Theory U - a Technology for Social Transformation

4 September 2015, Comments: 0

Theory U – a Technology for Social Transformation

An experiential learning journey for strengthening your capacity to lead change and innovate

dates and venue on demand


Theory U (also known as the U-Process) is a social technology that is designed to address complex problems, facilitate deep or profound and lasting systemic change and foster innovation. Theory U can be applied to complex challenges at the personal, organisational and societal level. It is being used by people in business, not for profit and governmental settings in many places globally.

The five-stage process of Theory U are for learning from the emerging future and growing the capacity for deep innovation and collaborative action. And it’s also a set of principles that invites us to use deeper sources of knowing and insight as we move from awareness into action and design our work processes, relationships and collaborations in a different way. This course is an experiential learning journey for strengthening your capacity to lead change and innovate.

Theory U suggests that in order to meet existing challenges we need a deeper learning cycle based on sensing an emerging future, rather than just past experience. What is needed is a learning process that gives us the skills to tune into future possibilities and realise them effectively.

More information about Theory U, the work of Otto Scharmer and the Presencing Institute and success stories can be found in There you can also find a description of the Social Presencing Theatre that is integral part of the Theory U approach to social change.


Reasons to attend this course

In this 6 days residential course you will:

  • Learn about how to sense and actualise one’s highest future possibility.
  • Try out practices that enable one to operate from that deeper place required of an innovator, change-maker or change-facilitator.
  • Experience the kinds of insights that arise from taking time to slow time and be close to nature.
  • Develop leadership capacities for challenging times of increasing complexity, uncertainty and systemic crises.
  • Learn about practical and easy-to-use frameworks, methods and tools for facilitating and leading profound change in personal, team, organizational or multi-sectoral contexts.
  • Connect with a wider network of like minded people, aiming at developing key qualities and competences necessary for social change.


Profile of participants

The course is tailored for educators interested in the Theory U and social transformation. No previous knowledge on the Theory U or experience in Mindfulness and body awareness practices is required for attending the course.
The course is reserved to alp members. In case of interest you are invited to contact us.



The 6 days residential course will be an exploration of Theory U, focusing on the four levels of responding to change and we will work with the five movements in the U Process: co-initiating, co-sensing, presencing, prototyping, co-evolving.

An experience of Theory U going deeper with practicing generative listening, dialogue, journaling and presencing practices – including mindfulness and the power of nature in solo sensing journeys. Through presencing we will work with our structure of attention and stillness to reach a deeper place of knowing and crystallize insights which we can take forward to prototyping in our own live contexts.

The Social Presencing Theatre practices will be integrated in the 6 days to explore deep connection within the physical field, the social field and the earth field.

The course is part of the project “Level Up and Grow – Social Entrepreneurship for social (global) transformation” and it also contributes to the next phases of the project by exploring how to use the newly acquired knowledge and experiences for supporting the Social Entrepreneurs through the coaching work, from December 2018 to June 2019.

Profile of Trainers

Paola Bortini

In the last 25 years, it has been fascinating to strengthen people and organizations throughout Europe, to support them in liminal phases in learning from / for the future with creativity. At the centre of my methodical approach is above all mindfulness, the Theory U by Otto Scharmer – and his team from the Presencing Institute -, “wilderness” nature work and pure essential oils. Born in Italy, I lived and worked in many countries. Currently living in Austria with my family.

With many years of meditation practice, trained in Mindful Self compassion, MBSR, Mindful Parenting by Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn, Insight Dialogue, the Way of Council. certified Emotion Mentor with Rebecca Linder Hintze and Aromacoach; trained in Theory U and Social Presencing Theater with Arawana Hayashi.


Irene Rojnik

15 years experience in working with International NGO; Master in communication; degrees in mediation, master in systemic coaching and organizational development; expertise and interest around Leadership in connection with intercultural learning, diversity, gender-equality, communication and conflict resolution.

Focus is on discovering and strengthening the strengths building on the Multiple Intelligences of Howard Gardner.


This event is supported by the grant of the European Union and therefore there are special conditions applying to it

Travel arrangement, accommodation and training costs

As a participant you are requested to fly from Vienna and arrive no later than 22nd of June to Yerevan and leave not earlier than 29th of June. You are allowed to arrive up to 3 days earlier or leave up to 3 days later.

All participants will be picked up from the Airport and taken back there at the end of the course.

The travel costs for participation will be reimbursed up to the maximum of 360 euros per person, return ticket. This amount is set by the European Commission based on the distance to the venue. Please remember that this lump sum will have to cover your transportation from Yerevan to Aghveran and back (20 EUR in total). Once your registration will be accepted, you will receive a separate document on travel arrangements with a step-by-step instructions.


The event will be held in one of the most popular hotels in Aghveran (50 km away from Yerevan, the capital of Armenia), in the mountainous forest – the Aghveran Park Resort hotel.  The nature in the surroundings of the Hotel is very nice with lots of forests. The weather in summer in Armenia is hot, but we will be 1600m above the sea, so please make sure you take with you also some warm clothes for evenings.

The rest house is fully equipped to host international events with appropriate equipment, working spaces and leisure time activities. You will be sharing a double or triple room with another person/s of the same sex, each room has one bathroom. There are towels and bed linen in the hotel. Internet is available in/around the training hall and in most of the rooms.

The chef of the hotel (as well as other representatives) will be informed about the special needs of participants regarding the nutrition (such as vegetarian/vegan food, allergic issues, etc.) beforehand.

Note: The hosting organizations can support you in arranging accommodation for participants who arrive earlier to Armenia or need to stay longer

The training is reserved for the members of the partners organization. If you are not yet a member of alp, contact us.



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