European Union Policy Studies

Food for Thought: Expo Milan 2015


As the Universal Exposition set to take place later this year in Milan prepares to launch, the promise of international cooperation is both encouraging and welcomed. EXPO 2015 is the institutional successor to The World’s Fair, the international extravaganza that has historically showcased some of the world’s most innovative technology and spectacles—the Eiffel Tower, the Crystal Palace, and more. Over 130 countries will participate in this year’s EXPO, and one of the United States’ largest industries is excited to take advantage of the opportunity. This year’s USA pavilion will be devoted to “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet.” The USA Pavillion will, feature the new and many ways that the United States is dedicated to innovation in the food sector.

The overall theme of this year’s Expo Is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” and the USA Pavilion is being constructed at a pivotal time for US-EU relations. The highly debated Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which strives to create an open market between the two largest global trading powers, is on the minds of many Europeans. Major backlash from TTIP opposition stems from differences in USA and EU regulations, particularly as they relate to food and agriculture. The USA Pavilion will promote collaboration between Europe and the United States, highlighting the advancements and dedication to tackling food-system challenges together. Visitors are welcomed to visit the 35,000 square foot space, displaying these achievements, such as a vertical farm and wood repurposed from the original Coney Island boardwalk. “America’s food story is rich and innovative—much more so than most people realize. We want visitors to understand and appreciate how complex and sophisticated our story is,” says James Biber, architect of the Pavilion.

Over the course of the six-month EXPO, a series of programs and exhibit will create collaborative solutions to global food problems. What can be done by the international community to feed the expected nine billion people who will inhabit the earth by 2050? How does the diverse American food system—and the systems of the EU as a whole and particular EU member states—contribute to global solutions? These and many more questions will be among the topics discussed over the course of the EXPO.

Among the unique programs to be introduced is “Feeding the Accelerator.” Created by Microsoft in collaboration with teams of entrepreneurs, chefs, artists and academics, the accelerator is designed to engage EXPO visitors and participants with a collaborative business model, providing a global platform for local initiatives.

To learn more about how the USA, the EU, and the other 147 countries and international organizations are participating in EXPO 2015, visit

Written by Sara Kinas

Published: Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Last Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018

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