Society for Organizational Learning, North America

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8/20/2013 to 8/23/2013
When: 08/20/2013
Where: Trapp Family Lodge
700 Trapp Hill Road
Stowe, Vermont  05672
United States
Contact: Frank Schneider

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The Executive Champions' Workshop is a special setting for nurturing new thinking and relationships among executive leaders in today's rapidly changing economic and social landscape. Through a series of strategic dialogues on issues of most concern to participants, our intent is to tap the wisdom that resides, often below the surface, in our collective experience. The format is designed to build capacity for conducting conversations that matter with potentially large numbers of people while applying organizational learning tools that foster reflection, systems thinking and strategic conversation.

Offered by invitation for executives who are champions of change, the ECW is a unique opportunity to reflect, refocus, and recharge, preciously rare activities in today's frenetic business world. The workshop is organized around in-depth strategic dialogues on a small number of key issues, and is a unique opportunity for deep conversation among like-minded executives focused on strategic issues that are shaping the future of institutions worldwide. Sessions utilize specific methods like "knowledge cafes", and "embodied presence" practices, that maximize the quality of attention and conversation among participants. This approach allows small groups to penetrate deeply into key issues, along with the cross-pollination of ideas.

The ECW is not a training session. Nor is it a typical conference. It is both personal and substantive in the way that only deep conversation among peers can be. Participants come from diverse organizations around the world, where they are in the top 2-3 levels of management responsibility. Indeed, more than anything, it is the diversity of the participants and their common commitment to foster fundamental management innovations that makes the ECW a powerful experience.

In addition to this annual event, sessions are also held periodically in Europe, Asia and South America. For more information, to register, or to request an invitation for yourself or a colleague, Frank Schneider at +1-617-300-9535.

The "meeting room" for the Executive Champions' Workshop.


"For a long time I had felt like a mouse on a corporate treadmill and I was curious to find out how the ECW was going to provide me with some new insights and fresh perspectives. As the days unfolded, I thought the program was pleasant, relaxing and a good opportunity to recharge the battery. It wasn't until I came home, however, when it suddenly dawned on me that I had subtly changed. It was as if in this moment of stillness in Vermont, I had changed a lens on my mental camera and was looking at the world in a different way. As if in a moment of connection with life and the universe, I finally understood that our greatest power to change the world lies in our power to see beyond the veil." 
- Recent Participant

Facilitator Bios

Peter Senge is a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Founding Chair of SoL, the Society for Organizational Learning. He is the author of the widely acclaimed book, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (1990), which has sold a million copies worldwide and was identified as one of the seminal management books of the last seventy-five years by Harvard Business Review in 1997. He has recently co-authored The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World. He is coauthor of The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook(1994), with colleagues Charlotte Roberts, Rick Ross, Bryan Smith, and Art Kleiner; a second fieldbook on sustaining change, The Dance of Change (1999), with George Roth as an additional coauthor; and the award-winning Schools That Learn (2000), coauthored with Nelda Cambron-McCabe, Timothy Lucas, Bryan Smith, Janis Dutton, and Art Kleiner.

Read Peter Senge's article on Systems Citizenship: The Leadership Mandate for this Millenium, published in Reflections: The SoL Journal. While this article refers to systems change in the context of sustainability, the leadership requirements are easily transferrable to (large) systems change in other areas.

Dr. C. Otto Scharmer Dr. C. Otto Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the founding chair of the Presencing Institute. He has co-designed and delivered award-winning leadership programs for clients including Daimler, Pricewaterhouse, Fujitsu, and Eileen Fisher. Scharmer is a core faculty member of the UN Leaders Program (at the UN Staff College) and chairs the MIT IDEAS program, which brings together key leaders from business, government, and civil society to co-create profound innovation and systems change. He introduced the concept of "presencing” – learning from the emerging future – in his books Theory U and Presence (the latter co-authored with P. Senge, J. Jaworski, and B. S. Flowers), which have been translated into twelve languages.

Scharmer holds a Ph.D. in economics and management from Witten-Herdecke University in Germany. With his colleagues, he has used presencing to facilitate profound innovation and change in health, education, sustainability, and business systems. More information about Scharmer and his work can be found at:

Read Otto Scharmer's Executive Summary of Theory U: Leading From The Future As It Emerges, published by Berrett-Koheler. Using his experience working with some of the world's most accomplished leaders and innovators, Otto Scharmer shows in Theory U how groups and organizations can develop seven leadership capacities in order to create a future that would not otherwise be possible. Also read The Blind Spot of Institutional Leadership: How to Create Deep Innovation Through Moving from Egosystem to Ecosystem Awareness - A Paper prepared for World Economic Forum, Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2010, Tianjin, People's Republic of China, September 2010

Arawana Hayashi is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher, with roots in Asian and Western arts. She began her dance training in classical ballet, culminating in studies with Nina Fonaroff in New York, and later trained in modern dance at the Merce Cunningham Studio. Throughout her career she has been involved in interdisciplinary, ensemble improvisation. Arawana was on the faculty of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School and the Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado.

Read Arawana Hayahsi's Feminine Principle and Theory U. Bob Ziegler at Oxford Leadership Journal invited Arawana to write this article on her reflections on Theory as it manifests Feminine Principle in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. When Arawana was first introduced to Theory U by Otto Scharmer, it was so resonant with her own training on her spiritual journey and artistic process. Theory U reflected the usefulness of both spiritual and artistic practice in creating societal change and in creating enlightened society.

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