Kazakhstan and the BIE

Kazakhstan entered the BIE in 1997 and has been a strong participant of Expos ever since, starting with Expo Lisbon 1998. Kazakhstan’s contribution to the events was rewarded in Expo Zaragoza 2008 where the country won an award for its external and internal pavilion designs. In Shanghai 2010, its pavilion attracted about 500 000 people.

In 2010, Astana submitted its candidacy to host Expo 2017 and was elected by the BIE Member States in 2012.

About Kazakhstan and Astana

Transition towards Green economy

Astana is an ideal location to discuss the issue of Future energy. Kazakhstan, an oil producer since 1911, has launched a transition plan to green its economy by 2050 and become a hub for research and innovation on energy. Based on Jeremy Rifkin's "Third Industrial Revolution", the Kazakh Green Economy plan is built on 4 pillars: efficient use and management of resources, modernization of infrastructures, improvement of the well-being of the population and the quality of the environment and improving national security including water security. Expo 2017 Astana is one of the several key projects that will lead the way towards green development.

Development based on international dialogue

According to the national government, this transition towards a sustainable future cannot be achieved without international dialogue and cooperation with other countries on economic, political, cultural and civilizational issues. Kazakhstan has launched four major projects to boost global collaboration:

  • The annual Astana Economic Forum that brings together experts, state representatives and CEOs to discuss new economic opportunities and find solutions to the greatest challenges of our time.
  • The Green Bridge partnership program that aims at developing environmentally friendly technologies at a regional level and ensuring inter-regional cooperation between Europe and Asia-Pacific.
  • Expo Astana 2017 that will welcome countries, stakeholders and visitors from all over the world to share during 3 months ideas and solutions on Future Energies.
  • G-Global, a digital discussion platform between governments, experts and the civil society designed to create a new form of dialogue and global governance. It has already been visited by over 1 million people and 30 000 have already become active member


Astana is Asia’s northernmost capital. Due to its convenient location in the centre of Eurasia, Astana is an economically profitable transport, communication and logistics hub. It functions as a bridge between Europe and Asia. The city is famous for its modern architecture, including some designed by leading architects such as Norman Foster and Kisho Kurokawa.

Since becoming the capital of Kazakhstan in 1997, Astana's population has tripled, reaching 1 million citizens.

The site

The design of Expo Astana 2017's site is closely linked to its re-use after the Expo. Located near Nazarbayev University, the site will allow the creation of a hub for research and innovative thinking. All buildings of the site will be transformed to fit this ambition.

The design: innovative and sustainable

The master plan of the 173 ha site is in the shape of a drop of water and the pavilions at the heart of the drop form the pattern of a wind turbine, as an homage to the energies of Water and Wind. The site includes a 25 ha exhibition area with the spherical pavilion of Kazakhstan in its center. It will be surrounded by the International, Thematic and Corporate pavilions. Entertainment will be at the center of the Expo thanks to the auditorium, spectacular screens, an arts center and interactive devices all over the site.

Astana has committed to creating a fully sustainable site thanks to bioclimatic architecture, clean technology, energy efficiency programs, water storage and recycling. The Expo will be powered by renewable energies such as solar, wind, biomass, hydropower and geothermal energy. All buildings will have solar panels, a 150 M. high wind turbine will be built and a major wind park will be installed in the region of Astana.

The thematic pavilions

Four thematic pavilions will guide the visitors through the theme and its sub-themes.

  1. The 'World of Energy' Pavilion will showcase the situation of energy today. It will explore key concepts such as the reduction of emissions, climate change and green and renewable technologies. Visitors will witness physical science experiments that will spark their interest and stimulate debate.
  2. The 'Energy for Life' Pavilion has been conceived as an allegory of the delicate balance between technology, environment and human life. The Pavilion will present a brief timeline of mankind's relationship with energy throughout the ages and the transformative effect that such use of technology has had on the development of societies. The Pavilion will showcase solutions to tackle climate change and other consequences of the negative impacts of energy use, which directly relate to quality of life.
  3. The 'Energy for All' Pavilion will promote the need for everyone to have access to energy. The Pavilion will present energy through an ethical point of view and convey a message of commitment and solidarity: access to energy means access to development.
  4. 'My Future Energy' pavilion is aimed at boosting awareness and engagement. It will insist on the importance of individual behavior though many interactive activities.
  5. The Energy Best Practices Area (eBPa) is the nucleus in which selected technologies, projects and policies from various areas of sustainable energy management are presented to the public: energy production, storage and use, the fight against climate change and access to electrical energy in developing countries.

The Events

The Future Energy Forum

The Future Energy Forum will be one of the main features of the Expo and will last for the whole duration of the event. It will give way to the Manifesto of values and principles. The forum will host debates, conferences, as well as panels, symposia, thematic weeks and workshops on technologies, policies, innovative strategies, specific energy projects and best practices. The issues tackled will include energy revolution, low carbon technologies, renewable technological solutions, universal access to energy and energy efficiency in cities.

Open space exhibitions, workshops and installations

Activities will not only take place inside the different pavilions, but also all around the site, in all avenues, streets and plazas. Exhibitions on Energy in Worlds' Fairs and on the link between Energy and society will give visitors an interesting take on the issue of energy. Scientific experiments on fire, technology, electricity and electro magnetic waves will involve visitors in the process of creating energy. Art installations will also interpret the themes of the sustainable city, and new energy solutions.

Cultural program

Cultural events and shows will be organized every day in the venues of the site and in the open spaces. Shows, special celebrations, performing arts events, concerts, art exhibitions, in-house productions and more will be staged during 93 days of non-stop activity, which will also reflect the diversity of the participating countries.

Future energy – solutions for tackling mankind’s greatest challenge

Our world has come to a turning point in energy consumption. On the one hand, demand for energy will continue rising as the world population increases and new economies emerge : according to the World Energy Outlook figures, energy demand should increase by 1/3rd by 2035. On the other hand, our primary sources of energy, like fossil fuels, are not only limited but also have devastating effects on the environment. Many parts of the world are already experiencing the threat of global warming. According to the International Energy Agency, we have to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050 to prevent going over the 2°C increase limit that 100 countries have agreed on in 2009. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change leaves no doubt: drastic measures have to be taken now in order to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Now more than ever do we need an Expo dedicated to Energy to foster discussion and cooperation. With its theme "Future Energy", Expo Astana 2017 aims at creating a global debate between countries, NGOs, companies and the general public on the crucial question "how do we ensure safe and sustainable access to energy for all while reducing CO2 emissions?"

To tackle this issue, Astana 2017 has identified 3 subthemes that present an overview of the state of energy today, and showcase sustainable solutions and technological innovations:

1. Reducing CO2 emissions
Developing low carbon energy technologies and reducing energy demand can reduce CO2 emissions. Solutions such as carbon capture and storage, the production of renewable technologies, the use of hydrogen, the development of nuclear fusion technology and more will be showcased, explained and experienced during Expo Astana 2017.

2. Living energy efficiency
Energy efficient technologies, education, behavior, policies and regulations can have a strong impact on the way energy is consumed. The Expo will present solutions and best practices for a sustainable use of energies.

3. Energy for all
Energy is a basic need and a human right. It is "essential for sustainable development and for combatting poverty" says the UNDP. However, 20% of the world population doesn't have access to electricity and 40% still uses biomass for cooking. It is estimated that 36 billion dollars would allow the implementation of clean installations for electricity and cooking all over the world. Expo Astana will showcase the solutions that could be developed in the least electrified regions of the world, such as decentralized energy systems.
All participants (countries, NGOs, companies etc.) that will have an exhibition space inside the Expo will have to address the theme by choosing between at least 2 of the following perspectives:

  • Scientific research on future energy
  • Cutting edge technology
  • Governance
  • Innovative business models
  • Value change and social innovation

The Manifesto of values and principles – the intellectual legacy of the Expo

The Expo will allow Governments, organizations, environmentalists, the business sector and consumers to write and agree on a set of directives and recommendations to meet global challenges. Written in the form of a Manifesto, these directives will aim at promoting a new code on the social and technological innovations needed to tackle the issue of energy.

In the years amounting to the Expo, preparatory meetings and 3 symposia will take place to explore the theme of Future Energy and start preparing the guidelines of the Manifesto. During the Expo, the debates and conferences hosted by the Future Energy Forum will give way to the core content of the document.

The issues the Manifesto will address are:

  • The management of energy as a resource that impacts our lives and the environment
  • The theme and sub-themes of the Expo
  • The promotion of sustainable democratic and responsible energy future
  • The need to address the issue of energy through collaboration.