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Expo 2017 Astana

The world's fair was hosted for the first time by a Central Asian country, Kazakhstan, in 2017. The Expo in Astana adopted the theme: Future Energy. Working with the team at CNN Create, I crafted the digital editorial content offering, collaborating with the social media producer and lead creative producer on bridging video and written content that was inviting, fresh and on-message. This is a featured case study on the CNN International Commercial website launched in 2018.

Over the course of the six-month campaign, I produced content for eight web pages which lived on the CNN ad feature hub and on their own distinct Expo 2017 Astana mini-site. I also conducted on-the-spot interviews at the event in Kazakhstan with international leaders from organizations such as the UN and governments such as UAE, for videos produced by my colleagues, also published on the aforementioned hub.

The varied content presented in a digital magazine-inspired format was classified under the overarching theme: Energy. Targeting different demo groups and event attendees (from established business leaders to young art, design and music enthusiasts), the pieces collectively positioned Kazakhstan and its capital among major global economies, promoting the renewable energy revolution through lifestyle and business.

Design Energy

A buzz piece spotlighting trendy London architect Asif Khan's UK pavilion — collaborating with renowned composer Brian Eno — at Expo 2017 Astana and companion video interview.

Entrepreneurial Energy

In-depth feature on the lucrative and visionary business of renewables and video interviews. Among the interviewees, global energy sector heavy hitters:  Adnan Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy; Dr. Jozef Toth, President, World Petroleum Council; and Martin Hullin, Project Manager, REN21.

Creative Energy

Snackable profiles on four contemporary Kazakh artists whose work is shown in the new Nur Alem pavilion at Expo serve the  purpose of introducing these creators and the local art scene, and drawing art enthusiasts to the event. A sidebar highlights top international musical talent at the event: 30 Seconds to Mars and Limp Bizkit.

Unique Energy

A bonus feature on the central architectural landmark of Expo 2017 Astana: the solar panel and wind turbine-equipped Nur Alem Globe, including an interview with its world-renowned architect Gordon Gill (who also designed Dubai's Burj Khalifa).

Expert Energy

This B2B publication-style recap of the Eighth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development, featuring global leaders and UN representatives, demonstrates a clear and accessible way of covering live events geared towards a business audience.

Innovative Energy

Using the popular listicle format to capture readers' attention and simplify a sometimes dry, technical topic, this piece showcases how 10 expo participant countries approached technological innovation in their pavilions and how they are dealing with this in the renewables economy.

Human Energy

With an entertainment magazine sensibility, this page presents one of the event's major draws: a customized show for the expo by the popular group Cirque du Soleil. It features an interview-based article with the performance troupe's creative director and behind-the-scenes video interviews at the event.

Future Energy

Closing article describing the legacy of the expo site: transforming into a clean-powered planned smart city. This shows how Kazakhstan and its capital are follow the expo theme's renewable mandate — re-purposing a seemingly one-time event site into a permanent live/work space.

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