THE WORLD HOPE FORUM
Under siege from the Covid-19 virus, many people have come to understand that they should change their behaviour patterns, no longer travelling too much, producing too much, consuming too much or using up too many resources. The comfort of being at and working from home, wasting time instead of money, has led people away from their addiction to material things and into a realm of sharing, caring and making. Making food, making music, making love and making clothes and crafts have become the centre of life; learning the improvisation skills that ignite a more creative culture. Most people don’t want to go back to the same old society, and long to change their lives forever.
THE ECONOMY OF HOPE:
PUTTING PEOPLE BEFORE PROFITS
Many companies, designers and directors hear this call for change and know they shouldn’t miss this chance for the sweeping restructuring of business, slowing down its pulse.
By the end of this pandemic, as if after a war, only our buildings will remain standing and everything else will have changed. It is certain that many enterprises will be forced into a leaner way of producing goods and services, with some companies skipping production lines that are no longer considered vital, keeping today’s products for next year’s offering, and professing a more frugal business sense. Established designers are reconsidering the amount of items they want to conceive and realise, recalibrating their assortment in line with precisely calculated demand.
THE ECONOMY OF HOPE:
ESSENTIAL IS THE WAY FORWARD
Fashion has the unique opportunity to roll back the insane practice of delivering cashmere in May and swimwear in November. In an after-virus future people should be able to buy a winter coat in winter and a summer short in summer. Clothes will probably become essential and more uniform. Product design will also gain crucial momentum, giving shape to autonomous design on a smaller scale, handcrafted in ateliers, keeping a privileged connection with collectors and clients alike.
Disasters are known as powerful ignition tools for radical ways of transforming business practices. Many countries will fund the return of production to their own shores and outsourcing will become more diverse and less excessive, taking better care of workers and the environment.
To harvest these emerging ideas – as well as learn from the good practice established before this global disaster – we wish to organize an international platform to counterbalance the World Economic Forum.
THE WORLD HOPE FORUM
The World Hope Forum is a new gathering that will include climate change on its agenda as well as caring for all neglected people involved in production chains and services. Under the leadership of ambassadors chosen in participating countries, the World Hope Forum will bring together speakers and selected case studies, good practices, retail reinventions and innovative ideas that will sprout in the spring of revival. Different solutions and scenarios brought together in a global (virtual) forum once a year. Dynamic concepts and economic data will be analysed and exchanged, for all of us to learn from and to inspire our creative energies. The results will be subsequently published and open-source access will allow others to follow. Rebuilding the renaissance of society together.
TAKING CARE OF THE PLANET AND ITS PEOPLE
We can start up from scratch and build new systems where social and common aspects outweigh the ego, where morals and values overrule shareholder profits, and where collaboration and cooperation prevail to give more people equal opportunities. We have no choice but to join forces and stand together. New pacts need to be forged between fibre farmers, yarn makers, textile industries and fashion houses, between raw material producers, independent designers and their craftspeople. Whole chains need to be integrated, stimulated by federal funds, finding a shared interest and income from this rebirth in business. The economy of hope has the potential to transform society from within.
Together with Dezeen and Business of Fashion we want to reach out and touch designers, industry leaders, lifestyle companies, the public at large, and a growing number of creative amateurs.
Lidewij Edelkoort, Good Friday, April 10th, 2020
Originally published on Dezeen as part of the Virtual Design Festival 2020 (during the global Coronavirus lockdown)