The Institute for Experiments with Business (Ibex) is an emergent research entity, situated within the FoAM network. Its purpose is to collect, conduct and report on experiments in and with business, including new and wild takes on organisational staples such as budgets, contracts, organisational form, business coaching and the business plan. This work emerges out of conversations between Kate Rich and FoAM Earth, and draws upon the wider FoAM network as a community of knowledge, practice, infrastructure, deals, encounter, experimentation and exchange.
An underlying area of interest for the Institute is the exploration of grey areas. This research trajectory will involve observing, provoking and analysing grey area practices, within the FoAM network and along various vectors (legal/regulatory, financial, spatial, constitutional, jurisdictional). The intention is to distinguish between grey areas engaged with inadvertently or defensively, and those ventured into consciously, with curiosity, as a process of research. This approach identifies certain kinds of grey areas as more than sites of disabling risk or havens of disproportionate privilege, but also potentially fertile spaces where different things can be tested and grow, and where new claims for cultural legitimacy could be made.
The Institute is a feral research strand opportunistically entwined with Kate's PhD research at the University of the West of England (UWE), where she is developing a context, prospectus and curriculum for a radically different type of business school, the Feral MBA.