People of all kinds and origins, of all ages and with the most diverse educational backgrounds came together at Expo.02 in different ways and for diverse motives. They joined the project in large or small numbers at different times, and unknown tasks awaited them. These newcomers succeeded brilliantly in meeting the demands of the organisation and in coping with the crises and irregular work rhythms.
But this agitated, dynamic collective was not content with fulfilling the tasks assigned to it. It created its own models, its own ways of being, its own style and its own atmosphere of collective enthusiasm. Its own sociabilities, teams, networks and groups emerged. Something like an Expo.02 breeze blew over the Arteplages and was perceived as a joyful attachment to an extraordinary undertaking. This astonishing micro-society came into being even though everyone was aware of its ephemeral presence in a project that was already inherently short-lived.
Perhaps the essence of this highly creative collaboration is this: this community could have lived as a separate world with its own rules. But exactly the opposite was the case. What emerged was an open community that wanted to meet the audience and displayed a great hospitality and willingness to care that was greatly appreciated and admired by all. And that's not all: our staff succeeded in establishing contact with the Expo.02 audience, sharing their joy of being there, their cheerfulness, serenity and tolerance. Our staff were the irreplaceable actors of the celebration and the encounter; they radiated this amazing sense of communality that seemed to be neither beholden to tradition nor to globalisation, but rooted in a culture of openness to the world of today.
How can this success be explained? Certainly with the foreboding that overcame all of us at Expo.02: here we met a national project, and we were inspired by a common cause, which was to make Switzerland vibrate with the world and its times. Our staff were the transmitters, the mediators of this cause. Today, the exemplary attitude of our employees is proving to be decisive for our country: they were the first and outstanding protagonists of a new kind of communality in Switzerland.
Nelly Wenger, president of the Direction Générale, 2003