EXPO 2017. Humanity Gazing at the Future


Zita Tallat-Kelpšaitė

The bright kingdom of Nur Alem 

Meanwhile, we can roam in our thoughts and memories of the mysterious nomad land, the home of the reserved, but strong people, hardened by the heat, the cold and the steppe winds, who managed to surprise the world by turning the midst of the steppes, featuring vast planes, powerful winter winds and 45 degrees of cold, into the new capital of Kazakhstan, shining with towering metal and glass skyscrapers, in such a short time. As if a gorgeous bride, the capital, celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year, attracted travellers from various countries to show what each is made of, what they can and what wonders they can offer to enrich the world.

The mission of introducing visions of the future energy was implemented on a 25 ha area of land, featuring larger or smaller pavilions, characterised by the traditional national features of the participating countries that demonstrated their current achievements or introduced future perspectives.

Kazakhstan’s Nur Alem pavilion, which refers to the world of light or the kingdom of light, was definitely unsurpassed, most impressive and most informative pavilion, attracting the largest numbers of visitors. Being 100 m high and more than 80 m wide, it remains the largest spherical building in the world, while the eight floors of the building introduces an exposition of alternative energy of all levels, ranging from space to the depths of the Earth. You could spend an entire day or even more on each floor, because the abundance of excellent introduction of the information on the major types of energy – space, solar, wind, water and kinetic – encouraged to engage into in-depth exploration.

Kazakhstan is a country with most fossil energy resources. This includes the cheapest resources of uranium and natural gas that would be enough for more than two hundred years, but the country itself is encouraging the world to turn to the green energy and renewable energy resources.

Invited by Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan, the exhibition was visited by seventeen state leaders, including presidents of China, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Mongolia, Czech Republic, Serbia and other countries. Kazakhstan’s pavilion was explored in-depth by the King of Spain, also the presidents of Germany, Finland, Poland and Latvia, as well as the Prince of Monaco, the prime ministers of India and Pakistan, parliament leaders of Singapore, Czech Republic and Spain, Arab sheikhs and many other powerful people of the world that came to the National Day events of their respective countries. President Nazarbayev himself had visited the event several times, welcoming respectable guests at the pavilion of his country.

Making energy eternal

Among the most popular of the pavilions, where you had to get in line to get in, were the Chinese pavilion, featuring the concept of the energy of the past, present and the future, the pavilion of Japan, aiming to host EXPO 2025 in Osaka and a strong leader among other candidates – Russia, Azerbaijan and France – hoping to remain in the lead until the voting of the General Assembly of the Bureau of International Exhibitions (BIE), which will take place at the end of next year, also the UAE, the USA and Germany, which received the first prize for the fulfilment of the topic, South Korea and Russia, which brought a real “iceberg” to the exhibition, thus making a very original visual example of the issue of the climate change, Belarus, introducing a futuristic model of string transport, as well as other pavilions of the large countries. However, smaller countries, their uniqueness and interesting solutions for future energy attracted numerous visitors as well.

The Lithuanian pavilion was among them and, naturally, since it was the pavilion of my homeland, I cared about it most, while various opinions and feedback touched my heart.

“We want to understand the wisest ways to use energy and save it, making energy eternal. However, what is even more critical is to understand that the most important energy is the human energy.” said Zhou Hanmin, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. He expressed his joy to have an excellent opportunity to thank the Lithuanian nation and the people that have created such a marvellous pavilion, representing the nation’s entire history and future aspirations. Zhou Hanmin, who is also the representative of the PRC at the Bureau of International Exhibitions, remembered Lithuania’s successful participation at EXPO 2010 in Shanghai. “You work together with other countries of the world in preserving peace and friendship. We are peaceful and friendly countries and that makes us work together for the future of the world.” said the high official of China.

The Japanese delegation, led by Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, was most impressed by Lithuania’s ability to gain energy independence (which was also covered at the Rays of Future Energy from Lithuania exposition) in such a short period of political independence.

Vytautas Naudužas, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania to Kazakhstan, who also participated at the meeting, emphasized that the ITER – the huge international nuclear fusion research and engineering project – featuring many countries, including Japan and Lithuania, is a promising example of the future energy development.

Lights, energy and speed, frozen in space

The Lithuanian pavilion, mentioned among the most popular, most visited and most interesting pavilions, full of professional discussions, high-level art and world-class performers, was not only abundantly visited and admired by visitors of the exhibition. It received many positive evaluations of professionals as well.

By the decision of the international commission, the light installation of the pavilion was awarded with the main prize in the category of “Elements and Details” , established by the international Exhibitor business magazine.  Travis Stanton, the Editor of the magazine, sent a personal letter to the pavilion, congratulating Lithuania with this honourable award and highlighting the fact that Lithuania should truly be proud. The jury report states that the “Lithuania Pavilion is like a moment of light, energy, and speed all frozen in time in an architectural space of high aesthetic value. The LED room gave the sense of being inside one of the country’s lasers. It was a phenomenally futuristic element. World expos are all about stand-out moments, and the LED installation in Lithuania’s pavilion, meant to represent the country’s lasers, was arresting and undeniably memorable on every level.”

The “Editor’s Choice” prize went to France, while more than five thousand online voters picked the pavilion of Qatar, characterised by shiny and glamorous detail, as the “People’s Choice”. Germany was unsurpassed in the category of the “Best Large Pavilion” for the fourth time.

Compliments, applause and sentiments

The celebration of the Day of the Bureau of International Exhibitions at the end of the EXPO included acknowledgement of all – organisers, participants, creators, volunteers and visitors – who contributed to the success of EXPO 2017.

A Gold Medal, given to the official participants of the exhibition for their successful contribution was received by Romas Jankauskas, Commissioner of Lithuania, who was elected as the Chairperson of the College of Commissioners and Steering Committee. In three months the Committee under the chairmanship of Romas Jankauskas organised six formal      and numerous informal meetings, solving various issues raised by all states participating at the exhibition.  After the end of the exhibition, the report of the Bureau of International Exhibitions stated that by the good will of all of the countries, the Committee managed to solve a number of practical issues and contribute to the success of EXPO 2017.

The success in the eyes of the world was celebrated in Lithuania as well.

Lithuania’s results of participating at the international EXPO 2017, as well as most impressive moments of the exhibition, captured on a video, were introduced to the public and the media at Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. Romas Jankauskas, Commissioner of the Lithuanian exposition and Head of the Exhibitions Division at the Ministry of Environment, reminded that the exhibition, featuring 115 states and 22 international organisations, was attended by almost 4 million people. The number of visitors at the Lithuanian pavilion exceeded 400 thousand. In other words, every tenth EXPO 2017 visitor was also a guest of the modern and original Lithuanian exposition.

Kęstutis Navickas, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, awarded letters of commendations to all those, who contributed to the Lithuanian pavilion. Lithuania’s success at the exhibition was noted by Darius Skusevičius, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. According to him, this has greatly contributed to the country’s image, as well as the relations between Lithuania and Kazakhstan.

The impressive presentation at the international EXPO 2017, which took place in Central Asia for the first time, was also acknowledged by Baurzhan Mukhamedzhanov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, V. Naudužas, Ambassador of Lithuania in Kazakhstan, who came from Kazakhstan especially for this event, described our pavilion and its events in three words: compliments, applause and sentiment.

It is a delight that JŪRA MOPE SEA international business magazine was also honourably acknowledged together with the rest of the organisers and participants of the Lithuanian pavilion in the ocean of those compliments, applause and sentiment. Since the very first issue at the beginning of this year the magazine had been taking the readers on tours around the EXPO 2017 construction site and preparatory meetings of the participants, revealing layers of history, exploring laser laboratories, bringing the readers into halls of the future music and new ideas, as well as futuristic studios of art and design. Finally, ten thousand copies of the magazine, speaking in five languages – Lithuanian, Kazakh, English, Chinese and Russian – went to the capital of Kazakhstan. There, from the hands of young, well-educated and friendly guides of the Lithuanian pavilion, JŪRA MOPE SEA was shared into the hands of the visitors, representing various age groups, races, nationalities, faith, statuses and professions, journeying on to the farthest corners of the planet, as if some extraordinary ambassador, authorised to spread the message of the brightest and most reliable rays of future energy evolving in people’s hearts and minds.

Thus, connecting minds, personalities and ideas, we are already starting to modulate the future, which – let’s hope – will be predominated by reasonable, rational and sensitive minds.

“Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”

We will be able to witness that quite soon in a peculiar small-scale model of the world – the EXPO 2020 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, which will take place in less than three years.

19–20 October this year marked the already second meeting of the EXPO participants, attended by more than 500 representatives of more than 180 states of the world. The meeting was also attended by Romas Jankauskas, Head of the Department of Exhibitions ant the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania.

The exhibition, featuring the topic “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” will start on 20 October 2020 and will take place for half a year. More than 150 states have confirmed their participation and several dozen have already signed their agreements.

According to plan, each state-participant will have its own individual pavilion in the newly-developed territory of four square kilometres. The EXPO 2020 is expected to attract 25 million visitors with more than two thirds coming from abroad.

Lithuania participated at the international exhibition since the very first EXPO, which took place in Paris in 1900, did not miss a single EXPO since 1992, ratified the Convention Relating to International Exhibitions and became a member of the BIE since 2009. Continuation of this consistent and important international activity is a welcome sight.


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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
International business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA has been
published since 1999.

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