Expo 2023: The Minnesota World's Fair

Help shape America's first World's Fair in nearly 40 years and see it before it opens to the public.
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Wendy Meadley
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Minneapolis-StPaul, Minnesota
United States
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2014 BID LAUNCH + THEME ANNOUNCEMENT PARTY FOR INAUGURAL CONTRIBUTORS JUST ADDED! (see perk description below for details)

If you live in the United States or Canada, chances are you or someone in your family has visited one of the many World’s Fairs held in North America. But it has been 30 years since America last hosted, leading some to think the World’s Fair is a thing of the past. The reality is, every few years, nations from all across the globe still gather to celebrate the future of innovation, ideas, architecture, and design. These "Expos," as they’ve become known, are spectacular events that must be seen to be believed, each attracting millions of people wanting to experience and explore the world within walking distance. 


America has been absent too long from this important global stage, despite our history of hosting some of the most significant World’s Fairs. The first city illuminated by electricity, the first television broadcast, the Space Shuttle, and the world’s first picture phone were all presented at World’s Fairs held in the United States.

With the launch of this campaign, we’re letting the world know that the U.S. is ready to host this important global gathering once again. We are reaching out to you to help make this happen. With your backing, we will make this a World’s Fair unlike any other—built by the people, back on American soil, in Minnesota.

And if we’re successful, as an Inaugural Contributor to this Indiegogo campaign, you’ll get to see it before anyone else.

CROWDFUNDING A WORLD’S FAIR

Never before has crowdfunding like this been used to initiate a World’s Fair. It wasn’t even possible for such a large event until recently. Thanks to Indiegogo and you, that’s about to change forever. 


While there's a very real effort already underway to bring the World's Fair to Minnesota, none of the things that Expo 2023 will become known for have been created yet. Its theme, its logo, the breakthrough technologies it will showcase, the incredible architecture and more are all just waiting to be born on a blank piece of paper somewhere. Crowdfunding allows us to build a community of visionaries to help us define our icons-to-be, but those pieces of paper won’t be blank for long.

WHY 2023?

Official Expos happen once every few years and come in two sizes. Larger Expos last six months and are organized every five years (on the 0s and the 5s), while one shorter three-month Expo typically happens between two larger ones. In 2010, 73 million visitors attended the Shanghai Expo. In 2012, the Yeosu Expo in Korea attracted over 8 million attendees. Tens of millions will flock to Expo Milano 2015 in Italy next year. Milan will be followed by Kazakhstan in 2017 and then Dubai in 2020. The next available opening is for the shorter three-month fair after Dubai, and we've decided 2023 should be our year. 

HELP US TAKE AN IMPORTANT STEP

It costs a few million dollars to put together a formal bid to host a World's Fair, but the first step is the completion of important economic and community impact studies, and that's where you come in.

We need at least $200,000 to fund hiring experts from the University of Minnesota and elsewhere to examine the impact the Minnesota World's Fair would have on our entire region. This includes analyzing potential locations, studying how people will be able to easily and comfortably get to and from the Expo, forecasting how many people will come and from where, and demonstrating that Minnesotans are prepared to host an exceptional three-month global event.

These studies, once completed, will be the core of our bid-development process. Their role is crucial, and your financial support will make this happen.


With your help, we can generate essential momentum out of the gate to catch the attention of the other countries whose support for our bid we will need.

And in exchange for your support now, at this early stage, you'll be able to help shape important details of our bid, which we need to complete within the next twelve months. We are working on our theme, our major activities, and on the site-selection process. You will have preferred access to all the key information and a clear path for making your suggestions and sharing your ideas.

LET’S INVITE THE WORLD TO VISIT US UP HERE IN MINNESOTA

If you were inviting the whole world back to the United States, wouldn’t you want them to go where people still stop and offer directions?

It might also help if there were 10,000 beautiful lakes, great music, renowned doctors, the headwaters of the Mississippi River and a decent helping of Fortune 500 companies all in the immediate area.

As Minnesotans, we’re not much for bragging—but if you’re asking, we do have a lot to brag about. Minnesota always ranks among the Top 10 Happiest/Healthiest/ Most Livable States in those studies. Our gene pool has produced some pretty big names, and the folks here have invented some pretty cool things. We don’t cancel school when a few feet of snow falls, and the people who visit—for our hospitals, or our attractions, or for work—tend to stay or keep coming back. 

A World’s Fair here would be a giant magnet for new visitors. You may know that we were just selected by the NFL to host the Super Bowl in February 2018. In terms of attendance, Expo 2023 would be akin to a hosting a Super Bowl a day, every day, for three months.

Three summer months, that is.

You may also recognize the music on our campaign video. It’s an amazing song called “The Maker” by one of Minnesota’s latest acts to achieve international acclaim, POLIÇA (@thisispolica), and we thank them for contributing their talents to this effort.

CHANCES ARE, YOU ALREADY HAVE OUR T-SHIRT

In exchange for your support, we could offer you the obligatory T-shirt, but we don’t have a logo yet. We don’t know what we’d put on a bumper sticker or keychain yet, either. Instead, it’s our intention to put as much of your contribution as possible toward making Expo 2023 a reality.

What we can offer is the chance to support this cause and with it, an opportunity to help us shape a future World’s Fair in Minnesota, including exclusive privileges for you, our Inaugural Contributors.

And for the first time, you can reserve your spot at the front of the line to see a World’s Fair—nine years from now in Minnesota—before it opens to the public, but only if you become an Inaugural Contributor through this Indiegogo campaign. 

PERKS AND PRIVILEGES

$23 - Inaugural Contributor

As an Inaugural Contributor, you will immediately receive priority access to Expo 2023 news and offers, name recognition on our expo2023.info website, and a personal invitation requesting your ideas and suggestions to help shape our official bid for Expo 2023: The Minnesota World's Fair.

JUST ADDED: Our Inaugural Contributors will also be invited to attend the official Expo 2023 Bid Launch Party in 2014 (specific date and location TBD) hosted by Minnesota’s Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, chair of the Minnesota World’s Fair Committee. Attendance at this event will be reserved for Inaugural Contributors, and it’s where you’ll see the earliest details of Expo 2023 unveiled, including an all-important theme announcement.


And to top it off, every Inaugural Contributor will receive a voucher to attend a private preview opening of Expo 2023 nine years from now. This could be your chance to see and explore a World’s Fair in Minnesota before it opens to the public, reserved exclusively for funders of this Indiegogo campaign. It’s important to note that this special preview voucher will be redeemable only if Minnesota wins its bid for Expo 2023, but it’s also your shot at being first in line to see America’s first World’s Fair in generations.

Inaugural Contributor + Attractions

Some of Minnesota’s most recognizable attractions are also our partners, so we’re able to offer a limited number of special ticket packages as an add-on to our Inaugural Contributor perk level.

$100 - Inaugural Contributor + MN Zoo “Family Four-Pack” (Limit 25)

This limited "Family Four-Pack" perk offers access for four to the famous Minnesota Zoo including four admissions and parking passes (valid through September 2015). 

And since there are four of you, in addition to all the benefits of the Inaugural Contributor perk level, we’re adding three more vouchers to attend the private preview opening of Expo 2023 in Minnesota, making a grand total of FOUR.

This means your favorite foursome can see the Minnesota Zoo now and be first to see the Minnesota World’s Fair before it opens to the public.

$100 - Inaugural Contributor + Mall of America Experience (Limit 500)

We’re also offering 500 Mall of America Experience Packs including a pair of passes to the Nickelodeon Universe theme park and an MOA shopping bag filled with exclusive retailer coupons.

Stay tuned for more ticket packages and other exclusive offers showing up throughout the campaign.

$123 - Inaugural Contributor Six-Pack

What’s better than one voucher to attend a private preview opening of Expo 2023 in Minnesota? A SIX-PACK of vouchers, that’s what!

At this perk level, you’ll receive all of the benefits of the Inaugural Contributor level PLUS five additional Expo 2023 private preview opening vouchers for your friends and family, making a total of SIX. 

This is your chance to see a World’s Fair—the first American World’s Fair in nearly 40 years—with the people closest to you before it opens to the public.

$230 - Inaugural Contributor + Dinner (Limit 10)

*A SECOND DINNER WITH MARK AT HEARTLAND HAS NOW BEEN ADDED*

We’re known for our thriving restaurant scene, thanks to celebrated chefs like Lenny Russo whose Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market in St. Paul turns out a nightly changing menu of innovative North American Midwest Regional cuisine.

This is your chance to experience Heartland at a spectacular three-course dinner hosted by Minnesota’s Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and reserved only for Inaugural Contributors at this level.

Seating at this dinner is limited. Date and time to be determined, sometime during Fall 2014. 

$2,023 - Inaugural Contributor + Delegation at Expo Milano 2015 (Limit 20)

Finally, you have the opportunity to join our special delegation in Italy for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the next World’s Fair—Expo Milano 2015—celebrating the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.”

This campaign is your only chance to become an Inaugural Expo 2023 Contributor and join a community of people who share our ambition at this early stage for what promises to be a history-making, future-shaping event.

HAVE YOU SEEN OUR STATE FAIR?

We have the largest state fair in the country by average daily attendance. “The Great Minnesota Get-Together” runs for almost two weeks at the end of summer and attracts close to two million people each year (that’s over 30% of the state population).

This year at the Minnesota State Fair, which runs from August 21-September 1, our Expo 2023 booth should turn a few heads. It’s a chance for fairgoers and funders to get a modern glimpse of what a World’s Fair here might look like. For example, you’ll be able to explore possible themes for Expo 2023 using a gesture-controlled experience powered by Microsoft Kinect, and Minnesota's very own Stratasys will be 3D printing exclusive souvenirs for our Inaugural Contributor fairgoers. 

If you go to the State Fair, be sure stop by our booth and show that you’re an Inaugural Contributor (you can contribute to this campaign from the booth if you haven’t done so already). You’ll receive a special card enabling you to claim your 3D-printed souvenir as well as preferred access to the Kinect experience.

LOOKING AHEAD

Allow us to geek out for a moment. According to Moore’s Law, computing power and processor speeds will double in power every two years. That means we will experience exponentially more technological change over the next nine years than we have from 2005 until today.

Think about the incredible innovations that have taken place over the past decade. The iPhone was introduced, as was YouTube, Twitter, and all of the amazing projects that have launched on Indiegogo. We’re asking you to imagine, mind wide open, what your world will be like nine years from now. What will you be doing? How will we have changed?

Now consider that future with a World’s Fair awaiting us in 2023, and all the ways it would inspire us to dream big and set our nine-year goals high. Who will come here to help build the fair? What connections will be made?

And imagine how bringing EXPO 2023 to Minnesota could inspire young people to pour their passions into science, technology and design, creating futures we can't begin to predict.


RISKS

All funds contributed to our campaign will go toward funding the bid process. Naturally, our greatest risk is that our bid might not be successful. However, based on first meetings and our current progress, we are very confident in our ability to secure the support of a majority of the countries that will eventually be voting on our bid. We benefit from the support of tremendous partners, including a national advisory committee led by Minnesota’s Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and honored co-chairs Vice-President Walter Mondale, former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson, and international business leader Marilyn Carlson Nelson.

OPPORTUNITY


Now, we have a choice. After the World’s Fair planned for Dubai in 2020, the next one is up for grabs.

We can decide that America is ready to reenter this international olympics of ideas, architecture, and design.

We can raise our hand to host an event that would give Minnesota and our entire region the global identity it deserves.

One that would accelerate landmark breakthroughs in technology and transportation.

One that inspires us all to boldly consider what’s possible in the next nine years and beyond.

One with unlimited opportunities for creativity, innovation and growth.

One with legacies—our electricity, our television, our Space Needle or Eiffel Tower—lasting for generations.

Yes, we can. And together, we will. Thank you.

Find This Campaign On
$13,133USD
raised by 130 people in 1 month
7% funded
0 time left
$200,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on September 18, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $23USD
    Featured
    Inaugural Contributor

    As an Inaugural Expo 2023 Contributor, you'll get: An invitation to attend the Expo 2023 Bid Launch Party with Mark Ritchie (in 2014) plus other first-look events An invitation requesting your ideas for Expo 2023 Name recognition on expo2023.info Priority access to Expo 2023 news and offers PLUS A voucher to attend a private preview opening of Expo 2023 nine years from now, reserved only for funders of this campaign (and only redeemable if Minnesota wins its bid for Expo 2023)

    68 claimed

  • $100USD
    Inaugural Contributor + MOA

    All of the privileges of the Inaugural Contributor perk level PLUS a special Mall of America Experience Pack, including: - A pair of passes to the Nickelodeon Universe theme park - Exclusive MOA retailer coupons - A limited edition MOA shopping bag (Experience Pack to be picked up at the Mall of America. It's a big mall. You're going need a big time bag.)

    13 out of 500 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $100USD
    Inaugural Contributor + MN Zoo

    All of the privileges of the Inaugural Contributor perk level PLUS: - A Family Four-Pack of passes to the Minnesota Zoo, incl. four admissions + parking passes (valid thru Sept 2015) - Three additional vouchers to attend a private preview opening of Expo 2023, making a total of four (Perfect for a family of four that wants to see the Minnesota Zoo now and The Minnesota World’s Fair before it opens to the public. Preview vouchers are only redeemable if Minnesota wins its bid for Expo 2023.)

    1 out of 25 claimed

  • $123USD
    Inaugural Contributor Six-Pack

    All of the privileges of the Inaugural Contributor perk level PLUS: - Five additional vouchers to attend a private preview opening of Expo 2023, making a total of six. (This allows your friends and family to go with you to see America’s first World’s Fair in nearly 40 years before it opens to the public. Only redeemable if Minnesota wins its bid for Expo 2023.)

    6 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $230USD
    Inaugural Contributor + Dinner

    All of the privileges of the Inaugural Contributor perk level PLUS: - A seat at a spectacular three-course dinner at Chef Lenny Russo’s acclaimed Heartland Restaurant in St. Paul, hosted by Minnesota’s Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. (Date and time TBD. If you haven’t experienced Heartland, this is the way to do it.)

    10 out of 10 claimed

    Estimated delivery: November 2014
  • $230USD
    Inaugural Contributor + Dinner

    *SECOND DINNER WITH MARK AT HEARTLAND ADDED* All of the privileges of the Inaugural Contributor perk level PLUS: - A seat at a private three-course dinner at Chef Lenny Russo’s acclaimed Heartland Restaurant, hosted by Minnesota’s Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. (Date and time TBD. If you haven’t experienced Heartland, this is the way to do it.)

    6 out of 10 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $2,023USD
    Delegate to Expo Milano 2015

    As a delegate for the Expo 2023 team, you'll enjoy all of the privileges of the Inaugural Contributor perk level, PLUS: -The opportunity to join our special delegation in Italy for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour with Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie of the next World’s Fair—Expo Milano 2015—celebrating the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” (Travel and lodging not included. This is the trip of a lifetime.)

    2 out of 20 claimed

    Estimated delivery: June 2015
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