Invitation to Expo2015 and Last Call to Europe 2020



Reported by Roberto Mori in Milan

13 July 2015 – Milan, Italy – The attention of 148 Countries is focused on the event Expo2015 (http://www.expo2015.org/) that Milano (Italy) is hosting from May 1st to October 31st 2015. For the first time in BIE (Bureau International des Expositions) Expos history, the 412 direct Stakeholders have been developing the really universal theme of the event (Feeding the Planet, Energy for life) in many different innovative ways, with the stage left to the mankind. The expected millions of visitors will then have the privilege to see and judge all such ways.

150713-pmwj37-expo2015-IMAGE1But the event’s opening day was the end of a long route started in 2008 and driven by an unparalleled program comprised of much more than 500 individual projects, each of them independently managed under the general coordination of the Organizing Authority, in line with the guidelines issued by BIE.

It is apparent that the extent and constraints of the program, the so many world cultures involved, along with the area of just one sqkm where all the projects have been simultaneously implemented, presented countless challenges and required widespread Program and Project Management competencies to deal with:

  • Risks analysis and management prior to application to BIE and during both the implementation of the program and the event itself.
  • General and sustainability principles that have inspired the program.
  • Organization of the operations management structure, up to the site activities.
  • Relationships with all the Stakeholders and impact of multi-culture context.
  • High surveillance and direction of construction site for sub-contracts of own direct responsibility.
  • External infrastructures and urban modifications.
  • Projects for post-event destination of the area.
  • Relationships with the many partners and civil society organizations.

The list of challenges is far from being exhaustive, but it is sufficient to highlight the uniqueness of the program.

There also other reasons to visit the Expo than just the 412 different ways of the theme development and presentation: among others the projects of the world most renowned architects, that are displayed in one sqkm.


Further, the suggestive and evocative theme can be, and is being, interpreted in many respects: life, culture, civilization, history, art, pleasure, senses, projects, sport, creativity, technology, involvement of the four primordial elements (earth, water, air, fire).

One more reason for project management professionals from all over the world to visit Expo2015 for an unrepeatable experience is linked to the food as protagonist of one of the most sensitive paradoxes of the modern world that could only be resolved through political projects correctly devised and implemented.


The Expo Milano 2015 exhibition aims also to create a worldwide occasion for international dialogue on the dramatic challenges faced to secure a sustainable environment into the future. One of the major events – hosted and organized by Sodalitas Foundation, Italy – took place on 19th June: the Last Call to Europe 2020, that has represented a great opportunity to meet with some of the most advanced European and international enterprises committed to achieve a more equitable and sustainable Europe for millions of European citizens.

European Commission representatives, CSR Europe members, Business Organization Presidents and worldwide and European CEOs have brought their experience on the most relevant business challenges towards sustainability, that is meant not only as a social, ethical driver, but also as a convenience process aimed at increasing the Corporate share value.

CSR Europe is the leading European business network for Corporate Social Responsibility. Through its network of corporate members and 42 National CSR organizations (Sodalitas Foundation is one of them), it gathers over 10,000 companies, and acts as a platform for those businesses looking to enhance sustainable growth and positively contribute to society. In its mission to bring the CSR agenda forward, CSR Europe goes beyond European borders and cooperates with CSR organizations in other regions across the world.

During the conference, CSR Europe has launched the “Milan Manifesto – Enterprise 2020”, a strategic direction of how the over 10,000 European enterprises committed to sustainability can collectively work together to support the Europe 2020 goals within the next five years. In order to deliver on the Enterprise 2020 Manifesto, CSR Europe facilitates two European Business Campaigns: Skills for Jobs and Sustainable Living Cities.

The “Milan Manifesto – Enterprise 2020” calls on all companies and governments to take up the challenge of putting words into action by being at the forefront of change and:

  1. Make employability and inclusion a priority across boards, management and value chains.
  2. Stimulate member companies to engage as committed partners with communities, cities and regions to develop and implement new sustainable production methods, consumption and livelihood.
  3. Put transparency and respect for human rights at the heart of business conduct.

Mrs. Diana Bracco, President of Sodalitas Foundation and President of Expo2015 states: The “Milan Manifesto – Enterprise 2020” will focus business priority and commitment to achieve Europe 2020 objectives in a time of extraordinary challenges: do more with less, promote sustainable living and consumption life styles, establish new welfare systems. Sustainable enterprises can make a substantial contribution to build a future of growth and inclusion for all.

Viscount Etienne Davignon, President of CSR Europe and former Vice President of the European Commission, describes the role of the Manifesto: In over 50 years in government and business, this is one of the most ambitious initiatives to address the future of Europe through practical business-led solutions that I have witnessed. Please join us!

Next November 2015 (Enterprise 2020 Summit, Brussels) the “Milan Manifesto – Enterprise 2020” will be officially presented to the European Commission and will become the dialogue platform between the most advanced enterprises and the European institutions to achieve together a sustainable growth.

After the launch of the Manifesto, the plenary session of June 19th conference was then split into three parallel workshops:

  1. Growth is sustainable focused on: circular economy; role of businesses to accelerate the process towards “smart cities”; sharing economy.
  2. Growth is smart focused on digital innovation, one the seven pillars of Europe 2020 strategy.
  3. Growth is inclusive focused on social inclusion for multiple perspectives: fight against poverty; development of skills for job; promotion of diversity. To achieve the social inclusion goals it has been underlined that a strategic lever should support the creation and development of entrepreneurship with high social impact, which in turn calls for project management competences as strategic skills for the young generations.


Photo: Representatives of European Commission, CSR Europe and Enterprises 2020 celebrate on stage the launch of the Manifesto