WGS 2018: World Expos Are a Chance for People to Come Together in a Way That Technology Cannot Satisfy

Press release
Published February 13th, 2018 - 07:54 GMT
During the second day of the World Summit for Governments.
During the second day of the World Summit for Governments.

World expos offer an opportunity for people from across the planet to be united in a spirit of friendship that technology cannot satisfy, panelists said during a discussion on Expos as part of the Global Policy Platform on day two of the World Government Summit in Dubai.

“Nothing can replace human to human contact,” said Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimi, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Managing Director of Expo 2020. “Too much digitization without a human face will not create the connections that we need. And that’s why expos are so important.”

Dubai will host Expo 2020 on the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021.

Also on the panel, which was part of the summit’s Global Policy Platform, were Joe Kaeser, Chief Executive Officer of Siemens, and Wang Jinzhen, an organizer of the Shanghai Expo in 2010 and chief representative of the China pavilion at the 2015 Milan World Expo.

Kaeser said that after Expo 2020, Siemens will move its global headquarters for airports, cargo and ports logistics to the expo site. Kaeser indicated that “there might be” a further element to the company’s expo site plan, to be announced in the future. Siemens will be part of a new mini-city on the expo site after the event ends, Her Excellency Al Hashimi noted. The site, she said, will become “an extension of the city of Dubai towards Abu Dhabi.”

Kaeser observed that every world expo is “the world in a small place” and offers a counterweight to the divisions that the winner-takes-all world of technology has created. “Digitization splits,” he noted.

Siemens was an exhibitor at the first expo, in London in 1851, where a delegation led by 22-year-old Carl von Siemens exhibited the pointer telegraph.

For his part, Wang Jinzhen said world expos are a “platform for international co-operation and contribute to the overall development of mankind”. He said China hopes to send a million visitors to Dubai’s expo in two years’ time.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the World Government Summit 2018 runs from February 11 to 13 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. The landmark event convenes more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries, including heads of state and governments, as well as top-tier representatives of 16 international organizations.

Hosting more than 130 speakers across 120 interactive sessions, WGS 2018 features six distinct forums that examine the challenges of vital sectors for the future with a view to finding the best resolutions for the greater global good. Furthermore, over 20 specialized global reports spanning key sectors and topics of the summit are being launched during the event.

Background Information

World Government Summit

The World Government Summit is a global platform dedicated to shaping the future of governments worldwide. Each year, the Summit sets the agenda for the next generation of governments, focusing on how they can harness innovation and technology to solve universal challenges facing humanity.

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