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World Expo and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • Ballester, Patrice
Publication Date
Apr 11, 2024
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With the long-term Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in mind, as well as the perspectives of a geographer, marketing expert, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) expert, we undertake a fresh examination of global expositions. To round out our consideration, we examine the laws and activities of the Bureau international des expositions (BIE) as an intergovernmental institution with a humanist and progressivevocation that seeks to improve the world through sustainable development and societal innovation. Combining the concepts of UN action and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) allows for a useful analogy: the creation of an exposition may be seen as responsible firm with refreshed goals, implemented one project at a time for society, of coexistence and mutual aid. In the first section, we demonstrate that the BIE’s missionand objectives have been called into question by the concept of sustainable development ever since the 1970s.(1) After tracing their roots, definitions, and conceptions back to the18th and 19th centuries, a literature assessment reveals how the state of the art at world’s fairs has evolved to incorporate sustainable development principles over the past 172 years. (2) Finally, we develop a summary table for each section that incorporates the connections between the BIE’s work and the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development concerns (and 169 targets). Expositions, which can be both ephemeral and sustainable, raise important questions about the future of our planet and serve as a source of both inspiration and challenge for humanity within the context of the soft and smart power ofthe West and the developing world.

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