Located in America’s Midwestern heartland, Minnesota is one of the United States’ healthiest states and home to a large immigrant community and thriving business sector.
The state consistently ranks high in public health, diversity, environment and business innovation.
Minnesota is a candidate to host the world’s Specialised Expo in 2027. Expos, also known as world’s fairs, promote people-to-people ties and cooperation among nations. The global event allows participating nations to recognize gains made in science and technology, as well as social progress.
“Minnesota is the perfect choice to provide a sustainable, innovative global exposition,” President Biden wrote in a June 2022 letter to the Bureau International des Expositions in France, the organization that supervises the event.
Minnesota’s proposed theme is “Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Wellness and Well-Being for All,” a concept that acknowledges the need to emphasize public health in light of COVID-19 and the climate crisis.
“We would like to be part of the conversation about what we can all do to create a healthier planet and healthier people,” John Stanoch, president and chief executive of Minnesota USA Expo 2027, told ShareAmerica.
Stanoch emphasized the state’s high rate of volunteerism and civic engagement and its history of hosting successful events such as the Super Bowl (the U.S. championship pro football game), college basketball championships and political conventions.
Some of the state’s highlights:
U.S. News & World Report ranked Minnesota the United States’ healthiest state in 2022. Strong health outcomes are tied to residents’ ready access to natural resources, such as the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and more than 10,000 lakes. Stanoch describes the area as a unique combination: a thriving urban area surrounded by nature.
Several major health technology companies make their home in the state’s Medical Alley, lending Minnesota its reputation as the “Silicon Valley of Healthcare.” Patients worldwide visit the Mayo Clinic, the highest-ranked medical center in the United States.
“We always had a focus on health as a cultural attribute,” Stanoch said. “We are an active population and have an amazing medical and health community.”
Innovators in food, health
Sixteen Fortune 500 companies have headquarters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region. Nine Fortune 500 companies in the health and wellness sector operate in Minnesota.
Cargill, the world’s largest private corporation, is located in Minnesota, exporting beef, poultry and egg products around the world. Other major food companies calling the state home include General Mills, producer of breakfast cereals and snacks; Land O’ Lakes, a dairy products company; and Hormel Foods, best known for its Spam meat product.
With plenty of farmland and researchers, the state also leads the U.S. in the number of food patents per capita.
Other Minnesota-based companies include Medtronic, a medical device company; 3M, which makes N95 respirators; and Ecolab, whose products help to keep food and water clean and prevent infections.
Welcoming the world
Ethnic diversity is a hallmark of the state’s history. Norwegians and French Canadians who arrived in the 19th century were followed by immigrants from every region.
Minnesota is home to the largest Hmong, Nepali and Somali populations in the United States. All religious faith communities play an active role in helping immigrants get acclimated, Stanoch said.
Other state residents claiming African descent hail from Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia and Nigeria. Large communities also trace their roots to Germany, Laos, Mexico, Norway, Thailand and Vietnam.
“There are a lot of beautiful sites in the state,” Stanoch said. “We are just a kind, generous, welcoming people, and we would love to show our Minnesota hospitality to the world.”
Argentina, Serbia, Spain and Thailand are also bidding to host the event. The Bureau International des Expositions will vote on the host nation in June.