Dubai: The Emirati-designed Expo Live Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai’s Opportunity District will inspire millions of visitors to become change-makers by showcasing the social innovators, supported by Expo Live, who are having a measurable impact on people’s lives across the world.
A human-focused experience, ‘The Good Place’ was designed by Ahmad Abdul Rahman Bukhash, founder of Dubai architecture practice Archidentity and a UAE national – a point of pride for Expo Live, Expo 2020 and the UAE.
Its design was inspired by the traditional Bedouin tent where a pivotal 1968 meeting took place between the late His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. The objective of that meeting, which led to the birth of the UAE in 1971, was to achieve a common vision and a sustainable future for their people. This concept has been embraced by Expo Live, Expo 2020’s global innovation and partnership programme that finds, funds and supports creative and innovative solutions with the aim of improving people’s lives, preserving the planet, or both.
Expo Live comprises the Innovation Impact Grant Programme (IIGP), which is so far supporting 120 Global Innovators with guidance, exposure and grants of up to USD 100,000; and the University Innovation Programme, which has to date supported 46 teams of students in the UAE with grants of up to AED 50,000 to help develop their solutions.
Covering approximately 470 square metres, the pavilion exhibition showcases the ‘good’ in the world, featuring the work of the Global Innovators in improving people’s lives and honouring the vision and generosity of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed introduced Expo Live as a new concept to World Expos during the bid stage in 2013, entrusting Expo 2020 with USD 100 million to support innovations and ideas from across the globe.
Ingenious ideas supported so far include WheeLog, a Japanese accessibility app that provides wheelchair users with barrier-free information; Peru-based Café Compadre which uses solar power to produce good quality, sustainable coffee in the jungle; and Kenya’s Kidogo, a social enterprise offering high-quality, affordable early childcare and education in the slums of Nairobi.
‘The Good Place’ will also feature a new version of the IIGP, which has so far attracted more than 11,000 applications from 184 countries. Visitors to the pavilion will have the chance to pitch their social innovations to become a Global Innovator in the programme’s sixth cycle.
With this in mind, the pavilion is an opportunity for those actively seeking support for their projects, as well as others who wish to become change-makers – entering ‘The Good Place’ as visitors and leaving inspired to build a brighter, more optimistic and prosperous future.
Yousuf Caires, Senior Vice President, Expo Live, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Through the stories of our Global Innovators, ‘The Good Place’ will look to trigger a change in all who visit – inspiring ordinary people to do something extraordinary by joining a programme that empowers those who are bold and ready to make a difference.
“The pavilion’s visitor experience is a journey that mirrors the trajectory of Expo Live – from a promise made to find, fund and support positive change to a truly global community of entrepreneurs united in the belief that social innovation can come from anywhere, to everyone.”
Ahmad Abdulrahman Bukhash, Chief Architect and Founder, Archidentity, said: “Architecture is about bringing the inside, outside. The Expo Live Pavilion is a showcase for exactly that, exemplifying the notion that an idea is not limited by a single box – it is transformative, outreaching and radiant, and can affect all people around it.
“One of the challenges in designing the ‘The Good Place’ was capturing – and captivating audiences around – the idea of Expo Live. As visitors enter, they will see a mirage of visuals where their reflections appear alongside images of Global Innovators. The design, co-created by Takeshi Maruyama and Sireen Ali, empowers visitors to see that those seeking to do good are ordinary people, like you or me.”
The largest event ever held in the Arab World, Expo 2020 Dubai will serve as a platform for international collaboration, innovation and meaningful partnerships that help create a better future for everyone on the planet. It will run for six months from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021.