The Expo Milan has been going on since last July but the fact remains: a great deal of people still don’t really know what it is. Consequently, we’ve done the honourable thing and picked out the most important facts to get you (and us) up to speed...
1. The Universal Exposition, or ‘Expo’ as it is more commonly known, is an exposition from which innovators and thought-leaders can show off their most ambitious successes.
2. The first-ever edition was held in the ‘Crystal Palace’ in Hyde Park in 1851. It was the brainchild of Prince Albert.
3. It is an occasion to share technologies and discoveries. One of the most scientifically significant came in the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo… this is when the X-ray machine was first introduced.
4. It is also utilised to bring to life architectural projects or artistic movements. The Eiffel Tower, for example, was erected specifically for the Exposition Universelle in Paris, 1889.
5. Every country in the world is given the chance to demonstrate what their greatest minds have to offer.
6. The event takes place every five years.
7. Shanghai hosted the largest ever edition in 2010.
8. Milan’s Expo started in July last year and will run until October 2015.
9. The theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.The Milan Expo is an ode to sustainability and food, with a focus on how to feed the world.
10. In all, Expo has around 150 dining spots some playing host to some of the world's greatest chefs.
11. There is also a McDonald’s (honestly) and a Coca-Cola pavilion, where visitors wait in line for a free Coke. A question naturally arises: Is Expo part of the problem or part of the solution?
12. It is also a way for countries to flex their muscles with pavilions designed by brand-name architects. It is, in essence, a colossal networking opportunity.
13. The vast site of the Expo in the Rho-Pero district has attracted two of the world’s biggest brands, Google and Nestle, they both want long-term leases.
Whilst The Expo was once a globally important innovation platform, it has become more of a chance for the host nation to develop infrastructure and build a brand for themselves.