“Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life”. Italy introduces to the World the Milan Expo 2015

I. I. (May 02, 2014)
The universal non-commercial exposition "Expo Milano 2015" will be hosted by Milan, Italy, between May and October 31, next year. "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" is the theme chosen for this edition. A topic that merges in a global scenario innovation, culture, technology, traditions and creativity, and their relationship to food and diet. A conversation with Piero Galli, Event Management General Director of the Expo.

On Monday April 28th, the Italian Govenrment Tourist Board of New York (ENIT) hosted an event aimed at presenting to the American public EXPO 2015. Exactly one year from now, the universal exhibition will open in Milan (May 1 - October 31, 2015).

Over 130 countries will participate to the exposition which will be a unique opportunity to discuss innovative, sustainable solutions “to feed the planet.” To this day, 60 countries decided to participate with their own pavillion and many others will choose their own space inside one of the Expo nine Thematic Clusters.

During his official visit to Rome on March 27, President Obama officially announced the participation of the United States with an investment of 60 million dollars. With more than 20 millions visitors expected, the Milan Expo 2015 will also be an occasion to re-launch Italy’s tourism.

The Expo Milano 2015 site was designed with the support of internationally renowned architects. Its common core is the idea that everyone on the planet should have access to food that is healthy, safe and sufficient.

The site is devised as an island surrounded by a canal that brings one of the basic elements of this “extraordinary setting” into the project: water.

Together with the canal, the site’s main symbolic elements help to define the setting at its cardinal points: The Hill is one of the site’s principal landmarks and home to the Mediterranean agro-ecosystem.

The Open Air Theatre will host concerts, plays and official ceremonies. The Lake Arena will be the venue for special water shows, fireworks, concerts and performances.

The Expo Center comprises three independent functional blocks: an auditorium, a performance area and an office block. There will also be Thematic Areas, a Biodiversity Park, a Future Food District, and a Children’s Park.

Dozens of countries will have their own pavillon, including the U.S. In the Italian Pavilion, regions and cities, companies and associations, will show to the world the culture and tradition of Italian food that stand out thanks to the high quality of raw materials and finished products.

Global promotioin and communication of Expo Milan 2015 is the main objective of Event Management General Director Piero Galli and his team. Here are a few excerpts from the interview Mr. Galli granted to i-ItalyTV.
EXPO MILANO is being announced as “the place to be” for everybody.Why?
This universal exposition will be a unique opportunity to experience and discuss a fundamental challenge of our days: nutrition and food culture. 147 countries will be participating and showcasing their experiences, problems, and solutions in terms of availability of food, safety, education, sustainability.

At the same time, over 20 millions visitors – turists, professionals, and people interested in the subject – will enjoy access to a vast array of cultural and recreational programs revolving around food from all over the world.   

Italy is a country with thousands of small-medium businesses in the food sector. What will be the impact of EXPO MILANO?
It will represents a great opportunity because historically – not only in Italy but all over the world – the supply of food, especially high quality food, is best served by small-medium businesses with specific competences and skills.
Italy will have a unique chance to present to the world all different aspects of its offer of wine and food. It’s an occasion of great visibility, of becoming more international. This is usually a problem for small-medium business: reaching a vast audience and gaining international visibility.
How have Italian business responded to your call up to now?
The respose has been very satisfying. Covering the operational costs of the  EXPO depended il large part on the ability to attract investments from the private sector. To this day we received more than 350 millions euros from both large and medium-small businesses and this will allow us to launch a platformthat will be used in 2015, but also in the future.
Being responsible for the internationalization of EXPO MILAN must be a great job A real challenge.
Yes, going international is one of the greates challenges for the organization I represent, in terms of achieving a great audience. Communication here is a tough business. It’s not like the Olympics, where everyone knows what you are talking about. We are often asked: what is this EXPO? Why should we come?
So the world tour we have been organizing for a year now has the objective to improve communication of the subject-theme of the EXPO, to inform and involve prospective business and institutional participants as well as visitors and tourists.
I must say that this year the subject of the Expo is very appealing. And let me make a point: The presence of the American pavillion was established as early as March 27, when President Obama announced the formal agreement in Rome. This is a record. Usually the US is not a big fan of such international fairs, it takes a lot of government negotiations to engage them. But this time the decision was spontaneous. There was a natural interest towards it.
We are at ENIT, the Italian Government Tourist Board of New York. ENIT is a major collaborating partner of Expo and will coordinate its promotional activities worldwide…
ENIT is an essential partner for us. We signed an agreement with them to facilitate our process of going international. ENIT is present in several coutries all around the world and will actually help us to bring together all the key figures of the turist sector, helping our communication and our project of going international. It is an essential job.
There is great expectation here for the Italian Pavillon. Diana Bracco, the Expo 2015 President & General Commissioner for the Italian Pavilion made a great announcement last October in Washington when she participated at the annual gala of the National Italian American Foundation.
Well, we are the hosting country and our Pavillon will be one of the largest, about 150.000 square feet, a huge one. It’s the creation of some of renowned architects and designers. It will be an excellent opportunity for Italy to revive and promote its many points of excellence in manufacturing, technology and science. The Italian Pavilion is at the very center of this mission. Its theme is "The Nursery", which symbolizes the nurturing of projects and talents so that they can grow, providing them with fertile soil, offering them shelter and giving prominence to new energies. The tree is a symbol of life, of nature at its most primitive, a central icon around which all activities are arranged. And in a horizontal plan view, the roots are designed to connect the many different areas, particularly those dedicated to the various regions of Italy. Each one will give the best representation of themselves in terms of food, tourism, attractions, and lifestyle which is what connects everything together.
The pavilion is innovative, unusual, surprising, unique, a living representation of the concepts of Italian excellence, know-how and Made ​​in Italy.
How important are for the Expo the millions of Italians who live abroad?
A year ago I came up with this idea we called “Italians in the World.” There are between 60 and 70 millions Italians and descandats of Italians around the world. Many of them are in the United States. We want all the first, second, and third generations of Italian emogrants to say: 2015 is the year we are “going back home” and experience Italy in a unique way. Italians in Italy are preparing to welcome the world in an extraordinary way next year and this applies in particular to former emigrants and their descendants. We shall offer them a unique experience.
And what about “italophiles”—or the “Italici,” like renowned industrialist and intellectual Piero Bassetti calls them?
In the minds of so many the people around the world, Italy is an extraordinary place to spend time and enjoy a peculiar, healthy, food-related lifestyle. 2015 will be the year to live such experience to the best. Italy’s lifestyle represents the “reason why” people should come. There is no other place in the world capable to compete with Italy in terms of food and wine culture.
What do we all need to do in order for EXPO to succeed?
Expo Milan 2015 will succeed if we are able to communicate effectively what this is going to be and why people should come. The experience and satisfaction that every visitor will have is going to be amazing. It’s up to us to communicate this now in the proper way so that we’ll not only realize something incredible, but will be able to achieve the number of visitors it deserves.