Photo: Felix Öhlund

What is the gross building area and what are the main sections / components of the pavilion?

The gross building area for the Swedish pavilion is2370.20 squaremeters.

With the clear objectives to promote the image of Sweden abroad, trade and investments, the Swedish participation will invite the general public, business visitors and governmentofficialsto co-create a sustainable future. This will be done through an interactive exhibition– an outside scene– at the playground and in the conference section. In the pavilion,specialattention will be drawn to the scene for co-creation which will be accessible both from the general exhibition and the conference section, where we will invite the business community, academia, government representatives and local authorities.

What message do you want to send to the world through your participation in EXPO 2020?

The pavilion design will reflect Swedish nature and will be made in wood to the maximum extent possible. Materials for the interior decoration will be carefully selected to represent Swedish design well known to the world. Design elements such as lighting, clean surfaces and functional solutions will be utilized to create a smart and welcoming pavilion.

The image of Sweden will be based on core values such as new thinking, openness, authenticity and caring. During our co-creativesessions, we will invite visitors to co-create new solutions for a sustainable future based on innovation, creativity, societal needs and sustainability.

How many times did Sweden participate in World EXPO?

Sweden has participated in a number of different World Expos over the years. The last one we participated in was the Expo 2012 in Yeosu and prior to that was the Expo 2010 in Shanghai, which saw a large participation from Sweden. The deciding factor for Swedish participation is whether there’s an interest from the Swedish business community or not.

What differentiates your participation in EXPO 2020 compared to the previous World EXPOs events?

This time, the design of our pavilion – the Forest – is more of a statement in itself, as the actual construction in wood for us becomes an act of sustainability. Building the pavilion in wood instead of steel and concrete has a three-step effect in durability: by using alternative materials instead of concrete and steel we expect to “save” 1,000 tons of Carbon dioxide. Furthermore, the Forest combines the two ways to reduceCO2 in the atmosphere: by reducing emissions, or by extracting an additional 2,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it – reducing‘carbon sources’ and increasing ‘carbon sinks’.

What return do you expect to generate from your participation in EXPO 2020?

The main purpose for the Swedish participation in Expo 2020 is to create a platform on which we can improve the exports of Swedish companies to create growth and jobs in Sweden. Given the fact that this is the first Expo to be organized in the Middle East, it provides the UAE and the region with great opportunity to present itself in a positive spirit and we are looking forward to creating stronger business ties to the region.

In the Swedish pavilion, we would like to see visitors engaging and becoming aware of how they can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and how Sweden provides a platform for achieving these goals together with businesses, civil society, academiaand governments. We would like visitors to feel enlightened, boosted with energy and with a feeling that they can contribute. Through co-creation we can achieve much more together than we would alone. That is the core of the Swedish theme “Co-creation for Innovation”.

What will Sweden offer to the visitors and what are the unique or WOW factors in the Pavilion?

First and foremost, the main wow factor will be the design of our pavilion the Forest. Secondly,the visitor journeywill be something extraordinary. It starts already at the outside of the pavilion and continues throughout the pavilion, and it invites visitors to interact with the Swedish theme “Co-creation for Innovation” on different arenas.

The visitors will meet different aspects of co-creativity,such as cultural activities and social robots. During the journey of the exhibition they will be able to interact and co-create solutions based on the focus areas Next generations travel and transports, Smart cities, Life science, Bio circular economy, and Connected industries and new materials. There will be different routes in the pavilion depending on the interests of the visitors. Regardless of the interests of the visitors, we hope that they will leave the exhibition inspired and with a feeling of how they can contribute to co-create a more sustainable future.

The entire pavilion’s, and more specifically the exhibition’s narrative and scenographic installations are based on the vocabulary and dynamic of the forest: clearings, tree houses, floor topography, cut trees, light atmosphere, trees connections, sounds and communication.

During their free stroll in the Forest, the visitors are offered a series of diversified and unexpected experiences in a fully connected and interactive environment.

How confident are you in Dubai’s ability to organize one the best World EXPO?

We are confident that the Expo 2020 in Dubai will be a success, both for Dubai and for all participating countries.

In your view, what differentiates EXPO 2020 Dubai compared with previous World EXPOs?

One factor that stands out is the clear ambition to attract international visitors to a much greater extent than earlier Expos, which makes this Expo more like a global Expo than a national or regional one.

What is the timeline for the pavilion design and construction? 

During the spring of 2018, an architectural competition was announced. The winner was presented in December and on 8 October 2019 we put the shovel in the ground. We expect our pavilion to be ready during the second half of next year.

What is the total cost/ budget of your participation?

We estimate that the final budget will be around 180 million SEK.

How many employees will work in the pavilion during EXPO 2020?

Currently, we are estimating that between 100 and 200 people will be employed by the Swedish pavilion.

What type of events and activities will the pavilion have during the event?

Everything we do in the Swedish pavilion has to do with co-creation. We have elaborated a handbook with know-how about co-creation that all our partnersfollowand through open source it will be available for everyone to download. The overarching areas of programming are business, society, culture and science.

The events and activities we are hosting will be centered on the five focus areas Next generation’s travel and transports, Smart cities, Life science, Bio circular economy, and Connected industries and new materials. Our partner companies will also be able to host events in the pavilion to showcase their latest innovative products and solutions.

Sweden’s national Expo day is 15 December 2020. For that occasion, we are planning for a spectacular celebration of innovation in the true spirit of Alfred Nobel and in attendance of the Royal family.

Additionally, the Swedish pavilion will also be hosting the finals of a global e-sport tournament with participants from all over the world.

What is the public perception in Sweden about World Expos and what’s the anticipation their toward EXPO 2020 Dubai?

The interest among companies and organizations in Sweden for Expo 2020 is strong as they see a great potential for World Expos to increase Swedish exports and to attract investments, tourism and talent to Sweden.

How many visitors do you expect to attract during EXPO 2020?

We are aiming for one million visits to the Swedish pavilion.

Some countries are planning to keep their pavilions after the end of expo 2020, what are the pavilion plans for the legacy phase?

In order to live up to the brand promise and not only build a pavilion for six months, we plan to sell the pavilion after Expo 2020.

How is the Swedish private sector involved in the pavilion?

The funds provided by the government are conditional on the promise of the business sector to finance half of the total cost, 180 million SEK.Today we work with both larger and smaller companies as well as with industry and regional clusters. Our official partners as of today are Volvo, AstraZeneca, LKAB, Ericsson, SAAB, Axis and Elekta.