Exploration creates

a manifestation of the Dutch mentality

Identity / Art Direction / Strategy / PR / Activation

Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

The World Expo is the most renowned and international exhibition in the world. Each edition, The Netherlands makes its mark on the expo to emphasize their role in that year’s theme and to create a strong global position.

How does a small country like The Netherlands, make its mark on solving the big global challenges of today? A pavilion at the World Expo 2017 in Astana,Kazachstan, and the theme ‘Future Energy’, provoked an inward journey to answer that question. What is it that makes the Dutch Dutch? And how do you stand out with a unique and new approach, in between 130 other pavilions of countries around the world?

Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

The insight

The answer is in our Dutch mind-set. Since a third of the country is below sea level, the Dutch have been battling this force of nature for ages. This has shaped a resilient, co-creative and innovative way of thinking, and created heroes along the way. Dutch energy therefore, does not come from a piece of technology or a ray of sunlight; it comes from its people. Dutch energy is the Dutch mind-set, and by sharing it with the rest of the world, we can shape the world of tomorrow. Low Land, High Energy.

The execution

From the modern tribute to Mondriaan in the design to the iconic achievements in the pre-show: this pavilion is a testament to our creative and innovative mind-set. However, it wasn’t just an homage to the country’s heroes... An interactive, digital layer invited people to discover and use the mind-set by unlocking extra features. We asked visitors to engage in the Holland Innovation Challenge: a bespoke collaborative project, whereby Dutch and Kazakh young professionals and students worked together to stimulate the energy transition in Kazakhstan.

The results

In the end, the Dutch pavilion was voted in the top 5 most popular pavilions out of 130, was voted Best Use of Technology and was visited by more than 200.000 people. And, like everything we do, it all started with a mind-set.

Jens Bezemer


"Low Land, High Energy is a journey along the many facets of the famous Dutch mentality. With emphasis on experience and co-creation, we challenge visitors to practice this enterpreneurial mind-set themselves."

Want to know more about this project? Get in touch with Jens Bezemer

Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken
Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken
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