U-Lab Milan came to a close this week: for deep social transformation

They are people of different ages, from different backgrounds, some are managers, others consultants, but they all have one thing in common: they are people on a journey, eager to trigger a profound transformation in society, starting from themselves. They decided to follow the “Leading from the emerging future” course, on MIT’s online platform and to share this experience with others by participating in activities from U-Lab Hub Milan, coordinated by Francesca Natale and Sandra Ermarcora, from Peoplerise.

The course is a sort of individual journey consisting of a series of precise phases, identified by the U Theory, conceived by Otto Scharmer, a professor at MIT and one of the most innovative academics in the field of change management and leadership. It involves passing through a transformative process that leaves an indelible mark and allows us to abandon what is no longer needed of the present, to allow a future inspired by our highest potential to blossom forth.

Although the transformation is personal, the unique feature of the programme is the presence of many practical activities to engage in collectively, to be shared with other people. For this reason, it is possible to join international groups that meet online, or at the Hubs, such as the one in Milan, which organise physical meetings.

“Otto Scharmer”, emphasises Sandra Ermacora from Peoplerise, “says that collectively, we produce results that none of us wants individually, for ourselves and for our community. As such, the people who follow the course start from this assumption, having decided that they want to try to change reality and feel less alone by embarking on this path together, seeing that others aside from them want to bring about change.”

The course began this September and ended this week. Each module of the programme represents a step through the process, in the journey along the U Theory, which identifies three key macro phases: observe, reflect and only then act.

“For those of us who facilitate these meetings at the Hub in Milan,” says Francesca Natale from Peoplerise, “it is striking to observe every time how these listening exercises initially seem astonishing, in the true sense of the word. They are always a moment of great discovery, and it’s as if people were rediscovering the beauty of other human beings. And that’s fascinating because it indicates the extent to which we are all absorbed in ourselves, but equally how much we need to have relationships with others. And the very fact of discovering it is an act of awareness, which then feeds the desire to stay on this path, very often moving to collective action.”

For more information on the “From the Emerging Future” course Leading, see

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