In 2014 we started conversations about applying the powerful emerging methods in text analysis and machine learning to the automated assessment of developmental tests based on sentence completion protocols. Susanne Cook-Greuter and Terri O'Fallon were key contributors in these early conversations as Tom Murray proposed to apply his background in computer science, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence to the field of adult development.
Adult developmental science has discovered deep principles about individual, organizational, and cultural transformation that are being successfully applied by organizational consultants, coaches, and trainers (and in many other fields). An important element of these applications is the assessment of developmental profiles, but these assessments are quite expensive, as they are time consuming and done by trained and certified experts. It was clear that automated scoring had the potential to allow the transformational principles and wisdom-supporting ideas from developmental perspectives to have a greater reach.
In 2015 Murray, partnering with O'Fallon and with Cook-Greuter as an advisor, applied for funds from the MetaIntegral Foundation to carry out exploratory research. We were among 10 recipients awarded funds. The research showed promising results—the report can be found here. Next Murray engaged Esperdyne Technologies, who provided extensive data science expertise during 2015 and 2016 to build an industrial strength computerized scoring system. O'Fallon's StAGES developmental model was chosen as the focal point of our first product/service, called StageLens. The parent business is called Open Way Solutions, which has the broad mission of "applying advanced technologies to the assessment of wisdom skills in individuals and groups — to support the development of deep insight, broad perspectives, full compassion, and bold action."
In 2016 Murray and O'Fallon were awarded a second MetaIntegral Foundation Grant to test the technology with a handful of integrally-informed organizations. These applications are allowing us to define and refine our offerings, and move from research mode into providing our services as a business. The technology is now ready to be used by early adopters. We are particularly interested in applications in the areas of post-secondary and adult education, healthcare, human resources, organizational transformation, dispute mediation, and socially responsible investing—domains where the developmental perspective provides important insights (see use scenarios).