Hanns Meissner Ph.D.

Hanns Meissner is the former Chief Executive at the Arc of Rensselaer County in New York State, and presently is an Independent Organizational Consultant He is the author of Creating Blue Space and Expanding Blue Space.

Hanns is the former Chief Executive Officer of The Arc of Rensselaer County in Troy New York, where he has worked to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of community life since 1979. His interest is in promoting social innovation as a way to bring forth vibrant diverse communities at the local, state, national, and international levels. Over the years he has assumed leadership roles with such groups the National Rehabilitation Association, New York State Rehabilitation Association, a local Community Services Board, the NYS Capital Region Council for Young Children with Special Needs, and Partner of the Americas.

He has a Ph.D. in Organization Development and has applied much of what he learned in his studies at his agency. As an independent consultant he has also used his expertise in management, organization development, and person-centered approaches to assist profit and non-profit organizations and government agencies on a state, national and international level in the area of strategic planning, team building, conflict resolution, and leadership and management training. Additionally, he was an Academic Director with Antioch Graduate School in the Department of Organization and Management, where he advised students and instructed on a variety of management related subjects for over 17 years. Additionally he has taught at Sage Graduate School in the Doctoral Nursing Leadership Program. He routinely presents at State and National conferences on management and disability related issues. He recently partnered with Beth Mount and John O’Brien in the designing and facilitating of a multi-phase learning institute on innovations in individualized supports in NYS and Indiana.

Dr. Meissner has recently published an article in Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and a book called Creating Blue Space – Fostering Innovative Support Practices for People with Developmental Disabilities. His doctoral dissertation focused on Factors that Promote Interorganizational Collaboration Between Private Non-Profit International Voluntary Organizations.

He was married for over thirty years to his late wife Linda Munro and has two grown daughters. He is loves to hike and listen to music.

Hanns Meissner was the director of The Arc of Rensselaer County in Eastern New York State for 25 years.  It was a ‘legacy’ agency with all the traditional approaches.  But Hanns had a relentless commitment to create enough blue space to create innovative ways to support individuals with developmental disabilities to flourish in spite of system constraints. Read, reflect, and learn about “bushwhacking” through the bureaucratic wilderness so you too can create blue space for innovation and citizenship for all to blossom.
Creating Blue Space: https://inclusion.com/product/creating-blue-space-fostering-innovative-support-practices-for-people-with-developmental-disabilities/

Hanns Meissner’s Expanding Blue Space: The Learning Institute for Social Innovation is written for those of us invested in making a difference in the lives of other people, doing our part to repair the world, acting in ways small and big to fulfill our highest purpose.  The power to imagine alternatives is the key to a liberation we strive for ourselves and for others.   Dr. Beth Mount

Expanding Blue Space: https://inclusion.com/product/expanding-blue-space/

Book Review by David Towell on Centre for Welfare Reform: https://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/creating-blue-space.html

Pretty comprehensive set of slides by Hanns Messneir Meisnerr: http://www.reinventingquality.org/docs/A_Hanns_Meissner_Creating_Blue_Space.pdf

Good Things in Life Podcast Hanns Meissner with Pamela Mansell: