Last week, the Minnesota USA Expo 2027, the sole non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the World’s Fair back to American soil for the first time in over 40 years, hosted a panel at the National Press Club featuring U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism in the International Trade Administration Mark Keam, and President of Minnesota USA Expo 2027 John Stanoch.
Minnesota USA Expo 2027 pitched the theme of “Healthy People, Healthy Planet” for its Expo, as Minnesota is known for its public health leadership, health research institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota, as well as the numerous Fortune 500 medical companies based in the state. Coming on the heels of a global pandemic and during a moment when the re-emergence of diplomacy and soft power is crucial, this would be the first-ever Expo focused on global health and wellness issues.
“This is the right message for this moment and we believe that America is the right messenger,” said U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy. “If we, as America, are fortunate enough to host the World Expo, we intend to use this moment to bring countries together to lay out a vision for how we will address these common challenges and to fundamentally reframe how we think about three critical elements: the health of the individual, the health of the collective, and the health of the planet. At the World Expo, we want to highlight how we can strengthen community and connection as we seek to build a more resilient world together.”
Alain Berger, the BIE’s President of the Executive Committee, called the theme “excellent” and the bid a “significant” global issue: “All bids are important, but the fact that the U.S. wants to create this dialogue and this openness is, in our opinion, very important. It is important to maintain this mindset of dialogue in a peaceful atmosphere.”
The Delegates discussed how they will consider how the state and Expo site would meet the criteria for success to bring together more than 100 counties and, in the case of Bloomington, over 14 million visitors.
“What’s important is that every single project has to be able to say that they are legitimate on what they want to propose, and we have seen a highly legitimate reason why the U.S. could host a magnificent expo on the topic of healthy people, healthy planet,” said Dimitri Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the BIE.
John Stanoch, President and CEO of Minnesota USA Expo 2027, spoke about the existing multimodal transportation and hotel and hospitality infrastructure in place in Minnesota to support the event and welcome visitors: “We have a certain capacity, interest, and longstanding involvement in these issues, and we brought the theme forward because we have strengths in this area.”
Before arriving in Washington D.C., members of the BIE toured the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Minnesota Governor’s Residence, U.S. Bank Stadium, as well as land near the Mall of America in Bloomington, where, if selected, the 2027 Expo would be located.
The BIE’s visit is part of the formal selection process which has support from the Biden administration, the entire Minnesota congressional delegation, and prominent local and national leaders. The U.S. is competing against Argentina, Serbia, Spain, and Thailand to host the international event. Next up for the Minnesota USA Expo 2027 committee is a presentation in Paris to the BIE General Assembly in late November. Members of the 170 countries that make up the BIE are expected to vote on a final decision in June 2023.