Commemorated annually on 21 April, the World Creativity and Innovation Day raises awareness around the importance of creativity and innovation in problem-solving with the first World Creativity and Innovation Day celebrated on April 21, 2018. The purpose of the day is to encourage creative multidisciplinary thinking at the individual and group levels which has become the true wealth of nations in the 21st century.
April 21 is also a week after the birthday of one of the greatest creative minds we know, Leonardo da Vinci who was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance active as a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he also became known for his notebooks, in which he made drawings and notes on a variety of subjects, including anatomy, astronomy, botany, cartography, painting, and palaeontology. Leonardo’s genius epitomised the Renaissance humanist ideal, and his collective works compose a contribution to later generations of artists matched only by that of his younger contemporary, Michelangelo.
The World Creativity and Innovation Day is celebrated in conjunction with World Creativity and Innovation Week which takes place between 15 – 21 April. The theme of the day and week in 2022 is Collaboration and how creativity and collaboration contribute to sustainable development goals. Creative industries are critical to the sustainable development agenda because they stimulate innovation and diversification, are an important factor in the burgeoning services sector, support entrepreneurship, and contribute to cultural diversity.
There is no universal understanding of creativity with the concept open to interpretation from artistic expression to problem-solving in the context of economic, social and sustainable development. According to the findings of the special edition of the Creative Economy Report, Widening Local Development Pathways, co-published by UNESCO and UNDP, creativity and innovation, at both the individual and group levels, have become the true wealth of nations in the 21st century. The creative economy including audiovisual products, design, new media, performing arts, publishing and visual arts, is a highly transformative sector of the world economy in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings. Culture is an essential component of sustainable development and represents a source of identity, innovation and creativity for the individual and community. At the same time, creativity and culture have a significant non-monetary value that contributes to inclusive social development, to dialogue and understanding between peoples. Therefore cultural and creative industries should be a part of the economic growth strategies. These industries are among the most dynamic sectors in the world economy, generating USD 2.25 billion in revenue and 29.5 million jobs worldwide. So countries are harnessing the potential of high-growth areas of the market for economic returns and poverty alleviation.
Today all of us should embrace the idea that innovation is essential for harnessing the economic potential of nations. And the pandemic has shown us that innovation, creativity and mass entrepreneurship can provide new momentum for economic growth and job creation. It can expand opportunities for everyone, including women and youth, provide solutions to some of the most pressing problems such as poverty eradication and the elimination of hunger.
So to commemorate the day, go ahead and do something creative today. It could be as simple as trying a new recipe or as complicated as finding a solution to a pressing problem. But make sure you do something different, something creative and get out of your comfort zone.