Associate Researchers

Melissa Fisher, Professor

Melissa Fisher, a cultural anthropologist affiliated with New York Uni-
versity’s Institute for Public Knowledge and the Conference Board,
contributes to the Global Foresight Project by examining how workplace
futurists shape the design and experience of future workplaces in the
context of pandemics. This research aims to understand the know-
ledge and cultural dynamics involved in creating Covid and Post-Covid work environments, with
a focus on the potential for either promoting equity and justice or perpetuating hierarchies of class,
race, gender, and power. Fisher’s study draws on four years of fieldwork with professionals in
facility management, corporate real estate, and architectural think tanks and design consultancies
in Europe and the United States. She is also known for her expertise in organizational studies,
globalization, technology, and work, as showcased in her books Frontiers of Capital: Ethnographic
Reflections on the New Economy
(2006) and Wall Street Women (2012). Fisher’s ongoing research,
teaching experience, and active involvement in gender-focused initiatives and advisory boards further
contribute to her distinguished background in the field. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Anthropology
from Columbia University.

Douglas R. Holmes, Professor

Central bankers hold a crucial role in the global monetary regime as they
not only manage but also design the system. They have developed an
experimental policy framework to shape economic behavior and influence
expectations about the future. This research focuses on the anthropological
settings of various central banks, including the Reserve Bank of New
Zealand, the Riksbank, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the Deutsche Bundesbank.
Douglas Holmes’s contribution to the Global Foresight project aims to understand how central bankers
use language to create a discernable future that the public can reflect on and act upon, shaping our
tendencies to produce, consume, borrow, and lend. Their goal is not to predict the future, but to
construct a manageable future through the power of words, establishing a communicative dynamic
at the core of monetary affairs.

Afshin Mehrpouya, Professor

Afshin Mehrpouya, professor in and chair in accounting at the University
of Edinburgh Business School, has extensively researched the influence
of calculative knowledge, such as ratings and rankings, in business regu-
lation. Recently, he has focused on the epistemic processes involved in
healthcare rankings. In the Global Foresight Project, Mehrpouya con-
tributes by examining the role of various calculative regimes in anticipation and regulatory inter-
vention. His expertise in the sociology of knowledge in global governance sheds light on the pro-
duction, dissemination, adaptation, and utilization of regulatory knowledge, as well as its relation-
ship with time and organizational management.

David A. Westbrook, Professor

David A. Westbrook’s contribution to the Global Foresight project
explores the senses in which ‘the future’ can stand in for teleology,
thus filling oft remarked lacunae in liberalism. He is also interested in
how ostensibly participatory modes of projection can be used as tech-
niques of management and even coercion, rule by ostensible consensus.
Westbrook, Louis Del Cotto Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School, thinks and writes about
the social and intellectual consequences of contemporary political economy. His work influences
numerous disciplines, and he has spoken on six continents to academics, business and financia
l leaders, members of the security community, civil institutions and governments, often with the
sponsorship of the U.S. State Department. Among his many books and articles, perhaps the most
relevant to this project are Navigators of the Contemporary: Why Ethnography Matters; Deploying
Ourselves: Islamist Violence and the Responsible Projection of US Force
; and Out of Crisis: Re-
thinking Our Financial Markets

Photo credits: Danish Saroee (Mehrpouya)