“We are one in nine billion,” states a striking stainless steel sculpture at the entrance to the U.S. Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015: “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life." That visual statement is intended to get visitors thinking about the fact that in 2050, the world’s population is estimated to reach 9 billion, and more sustainable ways to feed people must be found.
A tried and true public diplomacy method comes back to life.
The Expo is not only to be experienced, but also remembered. As it is a concentrated temporal social occurrence, the outsized event rivets visitors’ attention and fascination. Transient as the Expo experience is, one’s impression of it can be long-lasting.
Jay Wang preps us for the upcoming fair.
Mitchell Davis, Executive Vice President of the James Beard Foundation, discusses the intersection of culinary diversity and food security in this video about the USA's pavilion "American Food 2.0" set to debut early next month at the 2015 World Expo in Milan.
The current UNO publication, Numero 17, La Nueva Diplomacia, features articles focusing on new diplomacy and international relations, and includes a piece by CPD Director, Jay Wang titled Nation Branding Revisited. Other articles cover topics ranging from Soft Power and Digital Diplomacy to Economic Diplomacy and the role of non-state actors in diplomatic relations.
The website of the Bureau of International Expositions, a group that is sort of like the International Olympic Committee for these things, explains that today's expos – the term "fair" was retired in 1967 – have "become a unique platform for international dialogue, for public diplomacy and for international cooperation". Which is to say, really safe and boring.
Internationally, the 2010 Shanghai World Expo was a major tourism and branding draw card for its host city. Domestically, the Expo constituted a major source of national pride and a key vehicle for the promotion of official messages reinforcing traditional state propaganda themes.