The theme "Connecting minds, Creating the future" fosters both a philosophy of mutual understanding and cooperation and a hands-on approach to finding new solutions to the three subthemes of Dubai's Expo bid: mobility, sustainability and opportunity. The symposium of the 22nd and 23rd of October allowed the Expo organizers and experts to present all aspects of their theme.
In the last decades, Expos have become innovation platforms where countries can share their latest ideas on a world issue, may it be nutrition in Milan 2015, energy in Astana 2017 or urbanism in Shanghai 2010. Dubai's bid offers a new approach by not focusing on a unique subject, but rather on a vision, a way of thinking, that can fuel projects and stimulate research. "Dubai's project broadens the Expo paradigm" pointed out Pr. Jian Jay Wang during the symposium.
"Connecting minds, Creating the future" is based on the importance of partnership and of shared experiences in our interdependent and interconnected world. According to HE Reem Al Hashimi, "the outcome of a partnership is greater than the sum of its parts: partnerships build the world of tomorrow, they are sources of solution and progress."
Interconnected world, interconnected challenges
Dubai's bid however is not theoretical. It has identified three very tangible key domains to achieve global development: mobility, sustainability and opportunity. For the Expo organizers, the interconnectedness of these 3 subthemes is such that, only by addressing them simultaneously, can we imagine truly global solutions. The Secretary General of the BIE explained this interdependence in his message to the symposium audience: "By enabling access to markets, we can facilitate the movement of goods, people and ideas. By enabling access to basic resources such as energy and water, we can ensure high standards of education and quality of life. And finally, by enabling access and the development of opportunity we can develop human capital, expand access to credit, savings and investments to help build the future together."
The role of World Expos
By nature, Expos offer a space where the whole world can share ideas and discuss innovations. Remembering his personal experience, Pr. Jeffrey Sachs told the audience "Expos open minds". "Expos bring the whole world to one place" added Peggy Liu. "They are a global communal moment" shared Pr. Wang. By bringing together in a unique space, countries, thinkers, innovators, civil society, corporate companies and NGOs, Expos are a great tool to tackle multifaceted issues and engage with the broad public.