A successful Expo

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The six month run of Expo has come to an end. The Universal Exposition 2015 opened its gates on May 1 and has just officially closed them on October 31. Despite the difficulties encountered early on, the fair can be deemed a success in so much as it enabled visitors from around the globe to learn about the diversity and richness of the food available on our planet. The pre-Expo organization and start of the fair were not the best – several transactions that were not exactly above board, a few too many hitches that held up the progress – all of which gave rise to the usual talk about Italian plotting and scheming. However, as usually happens, we know how to recover from our mistakes (since we are experts at making them) and maybe because we usually get caught with our hand in the cookie jar. But now that the dust has settled, we can conclude that, on one hand, we know how to get things done, and on the other, having witnessed the recent behavior of the automobile manufacturers, we are not alone in the field of less than above board activities. This doesn’t justify our “not always impeccable” behavior, but neither can we nor should we passively accept the reprimands of those who are not without fault, and unfortunately the automobile industry is just one of many examples in the world of unfair trade practices. Returning to Expo 2015, its success is also attested to by the 20 million visitors, which was the main objective set by the organizers. This attendance target was reached, and, when the official data is released, will have been overachieved. Among the many displays, the clusters, dedicated to foods ranging from coffee to cocoa, cereals to rice, fruit to spices, were just as interesting as many of the pavilions of far-away countries. Certainly, faults can be found and you can say that it could have been better organized. Maybe so… but managing a highly attended international event for 6 months, without encountering any truly significant issues, is all due to the organizational skills that our country knows how to implement when necessary. As Universal Exposition Commissioner Giuseppe Sala commented, the success was due to the joining of public and private forces, as well as the contribution of individuals. These two aspects that were essential for the successful implementation of the fair, will also prove useful in the post-Expo phase that has just started. This phase as well calls for highly efficient organizational capabilities, ready to face the complex issues such as, just to name one, the demolition of building structures and requalification of the area. Last but not least, a special thank you is due to the thousands of individuals, who, in various roles and responsibilities, carried out their activities on the grounds of the Universal Exposition, contributing to the success that has been widely recognized.

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