To the heart of citizens: David Wilkinson and EU communication at Expo

The new face of the European communication, that appeals to the mind but also to the heart of the citizen, the role of the EU as an example of cooperation between different cultures, and guardian of valuable scientific expertise useful for the whole world: the reflections of David Wilkinson, EU Commissioner General for EXPO

Food and the future: in the area created by this binomial Europe is called (and destined) to play a key role, that involves scientific commitment as well as commitment in terms of communication and the involvement of citizens. These are the words of David Wilkinson, EU Commissioner General for Expo, interviewed on the sidelines of the event "Towards a Research Agenda for Global Food Security and Nutrition".

Europe is experimenting with new ways of communicating research and development in the food sector. Among these, there is a narration instrument, storytelling: EU has chosen an animated film to present itself at Expo 2015 in Milan. Why?

Our goal is to reach everyone: we thought that the European Union at Expo had the duty to open up to the citizens by becoming accessible. For this, we have chosen to approach the public with a story, that could appeal both to the mind and the heart of the people. We created two characters: Alex, a farmer, and Sylvia, a scientist. The two met while Sylvia is trying to make bread but does not succeed: working with Alex, the goal is reached. The key message of this story? Only by bringing together science and food production we can ensure that the human society will achieve food security for 9 billion people that will live on the planet by 2050. And I think that the European Union is a good example of synergy and cooperation: we have worked together for more than 60 years.

With regard to global food-related challenges, what will be the role of the EU?

Surely, we have an important role both on the cultural and social level and in terms of scientific research. The European Union is one of the world powers. We have many different cultures, but we have established ways of working together, and we can be an example for other parts of the world who are struggling with many economic difficulties, including extreme poverty, climate change and hunger. If we can have a world without hunger, other countries could look more carefully, see what we have achieved, and try to learn some lessons on how we should move together in the future.

At the same time, we also have an enormous scientific competence: we are keen to make sure that it is developed and applied to the overall problem of global food security.



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