Last week Astana beat at the rhythm of Expo. On October 21st, the Secretary General of the BIE met with the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev. On the 22nd and 23rd, National Company Expo 2017 held its first International Planning Meeting to present the Expo project to potential future participant countries. Alongside the meeting, on the 23rd and 24th, Expo 2017 hosted the 1st edition of its Future Energy Forum, dedicated to one of the 3 subthemes of the Expo: "Reducing CO2 emissions".

Expo Astana 2017 - Mr Loscertales speaking at the International Planning Meeting

Mr. Loscertales speaking at the International Planning Meeting

These events allowed Expo Astana 2017 to officially engage with the international community, introduce the multiple facets of the event and start preparing the scientific content that will be showcased during the Expo. In a few words, last week, country representatives from all over the world, and energy related experts were given a glimpse of what Expo truly is: a space for education, innovation, and cooperation, a dialogue platform aimed at fostering sustainable progress.

A tool for cooperation
Expo is a unique meeting place that brings together a great number of countries from all over the world, as well as all kinds of stakeholders and the civil society. Expo Astana 2017 has already invited 136 countries to participate to the event, and 200 representatives of 86 countries were present at the International Planning Meeting. "Through membership with BIE, and when officially accepting an invitation to participate to an Expo, governments engage in a form of long term cooperation that has no equivalent in any other event. Your presence here is a sign of friendship that links countries and of a shared understanding that the world needs opportunities," said the Secretary General of the BIE as he opened the International Planning Meeting. The following days, over 500 leading experts in the field of energy and sustainable development discussed the issue of Reducing CO2 emissions at the Future Energy Forum and exchanged ideas and solutions, as a preview of the dynamism expected of Expo 2017.

A platform to foster innovation and progress
In the past, Expos were meant to showcase industrial and national prestige. Today, they aim at finding solutions to the world's greatest challenges. In Expo 2017, this challenge will be the future of energy. "Expo 2017 will be a platform for discussion and presentation of innovations in the global energy sector. It will help bring together the best technology in the hydrocarbon sector, in the field of energy conservation and alternative energy sources" explained Rapil Zhoshybayev Expo 2017 Commissioner.

Working towards this objective, last week's events were an important step for the preparation of the Expo content. A memorandum was signed to launch the international "Online Expo 2017" competition aimed at mobilizing the scientific potential of Kazakhstan. This contest will allow a pre-selection of the innovations that will be showcased at the Expo. The Expo organizers also launched the International commission that will select the cases for the Expo's Best Practices Area.

Education, core mission of Expos
As reminded by the Secretary General of the BIE during the Planning Meeting, the number 1 mission of Expos, as stated by the Convention of the BIE, is the education of the public. He pointed out a particular communication challenge the organizers of Expo 2017 should keep in mind: "The general public might perceive the expo as too specialized, only for technicians. I invite you to develop a multidimensional communication program that can generate an interest in Expo 2017 from all representatives of society."

Expo is also a great leverage to boost local development and national branding
For Kazakhstan, Expo 2017 will be an amazing opportunity to position itself as a leading country on the issue of sustainable energies and show the world its strategy for the future. "Future energy is a theme that is consistent with the objectives of the host country to create a sustainable and efficient economy based on the transition towards a green development model." assured the BIE Secretary General. The Expo will also allow urban development and boost tourism. Anisa Berdina, Director of the Tourism Department of Expo 2017 National Company, presented the different tours of Astana and of the country that will be organized to allow foreign and national visitors to discover Kazakhstan.