Expo Milano 2015 is the Universal Exhibition being hosted by Milan in Italy between 1 May to 31 October, 2015. It is the latest in a long tradition of world exhibitions. The first Expo was held in London in 1851 in the famous steel and glass palace on Hyde Park, known as The Crystal Palace. Over 140 countries are participating in Expo Milano 2015, which has as its theme Feeding the planet, Energy for life.
A world Expo is like the Olympics of innovation and technological advancement. Expos are the seedbed of global ideas designed to impact humanity in a positive way. Similar to the host city of the Olympics, Expos are organised by the country that is selected following a competition.
Each Expo is dedicated to a theme of universal interest and is used to showcase promising new technologies and explore the collective challenges being faced by humanity and the planet. Expos take place on a purpose built site and are renowned for creating iconic structures. For example the Eiffel Tower that was built for the Paris Expo in 1899.
Expo Milano is where the world meets the world in a single location. Gathered from all corners of the globe, people have come to share their precious things, culture and foods, and take visitors on an incredible journey.
The exhibition also showcases innovation in technology and thinking designed to find practical and sustainable solutions that will guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for every person on the planet. Spanning 1.1 million square metres of exhibition space, Expo Milano 2015 anticipates more than 20 million people will visit the show during the 6 months it is open.
The exhibition space was designed by internationally renowned architects and reflects the signature cityscape style of the ancient Romans. The site has two wide avenues, the Cardo and the Decumano, which intersect and form a public square, Piazza Italia. It is along the avenues and in the square that one finds the pavilions of the participating countries.
Among some of Expos’ stunning features is an exposition garden with more than 12,000 trees, water features and a canal. In keeping with the theme and ethos of sustainability, the exhibition space is constructed to be energy-efficient, and the buildings have been designed so that they can be removed and reused once the event is over.
The global interactive event has thousands of cultural offerings, shows, conferences, cooking demonstrations, workshops and exhibitions both inside the exhibit itself and in the surrounding area of Milan. Both sides of the energy equation; the food we take into our bodies and the energy we expend in activities are considered. Leading the way in the energy expended camp is Italy’s leading wellness company, Technogym, who is also the official Wellness partner for Expo Milano 2015.
A clearer understanding of how individuals need to balance their energy equations is a key theme addressed by the Expo. However the overriding discussion is the need to identify a long-term solution to the extremes of food poverty and overconsumption. According to the United Nations Food Program, figures for 2012-14, 11.3% of the world’s population (805.3 million) was classified as undernourished. Conversely, the World Health Organisation figures show world obesity rising steeply every years since 1980, indeed figure has doubled. 39% of adults were overweight in 2014 with 13% being classified as obese. In addition, about 1.3 billion tons of foods are wasted every year.
Expo Milano is an opportunity for the world to debate these issues, to examine political and lifestyle choices required for sustainable communities, and use the best technology to create a balance between the availability and the consumption of resources.
So far Expo Milano 2015 has seen over 650,000 people visiting it within the first weekend. Exhibits attracting particular interest have been the:
Tree of life designed by Marco Balich (also responsible for the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics). The tree is 37 metres high and comes to life once an hour with a spectacular hydroelectric display to music.
The UK’s Pavilion: Growth in Britain, Shared Globally, which offers the visitor a bee’s eye view of the world. Designed by artist Wolfgang Buttress, it is an intricate metallic structure akin to honeycomb.
The UN, rather than a single pavilion, has a horizontal presence, with content taking the form of 18 giant spoons spread across many areas in the Expo site. The spoons represent UN content related to the thematic areas of the Expos including the five pillars of the Zero Hunger Challenge, women’s empowerment, and gender equality.
Like the UN, Technogym’s presence at the Expo isn’t confined to a single pavilion. The exhibit consists of a thematic route along Decumano Avenue and a 1,600 square meter arena hosting events themed on wellness sports and health.
In keeping with Technogym’s vision of how to make wellness available to everybody, at any time of the day and everywhere (the Wellness on the Go philosophy) visitors can try out wellness solutions that can be incorporated in to wherever they happen to be during the day. Furthermore, Technogym also launched the new Technogym App as part of its “Let’s move and donate food” campaign – you can read more about this innovative new app in this article here.
This is just a minuscule taste of the exhibition. The scale and diversity of the Expo Milano 2015 is mind-blowing. If you are looking for the global experience of a lifetime, without having to take a 2-year sabbatical to tour the world, a day or two at Expo Milano 2015 will provide you with the world at your fingertips. And, of course, it provides the chance to be part of a meaningful discourse on the most pressing issue in the world today.