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  • Writer's pictureMichela Güttinger

U.lab journey with coaching circle (September - December every year)

Anyone can go through or host a u.lab journey, which is a 3 month process based on Theory U including an online MOOC complemented with the heart of it: offline deep and personal encounters with oneself and others. All hosts and facilitators from beginning to experienced can experiment with this hosting format and learn on different and interdependent levels - from methodological to content to personal. This blog post reflects on what is needed and what the potential of such a journey can be if we allow it to open us up through open mind, open heart and open will.


  1. Sign up for course on edx

  2. Organize a physical place to host coaching circle and live sessions

  3. Send out call/invitation with dates of 4 live sessions

  4. Find dates for coaching circles (you may want to use doodle to find the dates) 

  5. Connect with the Ecosystem on Facebook Switzerland Group.

Needed time and materials

  • Yearly from mid- September to mid- December (fall semester)

  • Weekly time for participants: 2-4h

  • Weekly time for hosts: 3-4h minimum (depends on scope)

  • Coaching circle: 4-6 people

Personal experience Levels of listening by the presencing institute Going through and hosting the u.lab journey is an empowering experience on different levels. I have participated in the journey for three times and hosted it two times - every time I have gained fresh and deeper insights. It has left an imprint in me of a framework I can refer to on one hand when things shift in me on a very personal level. On another hand It also offers compasses and methods for many individual and group processes I facilitate. On the level of facilitation skills it especially allows for fresh facilitators to embark on the experience of hosting and facilitating through a helpful container and community. It opens up new perspectives on how to work on a topic you might already be familiar and have expertise around. But also for the experienced facilitator it can be used to deep dive and also apply beginners mind. Thus I recommend going through the journey multiple times.  Some of the main aspects of Theory U include:

  • Social pathology in economies of destruction vs. Social emergence in economies of creation, state of organized irresponsibility, collectively creating results that nobody wants

  • Systemic forces keep us collectively re-enacting results that nobody wants – structural disconnects.

  • The 3 divides or symptoms: ecological, social & spiritual; are driven by outdated paradigms 

  • Disruption creates opportunities for renewal

  • Future requires us to tap into a deeper level of humanity; who do we want to be as society?

  • Conventional economic thought’s shortcomings are: externalities and consciousness/the source of attention

  • Systems designed to learn vs. delayed or broken feedback loops in our society

  • Presencing the emerging future is at the core of leadership work today: How to lead from the emerging future, what evolutionary frameworks, strategies and methods guide forward? 

  • Ego to Eco system, which is driven by the essential self; co-creative eco-system model

  • Collective habits of thought and actions that (re)produce the world outside which is a mirror of the inner landscape – deep systemic structures are not seen and understood (collective blindspots)  -> there’s only one real issue in the world –the reintegration of matter & mind!

  • Energy follows attention; observe, retreat & reflect, act in an instant; pass thresholds, transform 3 voices: Voice of Judgement, Voice of Cynicism, Voice of Fear

Reflections from participants of the u.lab 2018 coaching circle:

Dung:  “I feel I am not alone since I started the Ulab journey. I feel part of a whole community that inspires me, I feel supported, I feel supportive. I feel warmth and connection. I dared opening up my very intimate me to others and to myself in a very safe space. I could explore with confidence my very best future as it emerged. I stepped physically into it during the second live session and the stuck exercise. I dared to start my project at work, making it public, sharing it. It really actualized in me before it came to the open.” 

Sarah Friederich:  “The u.lab journey gave me a lot more self-confidence. I feel I have been practising the U process for myself already since a long time, and I had several moments in my life where I dared to step into the unknown a let something new emerge. The u.lab gave me words to describe the process. And sharing it with others gave me more confidence in what I am doing, and made me realise that I’m not alone practising this kind of approach. During the u.lab I was myself in a transition, I had left my former job and was in a process of finding out what comes next. The u.lab helped me to stay true to my inner clarity and intention, and helped me to hold space for that which wants to emerge. I let go off some fears and dared to say no to opportunities that were offered to me but didn’t feel right. And finally, the job that I had been dreaming off emerged: since December I’m working for collaboratio helvetica as a space holder for their community!” Sources and further reading


Tagged: #theoryU, #U.Lab

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