Management Review Board Member

Russ Volckmann

Sara N. Ross, Ph.D.

Sara Nora Ross

My history includes over 20 years of program design and implementation in a range of venues. Those included leadership development of youth and adults, with aims at personal, spiritual, organizational, civic and political development. In parallel, I spent 27 years in accountancy, as a CPA and in public, private, and governmental fields. Areas of particular interest and expertise were systems/management advisory services and forecasting. Also in parallel, I have been a trained, practicing spiritual director in retreat and individual client work for almost 20 years. For a dozen years I had association with Kettering Foundation, about half of them as its primary researcher in the community politics program. I have been an independent scholar and action researcher for nearly 20 years, with an emphasis on addressing complex public issues, democratization, and developmental psychology. My role as founder of ARINA, Inc. ( was a natural outgrowth of this history that gave me eyes to see what we need for fostering the kind of comprehensive social change that did not yet exist. Developing leadership goes hand in hand with fostering systemic social change.

Thus, my history can be imaged as three rivers of passion that flowed, widened, and deepened over the decades until they met and intermixed in a rich delta, then merged with the ocean. I can name the rivers as my personal journey of development, psychology, and politics. (By politics, I refer to our public ways of relating, not the narrow partisan concept.) In the delta, I integrated them, seeing the relations of micro personal processes writ large in macro socio-political process, and the psychologies operating within them. I can characterize the flow into the ocean as the recognition of processes, patterns, and new ways of employing accumulated insights. And so, my current orientation and a chief purpose for founding ARINA and serving on ILR’s Management Review Board is to help my own and others’ further insights and capacities to grow, in service of this planet’s pressing needs. My vision for these efforts is that together we more effectively research, learn, and integrate how to be the most effective possible agents of individual and social change and development.

In addition to serving ILR on its Management Review Board, I serve on the editorial boards of several refereed journals: Integral Review: A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal for New Thought, Research, and Praxis; International Journal of Public Participation; Terrorism Research; and, Behavior Analyst Today. My professional affiliations include the Society for Terrorism Research (co-founder and governing board), Society for Research in Adult Development (governing board and program committee), Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences (membership chair and Newsletter Editor), International Society of Political Psychology, and American Psychological Association. I contributed as an associate author to Bill Torbert & Associates’ Action Inquiry: The Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership (2004, Berrett-Koehler), and as the co-editor of an upcoming special issue in World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution.

Selected Bibliography

Articles Posted on the Internet

  • On criticism, integral theory, and the nature and utility of scholarly discourse. (2004).
  • Roots and Manifestations of Patronage and Clientelism. (2004).
  • A Muddy Metaphor for Complex Issues. (2004).
  • A “Letter” of Intervention and Invitation to Ken, Don, and the Integral Community. (2003).
  • Health from an integral perspective. (2002). [article, with Reinhard Fuhr. (Eds).]

Book Contributions and Edited Works

  • World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution. Co-editor with M. L. Commons, Special Triple Issue on Postformal Thought and Hierarchical Complexity (in preparation for early 2008).
  • Action inquiry: The secret of timely and transforming leadership. Associate author. Bill Torbert and Associates. (2004). Berrett-Koehler.
  • “Gesundheit” und “Krankheit” aus integraler perspective (German translation of article Health and Pathology from an integral perspective). R. Fuhr, S. Ross, & F. von Wedel-Parlow, (Eds.). In Transpersonale Psychologie and Psychotherapie. (November 2003, Vol. 6, No. 2.). Via Nova Verlag.

Publications in Refereed Journals

  • Making the case: Developmental methodologies in democratization. (in press). Special issue on terrorism, Journal of Adult Development.
  • Book Review of Knowing Me, Knowing You: An Integrated SocioPsychology Guide to Personal Fulfillment & Better Relationships, by Keith E. Rice
  • More perspectives, new politics, new life: How a small group used The Integral Process For Working On Complex Issues. (2006). Integral Review, 2, 90-112.
  • Perspectives on troubled interactions: What happened when a small group began to address its community’s adversarial political culture. (2006). Integral Review, 2, 139-209.
  • Toward an integral process theory of human dynamics: Dancing the universal tango. (2005). Integral Review, 1, 64-84.
  • Perspektivenwechsel. (German translation of article Change of Perspective). In Transpersonale Psychologie and Psychotherapie. Nov. 2003, Vol. 6, No. 2. Via Nova Verlag.

Papers Presented at Conferences

  • The Fractal Nature of Stage Change: A Model and Transition Data. Paper and poster accepted for annual conferences of Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences and of Mathematical Psychology, both in July 2007, Orange, CA.
  • A Developmental Behavioral Analysis of Dual Motives’ Role in Political Economies of Corruption (2007). Presented in Panel Session Dual Motive Theory as applied to economic and political development, May 17, 2007 at the 25th Conference of Economists, The Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics. May 15-18, 2007. New York University, New York City.
  • Making the case for integral, developmental methodologies in democratization. (2006, August). Paper presented in Symposium: Addressing Terrorism from a Developmental Perspective, at the 114th Convention of the American Psychological Association, New Orleans, August 10-13, 2006.
  • Moral and developmental considerations in democratization research, policy, and praxis. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Conference of the Association for Moral Education, Dana Point, CA, Nov. 10-14, 2004.
  • The case for integral developmental methodologies in democratization research. (2003). Paper presented at the 26th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Boston, MA in July 2003.
  • Democratization and developmental methodology. (2001). Paper presented at the 17th Annual Symposium of the Society for Research in Adult Development, New York, June 2001.
  • A developmental approach to community work on complex issues. (2001). Paper presented at the 17th Annual Symposium of the Society for Research in Adult Development, New York, June 2001.

Conference Workshops and Panel

  • International Association for Public Participation, Montreal, November 14, 2006: The Integral Process For Working On Complex Issues: A systematic method to address layers of complexity for decision-making, policy development, and systemic action.
  • All Niger Delta People’s Assembly Conference, Dallas, August 25, 2006, International Panel on Federalism and Democracy, Panelist assigned to: What do we need to do next?
  • National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation Conference, San Francisco, August 6, 2006: A new way to name, frame, deliberate, decide, & act (and why). Ohio Leadership Association Annual Conference, Cincinnati, July 1997: When do we need which kind of leadership, and why?

Organizational Publications

  • The integral process for working on complex issues, public issues edition, 5th Ed. (2006). Bethel, OH: ARINA, Inc.
  • Getting started. (2002). In draft, Kettering Foundation.
  • Fresh air: promoting sustainable community change. (2001). Dayton, OH: Kettering Foundation.
  • The problem behind the problem of youth substance abuse: What can we do? (2000). Wilmington, OH: Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Planning and Development Project.
  • Report on White Pillars development forum. (1999). Amelia, OH: Clermont 2001, Inc.
  • Basics of community politics. (1998). Dayton, OH: Kettering Foundation.

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