Expo 2020 Dubai spotlights five grassroots innovations that are tackling COVID-19 challenges and improving lives

Five pandemic-related projects join Expo 2020's Global Best Practice Programme

  
  • Expo 2020 will showcase replicable, scalable solutions to major global challenges
  • Expansion highlights Expo 2020’s role in uniting the world to drive positive change 

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IMPORTANT: From 1 August 2021, visual assets associated with Expo 2020 Press Releases or Media Alerts will only be accessible via the Media Asset Management System (MAM). Media are encouraged to go through the Expo 2020 media accreditation process now to ensure accreditation credentials are obtained to permit access to assets on the MAM. 

DUBAI – A wearable device that warns when social distancing is not being respected and a Jordanian programme helping vulnerable communities grow online businesses during lockdown are among five new projects selected from a call for COVID-19-related proposals from Expo 2020 Dubai’s Global Best Practice Programme.

The hand-picked initiatives join 45 existing best practice projects, whose simple, effective and locally based solutions solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, including those laid out in the Sustainable Development Agenda – 17 global targets designed to achieve peace and prosperity for people and the planet.

The latest additions come as the United Nations marks World Creativity and Innovation Day on 21 April, celebrating human ingenuity and the creative economy, and their essential role in helping communities throughout the pandemic.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai and Chair of the UAE National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, said: “The impact of major global challenges has made it very clear that, to build a better future, we must work together as a global community. Our expanded Global Best Practice Programme exemplifies Expo’s purpose to bring the world together – aligned with our theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ – to drive positive change and support projects from across the world that communities need now.

“These projects are providing tangible, life-changing solutions to the challenges brought on by the pandemic, and we are proud to showcase them at Expo 2020 Dubai – a one-of-a-kind global platform and an impactful incubator for new ideas.”

New projects include SafeDistance, a wearable device from Belgium firm Lopos that uses alarms, lights and vibrations to warn when social distancing is not being respected, and UAE-based Project Maji, which has devised the Maji Bucket – a safe, low-tech and low-cost invention, produced by people of determination in Ghana, to ensure safe handwashing practices in rural communities.

Another project, SitatByoot, works directly with vulnerable communities in Jordan, primarily women working from home during lockdowns. During the pandemic, it developed a vocational training programme to create certified ‘makers’, producing garments and hand-made goods for sale through SitatByoot’s sister e-commerce platform, Makesy. To date, Makesy has a certified network of 500-plus ‘makers’ fulfilling orders from home – helping them enter the labour market, grow their businesses online and provide more income for their families.

Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), said: “World Expos excel as platforms for showcasing and sharing inspiring projects that bring real improvements to lives around the world. The BIE enthusiastically endorses this timely COVID-19 edition of Expo 2020 Dubai's Global Best Practice Programme, which gathers a series of innovative, inclusive and truly transformative solutions to the new challenges raised by the pandemic. By exchanging impactful solutions for people and the planet, we can address and overcome these challenges together.”

During the call for COVID-19 proposals, which began in September 2020, Expo received applications from 318 projects, in 78 different countries, across five focus areas: Digitalisation; Education and Skills Development; Health and Wellbeing; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; and Protecting Livelihoods.

They were assessed by a jury, comprising Cisco, the Official Digital Network Partner of Expo 2020; UAE-based global philanthropic organisation Dubai Cares; and UN Habitat, the UN programme for human settlements and sustainable urban development. Top submissions were then reviewed and signed off by the BIE and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

Launched in 2018 under the theme ‘Small Steps, Big Leaps: Simple Solutions for Sustainable Impact’, the Global Best Practice Programme honours a 2010 BIE mandate for all World Expos to spotlight solutions that can be replicated, adapted and scaled for greater global impact – highlighting World Expos as powerful platforms for inspiring change and driving human progress.

From 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai will invite visitors from every corner of the globe to join the making of a new world, as they discover life-changing innovations that will have a meaningful, positive impact on people and planet.

Further details of the five projects can be found here.

About Expo 2020 Dubai

From 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai will welcome visitors from every corner of the globe to join the making of a new world, as it brings together the planet in one place to reimagine tomorrow.

  • With the purpose of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 will be the world’s most impactful global incubator for new ideas, catalysing an exchange of new perspectives and inspiring action to deliver real-life solutions to real-world challenges
  • Expo 2020 will provide a visually striking, intellectually enlightening and emotionally inspiring 182 days, as more than 200 participants – including nations, multilateral organisations, businesses, and educational institutions, as well as millions of visitors – create the largest and most diverse World Expo ever
  • Expo 2020’s sub-themes of OpportunityMobility and Sustainability will inspire visitors to preserve and protect our planet, explore new frontiers and build a better future for everyone
  • Expo is committed to building a more equitable and just world for everyone, while keeping visitors safe by following the latest guidance of the world’s leading medical, science and health experts
  • Expo 2020 is the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, located on a 4.38 sqkm site adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South
  • Built with a meaningful and measurable long-term legacy in mind, the Expo site will transform into District 2020 – a model global community that will rethink the cities of the future – after Expo 2020 closes its doors

How to cover Expo 2020 Dubai in person at event time or report on the event remotely 

To attend Expo 2020 or cover Expo 2020 remotely using content and assets generated by Expo, you must be accredited.

To kick off your journey with Expo 2020, please ensure that you:

  • Register to access our Media Information System, Tawassul at https://media.expo2020dubai.com.

Tawassul is regularly updated, providing the latest content assets, including press releases, photographs, audio and video, the electronic media kit, and information on broadcast and photography operations. It also provides you with important information and updates on facilities and services such as media accreditation, visa information for international accredited media, and permits. Access to other media-related systems (Media Asset Management System and Media Bookings System), which will be launched in Q2 2021, will only be permitted to accredited media (see below). Information about these systems can be found on Tawassul.

  • Once registered, submit an Expo 2020 Media Accreditation expression of interest.

Within this expression of interest, please appoint an Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) from within your organisation who will act as the single point of contact with Expo 2020 for media accreditation. Following this, approved media organisations will be provided login details and instructions for the accreditation system to enable them to submit applications.

For support, contact Expo 2020 Dubai’s Media Services team at media.services@expo2020.ae or +971 (0)56 689 2101.

Visit: www.expo2020dubai.com 

Follow: Twitter: @expo2020dubai | Facebook: @Expo2020Dubai | Instagram: expo2020dubai

About World Expos

In 1851 the Crystal Palace was the centrepiece of London’s Great Exhibition – the first World Expo. It celebrated the man-made industrial wonders of a rapidly changing world. Architecture, contents and a theme, ‘Industry of All Nations’, were combined to create a big idea of nations meeting nations in shared technological and commercial progress. In more recent years, participants in World Expos, including governments, international organisations and companies, have gathered to find solutions to universal challenges and to promote their achievements, products, ideas, innovations, their national brand, and their nations as destinations for tourism, trade and investment.

World Expos are held under the auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organisation responsible for overseeing and regulating international exhibitions (‘Expos’) and for fostering their core values of Education, Innovation and Cooperation. Today, four types of Expos are organised under the BIE’s auspices: World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.

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