Ep.6: on Crafting Futures Post-COVID with Amneh Shaikh-Farooqui and Cameron Tonkinwise

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

This episode is brought to you by Crafting Futures, a British Council global programme, that envisions a sustainable future through craft, collaboration and educational opportunities, supported by Design Center of the Philippines. It was produced by MUNI, hosted and written by Jen Horn and Kar Abola, edited by, with music by Diego Mapa and branding by Serious Studio. You can find the MUNI on This Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or listen directly below.

About this episode

How can craft contribute to a mindful and livable world, even post-COVID?

Last March 6-8 at the Making Futures Conference in Cebu, we met Amneh Shaikh-Farooqui, who works with Pakistani craft communities, as Senior Programme Adviser of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Institute of Pakistan and as co-founder of Polly and Other Stories, an e-commerce initiative to help small, marginalized producers develop and market their products. We also learned about Cameron Tonkinwise, who teaches and conducts research on transition design in Australia, as the director of the Design Innovation Research Centre at the University of Technology Sydney.

Six weeks after the conference and several weeks into lockdown, we catch up with them to talk about how COVID now impacts craft, and how craft, in turn, might possibly influence more sustainable and equitable futures.

See our show notes and learn more about Making Futures, Amneh and Cameron in the links below.

Show notes


  • [00:47] Jen introduces the episode and guest co-host Kar Abola

  • [02:16] Kar and Jen introduce the Making Futures conference

  • [04:59] Introduction to Amneh Shaikh-Farooqui + snippets of her conference talk

  • [06:35] Introduction to Cameron Tonkinwise + snippets of his conference talk

  • [08:40] Start of catch-up between Jen, Kar, Amneh, and Cameron


  • [10:08] Amneh shares how quickly life has changed since the conference, for her and the communities she works with, due to COVID

  • [11:34] Cameron on how COVID is changing how we're making and sharing / communicating

  • [13:29] Kar on the realization that craft will survive COVID

  • [14:17] Amneh on how craft has always been part of our culture and history, not always industry

  • [15:34] Cameron: "craft is never only a material practice"

  • [16:44] Amneh on some fundamental questions of how things might have to change

  • [17:30] Cameron on the change mechanism happening in this period: "we will have all experienced other kinds of things"

  • [21:45] Amneh on the new influencer activist voice that has emerged

  • [22:55] Cameron asking how else might we live and what risks we are prepared to carry

  • [25:13] Cameron on how he sees a "seamful experience" of craft continuing post-COVID

  • [27:15] Jen's closing reflections on craft, the conference, and this episode's conversation

  • [28:36] Amneh on how you can contribute to better post-COVID futures, as an individual or as a business

About this podcast

We started MUNI on This to deal with our personal and collective distress about the state of our planet, but more importantly, we created this to give ourselves and you guys more reasons to hope and more motivation to act. In the show, we talk about the challenges and possibilities in creating a more mindful and livable world. It was created by MUNI, a purpose-driven company that creates conversations and builds community through online content and offline events on mindful, sustainable living. You can find the MUNI on This Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also listen directly via You can also join the MUNI Community group on Facebook to reach out to our community.

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