The USA Pavilion at Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan released its Final Report to the public, showcasing its impact on public diplomacy, the creative expression of its design and its lasting legacy for future USA Pavilions.
The report, released on the one-year anniversary of the opening of Expo 2017, is a showcase of everything the USA Pavilion engaged in, created, and accomplished during the Expo, displayed through beautiful images and detailed written descriptions of the experience.
Thanks to a strong public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy Astana, the USA Pavilion enhanced public diplomacy outreach in the region by providing America a means to share its story on a variety of educational and creative platforms, both in and outside the Pavilion. These platforms facilitated a half million direct people-to-people connections in a three months period that otherwise would take years, if not decades.
“Throughout the pages of the Final Report, viewers will see the key elements of the USA Pavilion’s success during Expo 2017,” said Andrew Snowhite, Executive Director of the USA Pavilion. “We want the report to express how amazing this entire experience was, not only the incredible Pavilion but the “energy of life” it generated in Astana and throughout Kazakhstan.”
The report aims to provide those who weren’t able to visit in person a glimpse of what the USA Pavilion was truly like; allowing its readers to understand the importance of USA Pavilion’s participation in Expo 2017 and in future World Expos. The full report can be viewed and downloaded on the USA Pavilion website, at http://www.usapavilion2017.org/.
Large Convenings and Small Connections: The Impact of the USA Pavilion
Expo 2017 in Astana was the largest global convening of the year. At a time when the world felt far apart, it truly joined together in Kazakhstan. Yet, the United States’ participation in the first Expo in Central Asia was not a guarantee. At a very late date, a group of committed public and private sector partners came together to deliver this critical project on time and on budget and helped build bridges between countries and peoples over the three-month Expo, and for the future.
“It was very important to Kazakhstan that the USA participated in this Expo,” said Bakyt Zhumadilova, VIP Manager at the USA Pavilion and an Astana native. “As someone from Kazakhstan, it personally meant so much to work with Americans and see them interact with many Kazakh people who have never seen Americans before. By the end of the Expo, these weren’t just Americans, and we weren’t just Kazak. We were friends. And we had so much more in common than we did apart.”
The connections between people were largely led by the USA Pavilion’s Student Ambassadors; 40 university students who helped with every facet of the Pavilion and interacting with guests and VIPS as they visited. The Pavilion’s Student Ambassadors, who spent all three months in Astana, are featured heavily throughout the Final Report.
“The USA Pavilion not only gave me the opportunity to live in a country I otherwise would not have had the chance to visit, but also provided me with the invaluable opportunity to learn from the Kazakhstani people and the international community at Expo 2017,” said Ferris Samara, USA Pavilion Student Ambassador. “These are stories and experiences I will continue to share for years to come.”
One Pavilion, One Source of Infinite Energy
The Pavilion’s guests not only interacted with the dynamic Student Ambassadors, they experienced an exciting and vibrant visual and audio experience in the Theatre 1, Theatre 2 and Post-Show spaces, as well as the Pavilion’s VIP Lounge. These spaces, seen crisply in the final report, helped to tell the story that the true ‘source of infinite energy’ is people, ideas and passion.
“As the experiential design and production team that has helped to create four USA Pavilions, it was exciting for us to create a unique story around the theme of the USA Pavilion at Expo 2017 Astana: Infinite Energy,” said Christian Lachel, Creative Lead for the USA Pavilion and Executive Creative Director and Vice President at BRC Imagination Arts. “The core message was that if we use the energy that’s within us and combine that energy with others, we can really make a difference in the world.”
That ‘source of infinite energy’ was displayed over the three-month Expo through cultural programs such as concerts and dance performances, convenings by government and business leaders on how to strengthen ties between nations and hundreds of thousands of visitors, conversations and selfies.
“The USA Pavilion and particularly our Student Ambassadors are one of the best mechanisms to be able to engage in people-to-people diplomacy and is a perfect example of a successful public-private partnership,” said Dr. Joshua Walker, President and CEO of the USA Pavilion.
The impact of the USA Pavilion, which reached more than a million-people combined in-person, online and through the media, and has been captured in its Final Report, is still being felt today.
“I think the real legacy and impact of the USA Pavilion has been the stories that have come from this entire experience,” said Dr. Walker. “It’s the impact on people’s hearts and minds that makes a lasting impression. We’re excited to memorialize that in our Final Report.”