Expo 2020: Inside The Good Place Pavilion where ordinary people do extraordinary things

The pavilion showcases remarkable innovations that can make a difference in countless lives across the globe.

By Mahwash Ajaz

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Published: Sat 30 Oct 2021, 10:13 PM

Last updated: Sat 30 Oct 2021, 10:59 PM

Despite all the challenges humanity is facing today, there’s still a lot of good in the world — and an inspiring pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai proves just that.

Aptly called ‘The Good Place’, the pavilion captures stories that can ultimately restore one’s faith in humanity. It showcases remarkable innovations that can make a difference in countless lives across the globe.

Located at the Opportunity District, The Good Place features some of the projects that were chosen under the Expo Live’s Innovation Impact Grant Programme — the first of its kind at a World Expo. The grant supports “140 grassroots innovators from 76 countries, demonstrating that innovation can come from anywhere and be made available to everyone”.

At The Good Place, visitors will learn about one girl who developed a box that can keep vaccines safe and viable under extreme weather conditions.

There’s also this mobile app through which one can sponsor children’s education in Bangladesh and stay updated about their progress.

Another great project was one by a group of Moroccans who came up with an idea of turning plastic waste into a building block.

The Good Place is a celebration of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help others in need.

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The Expo Live team has received over 11,000 applications for the grant and they went to great lengths to ensure that the 140 projects that would be selected were all ‘genuine’.

“We started to look at the candidates themselves. We had a team from Expo 2020 Dubai who was helping us screen them. We looked for people who were genuine and I believe that all these 140 grantees are all genuine,” said Yousuf Caires, senior vice-president of Expo Live.

Caires said he even spoke to the candidates himself. “I went to multiple countries to speak to them. We also had a team of folks who travelled around the world to meet them. These candidates later came to the UAE and presented and pitched their ideas to multiple board members,” he explained.

Designed by an Emirati firm

The Good Place is shaped like a tent. At the heart of its design is the story of how the UAE’s Founding Fathers sat together under a tent in the middle of the desert and formed a country that will serve its people and the world.

This was how Ahmad Bukhash — the Emirati architect behind the project — described the pavilion.

“Selflessness and the aim to create a better world was the theme of The Good Place’s design,” Bukhash told Khaleej Times.

Also, the place was constructed in a way that “even when the temperature is hot outside, you’ll still find shade at the pavilion”, he added.

It features a number of interactive stations that allow people to pay the world’s kindness forward.

Don't miss the Smile Wall

It takes your picture as you smile and each image donates to a charitable cause.

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