Dutch trends forecaster Li Edelkoort “prays and prophesies” that coronavirus pandemic may favour Africa as the endless Chinese exports of plastic household objects to Africa (and synthetic sarees to India) which have severely disrupted local economies on the continent and created a lot of joblessness over the years might also come to a halt.
She predicts this will possibly bring new opportunities for making (things) locally in Africa and in other economies that China’s exports may have ruined under the guise of helping.
This means coronavirus may be a blessing in disguise for Africa – the economic bullies of this world may become weak and Africa becomes strong. “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong”. Edelkoort’s prophetic word on coronavirus tallies with that Bible verse in 1 corinthians 1:27. But Time Will Tell!
Furthermore, she says we should be grateful for the coronavirus outbreak because it might be the reason we survive as a species.
She brings a provocative outlook on the deadly Covid-19 strain that has upended manufacturing cycles, travel plans, and conference schedules around the world.
Also, speaking at Design Indaba, a conference in Cape Town recently, the celebrated 69-year old design industry advisor pictured Covid-19 as a sobering force that will temper our consumerist appetites and jet-setting habits.
She says we might emerge from the crisis as a more conscientious people. She advocates this experience should propel us to explore new values – of new experience and friendship – and the world might be a better place.
She believes that the coronavirus offers “a blank page for a new beginning”. She also speaks of an eventual resetting of values and expects the virus to cause a “quarantine of consumption”. Part of that will be that people get used to owning fewer things and travelling less.
She further states that impact of the outbreak may force us into slowing down our (ambitious) pace – refusing to take planes, working from our homes, entertaining only amongst close friends or family, learning to become self-sufficient and mindful.
She hopes hopes “a better system to be put in place with more respect for human labour and conditions.
In her usual provocative and queer manner, she boldly opines that the pandemic will lead to a global disruption not recession. She says the disruptions – closure of social and business events, holiday and travel breaks – affect the fashion industry also but that future holds an ace card that most of us are not aware of.
Also, German trend and future forecaster Matthias Horx says: “Every deep crisis leaves a story, a narrative that points far into the future. Italians making music on their balconies and the environment getting a breather and slowly recovering. When after just a few weeks of a complete halt of production, industrial areas in China and Italy are suddenly free of smog and the sky can be blue again… the air clean and dolphins are spotted in a mega metropolis like Mumbai after only one day of complete lockdown, then there is hope indeed that this time, the human race will learn something from this crisis”.