“Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected” – William Plomer.
Have you ever wondered how everything around us is a product of creative minds thinking differently, innovative minds that challenge the norm and like taking risks? Creativity is what makes the world go ‘round. There’s no universal understanding of creativity because the concept is open to interpretation from artistic expression to problem-solving in the context of social, economic, and sustainable development.
World Creativity and Innovation Day is observed every year on the 21st of April. This day encourages people to utilize their creativity and new ideas to make this world a better place to live. WCID also raises awareness about the role of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development. Celebrated in over 46 countries globally, people in businesses, schools, and universities participate in celebrating this day.
Here’s How it All Started
World Creativity and Innovation Day was founded on the 25th of May 2001 in Toronto, Canada. Its founder, Marci Segal, began to study creativity in 1977 at the International Center for Studies in Creativity, SUNY Buffalo. Being a resident of Canada, it is safe to say she was perturbed to see when the headline “Canada in Creativity Crisis” appeared on the National Post.
She thought it would be fantastic if more people knew how to use their natural ability to generate new ideas, form new decisions, take further steps to make this world a better place, and make their place in the world better. So, she went ahead on her journey to create a more prominent place for creativity in the world. With the help of her colleagues, Segal organized the first World Creativity Day to encourage people to leverage their creativity to make this world a beautiful place.
On the 27th of April 2017, the UN decided to include World Creativity and Innovation Day on the 21st of April as a Day of observance to raise importance among the masses about using their creativity in problem-solving for all problems related to attaining the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals, better known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations Member States in 2015 as a part of their universal call to action to put an end to poverty, save the planet, and make sure that everyone enjoys peace and prosperity by the year 2030.
Its Significance in Today’s World
After a year full of impenetrable despair and pandemic-induced lockdowns, there couldn’t be a better time to celebrate the creative economy. And the UN is doing just that as it recognizes 2021 as the International Year of the Creative Economic for Sustainability Development. UNCTAD, UNESCO, WIPO and WTO will drive the annual celebrations and observations for this coveted day.
Isabelle Durant, the Acting Secretary-General at UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), while talking about the special day stated, that the resolution was timely. According to her, creative industries are crucial to the sustainable development agenda. Durant says that creative industries stimulate not only innovation but diversification too. Such industries are an essential factor in the burgeoning service sector, support entrepreneurship, and contribute to cultural diversity, Durant concluded.
Creativity and Culture – Two Peas in a Pod
It’s safe to say that the Creative Economy, which encompasses audio-visual products, design, performing arts, new media, publishing, and visual arts, is a highly transformative sector of the world economy in regards to job creation, income generation, and export earnings. Culture is quintessential to sustainable development as it represents a source of identity, innovation, and creativity for the individual and the community. At the same time, creativity and culture have a significant non-monetary value that contributes towards the understanding between different individuals of a society.
Economic Growth Strategies
The Culture and Creative Industries are booming, collectively generating $2.25 billion in revenue and 29.5 million jobs worldwide. Looking at the numbers, these industries are among the most dynamic sectors in the world economy. As per the UNESCO report on culture and sustainable development, these industries should be an integral part of the world economic growth strategies.
On this WCID, the UN is inviting each and everyone to embrace the idea that innovation is key to bringing out the maximum economic potential of the nations. According to the United Nations, creativity, innovation, and mass entrepreneurship can offer new momentum for economic growth and job generation. It can extend opportunities for everyone and provide a solution to some of the most critical problems in the world, such as Elimination of Hunger and Poverty Eradication.
Ways to Celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Day
Below is the list of ideas for celebrating the annual WCID. Try these or, better yet, come up with your creative ideas!
1. Look at the World in a Different Light
At times, creativity and inspiration come from doing things a little differently than usual. So, consider sitting at a different place at the restaurant or taking a picnic lunch and sitting outdoors. Try climbing a tree and see the world from above, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Something as simple as taking a different route to work can transform how a person responds to a problem.
2. Come up with Ideas to Solve Problems
To generate new ideas, start the day out by brainstorming. Sit down and think of everything you do during the day and how you might change them for the better. Keep a notepad with you and pay attention to the ideas that come to you naturally throughout the day. Instead of getting annoyed by less than perfect things, try to find motivation through them and make out ways to fix them.
3. Explore a New Culture
Learning about people from different groups and cultures can help harbor not only respect for others but also create remarkable ideas. In this pandemic-stricken world, ‘visiting’ a new place by simply watching a documentary about the same can help cultivate creativity and innovation. It is true that sometimes, innovation and creativity can come from across the world. So, rent that CD and explore that new place!
4. Share Innovative Ideas
As beautifully written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, an American physician, poet, and polymath, “many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up,” it is important to share your ideas. If you got an idea for your local town or municipality, it is time to send the suggestion to them and let them benefit from it! Have you worked up a new idea for the employer or workplace? Inform a supervisor and see what they have to say about deploying these creative solutions.
A Creative Conclusion
Creativity is nothing but a mindset, a skill set, and a toolset. We can also call it a framework for approaching problems. It includes brainstorming, coming up with new ideas, seeking novelty, deferring judgments, and building other ideas. So, this World Creativity and Innovation Day, use your new Creative Ideas to do something good and different.
Motivate people around you to make positive changes to their lives and utilize social media to share your thoughts about the day with the hashtag #WorldCreativityandInnovaitonDay or #WCID.