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Bureau of International Expositions (BIE)


Bureau of International Expositions (BIE)

World Expos are international exhibitions organized by a selected country every 5 years, with the purpose of showcasing the latest scientific and technical advancements for improving living conditions on our planet, from a social and economic perspective. The Bureau International des  Expositions (BIE) is an intergovernmental Organization which was founded in Paris on November 22, 1928, with the purpose of regulating all international exhibitions. The BIE Convention, which is constantly updated since its ratification in 1931, oversees and regulates every detail of the Expos’ organization as well as cooperation among Member States.

From the very beginning, two types of Expos were established by the BIE, but these categories have changed over time, according to three phases that may be summed up as follows :

the first (1931-1980), with World Expos lasting up to 12 months every 6 years and Specialized Expos lasting up to 6 months;

the second (1980-1996), with World Expos lasting up to 6 months every 10 years and Specialized Expos lasting up to 6 months every 2 years;

the third and current one (since 1996 and the 1988 protocol) with :

- World Expos (the main exhibition category, as the Expo Milan 2015) lasting up to 6 months every 5 years, without limits in exhibition space;

- and Specialized Expos on a specific topic, which take place in between World Expos and last up to 3 months.


« Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life » was the title of the Expo Milano 2015, which was attended by 131 countries and closed on October  31, 2015. Before the Expo, a participative document was drafted - the Charter of Milan - summing up shared principles and objectives in the fields of nutrition, food sustainability and human rights. After the Expo, the Charter was handed to the United Nations Secretary-General.  

The 21st Edition of the Triennale Milan opened on April 3, 2016, with the title « 21st Century. Design After Design». Its next edition will take place in 2019 and will be devoted to the following theme: "Broken Nature - Design, Architecture and Art take on Climate Change and Inequality".