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Contradictions


Report from The Greenhouse 002, general - food

Contradictions, Sign of the time


The contradiction between illness as a great equaliser on the one hand, and the huge differences that have been exposed between our living situations is a real sign of the times. We also see that some companies are extremely affected by Corona and are struggling, while others flourish.

Part 001

Introduction The World Before.


Report from The Greenhouse Contradictions, sign of the time.Part 01

Note This is one of the first video's made in the quarantine studio The Greenhouse. The quality and format were all "a 'improviste" - typical Corona lockdown.


We were already dealing with contradictions in trend forecasting before the Corona virus. In every Trend forecast I have made, the last 4 years, I have found a contradiction.


A very good example is internationalisation.

Internationalisation was driven by two things: digitalisation and the internet.

We always mix these two up a bit, which makes sense as they go hand in hand. Digitalisation allows us to store information in a digital file, for example a 3D printing file (and many other things). And the internet allows us to share it all over the world. These two things were drivers of internationalisation, as they made process and systems easier. For example, flying was made easier as digitalisation allows us to check in even faster. At the same time we saw that there was also a rise in localisation. 3D printing made it possible to print things digitally – and allowed us to do that hyper locally. The contradiction: Internationalisation - Localisation

"The contradiction: Internationalisation - Localisation."

The food industry shows many good examples of this dichotomy of global and local, as it’s a very innovative industry.


There used to be a clear preference for everything from afar - think about French cheeses (at that time rather international). Then came a rise of local products; it became more and more on trend to have local products on the restaurant menu, such as local cheeses.

Also, we had a period of international cooking, with the rise of Ottolenghi, and trends such as Asian fusion, where a variety of food cultures were combined into one dish. Again – this was driven by internationalisation; we were flying, we could go anywhere, experience anything. At the same time we saw classic dishes, like a simple boiled egg, on the menu at a popular concept store in Paris (Merci). Furthermore, it was available all day, also during lunch. (This is particularly interesting because they changed the concept of time for this dish – a thought I will explore in more detail in a later post.) This contradiction of a hyper local classical dish in a very trendy restaurant, is intriguing, and a sign of the time. These contradictions have been around rescently – and that is relevant for businesses as well. In everything you do to prepare for the future, such as product innovations, you will also always find a contradicting, and that's is correct, a sigh of the time.


"In everything you do to prepare for the future, such as product innovations, you will also always find a contradicting, and that's is correct, a sigh of the time."

Part 002

The World After.

Report from The Greenhouse Contradictions, sign of the time. Part 02

Note This is one of the first video's made in the quarantine studio The Greenhouse. The quality and format were all "a 'improviste" - typical Corona lockdown.


Corona has in many ways equalized us. Religion, wealth, fame – they no longer matter, Corona does not discriminate. And without our hairdressers and stylists, we are as “naked” as we can be right now. We are equal in this situation because we face the same problems. It has brought us back to our pure selves.


On the other hand, having been through a number of weeks, or in some cases months, of lockdown, we can also see rising inequality. Those people that were suffering before Corona, have it even worse now. Children abused by their parents used to have school as an escape, but now they are locked down with their parents. For them, the situation is even more dire. The same applies to those living in extreme poverty. So one could also say, “we’re not equal at all - the differences have been amplified”.


Conclusion

This contradiction between illness as a great equaliser on the one hand, and the huge differences that have been exposed between our living situations is a real sign of the times. We also see that some companies are extremely affected by Corona and are struggling, while others flourish.


"Let us remind ourselves, that we live in a time of great contradictions, ones which are becoming even more extreme."


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