Greetings! I am Bretton Fosbrook, a researcher who examines how diverse stakeholders—from activists to bureaucrats and business strategists— negotiate what counts as credible knowledge. I focus on understanding how these crises in expertise allow for the possibilities of engaging in and informing public and policy debates to more just ends. I have two overlapping research projects on the topic:
1. An investigation of how social exclusions and discrimination influence the economic outcomes of trans people in Canada. This project, conducted under the auspices of the Institute Gender + the Economy, seeks to improve the economic possibilities for trans Canadians and change the binary discussion of gender inequalities by centering the experiences of trans people. I am the organizer of the upcoming (Fall 2018) Trans @ Work speaker series at the Rotman School of Management.
2. A history of qualitative corporate strategies aiming to understand and shape future social, political, and technological changes in the mid-to-late twentieth century. My book project, Business Strategy Under Uncertainty, examines the rise of interdisciplinary, experimental long-term futures thinking in strategic management. Part of this work developed in my dissertation on the history of corporate scenario planning, How Scenarios Became Corporate Strategies (2017). My article, Evolution through Heterarchical Organization, examined how critical intellectuals provided corporate executives with post-structural understandings of organization in California in the late 1980s. This research has been supported by Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and a Provost Dissertation Scholarship from York University. I also co-organized a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) funded conference on the topic, Techniques of the Corporation.
Previously, I've written about how utopian theories of social networking exclude the wide gaps in accessibility and usability within stratified communities in the Bay Area as "Rethinking 'Internet for Everyone' & Social Networking" in Community Technology Review. My other research interests include history of capitalism, technological and economic expertise, and the epistemological politics of quantitative strategies in policy and organizations.