduced in the course. Please register for u-lab 1x here.

On the MITx Online platform, you will find all of the course content and will be guided through each of the five modules that make up u-lab. If you are pursuing a verified certificate from MITx Online, this is also where you will track your work.

Once you have registered for u-school for Transformation, you will be redirected to register for u-lab 1x on MITx Online. Note: you will leave the u-school for Transformation website.

For any questions please write to: u-lab@presencing.org.