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Expo 2020 Dubai: Financial Services, Fintech and Wider Digital in Slovenia

As The Fintech Times continues to explore different fintech landscapes around the world, using Expo 2020 Dubai as the main focal point, the following steps under the green canopy of sustainable Slovenia.

Throughout the full extent of our Expo 2020 Dubai coverage, we’ve explored many pavilions that have themselves delved into ideas on sustainability, eco-friendliness and striking design.

As we begin to bring our series to a close, in line with the natural commencement of the Expo this month, there is just one more pavilion that we’ve been desperate to discuss, and continuing along with this central theme of sustainability, today we’re going to step through the doors of the Slovenia Pavillion.

Slovenia Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai
Slovenia Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai

Toted as the ‘green heart of Europe’, it seems only fitting that the nation has utilised every bit of its 1550m2 exhibition area to promote this message, and even more so that its Pavilion can be found in the Expo’s Sustainability District.

The Pavillion itself emanates a floating oasis, courtesy of the ingenious and striking design of Robert Klun and Sandi Pirš and their team at Magnet Design.

The design of the pavilion represents three elements that align with the green identity of Slovenia:

  • Water, which represents the flow of ideas and creativity within a vital human resource;
  • Nature, representing the connection between the Earth and the universe, knowledge and innovativeness;
  • Innovativeness, represented by a giant wooden sunshade that hangs over the structure.

The outer walls of the wooden structure are adorned with lush vegetation, a feature that will remind visitors of the country’s extensive and dense forests; as well as keeping them protected from the heat of the UAE sun.

To enter the Pavillion, which itself is situated close to one of the Expo’s three main gates, visitors must pass via a subterranean platform, surrounded either side by an artificial lake. Really, it doesn’t get more refreshing than this.

Internally, the Pavilion is split across three different floors.

The structure’s ground floor accommodates a showroom, an interactive room and the multifunctional Europe square space, and it’s within these spaces where the Pavillion showcases many of the country’s most forward-thinking businesses and initiatives.

The first floor is divided again into the ‘Smart Room’ and the ‘Green Room’, and stimulates the minds and senses of visitors with a visual and sensory experience that communicates to the world how Slovenia contributes to a better planet. Through a 360-degree projection, this floor explores Slovenia’s culture, tourism and best sustainable practices.

If you’re a Slovenian company looking to host an important VIP business meeting, the Pavillion’s second floor is dedicated to this purpose. What’s notable about this floor is the fact that the architects have not under-stressed the networking nature of the Expo, and have actively sought to create a viable and practical space in which these connections can happen.

Not to name names, but this is an important element that some of the other pavilions haven’t emphasised enough, and it goes to show that Slovenia’s attendance at the Expo means business.

Expo 2020 Dubai, as the largest exhibition event in last years on the global level, offered a great opportunity for countries to present their businesses, tourism and culture; contributing to the three topics of future development – sustainability, mobility and opportunity. 

Slovenia and fintech

Slovenia as a country with a strong sustainability orientation, expressed through the unique presentation of the pavilion, introduced the advanced and sustainable innovative promotion of the country using non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

With this, Slovenia became the first country in the world to launch an NFT, which is in the function of digital presentation of Slovenian advanced businesses and unique tourist destinations for the purpose of Expo 2020 Dubai.

NFTs are delivered to the country’s special guests in the form of digital souvenirs. NFT has been developed on the Hashnet protocol, which enables high speed and environmentally friendly blockchain transactions. The entirety of the collection is visible here.

Special attention to advanced digital technologies and further development of NFT collection will be given also in the future activities in the post Expo period at District 2030 in Dubai. 

As Slovenian Pavillion has the potential to become a hub/innovation ecosystem for advanced digital technologies, connecting the innovative startups, policymakers, regulators and the governments, the conference is the first step to start to create co-habitation system between Slovenia, the EU and the UAE; with the prospects to build a collaboration with African Union, as well.   

To increase the visibility of ecosystems in the MENA region and the role of governments, expressed through INATBA Governance Advisory Board (GAB) and in the frame of the largest world exhibition Expo Dubai 2020, and planned activities in the post-Expo period within the District 2030, the Slovenian Ministry of Economic Development and Technology together with the designated body for INATBA Chapter, ADGM, and in cooperation with SPIRIT Slovenia, Business development Agency, Blockchain for Trusted Data Ecosystems Digital Innovation Hub and Climate Chain Coalition, is organising the conference ‘Strengthening the Blockchain Ecosystems in the Spirit of Sustainable Future Collaboration‘.

The conference will be held at Slovenia EXPO Pavillion on 28 March 2022 starting from 16.00.

Author

  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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