The World’s Fairs have an incredible history and have given us some of the world’s most remarkable inventions, including the telephone, live television, and clean energy cars. The first modern World’s Expo was Britain’s Great Exhibition in London in 1851. Remembered as the Crystal Palace Exhibition for Joseph Paxton’s magnificent iron and glass structure, it was an enormous success. Since then, World’s Fairs have focused on innovation, technology, and cultural exchange, with themes offering a glimpse into utopian futures.
The World’s Expos gave rise to a number of widely-recognized global landmarks like Seattle’s Space Needle, the Biosphere in Montreal, and of course, Paris’s Eiffel Tower. Constructed as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, the wrought iron tower – built from 18,000 pieces of metal and named after engineer Gustave Eiffel – was a technological masterpiece of construction. It has since come to symbolize France and is one of the most iconic structures in the world.
As I’m here in Paris as Co-Chair of the Board of the Minnesota USA Expo 2027 team, I’m looking forward to the presentation we are making today to the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to host the Expo in 2027 in Minnesota. The theme of the Expo is “Healthy People, Healthy Planet,” and it will be the first ever to focus on global health and wellness. Minnesota is known for its leadership in public health and health research. It is home to global corporate health leaders, like the Mayo Clinic (the #1 hospital in the world) and Medical Alley (the #1 health tech cluster in the US), making it an ideal venue to host such an important gathering.
The state is also known for its magnificent landscape, with forests, prairies, and Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Hiking, camping, and fishing are among just a few of the many outdoor activities available. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul are connected by bridges that cross the Mississippi River. Notable attractions include the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Walker Art Center, and the world-renowned Guthrie Theater. The Minnesota State Fair is the largest and one of the oldest fairs in the US, so the state has a long history of hosting major events.
The BIE will vote to determine where the expos will take place. Minnesota would provide a great platform to advance the UN’s sustainability goals for good health and well-being for all.
Learn more about Minnesota’s bid for the 2027 Expo here.