Today’s Guest Post is by Marci Segal, the founder and steward of World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21.
What if museums provided space and time for patrons, staff and other interested parties to generate and consider new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes that create a decent life for all on a sustainable planet?
In April 2017 the United Nations resolved to include World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 (WCID) as an International Day of Observance to free people up to use creativity in problem-solving to meet the challenges we face, including the 2030 Global Goals.
Do you think there may be an opportunity for your museum to engage in meaningful ways at that time?
What occasion does World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 and Week, April 15-21 provide to advance creative approaches to climate justice at your location?
How World Creativity and Innovation Day Began
I began studies in creativity in 1977 at the International Center for Studies in Creativity (ICSC), SUNY Buffalo, completing the masters in Creativity and Change Leadership years later. I learned, among other lessons
- We can use creativity in problem-solving
- The impossible takes a little bit longer
- Creativity has to be applied to something
- Each person expresses creativity uniquely
- You don’t have to be creative to do creative things
A Banner Headline
In May 2001, a banner headline in Canada’s National Post newspaper, “Canada in Creativity Crisis” introduced an article describing a debate between artists and scientists as to whom is more creative. It was in tune with the times.
At the turn of the century, creativity was marginalized, not mainstream as it is today.
People said then:
- No time for creativity, have to meet deadlines, creativity is unserious, frivolous
- Creativity = arts only
- Critical thinking prevailed
The Day is Born
I thought it would be better for people to celebrate and use creativity rather than debate who has more or less of it. I imagined a calendar day to remind people all over the world that they can generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes to make the world a better place and to make their place in the world better too.
April 21 was selected as World Creativity and Innovation Day because it is one day before Earth Day. Wouldn’t it be great to apply our ability to make new combinations to matters of life on earth?
And so, it began. A few nations joined in the celebrations in 2002, its first year, and now people, institutions, schools, organizations, governments in over 50 countries partake. WCID grew to a week, World Creativity and Innovation Week, beginning on Leonardo da Vince’s birthday April 15 – 21 (WCIW) in 2004.
The United Nations
In 2014 Ambassador I. Rhonda King, Permanent Representative to the United Nations from St. Vincent and the Grenadines called. Said she saw the wciw.org website while she was looking for support to bring using creativity in problem-solving to the United Nations. Ambassador King presented UN Resolution 284 on April 27, 2017; she championed WCID as a UN International Day of Observance.
The story of how WCID became a UN day of observance can be seen in this 15-minute video talk.
How Might your Museum Engage?
What might be some ways your museum can leverage WCID and WCIW to advance climate justice concerns? Even in small ways, as in a staff lunch, or a school visit brainstorm session, what else?
- Creative question lunch and learn workshops for issues related to climate justice
- Awards for community innovation and achievement in sustainability
- A week to say yes to new ideas, pointing out what’s good about them before critiquing them (and replacing and for the word but as a conjunction)
- A challenge to local businesses and other organizations to factor each of their decisions through the Sustainable Development Goals and to show how that decision aligns with meeting one or more of them.
- Practice using imagination to create scenarios of possible and probable futures
- Brainstorm with other museums of what might be possible in face-to-face gatherings, or online using social media; then present the findings to factor into strategic plans for the next few years
Bottom line: To meet the challenges we face we need the freedom to use to generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes. That’s a freedom museums can provide.
Your creativity is needed. See what you can do. Celebrate WCID and WCIW in ways that are relevant to your context and make an impact of any size this year and every year forward. Creativity is in you… use …go! Share your ideas and events here.
- World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 (WCID) provides a time and space for people to – value new ideas, new decisions, new actions and new outcomes that make the world a better place and to make their place in the world better too.
- Conceived in 2001, WCID, as of April 2017, is a United Nations Day of Observance. The resolution rationale is to encourage and remind people to use creativity in problem-solving to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
- Museums have an opportunity during April 15 – 21 each year (World Creativity and Innovation Week) to provide new thinking opportunities for patrons, staff and other interested parties.
Marci Segal, MS is the founder and steward of World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21. She speaks on, writes about and facilitates creative thinking and creative problem-solving sessions for organizations. Marci was born in Toronto, Canada and now lives in the Rocky Mountains of Canmore, Alberta, just outside of Banff.