Why the United Nations prioritised creativity, and why you should too

Four years ago, the UN General Assembly recognised creativity development as a global imperative. Here is why.

When the headline, “Canada in Creativity Crisis” appeared in the National Post in 2001, Canadian creativity expert, Marci Segal, decide to take action. Having studied creativity in the 70s at the International Centre for Studies in Creativity, SUNY Buffalo, she understood the power of creative thinking and how it can be developed. She knew that with deliberate effort and training, people can learn to generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes, to solve problems and achieve success.

Watch Marci Segal’s powerful talk here (15 mins): Marci Segal/World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21

Segal knew she had to think big, so she started a global movemet by founding World Creativity and Innovation Day. She chose April 21, the day before Earth Day, April 22, to emphasise the importance of using new thinking to create a decent life for all on a sustainable planet.

Five years later the celebration was extended to a week, including 15 April the birthday of creative luminary, Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci demonstrates creativity as both arts and sciences — a synergy that earned him the spot as one of the most creative people to have ever lived.

The UN weighs in on creativity

The purpose for the United Nations (UN) is to create a decent life for all on a sustainable planet. Whilst working on the 2030 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, UN Ambassador Rhonda King, realised that more creativity and more innovation is needed to achieve these ambitious and vital goals that impact life on planet earth for all of us.

“Traditional thinking will not help us out of the mess that we are in now.” Ambassador Rhonda King, Permanent Representative to the United Nations from St. Vincent and the Grenadines

In 2017, Ambassador King joined forces with Marci Segal and championed the observance of World Creativity and Innovation Day as a UN International Day of Observance. Here’s what she said in her historic speech:

“Few attributes of human performance have as much impact on our lives and our world as creativity… Creativity has been shown to play a role in entrepreneurial activities and long-term economic growth. Developed and developing countries around the world are recognising the utility in these research findings and are embracing the idea that our creative capital is our most valuable asset today.”

The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

Creativity is our responsibility

According to Marci Segal, “We have a responsibility to create an environment where new thinking is welcome, where people feel confident putting their ideas forward, and where conversations can be held. We need to use our creativity to usher in the age of social responsibility.”

UN Ambassador Rhonda King and WCIW Founder Marci Segal

“Infinite opportunities for creativity await us every day, and every one of us has the potential to seize them and be creative.”

World Creativity and Innovation Week provides clarity and inspiration

To get clear on what we mean by creativity and why it is so important, here are some notes from the team at World Creativity & Innovation Week :

What is creativity?

You may think you have a pretty darn good understanding of what creativity is. You see it, you hear about it, and maybe you even practice it. But what exactly makes something creative? And how can one get better at creativity?

Creativity is a mindset, a skill set, and a tool set. It’s a framework for approaching problems. It involves brainstorming a lot of ideas, seeking novelty, deferring judgment, and building off the ideas of others. When it comes down to it, creativity is about going beyond just your first right answer and discovering the second, third, or 124th answer.

Why is it important?

Creativity drives innovation, and innovation is the agent for positive change in our world. This greater mission is the catalyst for World Creativity and Innovation Week. Where there’s a will there’s a way: anyone can be creative with practice. Creativity is not exclusive to a select few.

This is bigger than us

World Creativity & Innovation Week is an international community dedicated to celebrating all forms of creativity. Everything around you is a product of creative minds thinking differently, challenging the norm, taking risks and learning from trial and error. Everything you do can be a creative act. Practicing creativity will bring creative confidence, and with creative confidence will come your ability to look at problems as opportunities. You will find new solutions to personal opportunities and change your life. You will find creative solutions to community opportunities and change your world.

Spread the word

Marci’s invitation to us is:

“Talk to three people. Spread the word. Do something new and different to keep the energy alive and going. There is lots of opportunity for new thinking. We already have the capacity. Why don’t we just use it.”

What are you doing to develop your creativity? Why not take our 5 Day Creative Wake-Up challenge to brush the cobwebs off your creative thinking. This online course will take you only 30 minutes a day for 5 days to complete, but it will help you to shift your mindsets and get a huge boost to your creativity. Try it! https://www.creativitywakeup.com/5daycourse



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