On April 21, 2018, the first official World Creativity and Innovation Day (#WCID) will be celebrated. Observed six days after Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday and one day before International Mother Earth Day, #WCID is well positioned to encourage creative multidisciplinary thinking to help us achieve the sustainable future we want.

Wealth of Nations

Creativity and innovation, at both the individual and group levels, have become the true wealth of nations in the 21st century, according to the findings of the special edition of the Creative Economy Report "Widening local development pathways", co-published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) through the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).

Creativity and Culture

The creative economy –which includes 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.

Economic Growth Strategies

Cultural and creative industries should be part of economic growth strategies, according to the UNESCO report on culture and sustainable development. These industries are among the most dynamic sectors in the world economy, generating $2.25 billion in revenue and 29.5 million jobs worldwide. In that spirit, countries are harnessing the potential of high-growth areas of the market for economic returns and poverty alleviation.

New Momentum

On #WCID, the world is invited to embrace the idea that innovation is essential for harnessing the economic potential of nations. 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. It can provide solutions to some of the most pressing problems such as poverty eradication and the elimination of hunger.