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The US election next week feels like a planetary watershed moment, with implications well beyond the United States. This moment has an exterior and an interior dimension. The exterior dimension is a referendum on the occupant of the White House. But a change there will not on its own change much. …


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In 1989, a few months before the Berlin Wall would collapse, I was co-leading an international student group in a program called Peace Studies Around the World that took us to East and West Berlin. In discussions with some of the leaders of the civil rights and opposition movements in East Berlin, I witnessed with my own eyes how even the very people who were on the frontlines of forces that eventually would bring down the Berlin Wall — effectively ending the cold war system —…


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In ancient Jerusalem there was a gate called the Eye of the Needle which was so narrow that when a fully loaded camel approached it, all the bundles had to be removed so that the camel could pass through. Referring to this well-known image of his day, Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

This is what comes to mind as I contemplate images…


The 20th-century avant garde artist Joseph Beuys reportedly once said that there are two forms of creativity on earth — the creativity of the artists, focusing on the creation outside ourselves, and the creativity of women, allowing for the creation inside ourselves.

One year ago today, my mother, Margret Scharmer (1938–2019), crossed the threshold. I want to honor her life by sharing five personal reflections, five learning experiences that I now begin to see more clearly. …


By Otto Scharmer and Eva Pomeroy

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“One of the main lessons I think we got from u.lab was be braver, just, you know, stop worrying about things so much and just try it and see what happens.”

— Anne, u.lab Scotland

“Let’s have the courage to create”

GAIA Journey participant

We live in a world of disruption, drama, and despair. All of these are real. But at the same time, we also live in a world of unparalleled opportunity — the opportunity to step into new spaces…


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We are living in a moment of tectonic shift in society. Something changed when we all watched the same images — 8 minutes and 46 seconds — the killing of George Floyd. During that unbearable experience, something broke down and broke open in our hearts, in how we relate to one another, and in how we want to live together.

From the Collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989…

When the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989, we witnessed the end of the 20th-century Cold War era. …


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Visual by Kelvy Bird

Three weeks ago, I posted some reflections on what we are learning from corona and climate action. Given that post’s wide circulation (150K+ views), I wanted to share a quick update. The concluding idea of the post — to launch an impromptu, global infrastructure for leaning into our current moment of disruption and letting this moment move us toward civilizational renewal — has quickly taken shape.

GAIA — Global Activation of Intention and Action — was implemented only twelve days after a…


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Checking the temperature of a passenger arriving at the international airport in Hong Kong. The city, like Singapore and Taiwan, has made headway in containing Covid-19. (Ph. credit: Hannah Mckay/Reuters)

As 100 million people in Europe are in lockdown, the US seems to be completely unprepared for the tsunami that is about to hit. “We’re about to experience the worst public health disaster since polio,” says Dr Martin Makary, professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Don’t believe the numbers when you see, even on our Johns Hopkins website, that 1,600…


The first two articles in this three-part series explored two blind spots in the response to global climate change: soil and democracy. The third one is consciousness.

Figure 11 — Leverage Point No. 3: Consciousness

In January, I spent a weekend with 300 biodynamic farmers in northern Germany. The topic of the gathering was Creating from Nothing. The topic struck a chord with me. For one, it resonated with questions I’ve seen asked in many contexts: How do we move beyond marginal innovation that only modifies the patterns of the past, to one that truly creates something from nothing?

What also struck me was how many of these…


In October of 2018, a small group of activists in Bavaria, Germany’s most conservative state, submitted a petition called “Save the Bees” to the state government. The petition called for 30% of agricultural land in Bavaria to meet organic standards by 2030, for 10% of green spaces to be turned into wildflower meadows, and for land and streams to be more stringently protected from pesticides and fertilizers. Bavaria is home to various German industry leaders, as well as the largest surface area of farmed land in any German state.

Figure 5 — The Power of Dialogue and Direct Democracy

The conservative government was strongly opposed, and representatives of the agro-industrial…

Otto Scharmer

Senior Lecturer, MIT. Co-founder, Presencing Institute. www.ottoscharmer.com

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