Feeding the planet? a critical review of Expo 2015

From May to October 2015, Expo 2015 on "feeding the planet-energy for life" took place in Milan, Italy and gathered 145 countries, corporations, organizations and civil society participants as the "largest worldwide event ever organized on the theme of food". In the 21st century context of a rapidly growing population and a fast deteriorating environment, Expo wants to advocate the human "right to healthy, secure and sufficient food" for all the world's inhabitants.

Today's world exhibitions include three main elements of their history: They present technological innovations, facilitate cultural exchange and are used to improve national images. Since 2005, the thematic focus of expo seems to have shifted to environmental topics. The question arises whether Expo 2015 also falls under the main purpose of improving national images or if Expo becomes a new global platform that critically addresses the social and environmental impacts of our current food system. How do the exhibiting countries, organizations and companies address the main topic of feeding the planet with "healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone" in harmony with nature? Which problems are mentioned and which solutions are proposed to the global challenges of food security and food sovereignty?

In order to find an answer to these questions, we have visited 10 country pavilions from four continents (Angola, Germany, USA, China, Oman, Czech Republic, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ecuador), 2 organizations (United Nations and Slow Food), and Coop's supermarket of the future as a contribution from the corporate sector to Expo 2015. Some of the trends which can be spotted at Expo include the increased promotion of online food shopping, reducing food waste, increase product information for consumers and a combination of traditional and modern technologies in agriculture.

The video presents the very diverse responses by countries, companies and organizations to Expo's main topic: Feeding the planet, energy for life.

See the short video here:

Length: 55 minutes

See the full video here:

Length: 87 minutes

We are grateful to all interviewed representatives for their insights, and send a special thanks to Ms. Oksana Smirnova for her indispensable help, as well as to Teresa de Martin and Jacopo Moreschini. We thank the "Verein zur Foerderung einer natur-und sozialvertraeglichen Ernaehrungs- und Landschaftskultur e.V." for funding of this project.

Music by (c) Animal Liberation Orchestra. Song: Lonely Day.Used with permission for non-commercial purposes. archive.org/details/alo2005-12-31.matrix.flac16

Produced by: Florian Doerr and Sisira Withanachchi

Camera/Cut/Script: Florian Doerr

Narrated by: Damien Frettsome and Sisira Withanachchi

Produced for: Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society (fofj.org), Germany

License Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

The following images were used under the Creative Commons license:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Aichi_World_Expo_Entrance_2005.jpg by Chris 73

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Expo_2005_Flaggs_and_Corporate_Pavillion_Zone.jpg by ThorstenS

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Expo_2008_Zaragoza_0.jpg by Grez

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e4/Crops_Kansas_AST_20010624.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/ f0/130528_MSP_EXPO2015_wiki.jpeg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/06/Expo2015Milano-UN-kiosk.JPG

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d7/Expo_Milano_2015_-_Kazakhstan.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/61/Crystal_Palace_-_Queen_Victoria_opens_the_Great_Exhibition.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Crystal_Palace_interior.jpg

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weltausstellung#/media/File:Interior_of_exhibition_building,_Exposition_Universal,_Paris,_France.jpg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=543325

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