What People Say



DAVID EAGLEMAN PhD, Neuroscientist at Stanford University, NY Times bestselling author

“Millions have experienced the ideas of Werner Erhard, one of the most incisive and insightful thinkers of our generation.”


Raul Julia and Werner Erhard

JAMES R. DOTY Professor of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, MD Founder & Director, The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education

“The profound impact of Werner Erhard’s work on culture and society is a manifestation of an incredible insight, the experience of being.  Erhard has at times described aspects of his method as ruthless compassion, and like all forms of compassion, evident here is a fundamental motivating desire to alleviate the suffering of others.”

WILEY (CHIP) SOUBA MD, ScD, MBA, Professor of Surgery, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, former Dean of Medicine and VP for Health Affairs, Dartmouth College

“A different you and a different me must show up each day if we are going to tackle the world’s most vexing problems. [Erhard's work] talks us through a process of transformation by showing us what it means to be an authentic human being in an inauthentic world, and what it means to take a stand for a world where everyone matters and where everyone can make a difference.”

PAUL FIREMAN, Former CEO Reebok (Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Reebok International Ltd)

“They should take [Erhard's leadership course] to government.”  Paul Fireman, The New York Times, Sunday, November 29, 2015. 

LEONARD SUSSKIND Stanford University, in The Universe: Leading Scientists Explore the Origin, Mysteries, and Future of the Cosmos, Harper Perennial, 2014

"I met Hawking and Gerard ’t Hooft in the attic of Werner Erhard’s house in San Francisco.  Erhard was a fan of Sidney Coleman.  Dick Feynman, myself, and David Finkelstein were his gurus.  He was very, very smart."

MICHAEL C. JENSEN Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, Harvard University

"Werner and I are writing what I think is a terribly profound piece on integrity.... Integrity is an incredibly important factor of production, at least as important as knowledge and technology. Werner is the most rigorous guy I've ever worked with. We can spend an hour working on a four-or five-sentence paragraph. Werner is absolutely a genius, an amazing man, a remarkable man. That collaboration, along with several other projects of mutual interest, eventually coalesced as the Barbados Group." - Michael C. Jensen PhD.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE "Beyond Coordination and Control Is... Transformation", published by the independent internet weekly economicprincipals.com , by David Warsh, April 8, 2007

PETER BLOCK Author and Consultant

"For over 30 years, Werner Erhard has created thinking and learning experiences that have affected millions of people's lives... I have learned from Werner what it looks like to be totally focused on reducing suffering and making a difference in people's lives.  His personal generosity and willingness to engage people in strong and compassionate ways is another form that his teaching takes.  His thinking has impacted every aspect of my practice and way of being."

From his book, Community: The Structure of Belonging

"What’s caught me lately is the notion that the future is caused by imagination. An imagination of the life causes a leading of the life, rather than the leading of the life causes my way of thinking. And I just know it’s powerful, I never quite know how to get at it. I like the language of possibility. ‘Cause it’s hard. It’s the possibility I’m living into...A lot of this stuff I got from Werner Erhard’s stuff with  … EST, you probably recognize it... But the idea that if I hold a possibility, or a future, of the way I want the world to be, then I bring that into the room with me every time I show up. I don’t have to work on it… it works on me. Now that to me is beautiful."

From The Keynote Address, "Servant-Leadership: Creating an Alternative Future", A Keynote Address by Peter Block, 2005 International Servant- Leadership Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana

WARREN BENNIS Leadership and organizational consultant and author

"...I've known Werner for almost 4 decades and with a variety of lenses and different angles. He is an enormously gifted person, singular at that, and sensitive as I like to think I am, it took me awhile and a leap into the unknown to get the fullness of him. I'm not talking about my admiration for the lives he's illuminated the paths for and the concrete steps his educational programs have achieved to serve as guides for the thousands... It took me about 6 months...until I understood him. At that moment, coterminous with understanding him, I understood myself... It was Werner who was instrumental in my coming to the understanding of what I mean by authenticity."

From Lunch With The FT: Werner Erhard

GORDON STARR Founder and CEO, Starr Consulting Group

"In January I travelled from San Francisco to Dubai to participate in an eight-day workshop entitled Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership. The workshop was led by Werner Erhard, the principal author of this new science, along with his co-authors including Michael Jensen, a world renowned economist and professor emeritus at Harvard Graduate School of Business. Gathered at Zayed University Convention Center, we were 310 people from more than 30 countries... we represented every major language of the world... every major political system... every imaginable profession... and came from a wide range of social, educational, and economic backgrounds. We were young and old, men and women. We were a microcosm of our world, together for eight days.

We left Dubai being leaders who could naturally invent what to do in any situation or circumstance. We left being (rather than knowing) the foundational elements for effective leadership: being someone of integrity, being authentic, being the author of one's life, and being committed to something greater than one's self-interest. We left with leadership as a context for living our lives. And, we left unleashed -- freed up to make the difference each of us was out to make.

I left Dubai knowing that with this new paradigm for leadership anything is possible for our planet and that we had at our fingertips the solution to our crisis in global leadership."

From The Huffington Post, Global Leadership Is Desperately Missing. It's Costing Us Our Future. Can we transform our crisis of leadership? by Gordon Starr

BARTLEY J MADDEN Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA)

"Werner Erhard, Michael Jensen, and their Barbados Group colleagues are developing a new paradigm for improving performance and creating an innovative  leadership course.  Their approach stresses how constraints imposed by one’s own worldview can impede cognitive abilities that would otherwise be available.  Instead of just learning about leadership, their goal is for course participants to overcome constraints and achieve ontological mastery – by being leaders."

From Reconstructing Your Worldview, by Bartley J. Madden

DR. BERNARD ROTH Rodney H. Adams Professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford University

"I learned a lot from Werner and his work. For me it put an intellectual framework around all the fragments I had gotten from Esalen. I also benefited from co-leading several workshops with Werner and his associates. Three years ago I participated in a leadership workshop co-lead by Werner, Michael Jensen, and Kari Granger. It had been twenty-two years since I last worked with Werner. This experience brought a renewed realization as to how deeply his style and content have influenced my teaching. I am very thankful for his teachings and friendship."

From The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life, by Bernard Roth

HARVEY W. AUSTIN M.D. Author of Elders Rock!  Don't Just get Older: Become An Elder. Berlin, Germany: Hagaberry Publishing, 2015.

"I acknowledge Werner Erhard as the source of transformation in my life and whom I honor as possibly the most influential human being of the last of the twentieth century and the early twenty-first.  His not-yet-widely-acclaimed work is brilliant, seminal and transforming."

DAVE LOGAN Associate Dean and Executive Director of Executive Development , and Associate Professor of Clinical Management, at USC’s Marshall School of Business

"Werner’s thinking – I don’t know any nice way of saying it – is just out there in the world.  You can’t have a Master’s Degree in organizational development or human resources without picking up some of it.  And it’s usually not credited back to him.  His stuff is just out there."

From a film interview with Robyn Symon, "Transformation – The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard", a documentary produced by Symon Productions Inc.,2007

TIME MAGAZINE April 10, 2011

The American obsession with Transformation isn’t new. It’s about as old as the nation. In the 19th century, Ralph Waldo Emerson preached about tapping into the “infinitude of man.” Norman Vincent Peale was an early bestselling self-help author with The Power of Positive Thinking in 1952. But it was Werner Erhard who created the first modern transformation when he founded est seminars in 1971. It’s a tribute to the power of his central concept that more than 20 years after he sold his ideas to a group of employees Landmark is still the natural first stop in any transformation tour.


“Est was a wonderfully empowering experience for me.  It took a lot of the struggle and conflict out of my day-to-day decision making for me and helped me to imbue my life with more focus and intention.  I learned that there was a difference between committing to try to live a certain way and actually living the way you intend.”

“The purpose of est was to help people shift their contextual state of mind from attempting to feel satisfaction in their lives to actually being able to experience that satisfaction.  Werner's seminars strove to free people from their pasts and allow them to live fully in the present moment to moment.

From I, Rhoda, by Valerie Harper

BISHOP OTIS CHARLES Retired Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Bishop Charles also wanted "to make the 'technology of transformation' available to people in the Church … "Bishop Charles, who did est in 1977, considers Werner Erhard and Ignatius of Loyola "the two individuals most influential in shaping my manner of grappling with work and life in the last 15 years," because although "the two are separated by about 400 years, each had a gift of being able to put together a way of creating a space in which your own life and gifts were able to be clearly manifested."

"Erhard's Life After Est", By Dan Wakefield, Common Boundary, March/April 1994

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW BOOK SERIES March 1996 Fast Forward: The Best Ideas on Managing Business Change,

Bringing together 14 articles from the "Harvard Business Review", this book presents ideas on successfully managing business change. It includes contributions from both scholars and practitioners, including Peter Drucker, John Kotter, Michael Hammer and Rosabeth Moss Kanter... "Numerous writers have grappled with the relationship of past, present and future in the workplace, especially Werner Erhard...We are indebted to numerous philosophers, scholars, and thinkers who have inquired into the nature of being, especially Werner Erhard"

LYNNE TWIST Global activist, Author of The Soul of Money, Founder and Soul of Money Institute

"There are thousands of consulting firms that come out of Werner’s work. There are hundreds of not-for-profits that come out of The Hunger Project alone. And hundreds that come out of the est Training and the Landmark Forum. It’s staggering the difference that that man has made in this world."

From a film interview with Robyn Symon, "Transformation – The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard", a documentary produced by Symon Productions Inc.,2007

Lynne Twist, Soul of Money Institute, acknowledges her work with Werner Erhard – listen to the interview

RONALD HEIFETZ Founder, Center For Public Leadership

During this same early period, we looked at the Erhard Seminar Training. That was an important experience because we saw two hundred people in a room over two weekends go through a powerful curriculum and have a learning experience that seemed to change many of their lives.

From Leadership Can Be Taught: A Bold Approach for a Complex World, by Sharon Daloz Parks, published 2005 by Harvard Business School Press, copyright 2005 Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation, pages 157- 158

BRUCE GREGORY Senior Science Educator, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

“I was at first surprised and delighted to read of the impact of one of Werner's get togethers of physicists, on Leonard Susskind (founder of String Theory) in his new book, The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics.  Susskind's take on Werner: "I liked Werner. He was smart, interesting, and fun." (Still is!).

MICHAEL J. HYDE University Distinguished Professor of Communication Ethics, Wake Forest University, author of Perfection: Coming to Terms with Being Human

“Theory and Practice: Ways of seeing what one claims to be the truth of some intended object of consciousness and ways of applying this truth to one’s everyday existence in order to cultivate wisdom, goodness, self-realization, and justice. The dialogical teachings of Werner Erhard speak to the importance of this relationship and its ontological significance.”

VIKKI BROCK Coach, Consultant and Facilitator

“I credit Werner Erhard as one of the founders of contemporary coaching. Werner Erhard introduced the idea of transformation in the early 1970s through his est courses which opened people’s minds to the possibility of their growth and potential."

ROY SCHEIDER Actor, on the est training, from an interview in 1980

“You come to understand that within each of us is a tremendous beauty, passion, joy, and love for life; you realize that everyone is you…  I’ve never had a better time in my life.  I never laughed so much, I never cried so much.  I was actually dazzled.  I couldn’t believe that degree of intimacy could be achieved in a hotel room with 300 people…  And I was one of the actors in the show.  It was sensational.” 


Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard
This documentary was created by the independent filmmaker and two-time Emmy Award Winning Producer for PBS, Robyn Simon.  The film is about Werner Erhard, his life and ideas told through the stories of dozens of people including numerous professional and academic experts who discuss the ideas of Werner Erhard and how they continue to dramatically impact society today. 


"A Remarkable Day" by Steven Farber

Thank You Werner

Werner and Me

The est Training, helping to live a healthy life with Asperger's Syndrome

Maz Iqbal - Possibility, Transformation & Leadership -Thoughts on Werner Erhard's ideas - Part 1

Maz Iqbal - Possibility, Transformation & Leadership - Thoughts on Werner Erhard's ideas - Part 2



Werner Erhard on the Internet

wernererhard.net.Werner Erhard Foundation.erhardseminarstraining.com.wernererhardinfo.com.est.quotes.we bio.Werner Erhard on Facebook.Werner Erhard on youtube

Werner Erhard

At all times and under all circumstances, we have the power to transform the quality of our lives.

Werner Erhard


For The Media







Werner Erhard sits down to discuss his work with Jonathan D. Moreno, the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and of History and Sociology of Science Professor of Philosophy (by courtesy) at the University of Pennsylvania.



In the April 27, 2012 issue of the Financial Times, Management Editor Andrew Hill writes, "Werner Erhard and Michael Jensen look an unlikely pairing but their leadership teaching fits into a broad stream of business education and research about ethics and integrity."


Raul Julia and Werner Erhard



In The News

Bloomberg - May 2019

Business Wire, February 2016

The New York Times, November 2015

Huffington Post, July 2015

Huffington Post, July 2014

Financial Times, April 2012

Tarrytown - Sleepy Hollow Patch, May 2011

Time Magazine, April 10, 2011

Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, Dec 2010

Newsweek - Nov 2010

Business Week -Nov 2010

The Times of India - Nov 2010

New York Times - Nov 2010

Huffington Post - Sept 2010

Vida Positiva 2009 (Spain)

Seattle Examiner - May 2009

Herald Sun, March 2008
Orlando Business Journal,
April 2008




Werner Erhard and The est Training

"It is not what Werner Erhard has accomplished but what others have done out of his work that tells the story…"


Raul Julia





Werner Erhard, Erhard Seminars Training