Pursuing more than profit at Dubai and Osaka world expositions
A steady effort
In Dubai, one man is especially passionate about working at the upcoming 2020 expo.
Soichi Murakami, managing director of Brother International (Gulf) FZE, a Dubai subsidiary of Brother Industries Ltd., experienced the 1970 Osaka Expo as an elementary school student.
He later worked part time at the Kobe Portopia Expo in 1981 while he was at school. In 2005, when Murakami was a midcareer employee at Brother, the company had a booth at the Aichi World Expo’s Mountain of Dreams joint pavilion. Murakami feels it is somewhat destiny that he has been assigned to work at the expos in Dubai and then Osaka, as his career, in its final phase, comes full circle.
Expo 2025 is positioned as an event that can help promote efforts to achieve the U.N.’s SDGs. At the Dubai Expo, Brother aims to showcase its initiatives to contribute to SDG efforts through business.
This past November, Brother, at the suggestion of local staff members, called on citizens to refrain from using disposable plastic bags and reduce plastic waste at a Dubai shopping mall event. Brother sewing machines were used to sew eco-bags bearing the Japanese pavilion logo on the spot. When completed, each bag was embroidered with the initials of the person receiving it — this personal touch allowing people to develop an attachment to the bags.
“(Architect) Yuko Nagayama said she wanted wa, or ‘Japaneseness,’ to percolate through (her design of the Japanese pavilion at the Dubai Expo), and the idea resonated with me,” Murakami said.
“SDGs are not something you can achieve only with cutting-edge technology. They can only be achieved after an honest, persistent effort,” he continued. “Being a company, we do need to boost our brand recognition and sales by supporting the expo, but I want to make this an opportunity for the world to see the ‘Japanese spirit’ behind its high-quality products and technology.”
Different businesses have different aims for their involvement in the expos. Behind those aims, however, they clearly have philosophies and visions that cannot necessarily be measured only by economic impact.