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News 22.04.2024

Osaka World Expo seeks solutions for future societies – What does Finland have to offer?

Helena Sarén, Mission Lead, Zero Carbon Future at Business Finland

Next year’s Osaka World Expo offers attractive opportunities for Finnish companies. The main theme of the World Expo is “Designing Future Society for Our Lives.” Thanks to this theme, green transition expertise, which is strong in Finland, will receive more attention than usual at the event.

The World Expo is a large and distinguished event and a great opportunity to highlight Finland’s strengths. It is also very important for the country image. We will be able to strengthen Finland’s image as a forerunner in the green transition,” says Helena Sarén, Mission Lead, Zero Carbon Future at Business Finland.

Finland will participate in the World Expo together with the Nordic countries. In addition to the green transition, the Nordic countries’ commercial themes include mobility, digital connections, and health and well-being.

Focus on the society of the future

The theme of the Osaka World Expo focuses not only on creating a better future, but also on contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the UN.

The World Expo seeks solutions to challenges such as climate change and health concerns that will define the quality of life in the future. The core question is: "What is a happy life like?"

“As the happiest country in the world, we are in a good position to explain how you can involve people in making a sustainable future,” says Sarén.

“The theme of the Osaka World Expo can be thought of in an urban context, for example. It is important to consider how we can involve people in the planning of the urban environment at an early stage. The pandemic changed many practices, remote and hybrid work came to stay, and now we need solutions such as new types of transport to support this hybrid model.”

In addition to transport solutions, the social change must be taken into account in the planning and provision of services, for example. Existing silos need to be dismantled and access to services improved.

“The starting point is to create solutions that serve people and enable them to live a good and easy life,” summarizes Sarén.

Increasing Finland’s carbon handprint in the world

Traditionally, Finland has had a great deal to offer in climate matters. We play our part, and we can also help our partners to achieve their goals. Business Finland’s Zero Carbon Future mission aims to significantly increase Finland’s carbon handprint in the world.

“The energy sector generates a lot of emissions, so solving the energy challenge is important. Replacing fossil fuels with clean and renewable energy will revolutionize many industries, and the impact will be global,” says Sarén.

“The World Expo and its themes are also an opportunity for Japan to brand itself as a country of sustainable development.”

Sustainability is essential not only for business itself but also for employees. Nowadays, people increasingly want to work in companies that match their own values, but the question of values also concerns countries and cities. In international competition, individuals settle in locations with the most suitable values for themselves.

“Fortunately, Finland is well positioned when it comes to sustainable development. Our rankings in various development indices are good and sustainable thinking is in our DNA,” says Sarén.

“The World Expo and its themes are also an opportunity for Japan to brand itself as a country of sustainable development.”

Finnish expertise is in demand, but taking the initiative is needed

“The Japanese and Finnish mindset fit well together – love of the Moomins is not the only thing that unites us. Both countries are working towards the green transition. We are also united by the need to find solutions for the harbors of the future, as well as for new kinds of logistics and supply chains. Finland excels in material recycling and various circular economy solutions, which are of high interest in Japan. New fuels, such as hydrogen, are also of interest. Traditionally, Japan has been a high-tech country, which makes it a good place to offer modern digital solutions,” continues Sarén.

The World Expo provides companies with a good platform for a wide range of activities. It is a place for strengthening relationships with existing contacts and searching for new ones. It is also a good opportunity to check what other countries are doing and increase one’s understanding of other markets.

“Companies should join in boldly even without totally finished products, since it is also possible to use the event for testing ideas and networking in the industry.”

“We have great know-how, but the rest of the world will not wait for Finland and come to us to get it. We will have to make our know-how and capabilities visible ourselves. We must be active outside Finland and seek greater impact. The World Exhibition offers a good window for this, because we need to be visible in the world.”

Learn more about the participation options

Facts about Expo 2025 Osaka 
  • World’s fairs are the oldest and largest international events and they have been held since 1851. World’s fairs – or Expos – are held every five years. The event is a platform in which different countries can share their best experiences and innovations and collaborate.
  • EXPO 2025 Osaka lasts six months, from April to October. Up to 28 million people are expected to attend the world’s fair. The main theme is “Designing Future Society for Our Lives.
  • The Finnish participation project is looking for partners in different industries. There are several options for participation ranging from main partnerships to small in-kind sponsorships. Companies that join the Expo 2025 project will get to benefit from the partnership status in the Japanese market, which values relationships and contributions to the absolute top event in the country.

This article is an English translation of an original piece published in Kauppalehti on 26.3.2024.