U.Lab, a free course that puts you into the driver’s seat of innovation and change

My U.Lab experience

U.Lab, a free course that puts you into the driver’s seat of innovation and change. You will learn the basics of Theory U, a process for connecting to the more authentic aspects of who we are individually and collectively, and apply it to the issues and systems that matter most to you. Theory U helps change makers see below the surface of today’s environmental, social, and spiritual-cultural challenges, identify the root issues that cause them, and create solutions from a place of deeper awareness.

I would like to share my U.Lab experience with you as it touched me profoundly in several aspects. The U.Lab training started mid January 2015 and lasted for over 6 weeks. It leads the participant through a change process, addressing inner change as well as organizational and societal change. Allthough the training ended 4 months ago, today it continues to nurture my development and thoughts. My purpose in this post is to explore what makes it so unique and why it impacted me so much.

U.Lab is based on Theory U developed by Otto Scharmern. Theory U is a change process. Of course, there are many different and interesting change methodologies but only a few propose a real process that leads to inner transformation. Theory U combined with U.Lab proposes a process that is efficient and repeatable for profound transformation. It is the combination of tools, process and teaching method that makes it so powerful.

The content of the course as well as the unfolding of it are well studied. The quality of the readings, videos and testimonials is excellent. Also the combination of virtual learning with life meetings is very powerful. People can gather in “Hubs”, a kind of self-organizing local meeting during which attendees further explore their readings and experiences. You may also participate in a coaching circle, a group of 5 people who practice a powerful intervision tool. I was a bit surprised by the quantity of material and the time needed for the hub and coaching circles, so depending on your level of involvement, be prepared to free up sufficient time. Of course, you can choose not to take part in hub or coaching circle, although in my case these meetings proved to be essential in the training.

At the end of the process, people who feel like it are invited to prototype a personal project. Indeed, if the change process is effective, it should initiate action. It is very encouraging to see thousands of people sharing their projects. The platform also allows you to take part in each others’ projects, by commenting or by actively taking part in another’s project. You really get the feeling that at the end of the 6 weeks period, so many projects are blooming and it feels great!

Finally, the number of participants (28.000 for the first U.Lab) as well as their diversity (by the number of countries and people’s back ground) create a wave that pushes us ahead. The power of the wave is strong, you can be attracted by many projects and initiatives, you see so many people acting on what emerges for them that you can get dizzy. The training is completely free (no registration cost on the MOOC and all Hubs are self-organizing) it promotes the participation of everyone who are interested and not only a happy few elite. This favours a much greater diversity of participants. When you notice that people from many different countries (Chinese, Indonesian, Indians, Americans, etc.) are part of the same experience, you get the feeling of being part of a world movement!

So, why not take part in the next edition? (link to the course)

Kind regards,

Vincent De Waele

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