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Opportunity at Expo 2020 

Opportunity at Expo 2020 

Expo 2020 — the world exhibition held in Dubai for the next six months — provides an extraordinary opportunity to come together, face-to-face (though with face masks intact), at a time when the need for a collective global commitment to solve our global challenges is felt more than ever (queue, Covid-19).     

The exhibition will sponsor a number of initiatives for visitors to interact with and learn from each other in an attempt to build bridges, inspire action, and deliver real-life solutions to real-life problems (#realtalk). These initiatives all fall under the premises of the “opportunity” sub-theme at Expo 2020.  

In this deep dive, we will explore what Expo 2020 truly means by “opportunity” and understand what the exhibition has done and plans to do in this realm to ensure a meaningful, measurable, and purposeful legacy. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the Expo opportunity deep dive.

The Good Place Pavilion and Expo Live 

The Good Place pavilion is emblematic of Expo 2020’s essence. It is the place where passion meets opportunity and capability. It is the place where the voices and visions of Expo’s global innovators will truly be heard — on a global platform that is designed just for them. The Good Place pavilion will host several initiatives throughout the course of the exhibition. One of these is the Expo Live Program which is committed to addressing and alleviating inequality, disparity, and discrimination by funding grassroots social entrepreneurs.   

Expo Live provides a grant capital of $100k to social enterprises, small- and medium-sized organizations (SME), and local businesses in their “start-up phase.” The recipients can utilize the funding to further test, refine, implement, and scale their solutions for vulnerable populations and the environment.   

But Expo Live won’t just throw money at a problem and hope everything turns out fine. The program is committed to building a platform for knowledge exchange and co-creation amongst the recipients of the grant. All social entrepreneurs will receive access to networking and partnership opportunities with local and international business incubators, accelerators, mentors, and investors in order to strengthen and promote a meaningful business climate, marketing, and communications exposure. Oh and on top of that, to showcase their solutions during Expo 2020 Dubai. So get your networking game on.

Up to this point, Expo Live has received over 11,000 applications from 184 different countries and has accepted 140 (picky, much?). The accepted applications come from 76 different countries and the projects all have a direct impact on either education, health, or the environment.   

Through Expo Live and other initiatives, the Good Place pavilion reiterates its objective to serve as a focal point for social innovation, cultural collaboration, and effective entrepreneurship. In other words, a place filled with opportunities to do business that has a real-life impact.   

Youth Empowerment 

Just as essential to the future success of Dubai and the UAE is a genuine commitment to future generations (all you Gen Zers, put your hands up!). Expo 2020 will promote experiences throughout the Opportunity District that are specifically designed for students to inspire and motivate them to learn and unlock their personalized pathways to a brighter future.

The School Program and the Education Program at Expo 2020 will encourage students to think critically, communicate effectively, and grow intellectually in the spirit of Dubai’s commitment that “education anywhere should prepare students for life everywhere.” With over 192 nations represented, Expo 2020 is the largest and most diverse Expo ever, which means that students will learn in a multicultural environment and be encouraged to approach each other with mutual respect, regardless of differences. Who needs a traditional college campus, anyways?        

In the spirit of creating opportunities for future generations, Expo 2020 will also feature its very own Youth Pavilion. The pavilion promises to be an open creative space where young people can come together to reimagine the world of tomorrow. The pavilion reminds us a lot about Youth Hub – UAE’s exclusive “under-30” study space, which was designed as a hybrid model fluctuating between a study/ chill-out space/ global incubator for new ideas. The Youth Pavilion at Expo 2020 will deliver the same kind of feel, but it will also roll out multiple training courses and workshops such as the Gulf Young Entrepreneurs Forum, which will attract the best talent in the region to generate new business ideas for the future. Can we expect a Home Bakery pop-up there too, pretty please?

Thrive Together Business Program   

The Expo 2020 Business Program, known as ‘Thrive Together’ is a dedicated, business-focused track of Expo’s wider Program for People and Planet, offering a range of curated experiences and tailored products and services that will empower visitors and participants to explore new business opportunities, form new partnerships, and ultimately collaborate towards economic prosperity — A+ for team spirit.       

The Thrive Together program will launch three Global Business Forums (Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America), hosted in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. On top of these, the program will also promote 10 thematic business forums in line with Expo’s Theme Weeks, focusing on areas of shared global interest, identifying current challenges and emerging opportunities in a range of non-traditional sectors.    

The program takes on a traditional and digital focus. The cutting edge, AI-powered Expo 2020 B2B App, will facilitate B2B, B2G, and G2G connections, networking, and meeting requests, while the Expo 2020 Business Connect Centre, located at the heart of the site, will host business organizations from across the region, representing more than one million companies all in one place. 

Thrive Together also takes into consideration UAE’s shared mission for human progress, which is founded on genuine gender equality. Expo 2020 highlights the essential role that all the lovely Boss Women out there play, by sharing and celebrating the real-life stories of women who’ve led the way. Thrive Together will provide women with a platform to speak their truths, thanks to the partnership with the Women’s pavilion. The pavilion will host dedicated sessions to explore issues such as gender-responsive procurement, financial inclusion, financial literacy, and access to markets.  

why it matters

After months of lockdowns and restricted travel, Expo 2020 is bringing the world together to reimagine the global economy. What's impressive about the opportunities set forward by the exhibition are the breadth of their focus. From youth to women, Expo 2020 is committed to build a better future for everyone by providing everyone with an equal opportunity to succeed.