Baker Scholar Projects

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The World Expo Milano 2015 “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” was the first World Expo to be themed around food. The central theme of the Expo questioned how the world can feed everyone in a sustainable manner. This research project was a case study of the World Expo that examined the central themes that different entities expressed as solutions to creating food security. The pavilions of different entities, such as countries, groups of countries, civil society organizations, corporations, and international organizations, were evaluated through participant observation. Pavilion Zero, the pavilion sponsored by the Expo that was designed to represent the theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, was used as a baseline to which the other pavilions could be compared. The central, emergent themes of reducing economic inequality, promoting environmental sustainability, and fostering women’s empowerment were examined in depth. The extent of coverage and the sub-themes of each of these themes were then analyzed in comparison to the type of entity that sponsored the pavilion. These themes and sub themes were also compared to the findings in the literature review. The study found that environmental sustainability was the most prominent theme in the Expo, particularly in the pavilions of corporations and most developed countries; it was more prominent in the Expo than in the literature findings. Women’s empowerment was least talked about within the Expo despite its importance in the literature; when the issue was discussed, it was showcased by civil society organizations/international organizations and countries that do not have most developed economies. This study found that the proposed solutions to solving world hunger and food insecurity varied according to the type of entity that sponsored the pavilion.

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