28,000 Seek Ego to Eco Economy

Paradigms of economic thought

This week wrapped up MIT and Otto Scharmer’s “U.Lab” a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that took 28,000 participants from 190 countries on a journey of “transforming business, society, and self,” with the ultimate with the goal of building a more socially and environmentally sustainable society.

Scharmer, protégé of systems theorist Peter Senge, believes that the wicked challenges we face are rooted in our economic system and awareness.  He zeroes in on decision-making and the need to lead from the “emerging future” rather than past experience – which is no longer an effective guide. Thus; his solution is a transformation of the inner place from which we lead.

The images below reflect some of the best analysis from the concept of “Ego-to-Eco-system Economies,” and Scharmer’s efforts to address the underlying sources.

Iceberg model of Current reality

Iceberg Model of Current Reality

Paradigms of economic thought

Paradigms of economic thought

Matrix of Economic Evolution

Matrix of Economic Evolution







CC License by the Presencing Institute – Otto Scharmer

I am skeptical that individual decision-making and leadership is sufficient to transform our economy.  The methods Scharmer employs focus primarily on listening.  Listening and leadership are important, but not sufficient in themselves to confront power and bridge the divides he outlines.

However, Scharmer provides insightful analysis in his effort to get to the root of the problem, and decision-making is certainly one-piece of this enormous puzzle.  Moreover, his approach has resonated with a notable global following, from his homeland in Germany to Brazil and China.  Many participants were from the business sector, which certainly is a relevant target to elevate ecosystem awareness.  At the end of the day Ego to Eco framework adds to the discourse  and brings a new audience into the space of rethinking prosperity.

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