As you know, Future of Us is dedicated to the pursuit of the future and more specifically the place of the youth within it. It was in 2019, that during my research for this company I came across, almost by accident, the World's Fair, simply titled Expo 2020. What I discovered was a plethora of information and experiences that focused almost startingly around the charter of this company and I at once became all too eager to be one of the many to attend.
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, this adventure, like many others, was postponed, yet my wish to experience what was bound to be an eye-opening adventure into the world of tomorrow remained bright. It is now that I would like to review Expo 202 with you, and hopefully offer a further insight into what not only the youth of tomorrow wish to accomplish but the countries which we occupy.
On the 7th of this month, I arrived in Dubai, the location of the Expo. Braving the monster of jetlag, my family and I made our way as quickly as possible to the Expo site, a small distance away from the city center. Once we were inside, I realized the only word that I could ever hope to use when describing this expanse was wonder. The Expo itself is nothing like I have ever seen before. Virtually a city reflecting not what was, but what is to be; the entire site was organized to showcase the best of every country, all under the watch of the three themed pavilions of Expo: Mobility, Sustainability, and Opportunity.
Within each country, one could find the basis of what they hoped to achieve in the future, all accented by unique cultural flair. The way they choose to express the future was often categorized by one of three ways: Developed or Developing Technology, Cultural Innovations, or simply a declaration of how they have already moved towards the future. Many times, countries would overlap the three choices, offering a multi informational experience, designed to not only educate but also entertain. The German pavilion, for example, a fan-favorite among the attendees, showcased some of the technological advancements already made within the country, while also offering interactive experiences in conjunction with the cultural innovations made to their farming and nautical history. It was often that you would find pavilions that offered such an experience to have as my mother would put it “ques out the wazoo”, with such pavilions often taking two to three hours to see. Nevertheless, all the pavilions I went into were certainly interesting in their unique sense, and I can say that I was never to be found dull in any of their interiors.
On a more sentimental note, I must admit, that while the expo was enjoyable even in the most wondrous of spaces, dear reader, travesty is bound to make an appearance. During my first event at Expo, I was wandering around the Opportunity pavilion. I happened upon the small solitary building of Ukraine, shining bright, a stark contrast to the dramatically lit aura offered by its neighbors. Upon entry, I was faced with a drastic change to what I had previously experienced. Even thousands of miles away, the effect of war had hit the small consolidate hard, and the rooms packed with inventions and stages, all hoping to showcase Ukraine’s opportunity as a country hoping to be a member of the EU, were now subject to flags, and a somber tone as guests wandered the pavilion, offering words of encouragement to soldiers linked via satellite and writing small notes to be posted by the all too exhausted pavilion staff. While I had felt sympathy for the country before this, the startling reality of a country bound for hope and whiplashed into war rocked me to my core and reminded me that in order to change our world for the better we must still work towards peace and solidarity.
Dear Reader. I do not want to end this message on a sad note, however as I sit here, recounting in full and honest truth what I have seen, I am compelled to recognize the reality of our situation. Expo 2020, without a doubt, was a dreamland of opportunity, but we must remember that dreamlands are all too often unsustainable. Dozens of countries within Expo, Ukraine, Norway, Sweden, Iran, and even my own United States, while preaching a message of hope, reminded me that there are all too many things to fix. Nevertheless, the message I take away from Expo is quite simple: we can. We can solve the issues in our society. We can achieve the future we want. We can ensure a better world for us and our children. I began my trip to Expo thinking I would find a solution, but I returned with a catalyst. It is because of this dear reader, that I urge you to repeat what I always tell you:
There is always a dream of a better tomorrow. What can you do to make it a reality?