By Bridie Strowe-Bolger ‘ 24
Beginning in 1851, with Queen Victoria’s Crystal Palace, World Expos have brought people together. Through the acknowledgment of international diversity in art, and technology, World Expos reflect our evolution into a modern species. The most recent World Expo, despite the delay caused by the pandemic, was held in Dubai. People were offered a glimpse at our bright future with the Expo’s collection of over 200 pavilions
Through cuisine (over 200 restaurants), architecture (in pavilions for hundreds of countries and topics), and entertainment (in performances from classical music to the A-List) World Expos showed that diversity is a defining feature. The central pavilion, Al Wasl Plaza, (which translates to ‘connection’), serves as a gathering space for people of all cultures, and symbolically represents the Emirati success story with its crown shape.
Genial experiences aren’t the only beneficial option for visitors at the Expo. It also serves as the host to ‘theme weeks’. These theme weeks help a worldly and diverse audience tackle world issues. These issues range in a wide variety of topics such as space travel, world education, agriculture, and the final topic in March – water.
A great example is how the Czech Republic showed an exhibition on the effects of cutting-edge technology that produces water from air and sunlight on palm and olive trees. Another example of taking initiative was the Expos efforts towards sustainability. With a goal of diverting 85% of waste from landfill, they have so far diverted 96% of waste.
The European external action service (EEAS) perfectly summed up the spirit of World Expos in their statement, “There will be a post-pandemic world, but it is yet to be built: Expo 2020 Dubai, which starts today in the United Arab Emirates, gives the world a unique chance to come together and imagine a sustainable future where no one is left behind.”
The Expo showcases our true resilience as a species. While mourning the loss of many in the last two years, the Dubai Expo looks forward to entering a revolutionary era of innovation.