Staff Reporter, Gulf Today
The photo has been used for illustrative purpose.
Expo 2020 Dubai is unveiling the inspiring visitor experience for Mission Possible — The Opportunity Pavilion, an interactive exhibition journey that addresses the most fundamental global challenges of our time and sheds light on what can be achieved when individuals and communities work together. As the pavilion that brings the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to life, Mission Possible will also be the home of the United Nations’ (UN) physical presence at the World Expo, featured through a dedicated space, the UN Hub (#UNHub).
The Mission Possible experience welcomes visitors with three parallel ‘tracks’ that focus on water, food and energy -resources that were chosen as they are basic human needs, and form part of the SDGs — illustrating how unlocking opportunity at a local level can be used for the greater global good.
Visitors are ‘guided’ through the tracks by three individuals whose innovative projects were implemented with minimal resources, yet had a life-changing impact: Abel Cruz from Peru addresses water shortages through fog nets that harvest fog and turn it into water; UAE National Mariam Al Juneibi is a sustainable organic farmer who promotes sustainable farming and healthy eating practices, while encouraging people to grow their own vegetables; and Fatma Juma Haji, a master trainer who teaches other women to install solar panels, helps to create sustainable energy in Zanzibar, where less than four per cent of the population has access to electricity.
The community members of each ‘guide’ share how their lives have been improved far beyond access to water, food and energy, demonstrating the interdependency of different SDGs, and how meeting basic human requirements unlocks other opportunities. The thought-provoking experience concludes with the Pledge Room, an upside-down space entered ‘through the clouds’, where visitors are asked to commit to a course of action that will make a difference in their own and their community’s lives. Their pledges are transported to the ‘garden’ — a representation situated on the ceiling of the room.
Building on the interactive visitor journey, the UN Hub will provide a dynamic set of programmes throughout the six months of Expo 2020 that will inform, inspire and engage visitors to take impactful action towards a thriving future for people and planet by contributing to the SDGs. Meanwhile, Mission Possible hosts Expo 2020’s Global Best Practice Programme, which spotlights simple but effective initiatives linked to the SDGs that can be adapted, replicated or scaled for enhanced global impact. The Best Practice Area showcases the 50 projects supported under the Programme, echoing the same message as Mission Possible: it is collective action that leads to a better world.
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The Sustainable Development Goals are at the core of the UAE’s strategic vision and, in turn, drive the goals of, and activities at, Expo 2020 Dubai. Mission Possible is the physical manifestation of what the SDGs stand for, and what they aim to achieve.
“The pavilion will serve as a beacon of hope and source of inspiration for all visitors, reminding them that no matter where they come from and regardless of age or gender, they have the power to make a difference and now is the time to do so. The engagement of the UN, and the UN Hub at the pavilion, reinforces this collective message. We look forward to continuing our collaboration and push forward our joint efforts in order to create a better future for both people and planet.”
Maher Nasser, United Nations Commissioner-General for the UN presence at Expo 2020 Dubai, noted: “World Leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015 as a blueprint for humanity to build a brighter future for people and planet. The COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and rising inequality are among the top challenges that are threatening achievements made since 2015 and necessitate a doubling, no, a trebling, of our resolve and efforts to get back on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030. It is therefore heartening to see that the Sustainable Development Goals feature prominently throughout Expo 2020 and are at the core of the UAE’s strategic vision for the country and for Expo. Mission Possible is the ideal venue at Expo 2020 to host the #UNHub with its focus on the SDGs and what they represent. We look forward to work hand in hand with all participants at Expo and showcase the value of working together for people and planet.”
Designed by AGi Architects, Mission Possible - The Opportunity Pavilion was conceived as a large plaza to reflect its aim of providing a platform for social and cross-cultural engagement. Floating 32 metres above the ground, the pavilion’s canopy represents clouds, which are in constant transformation, and the dreams that we all aspire to achieve, while a terracotta ‘carpet’ covers the ground and the pavilion’s facade, representing Earth and inviting visitors to share their experiences. The pavilion’s exhibition has been designed by ALEC Fit Out and ICARIA Atelier.
Standing alongside Expo 2020’s two other subthemes, Mobility and Sustainability, the Opportunity subtheme aims to examine how the potential of communities and individuals can be unlocked to help shape the future and create an equal playing field for everyone.
One of the first global mega-events to take place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Expo 2020 runs from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, inviting visitors from around the world to join the making of a new world and experience a six-month journey of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.
From 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai will welcome visitors from every corner of the globe to join the making of a new world, as it brings together the planet in one place to reimagine tomorrow.
With the purpose of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 will be the world’s most impactful global incubator for new ideas, catalysing an exchange of new perspectives and inspiring action to deliver real-life solutions to real-world challenges
Expo 2020 will be the biggest cultural gathering in the world, presenting a visually striking and emotionally inspiring 182 days, as more than 200 participants – including nations, multilateral organisations, businesses, and educational institutions, as well as millions of visitors – create the largest and most diverse World Expo ever.
Expo 2020’s subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability will inspire visitors to preserve and protect our planet, explore new frontiers and build a better future for everyone. For six months, Expo 2020 will be a must-visit family destination, with thousands of events, amazing exploratory experiences, and free entry for children up to age 18.
Expo is committed to building a more equitable and just world for everyone, while keeping visitors safe by following the latest guidance of the world’s leading medical, science and health experts.
Expo 2020 is the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, located on a 4.38 sqkm site adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South.
In 1851 the Crystal Palace was the centrepiece of London’s Great Exhibition – the first World Expo. It celebrated the man-made industrial wonders of a rapidly changing world. Architecture, contents and a theme, ‘Industry of All Nations’, were combined to create a big idea of nations meeting nations in shared technological and commercial progress. In more recent years, participants in World Expos, including governments, international organisations and companies, have gathered to find solutions to universal challenges and to promote their achievements, products, ideas, innovations, their national brand, and their nations as destinations for tourism, trade and investment.
World Expos are held under the auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organisation responsible for overseeing and regulating international exhibitions (‘Expos’) and for fostering their core values of Education, Innovation and Cooperation. Today, four types of Expos are organised under the BIE’s auspices: World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.